To the Williams Community,

I am sad to report the death Sunday of a much-loved member of the College community — Lawrence Graver, the John Hawley Roberts Professor of English Emeritus.

Generations of students tell of the passion for great writing inspired in them by Larry, whose humility never hid the depth of his engagement with literature and the world. He wrote of the excitement he derived when students “recognized and responded to . . . a special power inherent in the language of fiction, poetry and theater: the power to stir and give pleasure, but also to make us aware of previously unthought of possibilities of thinking feeling, speaking and existing.”

The world, too, came to appreciate the specialness of Larry’s mind. His books, which grew out of his teaching, continue to be read internationally. These include two on Samuel Beckett and “An Obsession With Anne Frank: Meyer Levin and the Diary,” a scholarly work of the first order that also became an influential trade book.

Larry was as generous with colleagues as with students. From his arrival at Williams in 1964 until well after his retirement in 1997 he seemed always to have time for you, even during his years of service as Chair of the English Department and as a member or chair of key committees.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Suzanne, the Andrew Mellon Emerita Faculty Fellow, and their daughters.

A funeral will be held Wednesday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. at the Jewish Religious Center, followed by a private burial at the College Cemetery. A College Memorial Service will be held in mid-April.

With regards,
Bill Wagner
Interim President

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