SOME 13 YEARS AGO, the Daily News alerted state Sen. Anthony Williams that he hadn't actually graduated from college, despite assertions on his official state Senate website.
Wednesday, the Daily News again helped jog the senator's memory about his educational background, informing Williams of an error on his mayoral campaign website.
In fact, Williams didn't graduate from Franklin & Marshall College and then go into business and then into politics, as stated on his website, anthonyhwilliams.com.
When asked about the wording of the bio, Williams' campaign spokesman, Albert Butler, said, "It's a simple oversight and it can be easily corrected."
And so it was. By midday Wednesday, the language on the "Anthony Hardy Williams for Mayor" website was changed to accurately reflect the timeline of his education and career.
"He left school, he went into the workforce. He later found out through [the Daily News] article 13 years ago that he did not actually officially graduate. So he went to school and got the credit he needed to graduate," Butler explained.
To Williams' credit, he went back to Franklin & Marshall and in 2003 finished the economics degree he had started in 1975.
"We want to be as forthright with that as possible. As far as we're concerned, it is public record that the senator officially graduated in 2003 after you found out about the error and he physically sat in a classroom and got the credit that he needed in order to graduate," Butler said. "We are not running from that or trying to hide that."
The now-fixed misrepresentation on his campaign bio site was inadvertently repeated on the Committee of Seventy website, which contains bios of all the candidates.
After speaking Tuesday with David Thornburgh, president and CEO of the government-watchdog group, Williams' bio was quickly corrected on the Seventy website.
Thornburgh said that a Committee of Seventy staffer who put together Williams' bio had gleaned the information from Williams' own websites. Thornburgh said the original language on Williams' campaign site didn't "appear to be truthful."
Thornburgh, who co-founded Graduate! Philadelphia, a nonprofit with a mission to "increase the number of adults completing college" in the city, said Williams should want to tout the fact that he went back and finished his degree.
"He could say, 'Hey, I was determined to graduate and I did.' People love a comeback story," Thornburgh said.
The Daily News reported on Williams' misstatements about his education background in March 2002, three months after the state took over the School District of Philadelphia - a move the education-conscious Williams supported.
At that time, his Senate webpage said he'd gotten a "B.S., in Economics 1979" from Franklin & Marshall College.