The J.H. Booth and Jean Williams awards are presented annually to the senior male and female student-athletes, respectively, who most exemplify and demonstrate outstanding leadership, scholarship, and athleticism. It is this well-rounded approach to sports that distinguishes Willamette Athletics. These awards recognize Bearcat student-athletes excelling in all areas of their careers at the University
J.H. Booth graduated from Willamette in 1889. He was president of Douglas National Bank in Roseburg, Oregon, from 1909 through 1943, and was a WU Trustee from 1912 until 1939. As a Trustee in 1930, he started the J.H. Booth Award to honor the outstanding men's scholar-athlete of the senior class.
Jean Williams coached all the Willamette women's sports at some point during her 32 years working with the Bearcats from 1959 through 1981. She also served as the director of women's physical education, director of women's intramurals, and coordinator of service programs at Willamette.