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Come to the Reunion! Everyone

Come to the Reunion! Everyone from Jody Abzug

to Carter Zinn

will be there.

Don’t miss out on a good time.

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We are working on adding

We are working on adding a link on the main button to the right that would provide an updated list of reunion attendees. Thanks in advance for your patience as we muddle through the technical difficulties. In the meantime, I am pleased to announce (via Nicole Melcher) that Ken Alleyne, Erin Block Braden and Carter Zinn will be coming.

Also, our apologies for any delays or problems with the blog. Our provider (Blogger) has been giving us trouble recently.

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Here is the latest list

Here is the latest list of confirmed attendees (as of 5/28, I believe) from Ben Miller. If any of your friends have not yet registered, please encourage them to do so right away! Remember that you can register online at http://www.williams.edu/alumni/events/reunion_weekend.php. Also, see the entry below this one for options if you do not plan to spend the entire weekend at the reunion.

Abzug, Jody Lynn
Andersen, Joyce N.
Berman, Scott L.
Bjornlund, Britta Suzanne
Bock, Timothy D.
Boyd III, William M.
Brydges, William C.
Burnett, Mara E.
Buxbaum, Deborah Lisa
Chatas , Catherine Kessler
Christoffersen, Nils D.
Churchill Jr., Frederic E.
Collins, Carolyn Benedict
Collins, Claude Lewis
Cook Haymov M.D., Heather
DeMarco, Marianne I.
DePippo M.D., Theresa Cavaliere
Elliott, James K.
English, Peter H.
Fiocco, Nancy T.
Foehl, Alison Denne
Foehl, Brooks L.
Friend, Pierson
Garfield, Scott B.
George III, Raymond E.
Glendon, David C.
Goldstein M.D., Michael Harry
Groh, Stephen Vincent
Grose, Peter Kingman
Harrington, Michael R.
Hartnett IV, James J.
Hartnett, Anne M.
Heilman, Tracy J.
Higgins II M.D., Thomas F.
Hollenberg, Jonathan S.
Hooks, Jean T.F.
Huffman, Mark Gordon
Hurwitz, Laura
Johnson, Cynthia Craig
Jones, Christopher H.
Kane, David D.
Kazak, Kerri A.
Kelleher, Maureen G.
Kelley, Gregg M.
Kessler, Lillian R.
Kirschner, Gerald Scott
Lapointe, Matthew J.
Leitz, Christopher D.
Lennon, Chauncy H.
Lisker, Donna E.
Logan, Sean M.
Malm, Cecilia J.
Mandl M.D., Lisa A.
Marcus, Kenneth L.
McGuire, Julie A.
McIver, Keith W.
McIver, Kenneth W.
Melcher, Nicole
Miller, Benjamin J.
Newhall, Thomas Blackwell
Newman, Robert D.
O’Connell, Ellen A.
Oldham, Christopher H.
O’Malley, Anne Elizabeth
Papasodoro, Michael W.
Phillips Jr., John D.
Phillips, Douglas S.
Pike, William A.
Rahill, John G.
Raisbeck, Mark E.
Rakonitz, David
Richardson, Catherine Woods
Roegge, Bradford John
Ryan, William A.
Schlosser, Benjamin A.
Smith, Thomas Everett
St. Antoine, Sara L.
Staley, Stuart Waugh
Swan III, Wilbur M.
Swindell , Christopher Andrew
Taub, Sarah Florence
Tenerowicz, Lisa A.
Thomas, Susan A.
Thorndike III, Joseph J.
Tierney, Geraldine L.
Treworgy, David E.
Troob, Douglas M.
Ulmer M.D., Mary E.
Werkman, Sarah Loebs
Wolsk, Daniel O.
Yarter, Timothy J.

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Ellen O’Connell provided the following

Ellen O’Connell provided the following update on reunion options:

While it is great if people can come for the whole weekend, we understand that maybe only one day is available. To that end, we have a slightly different pricing structure. In advance thanks for your assistance. There are two ‘partial weekend’ options that reduce costs somewhat.

Option 1: Will be there 1 evening (either arriving Friday, leaving Sat.during the day or arriving Sat. and leaving Sun. during the day): Cost: $120 alum, $100 adult guest, $35 kids

Option 2: Saturday day only (Sat. day events and meals, all logo items Doesn’t include any alcohol or any evening meals.Cost: $80 alum, $60 adult guest, $20 kids

To do that registering you need to register on paper and confirm with Ben Miller or me Ellen O’Connell (I have a copy of the paper form) if you want to do one of the partial weekend options so we can alert the folksin the alumni office to expect a partial payment.

The on-line payment system can’t handle anything but the standard, full-weekend costs.

I should also note that your friendly neighbood bloggers (Tracy, Kim and me) stand ready to post any information like this, as well as Eph Blurbs. Unfortunately, we are not technically sophisticated enough to make it simple for our loyal readers to post things, but, if you e-mail any of us, we will post.

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Just a reminder that you

Just a reminder that you can sign up for the reunion online: http://www.williams.edu/alumni/events/reunion_weekend.php. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

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Here is an update from

Here is an update from Ben Miller:

We’re entering the home-stretch for the reunion, barely over 2 weeks away !

We have over 250 folks registed so far, including classmates, friends and family, all planning on descending on the Purple Valley for the weekend of June 13th-15th.

Register today (especially in the interest of making sure we tell our caterers and drink providers (ie the Spirit Shop) how much we need more than 2 days before the reunion !)

As of 5/28/03, firm attendees are 91 alums, 148 adults total, 98 kids, 8 babysitters. There are about another 50 alums who’ve said they’re ‘thinking’ of attending — time to sign up !

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Athletics

I am busy searching for more information on athletics at Williams. As always, pointers are appreciated. Anyone more interested in seeing information about our class and reunion activities should send in an Eph Blurb. We publish everything we get.

In any event, there was a Williams Record editorial on athletics last year. The editorial notes that:

The Ad Hoc Faculty Committee on Athletics has just released a detailed, thoughtfully considered analysis of the status of athletics at the College. Although it is open to interpretation, it appears that the report finds, in general, that there is not a major problem with the athletic program at Williams, but rather with a small number of athletic teams.

I would love to find a copy of that report, but no success so far. The most disturbing paragraph in the editorial was:

The report finds, in general, that female athletes on campus do not suffer from these tendencies. However, particularly in two men’s teams whose members predominantly (78 percent) major in Division II subjects, this is not the case. The greatest concern of faculty in the two departments within division two “is evidence of anti-intellectualism, of clear disengagement and even outright disdain, on the part of varsity athletes…in particular sports,” the report states, referring to two specific men’s teams. Division II faculty feel that often they have athletes who only want the bare minimum grade, which forces them to “dumb down” courses or structure courses around menial assignments that check whether or not students are doing their work.

Two men’s teams? Let me guess: squash and skiing? The Record provides an overview article about the report here. The discussion of “tips” is interesting.

This year, Williams has cut down the number of athletic “tips” it gives from 72 to 66. The term “tip,” according to the report, is misleading. Rather than tipping the scale for an athlete when all else is equal, the report says that tips “more accurately should be seen as ‘coaches’ preferences.’ Coaches are allocated a certain number of choices per year, depending on the sport,” which must be ratified by the admissions department. The athletics department, according to Sheehy, is getting close to the point where it cannot remain competitive given the few slots it is allowed.

“We have really come to the point where our coaches can’t make any mistakes,” Sheehy said. “The school has to decide how competitive it wants to be.”

Perhaps the Record has mischaracterized Coach Sheehy’s position here. Over the last decade, Williams has had far and away the most successful Division III athletic program in the country. What would happen if the college cut the number of tips in half, to around 30? I am certainly ready to believe that this would prevent us from winning the Sears Cup. But it is hard to believe that we wouldn’t still be “competitive”. Surely most of our teams would still be win 1/2 their games. Surely some of our teams would be Little Three champions. How horrible a world would that be?

The Record also had an article this past fall that described the inception of a new standing committee on athletics. Nothing in it is that interesting, but the following quote is priceless.

Though the members of last year’s ad hoc Faculty Committee on Athletics frequently said they were appointed because of their publicly neutral opinions towards athletics, several members of the new committee have been outspoken about their views.

Sheehy has been a vocal supporter of athletics at faculty meetings and in other public forums, while Shanks has represented the opposite end of the spectrum. In 2001, she told the Record “of course, this isn’t a college. It’s a Nike Camp with enrichment classes” (“Some faculty voice concerns about athletics,” March 13, 2001).

If only this blog could come up with lines like that . . .

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I’m a little reluctant to

I’m a little reluctant to post my Eph blurb after the suggestion that the blog has a tendency toward self-absorption, but I promised David I’d do this about a week ago and I don’t want to renege! :)

Tracy Heilman’s Eph Blurb:

I moved to Chicago right after graduation and started working at the Sachs Group, a startup health care information company. I had found the opportunity through a somewhat chance encounter with a Williams alum. I had no intention of getting into the health care information field, but the opportunity to work at a small, startup company getting exposure to a variety of jobs was appealing. It turned out to be a pivotal choice. I stayed there for 5 years, during which the company grew from 15 to 75 people, and I had just about every job under the sun except hardcore tech stuff and sales. I finally left to go to b-school at Kellogg.

After about a year of living in Chicago, I met my future husband, Ray. (I can actually trace our meeting back to Andy Garrow…long story!) We ended up getting married about 5 or 6 years later, after I finished grad school. We pretty much did everything backwards – bought a building together, got a dog, and then got married.

After Kellogg, I went to Deloitte Consulting’s health care practice in Chicago. I loved the work, but the lifestyle stunk (too much time on out of town projects in less than glamorous venues!). I left after almost 2 years…to go back to the Sachs Group. I returned at a great time, as the company was trying to figure out new ways of delivering their information, and the Internet was where they turned. I ended up immersing myself in Internet product development and loving it. After a few years of designing products, going through a merger, and seeing the company change pretty substantially, I decided to leave (again!).

Despite being an incredibly risk-averse person, I joined 3 of my former Sachs colleagues to start my current company, Subimo. While we don’t have the best timing (we started up right as the dot com bubble burst!), we really do have a “dream team” that has vision and gets things done. We provide information that helps consumers make better health care decisions, and it’s been fun to be at the forefront of an emerging trend. I am lucky to be able to work from home – usually in my PJ’s or running clothes, with my dogs (Codi and Boston, both Black Labs) at my feet…kind of makes up for the low “salary” afforded a startup partner (not exactly sure Ray would agree, but…!)

A few years ago, Ray and I were really fortunate to purchase some property in Maine that had belonged to my great uncle. It is on a lake in a rural part of Maine, and we love the contrast between it and the city…I really can have the best of both worlds, especially since I’m able to work out there and spend more time there than I otherwise could.

That’s my last 15 years in a nutshell. Looking forward to hearing more from the rest of you!

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Scott Berman sent in these

Scott Berman sent in these thoughts on tips. My comments are interspersed.

Please take no personal offense, but you are a bit late to this debate.

No offense taken. This is not the first time that I have come late to the party.

It has been raging at Williams for some time now, and President Shapiro (along with numerous others) has publicly weighed in already. I don’t think it is worth rehashing the issues here, as they have been comprehensively covered elsewhere and I doubt that I can do either side justice.

If anyone (Scott or others) know of good on-line discussions of the issue, I would love to post the links. I saw an article on related topics in the Alumni Review a while back, but it is not on-line.

But in case the term is not self-explanatory to some, I believe that “tips” refer to the fact that some students are given “preference” by the admissions committee based on recommendations by the athletic coaches. I believe that some of these “tips” are arguably just as qualified as any other admitted student (i.e., they may have been accepted anyway). Others may be slightly below the “average,” but I think that the admissions committee argues (justifiably in my opinion) that they are treated similarly to other applicants whose grades or SATs may be “below average” but who can bring a unique talent that boosts the overall quality of the Williams Community (i.e., no different than an accomplished musician or artist). I think that as I have heard it described, coaches do not even bother trying to get tips for applicants who are clearly below Williams standards.

Hmmm. Of course, as always, the devil is in the details. To the extent that the average SAT scores and high school grades for the tips are “similar” to those of the non-tips, I see no problems. In fact, I can’t imagine that anyone would have a problem. But, I suspect, that the reason for tips in the first place is that these are students that don’t quite measure up, as a group, to their non-tip peers. The key unknown (to me) is the extent of the disparity.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with this policy probably depends upon the relative importance one places on sports, and personal beliefs about the role athletics plays in shaping the overall college experience. Interestingly, Harry Sheehy (the current Athletic Director and former basketball coach) gave an outstanding talk on this and related topics at the Boston Alumni Association’s annual meeting just a couple of weeks ago. It’s a shame that only a few of our local classmates could be there because not only was he very entertaining, but also I thought he made some excellent arguments that I had not considered previously – for both sides of the debate. Admittedly I went into the meeting with a slight bias in favor of a continued emphasis on athletics, but I left with an even deeper understanding of the role athletics can play at the college, as well as a greater appreciation for some of the pitfalls that must be carefully avoided.

I like to think that it is possible to believe both a) athletics are important to Williams and should be treated as so and b) very little if any benefit in the admissions process should be given to tips. After all, if there were no tips, Williams would still field athletic teams. Someone would still play varsity soccer. Those teams would not be as successful, but since when is something like winning the Sears Cup important. The key issue is that, in a world without tips, some Williams students who currently do not make the team (or who make the team but ride the bench) would make the team. There are only 12 spots on the varsity basketball team. For every tip who takes a spot, a non-tip student must give up a spot. Places in the starting lineup are limitted. Those who say that tips are a good thing because it is more fun to play on a winning team than a losing team miss the (obvious) point that this is only true if one gets to play on both teams. I would assume that the vast majority of Williams students would rather play on a team that was 10-10 than watch that same team win the national championship.

Anyway, I’d better leave it at that for now, lest I be sucked into what I know is a very polarizing debate.

By the way, does this get me off the hook for submitting an Eph Blurb?

Yes! You, unlike some memebers of the reunion committee who shall remain unnamed, get full Eph Blurb credit.

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Ellen O’Connell sent in this

Ellen O’Connell sent in this info:

In response to someone’s inquiry into the exact meaning of gala for Saturday night. Thsounds a whole lot fancier than what is intended for the Saturday dinner. Remember for 4 years we walked around sweats — often with Williams emblazoned on it as if we were to be lost someone would know where to return us. Everyone should be shod, but beyond that blue blazer/cocktail dress or the 2003 version of that.

Here’s the point – Come to reunion to relax, reminisce, pick up where you left off, & enjoy the company of your classmates and their families.

This blog seems to encourage a bit of self-absorption so in offering my congratulations to Suz Mc., I’ll note that Jonathan shares my birthday and just beats my birth weight. The one time I topped the charts (well and in that “easy” Jake House picture).

Comments:

1) This wasn’t quite a Eph Blurb, but it was still way better than the (missing) material that we have received from most members of the reunion committee.

2) “Self-absorbtion?” Who can Ellen be talking about? ;-)

3) “Blue blazer?” I can’t speak for others, but I will be in shorts at the gala, unless either a) the Massachusetss weather continues its current pattern (47 degrees and raining) or b) my wife makes other plans.

4) Speaking of Suz MacCormac and self-absorbtion, Suz’s birthday was 2 days ago. If you happen to be out in San Francisco, you should get her an Oreo Frappe with chocolate syrup. They’re her favorite.

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Sad to see that Renzie

Sad to see that Renzie Lamb, ex-Marine and long-time lacrosse coach, has retired. Best part of the record article is:

Lamb, too, remembers that banquet fondly, but his fondest memories are of his times teaching at Williams. “The most memorable moment when I was here was in my Phys. Ed. classes,” Lamb said. “The person who, at the end of six weeks, comes up to me and says, ‘Thanks coach, I love squash,’ that’s special. A captured soul, required to be there, giving me attendance, and I’m able to get them to see something new, that’s memorable. That will be what I miss the most.

“I’d like to think that Mark Hopkins, when he was done sitting on that log, that the student walked away thinking, ‘I loved that time.’ If they said that to Mark Hopkins, and said that to me now, then it’s been a good life,” Lamb said.

Of course, I also enjoyed:

A former Marine, Lamb brought the lessons he learned there with him to campus. It was about a sense of camaraderie, but also about taking responsibility. And Lamb was the first to show that responsibility. “I’ve bailed kids out of jail,” the coach said. “It used to be, whenever a kid got in trouble for doing donuts on Cole Field, they’d think, who can we call? Call Coach Lamb.”

If I can’t get the college to hire me as a token right-wing professor, perhaps the ex-Marine-who-bails-kids-out-of-jail spot is now open.

;-)

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Close readers of this Sunday’s

Close readers of this Sunday’s New York Times will have been drawn to the front page article, “Play to Win, or Just to Play? N.C.A.A.’s Lowest Rung Split”.

Basic storyline is that there is some tension within Division III about how serious the athletes (and the athletic programs) should be. One example mentioned was the maximum of 5 weeks of spring footbal practice that is allowed. (Anyone know if Williams has a spring football practice?) Some of the conferences within Divisions III, including NESCAC, within which Williams plays, are considering forming their own division with stricter guidelines. The only paragraph that mentioned Williams directly was:

Some institutions, though small, are nonetheless Division III athletic giants in many sports, none more notable than Williams College in Massachusetts. For the last four years, Williams, with about 2,000 students, has won the Directors’ Cup, presented annually to the Division III institution gauged to have the best overall athletic program.

Nothing wrong with that. Faithful observers of the Williams scene, however, could not but be struct by this observation:

Bigger Division III institutions tend to have more money for better athletic facilities and they draw their athletes from a larger pool of applicants, both geographically and academically. “If a school of 10,000 students lets in 75 more athletes for its teams, it’s not going to raise any eyebrows,” said Steve Allrich, the Centennial Conference’s top administrator. “That’s 3 percent of the freshman class. If a school of 2,000 does the same thing, it’s a big issue because that’s 15 percent of the freshman class.”

Hmmm. Does anyone know of a Division III school with 2000 students that lets in “75 more athletes?” I don’t think Mr. Allrich was referring to Williams, but consider this recent article from the Record.

Athletic tips comprised 68 of the admitted student group; though the College generally accepts 66 tips, they accepted 68 this year because only 64 tips attended last year. An additional 177 have been identified by coaches as capable of competing at the varsity level, but were not formally recruited.

I am still trying to determine exactly what a “tip” is. I don’t remember the term from our time at Williams. Anyone with good information should please enlighten the rest of us. In the meantime, the most plausible reading of this paragraph (to me) is that the college has a quota (of size 66) of applicants who it will let in because of their atheletic talent but who they would not let in if they were not so athletic.

Is anyone besides me bothered by this?

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This sure looks like our

This sure looks like our Keith McIver to me! Keith is manager of the Community Development Corporations program initiative at the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

It is so nice when there are pictures to help confirm – but how come everyone looks soooo young still?! I am feeling very old after last week’s birthday!

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Here is a bio on

Here is a bio on one of our reunion attendees – Mike Goldstein, who is at the New England Eye Center. There is even a picture of Mike at work.

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It is sometimes hard to

It is sometimes hard to explain to people why the education that a student gets at Williams is, for almost everyone, much better than the education that that same student would have gotten at Harvard, Yale or (insert your favorite reearch university). Other times, a simple anecdote tells the whole tale. Harvard awards a prize for excellence in teaching to one senior professor, one junior professor and one teaching fellow each year in May. This year, the winning senior professor was Benjamin Friedman, a professor of economics. Professor Friedman is a perfectly nice guy (I knew him a little) who genuinely cares about undergraduate education. But the article notes that:

Students who nominated Friedman, many of them in his Economics 1480: “Moral Consequences of Economics” course, cited his teaching and his personal attention as distinct and outstanding. He reads all the papers himself and writes pages of responses, one student wrote.

“Reads all the papers himself?” To any Williams student, this must seem a strange compliment. After all, if Professor Friedman doesn’t read the papers, who would? Aren’t having one’s papers read by a professor and having the professor write comments part of the whole process at Harvard? Isn’t undergraduate education at Harvard more or less like undergraduate education at Williams

The sad truth is that it is not. One reason that his students think so highly of Professor Friedman is that their experience with him is very different from their experiences with other professors. Most Harvard classes are lectures. Almost all papers are graded by teaching fellows, poorly paid graduate students (I was one) who are under a lot of pressure to spend time on their research rather than on their teaching. Most Harvard students, especially those in big departments, graduate without ever having more than one or two tenured professors look at all seriously at their written work. Many graduate without a single professor knowing their names.

Whenever I think about the disparity between Williams and Harvard, I always go back to the end of graduation, to that final walk through the clapping faculty members. Shaking hands with the professors (like Alan White and Mike McPherson) who had meant so much to my education is a moment that will never leave me.

At Harvard, the vast majority of professors don’t even attend graduation.

I firmly believe that if more high school seniors had an accurate picture of the real differences between Williams and its larger competitors, more would choose to become Ephs.

But that is enough of a rant for today.

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It seems that the College

It seems that the College does a good job of thanking those who work hard at making it so special.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., May 19, 2003 — Williams College honored its employees at its annual appreciation day on Tuesday, May 6. The celebration included a commemorative luncheon at the Williams Inn for employees completing their 5th, 10th, 15th, or 20th year of service. In the evening, employees celebrating their 25th year of service and those retiring from the college were honored with dinner at the Mill on the Floss.

The Kane family owes special thanks to Mary Winston (retiring from OCC) and Fatma Kassamali (celebrating 25 years at OCC). I would wager that:

1) It has been a challenging couple of years at OCC.
2) “Fatma Kassamali” is the coolest name in all of Williamstown. Not that “Mary Winston” isn’t a perfectly nice name too . . .

It is also worth noting that there are no faculty in this celebration. That is, the college is only celebrating non-faculty “employees” here. I have mixed feeings about that. On the one hand, faculty are “employees”, just as their W-2’s confirm. Why wouldn’t a faculty member who has been there for 10 years deserve an invitation to the luncheon? On the other hand, faculty are special in their role at the college, so perhaps it is fit and proper that there be some other celebration just for them.

Alas, our own Brooks Foehl is not listed among the honorees.

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Eph NPR

Alas, no Eph Blurbs came in today, so we will just have to make due with media comments.

Morty Schapiro had a couple of comments of NPR’s Marketplace show this evening. Alas, I can’t find the actual comments anywhere, but this site provides an overview on the series: “The Ivory Tower in the Real World.” Morty’s comments were perfectly reasonable, but quite short. Perhaps he’ll be on in future installments of the series. I think that this might be an audio of the story, but I am not smart enough to do audio.

The real shocker of an item about Williams from the program was that the college has an endowment of $1.1 billion — I don’t remember it being that big — which is down from $1.5 billion a year ago. I tried my best to find information on the endowment at the college website, but all I could find was this quite-out-of-date Q & A. Here is my favorite section:

What is the performance of the investments of the endowment?
The chart below indicates the performance of the Williams endowment in recent years.

’88 ’89 ’90 ’91 ’92 ’93 ’94 ’95 ’96 ’97 ’98 ’99 ’01
Return 2.6 14.5 11.0 6.8 13.9 14.3 4.5 14.9 18.0 22.3 18.3 28.9 51.2

The web page also includes S&P and bond returns for these years, but I had trouble copying it over. Looking at this, the obvious comments are:

1) The College sure did benefit from the bull market of the 1990’s.
2) The chart on the web page is missing ’00. I suspect that the last figure is for ’00 and is just mislabeled. There is almost no way that the college made 50% (!) in 2001.
3) Back of the envelope, it is not clear to me that the college’s active investment strategy has served it that well. I wonder what returns would have been if the college had just indexed (in any reasonable mix of bonds and equities) over the last 15 years. I’ll try to find a more thorough report.
4) I remember that, during the bubble years, the college seemed quite pleased with a variety of venture capital investments that it had made. There was an article (in the Review?) about how the college had cleaned up in Amazon. (Actually, it wasn’t clear how much money (total dollars) the college made in Amazon and the like. Instead, it was obvious that, in perecentage terms, the college (like every other high tech venture capitalist of that era) did well on the investments.
5) Depending on how much money the college put into venture capital (on on the quality of those VC folks), the college could be looking at more trouble over the next year or two. A lot of those investments have probably not been marked down as far as they should have been.

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Congratulations Kim! You guys look

Congratulations Kim! You guys look mahvelous!

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A little over a

A little over a week ago, I married Cyrus Daboo. We have a few photos taken by friends to keep us amused while we await the professional shots. Alas, none with the dogs yet so this will have to do. Kate Macko, Lee Steinberg, Kerstin Skoogfors Porter (all ’88), and F.R. Dengel (’87) were in attendance so a traditional Williams photo, complete with class of 88 banner, will also appear eventually.

Not sure we’re going to make the reunion yet, but we are trying.

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Suz MacCormac’s Eph Blurb Suz

Suz MacCormac’s Eph Blurb

Suz and Andy are delighted to announce the arrival of Jonathan Edward Taylor on Saturday May 17th at 4:27pm. Little Ed weighed in at 8lbs, 14oz and 21.5″; mother and child are doing well.

Comments:

1) Friends of Suz will recall that she had picked out the name Jonathan during our time at Williams. She is fortunate to have a husband as obliging as Andy.

2) 8 pounds, 14 ounces is a big baby. Can anyone in our class top that? SIngle births only, please. ;-)

3) When last we saw Suz, she had claimed that the new baby would prevent her attending reunion. Hah, I say! She has a month to recover. Wonder what the record is for youngest child brought to reunion . . .

4) Are those silk pajamas? My wife was not outfitted so nicely for her post-birth photos . . .

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Lisa Buxbaum is a consultant

Lisa Buxbaum is a consultant at WFD Consulting. The company’s web site indicates that “WFD Consulting is the thought leader and architect of the workplace of the future. Over the last 20 years, WFD Consulting has partnered with Fortune 500 companies in over 26 countries to improve the quality of their work environments.”

I would like to have someone consult to me on improving the quality of my work environment…given that I work from home, the first piece of advice would probably be to CLEAN UP MY OFFICE (and somehow move the kitchen about a mile away, instead of having it right outside my door)!

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Here is a nice bio

Here is a nice bio of Chris Oldham, who is currently practicing banking, finance and property law in North Carolina. Looks like he hasn’t aged a day since 1988 – how is that?!

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What a coincidence that the

What a coincidence that the number is 88!

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Ben Miller reports that we

Ben Miller reports that we are now up to 88 classmates, 146 adults in total, 98 kids and 5 babysitters. Here is the list of registered folks:

Abzug, Jody Lynn
Andersen, Joyce N.
Berman, Scott L.
Bock, Timothy D.
Boyd III, William M.
Brydges, William C.
Burnett, Mara E.
Buxbaum, Deborah Lisa
Chatas , Catherine Kessler
Christoffersen, Nils D.
Churchill Jr., Frederic E.
Collins, Carolyn Benedict
Collins, Claude Lewis
Cook Haymov M.D., Heather
DeMarco, Marianne I.
DePippo M.D., Theresa Cavaliere
Elliott, James K.
English, Peter H.
Fiocco, Nancy T.
Foehl, Alison Denne
Foehl, Brooks L.
Friend, Pierson
Garfield, Scott B.
George III, Raymond E.
Glendon, David C.
Goldstein M.D., Michael Harry
Groh, Stephen Vincent
Grose, Peter Kingman
Harrington, Michael R.
Hartnett IV, James J.
Hartnett, Anne M.
Higgins II M.D., Thomas F.
Hollenberg, Jonathan S.
Hooks, Jean T.F.
Huffman, Mark Gordon
Hurwitz, Laura
Johnson, Cynthia Craig
Jones, Christopher H.
Kane, David D.
Kazak, Kerri A.
Kelleher, Maureen G.
Kelley, Gregg M.
Kessler, Lillian R.
Kirschner, Gerald Scott
Lapointe, Matthew J.
Leitz, Christopher D.
Lennon, Chauncy H.
Lisker, Donna E.
Logan, Sean M.
Malm, Cecilia J.
Mandl M.D., Lisa A.
McGuire, Julie A.
McIver, Keith W.
McIver, Kenneth W.
Melcher, Nicole
Miller, Benjamin J.
Newhall, Thomas Blackwell
Newman, Robert D.
O’Connell, Ellen A.
Oldham, Christopher H.
Olson, Karen Rhoades
O’Malley, Anne Elizabeth
Phillips Jr., John D.
Phillips, Douglas S.
Pike, William A.
Rahill, John G.
Raisbeck, Mark E.
Rakonitz, David
Richardson, Catherine Woods
Roegge, Bradford John
Ryan, William A.
Schlosser, Benjamin A.
Smith, Thomas Everett
St. Antoine, Sara L.
Staley, Stuart Waugh
Swan III, Wilbur M.
Swindell , Christopher Andrew
Taub, Sarah Florence
Tenerowicz, Lisa A.
Thomas, Susan A.
Thorndike III, Joseph J.
Tierney, Geraldine L.
Treworgy, David E.
Troob, Douglas M.
Ulmer M.D., Mary E.
Werkman, Sarah Loebs
Wolsk, Daniel O.
Yarter, Timothy J.

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Eph Busybody

In my role as Eph busybody, I occasional provide unsolicited suggestions to people at Williams about how they should do their jobs. Surprisingly enough, my sugegstions are generally met with polite acknowledgements and patient explanations about why something that seems to be such a good idea from the perspective of 15 years ago and 150 miles away might not work that well in practice. One of my favorite topics is “The Mountains” and what a shame it is that students, like us, never learn the words while at Williams (with the exception of the rugby team, perhaps). For the last decade or so, I have been sending a letter on this topic to the incoming JA’s around this time of year. Some years I send it to the incoming co-presidents (wasn’t there a President and Vice President during our era?). Some years I send it to all the new JA’s (the list is often printed in the Record). Some (most) years I am too scatterbrained to send it at all. In any event, here is this year’s version.

To the JA’s for the class of 2007:

At the 1989 Williams graduation ceremonies, then-President Francis Oakley had a problem. Light rain showers, which had been threatening all morning, started mid-way through the event. Thinking that he should speed things along, and realizing that virtually no one knew the words to “The Mountains,” President Oakley proposed that the traditional singing be skipped.

I cry arose from all Ephs present, myself included. Although few knew the words, all wanted to sing the damn song. Sensing rebellion, President Oakley relented and led the assembled graduates and guests through a somewhat soaked rendition of the song that has marked Williams events for more than 100 years.

Similar scenes play themselves out at Williams events around the country. At many of the Williams weddings that you will attend in the future, an attempt, albeit a weak one, will be made to sing “The Mountains.” At reunion events run by the college, “The Mountains” will be sung, generally with the help of handy cards supplied by the Alumni Office. It is obvious that most graduates wish that they knew the words. It is equally obvious than almost all do not.

What we have, as current-President Schapiro can explain better than I, is a collective action problem. Everyone (undergraduates and alumni alike) wishes that everyone knew the words — it would be wonderful to sing “The Mountains” at events ranging from basketball games in the gym to hikes up Pine Cobble to gatherings around the world. But there is no point in me learning the words since, even if I knew them, there would be no one else who did. Since no single individual has an incentive to learn the words, no one bothers to learn them. We are stuck at a sub-optimal equilibrium.

Fortunately, you have the power to fix this. You could learn “The Mountains” together, as a group, during your JA orientation in a few weeks. You could then teach all the First Years during First Days next fall. It will no doubt make for a nice entry bonding experience. All sorts of goofy ideas come to mind. How about a singing contest at the opening dinner, judged by President Schapiro, between the different dorms with first prize being a pizza dinner later in the fall?

The point is that once a tradition like this is started, it will in all likelihood go on forever. And you will be responsible for that. A hundred years from now the campus will look as different from today as today looks from 1903, but, if you seize this opportunity, Williams students and alumni will still be singing “The Mountains”.

Congratulations on being selected as a JA. It is a singular honor and responsibility.

Regards,

Dave Kane ’88

This year, I got a nice response from all concerned. Dean (of the college) Roseman actually arranged for it to be sent to all the incoming JA’s. I also discovered that am introduction to “The Mountains” has been an official part of “First Days” for at least the last two years, with the JA’s making big signs with the words on it and leading the freshmen in a rendition during the first class meeting in Chapin Hall.

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Apologies for the lack of

Apologies for the lack of postings, but I have been overwhelmed by the number of Eph Blurbs that people have been sending in.

Not!

In any event, please send in your Eph Blurbs. Traffic to the site has picked up recently. Last week was about our busiest ever. Although some might argue that this caused by the many fans of George Tolley’s and my recent dialogue on affirmative action hoping for an update, I believe that the real reason is the Eph Blurbs. Your classmates want to know what you have been up to. Please tell them.

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Peter Siniawer ’97 had these

Peter Siniawer ’97 had these comments on the blog:

First, wanted to mention that I got a chance to read through your blog. That’s really cool, and awesome that you do that… we should have something like that for our class.

By the way, saw one thing: you mention in a caption for the two black and white photos from 1954 that the band is practicing by West. I think, though, that the building is Lehman Hall.

Comments:

1) My father, class of 1958 and band alumnus, also pointed out the error in my band placement.

2) Keep those Eph Burbs coming! The reunion is 4 weeks from tomorrow. Register now to avoid those pesky late fees.

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Laura Gasiorowski’s Eph Blurb I

Laura Gasiorowski’s Eph Blurb

I have not registered to attend the reunion…yet. In case I do not attend, here is my blurb. After Williams, I attended NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts for my masters in art history. For several reasons (including Robert Rosenblum practically having an aneurysm over the idea that the school might hire my idol, Linda Nochlin), I decided maybe this was not a good fit. After a year off to rethink my career plans, I decided to attend Tulane Law School in New Orleans. Turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. New Orleans is beautiful, wild and bohemian, the food amazing, the music incredible and the living cheap. I will always remember with fondness the two dollar pitchers and five dollar a dozen oysters at this tacky bar up by the levee. Bored with classes, I got a part time position (unpaid) with a lawyer who was the Capital Crimes Supervisor for the New Orleans Public Defenders’ Office and who had two pending death penalty cases during my tenure there. Became fascinated, no, obsessed, with death penalty defense, and criminal defense in general. After graduation, a stint as a clerk for a criminal judge in New Jersey, and than back to New Orleans to work for yet another criminal trial attorney. My secretary (Miss Betty), my bosses, my co workers, my clients, the eccentric judges, and the cops I defended as legal counsel for the Police Assn. of New Orlelans (only in New Orleans could a criminal defense firm be legal counsel for a policeman’s association) could all have been characters in some great book, as yet unwritten. Among our clients were alleged New Orleans mafioso, The Gangsta Twins (a female rap duo), Juvenile and some of his coterie (rap musician, for those fond of other musical genres), Eddie Vedder (bar fight), and a lot of strippers. I acquired a crazy rat terrier, Belulah, whom I still own, despite my better judgment, and a great pit bull mix who was sweet but nevertheless kept anyone from ever breaking into my Napoleon street house simply by appearing in my window and barking.

I am not sure why, but after seven years of living in New Orleans, I decided to return to NYC. I began working with Frederick Cohn, a solo criminal defense practitioner in NYC. Four months after I arrived up North, my now husband, David Downie, also returned to New York from Singapore, where he had been working. It had been eight years since we last met in the NYC, right before I left for law school, and while we were both dating other people. (At the time I was dating my Williams boyfriend…sorry to blow the percentages on Williams grads who marry other Ephs.) I think that I was propelled back to NYC so that I could meet up with him again, because we knew within several months of dating that we were going to get married. It’s one of those cute stories that makes other people gag. We were engaged within a year and married in September 2000. Shortly before my wedding, our cosy little firm (Fred, me and a paralegal) were appointed to represent Mohammed Al-‘Owhali, one of the defendants in United States v. Bin Laden in the Southern District of New York. As one of the alleged bombers of the American Embassy in Nairobi, he was a capital defendant with three other co-defendants, all accused terrorists involved in that bombing and in the Al Qaeda conspiracy. This was before al-Qaeda became a household word. (In fact, the Puff Daddy, excuse me, P. Diddy, gun case got more press coverage at the time.) It was the case of a lifetime. Fascinating, impossibly hard, intellectually challenging, emotionally wrenching, and politically incorrect. The trial lasted almost five months and finally concluded with our client receiving life in prison. My son Jake, with whom I became pregnant halfway through the trial, was born in December 2001. Never thought I would ever quit working or become a “stay at home” mom, but then again, I had never known what it was to be a mother. I took a 9 month hiatus. I have to say that being a mother is a hundred times harder than being a lawyer, and I now look back on that time, even when I was working 14 hour days and weekends, as idyllic. We moved to the suburbs this past November, a fact with which I still must reconcile myself. Though I enjoy motherhood, I have recently returned to working, only part time, on discreet criminal and death penalty cases. For me, working is now a “break” that I really enjoy without the crushing demands full time employment would put on my family. I am pregnant again, expecting in October, and hoping for a sister for little Jake. I don’t think I could even have imagined how my life after Williams was going to turn out, given the expectations I had then, but that’s why looking back is so much fun.

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Bill Pike’s Eph Blurb Your

Bill Pike’s Eph Blurb

Your offer to make something up about me is tempting, just to see what you would fabricate. In the name of diligence and spoil-sportedness, however, I will fill you in on the facts. I am sure that you will make a judgment call and print what you will, I only ask that you try to balance your First Amendment rights with the standards of libel.

I took a 1 year detour right out of Williams to Colorado with Rob Rau, back in the ’80s, but have been living in the Boston area ever since. Most recently, to Michael R. Harrington’s great amusement, I bought a house steps from his childhood home. As a rakish city dweller he shudders at my suburban lifestyle, occasionally muttering something about another Pleasant Valley Sunday.

I work for the Boston office of a very large accounting firm. That is right, I am an accountant (Massachusetts CPA license #18686), in a specialty practice, advising financially distressed companies regarding efforts to reorganize operations and restructure debt (operating issues, cash management, capital structure, tax matters, bankruptcy, etc.). If you care to hear specifics I will send our brochure, but I am pretty sure your solicitation for news was not intended to elicit a marketing pitch. Suffice to say that it is mostly interesting and exciting work, though it entails a lot of travel (I spent about 40 of the last 60 weeks in Puerto Rico, a fairly typical run rate), and an ability to suffer fools patiently.

Far more important to me than Executive Platinum status and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are Amy (my wife of 6 years), and my children Lucy (4 years) and Calvin (1.5 years). I have been getting in touch with my creative side, at the behest of Lucy, a budding director/multi media artist. Happily, both my kids are still too young to recognize my musical and artistic shortcomings. They are indescribably great, and are the focus of much of my life. I will say that all the times I stayed up late when I could have been sleeping now haunt me, as Lucy and Calvin take turns getting up in the middle of the night very loudly. My wife claims that most of the time I am out of town they sleep fine, though their notoriety has pretty much scared away any trustworthy overnight babysitters.

There it is, in a nutshell. There are details, of course – I spent four years as a state government hack, working first for the state senate then for the Port Authority, prior to graduate school, but it was not as much fun as helping to redeploy assets efficiently in our market economy, often over the protestations of the managers if not the owners. The strongest political statement I will make is to admit to occasionally laughing at Mark Russell’s jokes, though that is sure to spark some sort of partisan debate, in the same way that admitting that one finds Gallagher’s special brand of humor amusing.

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Julie Cranston’s Eph Blurb After

Julie Cranston’s Eph Blurb

After school I went to work in advertising and PR in San Diego for a year. Then moved up to San Francisco where I worked at various advertising agencies until I got married in 1995. In my spare time while I was single I volunteered for a treatment center for traumatized youth, the pediatric unit at Cal Pacific, and chaired the publicity committee for Race for the Cure. A good friend of mine passed away from ALS right before my wedding, so while I was pregnant, I helped get the San Francisco chapter of the ALS Association started and served on their board for a few years after that. We had our first baby in 1996 (yes, she’s legal by 4 weeks!) and second girl in 1999. During that time I was still active with ALSA and with various school auctions, etc. We moved in July, 2000 to London for my husband’s job with Providian (which, thanks to Enron, wasn’t the biggest loser of 2001!) We moved back to the States, to Sudbury, MA in July, 2001. Everyone is very involved in the Sudbury schools and community and it’s a great place to raise kids. Luckily it’s close enough to Boston (and my sister who teaches in the Art History department at Boston Univeristy) so I don’t go completely crazy out here in the “sticks”! :) I’ve started a women’s club here called the Greater Boston Women’s Club where the only objective is to “get out of the ‘Bury”!

Comments:

1) I am pleased to see that Julie’s daughters are the same ages as my daughters. Given that they all play soccer, this virtually guarantees that we will cross paths sometime in the next decade or so.

2) Julie is not currently planning on attending reunion, citing “various lessons and soccer games, etc.” If you think that this is too bad, you should e-mail her and urge her to come. My daughter Michaela’s team, the Himalayans, will be doing their best to struggle on without her and me that week-end.

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