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Williams Ends No-Loans Financial Aid Policy

As predicted here, interim President Bill Wagner sent out a letter about decisions made at last week’s trustee meeting. The entire letter is below the break. Biggest news:

Williams is ending its no-loan policy.

It now seems prudent to reintroduce modest loans for some aided students, beginning with the class that enters in the fall of 2011. No current students will be affected; neither will those who enter this fall. As before, families below a certain income, and with typical assets, will not be expected to borrow at all. Others will be offered loans on a sliding scale up to a maximum size that will again be among the lowest in the country. After four classes have entered through this program, it will make available about $2 million per year.

Shocking and depressing news. Comments:

1) Note how the College buys off current students. If there really are any students interested in demonstrating some leadership when it comes to economic equality, they should fight this issue hard. Contact me if you want advice on how to challenge the powers-that-be. Williams could/should still cut millions of dollars from its budget. Why not make those cuts first before making this change?

2) If there are about 1,000 Williams students on financial aid, then this would suggest that each of them is taking out a loan of $2,000 each year, for $8,000 total over the course of their education. But some (many?) students will not be expected to take out loans. So, I expect the number to be closer to $2,500. Before Williams went no-loans, I think that the maximum expected amount over four years was around $12,000. So, this represents an improvement.

3) Now that Williams has made this change, you can bet that Amherst (and other schools?) will follow. Indeed, do you think that there were any discussions across schools ahead of time? Overlap anyone . . .

4) I am shocked that Williams would make such a change for such a (relatively) small dollar payback. $2 million per year is not a lot, in the context of the College’s total budget. And it sure seems that reversing this policy sends an unfortunate signal about what Williams really cares about. It would not be hard to gather stories from the graduates of 5 or 10 years ago about how having thousands of dollars of debt after Williams shaped, in unfortunate ways, their career choices.

5) Who is to blame? The faculty. When push comes to shove, they would rather maintain their various boondoggles like the Bolin Fellowships instead of allowing all Williams students to graduate debt free. On the good side: At least the rich kids will still graduate without any debt!

6) Sending this letter out in the middle of Dead Week, and a week after the Trustee meeting ended, is interesting. Had the Trustees not really decided everything as of last Sunday? I doubt it took a skilled writer like Bill Wagner a week to write this. I also doubt that it was specifically released while most students were away.

7) Running against this change would provide an interesting platform a two College Council co-president candidates, especially ones campaigning as outsiders.

Entire letter below. Full commentary later.
Read more


More Mission Vandalism

From WSO:

And now, just last night, people came by and stole our Batman poster, flipped over a couch, and sprayed some sort of brown liquid (great) all over one of the corners, including a couch, our wall, and some clothes.

Obviously some people on this campus need to GROW UP a little. We’re in college. Flipping couches is a harmless prank. Stealing our stuff is NOT. Making us clean up disgusting liquids is not. So seriously, please stop. And if you have some sort of dignity left, we’d really appreciate having our quote board and Batman poster back.

Yeah, we’re missing our quote board too. 4 random guys (none of which I recognized) came stumbling through our common room at like 2 AM last night. They probably would have trashed stuff if we had not been in the common room

And I do believe that at least one of them was on the hockey team. So if anybody knows who actually did this, please make them own up and at least return the quoteboards

Students on the hockey team behaving badly. Inconceivable!

1) What are the odds that the perpetrators of this vandalism are the same as the ones from last month? It will not take long for security to cross-check card swipes . . .

2) Was the hockey team in town last night? What about Thanksgiving weekend?

3) Since there was no (?) homophobia associated with this vandalism, the College is likely to take it much less seriously. No letters from incoming President Falk for you! But I suspect that the students affected by this act are just as annoyed . . .


Blatt ’85 on Coakley ’75

Dan Blatt ’85 on Martha Coakley’s ’75 loss.

Perhaps, because I was dining with my fellow Ephs (graduates of Williams College) last night that I defended our fellow alum Martha Coakley as I had on this blog just after her defeat last week. She was waging the right kind of campaign for a special election in a jurisdiction which overwhelmingly favored her party.

When, however, she began to realize she had a race on her hands, her campaign had about ten days to shift strategies before voters trooped to the polls. Now, in the wake of her defeat in that overwhelmingly Democratic jurisdiction, national Democrats are already hitting the panic button even though there are more than nine months until Election Day. While Democrats don’t have the full length of a human gestation cycle to come up with a new strategy, they have time.

National Democrats don’t have the same excuse Mrs Coakley did. In that accelerated campaign, the Massachusetts Democrat didn’t have much time to shift strategy. Where Democrats have months, she had days. They’re hitting the panic button when they should be deciphering the results, reviewing the change in the electorate and developing a strategy to respond to those results and those changes.

I think that the debate over Coakley’s loss is one of the more interesting political discussions happening right now, as we have seen at EphBlog in recent threads. Consider John Judis writing at TNR:

The senior citizen vote overlaps to some extent with the white working-class vote, but it has a special importance because these voters come out disproportionately in midterm elections. If the Democrats continue to lose the senior vote, as Coakley appears to have done in Massachusetts yesterday, they will get clobbered in November 2010. We’re not talking two or three senate seats, but as many as eight, and not 20 or 25 House seats, but maybe between 30 and 40. To avoid a calamity on that level, Democrats will have to answer a difficult question: Why have these two groups distanced themselves in the last year, and particularly in the last few months, from Obama and the party?

Read the whole thing. Much of Judis’s argument (and neither he nor TNR are notably rightwing) parallels PTC’s claims about the “Townie Vote.”

But, as always, my favorite method for settling a debate like this is to use your position to make a forecast that might, or might not, come to pass. If the Democrats are crushed in November, then you would be hard-pressed to claim that Coakley’s campaign mistakes played a major role in her loss. On the other hand, if the Democrats do OK (lose some seats but not many), then those (like me) who think that Brown’s victory highlights major public disapproval of Obama/Democrats should admit that they were wrong. Any takers?


Not a good historian

Derek Catsam is no fan of Howard Zinn. More criticism linked by Catsam, here and here.


“It’s the Government, Stupid” …

Caught up as I am in my own underwear and then posting it on this blog, it is refreshing to get a note from a pal in the small town I live in that reflects concisely the problem in the State of the Union speech and the Mass defeat of our own Coakley. There are many small towns in the US.

I had this email this am from my pal Chuck Johnisee up at the rental center. This is one of those that get passed around and I pass it on to you. Read more


Hoops Showdown

Today at 4:00, the fourth ranked Williams men battle the eighth ranked, and defending NESCAC champion, Middlebury Panthers in a titanic hoops showdown in Vermont.   After years of being dominated by the Ephs, a resurgent Middlebury program has beaten Williams three straight times, including a humiliation that ended the Ephs’ 2007-08 season in the NESCAC tourney.  The Ephs are in the midst of a tremendous season, as predicted by at least one prescient blogger: after Tuesday’s demolition of Hamilton, they have already locked up their best record since at least 2004, when they made it all the way to the national title game, and are highly likely to earn a bid to the NCAA tourney at season’s end.

Watch today’s game here.  The winner moves to 5-0 in NESCAC, and controls its own destiny for home court advantage in the conference tourney (and, perhaps, in the NCAA tourney).  For anyone watching the game live, use the comments to this post as a live blog.

The game should be an epic battle of styles — Williams features a deep array of offensive options (the Ephs lead NESCAC in scoring by a wide margin), led by two of the top five scorers in NESCAC (James Wang and Blake Schultz, each of whom has been named conference player of the week twice), ace shooter Alex Rubin, and the dynamic duo at center of Joe Geoghegan and Troy Whittington.  The Ephs have been very balanced of late, with Wang, Schultz, Rubin, and red-hot Whittington (shooting nearly 70 percent, which would rank him second in the country if he had enough shot attempts to qualify) each scoring in double figures in each of the last four games.   Behind that quartet and strong team defense, the Ephs lead the nation in scoring differential (Midd is no slouch in that category either, ranking sixth nationally).  The Ephs have a big advantage in terms of both outside (the Ephs lead the nation in three point percentage and are near the top in terms of total three’s made as well as overall field goal percentage) and free throw shooting, two arenas Middlebury at times struggles in.

Middlebury, on the other hand, plays a tough, grind-em out, low scoring defensive style (leading NESCAC in fewest points allowed), and they are bigger, more physical, and tougher on the glass than the Ephs.  Midd has been led this year by its gigantic (big even by D-1 standards) front line of 6’10 Andrew Locke, 6’8 Ryan Sharry, and 6’5 Jamal Davis, who combine to average an incredible seven blocks per game.  As a team, Middlebury leads the nation in blocks by a wide margin, and they also lead the nation in field goal percentage defense.   Midd’s tough senior point guard Tim Edwards is the reigning conference defensive player of the year, and will likely be tasked with shutting down Eph offensive dynamo Wang on the perimeter.  Midd’s top offensive player, Sharry, has been banged up of late; if he can’t go, it would be a big break for the Ephs.

Davis and Whittington, both 6’5 juniors, are familiar with each other from their high school days, when they often faced off as the top players in the small-school NYC prep league.   One other story line to watch: both Middlebury and Williams feature a pair of star frosh guards (Robertson and Klemm for Williams, Wolfin and Thompson for Midd), although the Midd guards earn a lot more playing time at this point due to Williams’ tremendous depth and experience on the perimeter.  But that quartet should have many memorable showdowns during the following three years, at a minimum.


Meet President Falk in San Diego

Any readers in San Diego? Attend this event! From the Alumni Society.

[A] special reception with Interim President Bill Wagner,
President-elect Adam Falk, and Chair of the Board of Trustees Greg Avis ’80

DATE Friday, January 29 TIME 6:00 p.m. Reception
6:45 p.m. Conversation with Interim President Bill Wagner and President-elect Adam Falk, moderated by Greg Avis ’80

According to JG, you will learn a lot. If the issue of connecting alumni to current students/faculty comes up, make sure to ask about EphBlog!


Pasachoff on Cape Wind

A New York Times letter to the editor:

When you called for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to make his own decision on the Cape Wind project soon after the March 1 deadline, I was hoping that you would call for him to kill this irresponsible project.

Most people don’t realize that it would take about a half dozen of these similarly environmentally blighting huge wind projects to match the output of a single nuclear power plant that would take up much less space and be much less visible. And the problem of the irregularity of the wind’s blowing has not yet been solved, while a nuclear plant’s output is steady.

Jay M. Pasachoff
Williamstown, Mass.

1) How does Professor Pasachoff get so many letters published in the Times? (Examples here, here and here.) Does he write dozens of them? Do very few other people bother to write? Is there some connection to David Shipley ’85, editor of the op-ed page?

2) Pasachoff is, unsurprisingly, correct about wind energy.

3) How many other Williams professors are fans of nuclear power?


PC Knitting Circle

From a longtime reader:

I deeply regret ephblog becoming such a PC knitting circle.

1) Hard to take that complaint seriously when, just last month, I published: Better (or, at least, browner) Umpires.

2) Want some un-PC goodness today? Consider:

History says Maz Jobrani is descended from Caucasians. Some Americans think he’s a dangerous Arab. Jobrani, however, prefers to call himself “Brown and Friendly.”

That’s the title of a new comedy special from this Iranian-born comedian who was raised in the United States and now travels the world running roughshod over ethnic stereotypes.

Jobrani starts his show laughing at his fellow Persians, then widens his scope to the whole Middle East. His Indian wife gets no mercy. Before the end of the show, Mexicans, white Americans, Japanese, the Swiss and more get lampooned, in a variety of perfect accents.

American culture has long dealt with shifting boundaries through jokes, said John Limon, an English professor at Williams College and author of “Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, Or, Abjection in America.”

In the 1960s and 1970s, as standup became a cultural force, it challenged the notion that American identity was white and Christian, Limon said, citing the early prevalence of Jewish comedians, followed by giants such as Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.

“With Maz Jobrani, it’s clear there aren’t just two things,” he said. “It’s not just am I going to get counted as a white American. It’s what does it mean when I’m having dinner with a Jewish person or if I marry an Indian person.”

“It’s not a question of does this outsider play an interesting and funny game at the border of inside and outside,” Limon said. “It’s that you can’t tell what’s inside or outside.”

Hmmm. One group is prominently (?) absent from the list of mocked groups. Can you guess which one? Is it absent because Jobrani does not tell those sorts of jokes or because the reporter failed (purposely?) to mention that he did? Or are such jokes included in the act and I am a hypersensitive Tea Partier for assuming that they would not be?

Knit away.


“Constructive Loyalty” or hors d’oeuvres with the Presidents

Last night (Wednesday), I joined approximately 150-200 of my fellow alumni, parents, and friends of the NorCal Alumni Chapter to listen to Chair of the Trustees Greg Avis ’80, interim President Bill Wagner, and incoming President Adam Falk.  I came away from the evening more impressed by each of them than I had been previously.  Before I go any further, I should thank Chapter Prez Shannon Walsh ’03 for pulling together the inaugural edition of this roadshow they’ll be shopping around the country to other chapters.  I know they were in LA tonight, will be in San Diego tomorrow (Friday) and in DC on Feb. 22nd, but I haven’t a clue when they’ll be elsewhere.  This is a good reason to check out the events calendar on the alumni page and/or subscribe to your regional alumni email list.

And now on to the event…(you’ll have to go below the fold for the juicy details) Read more


Brzezinski ’89 on Colbert

Mika Brzezinski ’89 on The Colbert Report.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mika Brzezinski
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

Thanks to nuts for the link.


Spoken Up

Archive of comments from Speak Up.

FYI: Not all comments move easily from Speak Up to here. I can’t figure out why. So, I just delete them. That is too bad because some are quite good. Those ought to be posts on the main page anyway. Solution: Put them there! All are welcome to join us as authors.


Levitt ’52 Tackles Banking

Arthur Levitt ’52 in the Financial Times:

The Massachusetts special Senate election has not only generated fresh thinking about healthcare reform – it has also given new urgency to financial market regulatory reform

… [Lots of wonkery.]

Though these steps are critical to successful reform, none of it would happen without the wake-up call delivered in Massachusetts. Leaders in both parties now know that voters are frustrated with inaction. Ultimately, what matters most are not issues like banker profits and bonuses, but investor confidence in US markets. That confidence will come from greater transparency. Every regulatory reform must contribute to that goal.

Read the whole thing. Levitt is right to be highly skeptical of some of Obama’s ideas but wrong to think that his own specific regulations are likely to be any more successful. Smart people (like him!) have been regulating financial institutions for 50 years. What has all that work brought us? Disaster.

The only solution is to punish the dumb capital that lent money to suspect institutions like Lehman, Bear, Fannie, Freddie, Bank of America and so on. Allowing Lehman to go bankrupt did more to help the process of reform than 1,000 Levitt regulations because it inspired (at least some!) diligence on the part of the folks who control the capital. They were burned. They will be more careful next time.

But, in my view, they were not burned enough to really learn. We need to let the other bankrupt institutions go bankrupt. That will do more for the cause of financial market sanity than anything else.


Farewell from a generation of Williams students …


and I think the app is free …


Sometimes, Williams is Amazing

So says Will Slack ’11:

It’s when I’m sitting for hours in the Gibson room, discovering the depths of a new friendship.

It’s when I sit surrounded by friends on all sides and 130 more people, just to hear someone tell their story.

It’s when I can knock on a near-stranger’s door and have a pleasant conversation at 1 am.

IMAGE: It’s when I can get academic credit for snoeshoing into a beautiful back-country camp, and writing about the interesting people I met there.

It’s when I see Goodrich filled to capacity, just to hear a few students of varying ability play their original works of music.

It’s when I’m sitting with graduates of the early 1940s, and hearing their stories of Williams from an era so long past.

It’s when I can have a real conversation with a trustee at my college.

It’s when I and joyful when friends return from abroad, and when the thought of them leaving gives me a tear.

So say we all.


Group photo – Thaler ’74 winter study

Families' Potluck with Students

Here are members of all of the host families and Williams students, and their instructor, at a recent pot luck held at a YMCA. People in the photo are from such diverse places as Cambodia, Somalia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Thailand, the Congo, El Salvador, Ecuador, Montana, Iowa, Virginia, the Bronx, and rural NY and Connecticut (oh yes, and Maine).


CGCL VI: Learning from Black Williams

First, an apology for any grammar mistakes and lack of clarity. I had great plans to spend this afternoon revising this piece and the excellent work of the students who wrote this history of Black Williams deserves those revisions (sad note: I had to revise this sentence twice due to grammar mistakes!). Unfortunately, my own work has a deadline and has called me away from this much more fun endeavor.

I engaged the report (available here), written as a winter study in 2003 (the story of that alone is interesting and told in the introduction) in four ways, though only one will be the focus of this write up:

1. As an example of a winter study: Wow. I never did anything like this for winter study. Hats off to all involved for doing something intellectually engaging, but also valuable to the Williams community.
2. As a fellow academic (in other words, with swords sharpened and ready to impale): The lack of citations bothers me a little and I wonder if they should have attempted to first find the narrative arc of Williams and then split up the chapters. Then again, see my above comment. Any critique comes only after acknowledging how superior this work is to 99% (90% whatever, you get the idea) of the stuff submitted for winter study.
3. For lessons to learn: This is a history with which a new president must grapple and must try to move forward.
4. Awkwardly: HA! I know all of the authors as classmates and many as friends. Kind of strange to review this for ephblog knowing what I know about that winter study (shades of Sharifa stressing out while I looked at her thinking “dear god, it’s a freaking winter study!” Guess she was right about making sure this work came together and I was wrong when I thought it was no big deal. Lesson: Sharifa’s always right).

More details below Read more


Morris ’89 on Trial

Saddest Eph story of 2010? Will Morris ’89 on trial for fraud.

Carolyn Louper-Morris and her son William Morris are set to go on trial Friday in federal court in Minneapolis on charges that they conspired to defraud customers, the state of Minnesota, and a big retailer out of more than $3 million.

The federal allegations say the pair set up and ran a company, CyberStudy 101, that fraudulently promised a Web-based tutorial service it never delivered, and illegally received state tax credits as payment, all the while defrauding Kmart Corp. of computers it gave to customers. Louper-Morris and Morris allegedly used the money to buy a house, luxury cars, a fur coat and jewelry.

Louper-Morris and Morris, of Minneapolis, may be no different from other defendants who started off with an innovative idea, lofty goals and noble intentions before running afoul of the law. They have rebuffed news media inquiries and waited until the eve of their trial to speak about their now-defunct business.

I lived with Will in Carter House for two years. You could not ask for a nicer, funnier or more sensible housemate.

Morris, 42, graduated from Williams College, a prestigious school in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Later he earned a degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and interned at Best & Flanagan law firm in Minneapolis, which later hired him.

Now he works part time in a liquor store “to make ends meet,” Morris says. The business failure forced him into bankruptcy, which along with legal troubles have kept him from practicing law, he said.

What a tragic waste of real talent.

It is interesting to compare and contrast Will’s fate with that of Mike Swensen ’89, who made a fortune shorting the same housing securities that his firm, Goldman Sachs, was selling to its clients. Were Morris’s actions really more morally/ethically/legally suspect than Swensen’s? Reasonable Ephs may differ. Will an ambitious DA ever go after Swensen? Not in a million campaign contributions.

Next week is Claiming Williams. What do you think the biggest difference between Morris and Swensen is when it comes to how the criminal justice system treats them?

Other article selections below the break.
Read more


Student Lens 15: In and Around Williams

To continue on the Stetson Hall Comments… here is a picture of the other facade of Stetson Hall, which shows some of the names inscribed by the architect.


Psychology Course Enrollments

Consider current enrollments (highlighted by hwc) in some psychology classes.

PSYC 101   Introductory Psychology                                  155
PSYC 201   Experimentation and Statistics                            19
PSYC 221   Cognitive Psychology                                      55
PSYC 242   Social Psychology                                         55
PSYC 252   Psychological Disorders                                   55
PSYC 272   The Psychology of Education                               51

Now, as always, this data is difficult to work with. I think that there may be many more students enrolled in PSYC 201 than 19, but that there are multiple sections. In any event, there is no excuse for a Williams major to consist of so many large lecture courses. Why not just go to Penn State? If you do not have a dozen or more substantive interactions with each of your professors over the course of a semester, you aren’t really getting a Williams education.

Why are these classes so large? How rigorously are they taught?


Stetson and the Chapin Library

From Wayne G. Hammond, who is a librarian at the Chapin Library of Rare Books:

Replying to multiple comments:

Stetson was built to hold the College Library, the Chapin Library, and faculty offices, built around a central stack core. In the fifties, the stacks were extended to the east, and in the sixties an annex was added which housed the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. When the College Library moved into the new Sawyer building in 1975, the Chapin Library and the original stacks remained intact but the stacks addition was divided into the small faculty offices Ronit mentions. It was this latter space that was the labyrinth; the original, 1923 building is relatively easy to navigate.

There are two formal facades, the one pictured on the west and another on the south, representing the two Stetson Hall libraries. The south door was the “Chapin Library entrance” as it’s nearest the grand staircase going up to the Chapin on the second floor (not the top: there are two floors more, with faculty offices and classrooms). There are inscribed names on both facades, an eclectic mix chosen by the architect.

Stetson is to be taken back to the 1923 building and generally restored, with a new Sawyer Library attached on the east: more can be read about the plans here. The upper floors will still have faculty offices and classrooms. The faculty lounge will revert to what it was designed to be, a grand reading room. The Preston Room will be dismantled and reconstructed within the new library. The Chapin Library will return to its original splendid rooms, connected to additional spaces in the new building, all shared with College Archives.

As for “opening again someday soon”, the Chapin and College Archives moved to temporary quarters in the old Southworth Schoolhouse (corner of Southworth and School streets) in July 2008 and reopened for business that September.

Wayne Hammond
Chapin Library


Law and Orders …

The Republican response to the State of the Union speech was given in the Virginia State capital building by the newly elected governor. The Virginia legislature is the oldest in the Western hemisphere (1609).

Without any comment on the response which by design does not specifically reference the State of the Union speech, I add to your enjoyment (or not) of the response with this sidebar on the setting in which it was given

Thomas Jefferson is credited with the architectural design of the new Virginia State Capital building, which was modeled after the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, an ancient Roman temple. Jefferson had the architect, Charles-Louis Clérisseau, substitute the Roman Ionic Order over the more ornate Corinthian column designs of the prototype in France. The General Assembly first met in the building in October, 1792.

Yes, bring back those memories of Whit Stoddard and drawing the orders in your notebook. And the interpretation that Doric was suggestive of strength and simplicity, Ionic of elegance and education, and Corinthian of affluence and power.

Jefferson used architecture as a subtle statement of his own style.


Open Thread On SOTU

I continue discussions with folks at EphBlog and at Williams about the best way to foster political discussions among the Ephs. In that spirit, let us try an open thread about President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Got an opinion? Tell us in the comments.

Extra credit for any Eph references!

UPDATE: McDonnell reply here.

And just because Obama is done speaking does not mean that the political conversation needs to end here. What was the most surprising/enjoyable/annoying part of either speech for you?



Nice photos (and recipes) from Prof. Allison Pacelli’s Winter Study baking class. More if you scroll down her blog.

(via @WilliamsCollege)


This is a little unusual…

But is there anybody out there who was at Williams with Willy Stern ’83? I’m in his Winter Study class, currently involved in a mad scavenger hunt final exam and I need some info…

[In other news, look for the return of JA: Junior Anonymous next Monday!]


Episodes of alumni concern

From a note originally sent by Prof. Birnbaum to DK, republished here with permission – Ronit

Dear David,

Re the matter of Mr. Moore, I note that the discussion has ebbed somewhat—although of course it is entirely understandable that alumni and parents and friends would be distressed by the news. In my own contacts with persons from higher education, no one has mentioned it—perhaps because everyone is too concerned with difficulties at their home institutions. I ran into the Georgetown Law Dean of Admissions the other day, but he did not inform me that he was subjecting Williams applications to special scrutiny.

In brief, the world goes on……

Of course, there are any number of memories evoked by alumni interest. I recollect a period at a sister institution, when alumni and trustees were convinced that faculty were taking liberties with academic freedom. Amherst’s President at the time, a former faculty member and fine Americanist, Bill Ward, invited some faculty and some alumni and trustees to dinner. The discussion proceeded on familiar lines, until a Trustee said that he thought that the President “ought to run a tight ship.” A faculty member thereupon identified himself as a navy reserve officer, declared that a liberal arts college had to be distinguished from an aircraft carrier, and noted that in any event under the theory and practise of combat command in effect in the Navy, a good deal of decentralization and independent initiative by officers, petty officers and ratings was called for. Bill held no more such dinners that year…..

As for Williams itself, historians could produce any number of episodes of alumni concern. Sometime in early modern history, before internet, a somewhat overwrought young lady attending Williams wrote an article for the monthly Commentary. She objected to unisex dorms, and to feminist ideas in the classroom, since (she explained) she was from an Orthodox Jewish family and offended by these things. No doubt, but she did know about these aspects of Williams life before coming and could have enjoyed the relative tranquillity of the women’s college of Yeshiva (academically excellent, too.) The article attracted the attention of a Washington journalist named John Leo and he wrote a column on ideological oppression at the liberal arts colleges, with Williams in the dock. The fact that Leo did not trouble to visit the campus, or to make any other effort to inform himself of the situation, seemed not to bother any number of alumni who promptly wrote to the Alumni Review—their worst fears having found confirmation…..

In my own time, I was once shown (1946, I think) a letter from an eminent alumnus to President James Phinney Baxter of revered memory. He said that he and others were profoundly worried. Younger graduates were coming to their investment firms apparently convinced that Sir John Maynard Keynes was right about the economic cycle. The US was then about to enter, despite all fears of post-war depression, one of the most sustained and broadest periods of economic growth in our history—not least due to the Keynesianism of the economists advising the government. Given present arguments, one can only say, plus ça change……

Very best regards and thanks for posting my efforts,
and thanks as well to those who took the trouble to comment,


In praise of Stetson …

Just a few thoughts after seeing the wonderful photo in the post below.

NB Please insert the word ‘head’ after ‘bang your …’


Student Lens 14: In and Around Williams


Record Archive

If you check the Record webpage right now, you get:

Please excuse any technical difficulties you may experience while browsing the Record’s website over the next 48 hours. We are finalizing the import of the entirety of our electronic archive, which encompasses all issues from 1997 to 2010.


1) Who deserves the most credit for this project? Out going editor-in-chief Lina Khan? New editor-in-chief Yue-Yi Hwa? Whoever it is, major kudos! This is an irreplaceable resources for anyone interested in All Things Eph.

2) I am not sure if the project is done, but, skimming through the archives, I can see that they have already made a huge amount of progress.

3) I hope that they will be able to classify articles by author. Check out this op-ed by me. The “By” field is empty. Being able to find all the articles by a specific reporter was a handy feature. Presumably, this is on the list . . .

4) I have vague memories that at least 6 months or a year of electronic records were “lost” around the turn of the century. True? I will be very impressived if they can restore those articles.


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