Long time readers will recall that I have been trying to Name that Donor — i.e., determine who the new Baxter Hall will be named after — for almost a year. I now know the name.


It was revealed to me by an anonymous source who heard it directly from a non-discreet Trustee. Note that this is not the source who has been pointing out my incorrect guesses in the past. I was, however, correct to speculate that:

we want a very rich but not shy Williams grad from a not-wealthy family without a history of major gifts to the College, probably not a current trustee, perhaps approaching a major reunion.

The donor is all those things, although perhaps I should have said “major public gifts” to the university. Apparently, he has been involved in College projects before, although his name appears nowhere in the Record and only once on the Williams web site.

Question: Should I reveal the name?

If I thought that it was clearly in the interest of current students to do so — as I thought in the matter of Nigeleian — I would not hesitate. But EphBlog is not just a news organization, although we are that. Like the Society of Alumni, EphBlog seeks

the promotion of literature and good fellowship among ourselves and the better to advance the reputation and interests of our Alma Mater.

The College is probably better off if it can control the timing of the annoucements of major gifts. But, if my source knows it, the name isn’t much of a secret anymore.

So, let me leave this one in the hands of the EphBlog community of authors, commentators and readers. Do you think that I should reveal the name? Feel free to post a comment or e-mail me privately. If several people, College employees or not, whose opinions I respect recommend/request that I hold off, I probably will.

I suspect that most readers don’t much care one way or the other, but it never hurts to ask. EphBlog is no longer a one man show, to the extent that it ever was. Morever, by giving the College notice — Big “Hello” to all our readers in the Office of Public Affairs! — we provide Williams the opportunity to take charge of the story now. I’ll make an annoucement, one way or the other, next Saturday.

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