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Ephs Who Have Gone Before

Who is this Eph?

He is Myles Crosby Fox ’40.

Myles will not be in Williamstown to celebrate his 70th reunion in two weeks, for he has passed away. He leaves behind no wife, no children nor grandchildren. His last glimpse of Williams was on graduation day.

I saw the mountains of Williams
As I was passing by,
The purple mountains of Williams
Against the pearl-gray sky.
My heart was with the Williams men
Who went abroad to die.

Fox was, in many ways, an Eph of both his time and ours. He was a Junior Advisor and captain of the soccer team. He served as treasurer in the Student Activities Council, forerunner to today’s College Council. He was a Gargoyle and secretary of his class.

Fox lived in Wood House. Are you the student who just moved out of the room that Fox vacated 70 years ago? Are you an alumnus who trod the same walkways around campus as Fox? We all walk in his footsteps.

The years go fast in Williams,
The golden years and gay,
The hoary Colleges look down
On careless boys at play.
But when the bugles sounded war
They put their games away.

Fox wrote letters to his class secretary, letters just like those that you or I might write.

The last issue of the Review has put me up to date on my civilized affairs. I am enclosing the only other information I have received in the form of a letter from Mr. Dodd. Among my last batch of mail was notice of the class insurance premium, and if you think it will prove an incentive to any of my classmates you may add under the next batch of Class Notes my hearty endorsement of the insurance fund, the fact that even with a military salary I am still square with the Mutual Company, and my hope that classmates of ’40 will keep the ball rolling so that in the future, purple and gold jerseys will be rolling a pigskin across whitewash lines.

Seven decades later, the pigskin is still rolling.

Fox was as familiar as your freshman roommate and as distant as the photos of Williams athletes from years gone by that line the walls of Chandler Gym. He was every Eph.

They left the peaceful valley,
The soccer-field, the quad,
The shaven lawns of Williams,
To seek a bloody sod—
They gave their merry youth away
For country and for God.

Fox was killed in August 1942, fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. He was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and served in a Marine Raider battalion.

Fox’s citation for the Navy Cross reads:

For extraordinary heroism while attached to a Marine Raider Battalion during the seizure of Tulagi, Solomon Islands, on the night of 7-8 August 1942. When a hostile counter-attack threatened to penetrate the battalion line between two companies, 1st Lt. Fox, although mortally wounded, personally directed the deployment of personnel to cover the gap. As a result of great personal valor and skilled tactics, the enemy suffered heavy losses and their attack repulsed. 1st Lt. Fox, by his devotion to duty, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the defense of his country.

What was a night battle against attacking Japanese among the islands of the South Pacific in August 1942 like?

Darkness, madness and death.

On Memorial Day, America honors soldiers like Fox who have died in the service of their country. For many years, no Eph had made the ultimate sacrifice. That string of good fortune ended with the death in combat of First Lieutenant Nate Krissoff ’03, USMC on December 9, 2006 in Iraq. From Ephraim Williams through Myles Fox to Nate Krissoff, the roll call of Williams dead echoes through the pages of our history.

With luck, other military Ephs like Jeff Castiglione ’07, Bunge Cooke ’98, Paul Danielson ’88, Kathy Sharpe Jones ’79, Lee Kindlon ’98, Dan Ornelas ’98, Zack Pace ’98, JR Rahill ’88, Jerry Rizzo ’87, Dan Rooney ’95 and Brad Shirley ’07 will survive this war. It would be more than enough to celebrate their service on Veterans’ Day.

Those interested in descriptions of Marine combat in the South Pacific during World War II might start with Battle Cry by Leon Uris or Goodby, Darkness by William Manchester. The Warriors by J. Glenn Gray provides a fascinating introduction to men and warfare. Don’t miss the HBO miniseries The Pacific, from which the battle scene above is taken. Fox died two weeks before the Marines on Guadalcanal faced the Japanese at the Battle of the Tenaru.

A Navy destroyer was named after Fox. He is the only Eph ever to be so honored. The men who manned that destroyer collected a surprising amount of information about him. It all seems both as long ago as Ephraim Williams’s service to the King and as recent as the letters from Felipe Perez ’99 and Joel Iams ’01.

God rest you, happy gentlemen,
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
Than even Williamstown.

Note: As long as there is an EphBlog, there will be a Memorial Day entry, a tribute to those who have gone before. Apologies to Winifred M. Letts for bowdlerizing her poem, “The Spires of Oxford.”

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Photo ID, #113

Where is this nice porch? Have you ever been there?

Photo from Flickr user ledges; original photo here (warning: link contains puzzle answer)
This building has somewhat of a cult following. Stories, please!

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Hooked

The Williams Club closes its doors on Tuesday. Sad, but probably inevitable. Yet surely this is salt to the wounds.

As if losing their Manhattan clubhouse wasn’t enough for Williams College alums, here’s another blow: the Texas Exes may be moving in.

We reported last week that Williams College will close their private clubhouse on East 39th Street in Manhattan. Now, alumni from the University of Texas at Austin see an opportunity.

Nathaniel Carty, a consultant in New York and officer of Texas alumni, known as the “Texas Exes,” said he and others want to open a Texas Club, an idea he got after a visit to the Yale Club near Grand Central. Carty said he thought to himself, “why don’t we have one?”

Williams will close its clubhouse on June 1, sending its members to the Princeton Club on West 43rd Street. There, they will rub elbows with alumni from Columbia University and New York University, whose clubhouses are also remnants of the past.

The University of Texas at Austin has around 10,000 alumni in the New York region says Carty, including many wealthy alums on Wall Street. “After a discussion with people who run other clubs, they told us we have enough critical mass of people to open our own,” he said.

But it’s not yet clear that the Williams Club, which was donated Williams last year, is up for sale. “We’ll sell it eventually when the time seems right,” said Jim Kolesar, a spokesman for Williams, noting the building was assessed at $21 million a few years ago.

Sell now.

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When The Levees Broke

Wick Sloane ’76 applies for another job.

What choice do I have? I’ll hereby toss my hat into the ring for the presidency of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Typing with just one hand, while with the other I breathe into a brown paper bag to remain calm, is slow going. Apply I must.

Have you read the job description and the presidential profile? I first thought I’d missed a keystroke and ended up in the National Archives. This, I thought, could only be the posting from, I don’t know, 1850? No, this is the current information. No mention of crisis management, of the dire situation for community colleges today. Nothing about everything that’s hitting the fan for these 1,177 campuses and 11 million students. Any mention of disaster, implosion or explosion? Nope. Or that enrollments this fall may be higher than last fall, when the levees broke.

That’s not the worst of this search.

Read the whole thing. My views are pretty much the opposite of Wick’s — we need fewer students in college, not more — but he writes much better than I do.

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NCAA Women’s Rowing Championship

Racing started at 11:00. Video here. Division I seems to be racing now. Background article here.

The Ephs arrived in Sacramento Tuesday one day after some members of the program finished up final exams on campus. They spent some time on the water yesterday, as did nearly all the boats from all the teams in the compeition, and will be back out today. In addition to Williams, boats from Ithaca, St. Lawrence, Trinity, Bates, Puget Sound, Wellesley, Mary Washington and William Smith will compete in the national championship races.

“For us, given the fact we’re just coming off our exam period, we’re trying to not overwork the group,” Moore said. “We’re focusing on recharging their batteries, if you will. We’ve have to adjust to the time change (three-hour difference) and as coaches we’re just trying to talk to the group about giving each other a lot of space and forgiveness, which is what you need any time a large group travels together.

“The course looks great and it looks like we’re going to have pretty good race weather through Saturday. I’m very excited to have our first and second varsity boats pulling together in the same event. Both boats have had exceptional years, but our second boat has not been involved in a lot of close races and this will be a great opportunity to challenge themselves.”

Has Williams already raced?

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Purple Noise

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Williams Needs a Purple Cow (Striped with Yellow Highlights)

So how do we get one of these installed at the entrance of Hopkins Hall?

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Bad Arguments Against Sophomore Housing

Some of the commentary against sophomore-only housing from the Neighborhood Review Committee (NRC) (pdf) is annoyingly ill-informed and brings up bad memories of the fight over Neighborhood Housing from five years ago.

However, others worried that, if housed all together, sophomores would miss the opportunity to forge friendships with and gain the perspectives of older students.

Others shared the concerns of those students who worried that sophomore housing could cut sophomores off from friendships with juniors and seniors and that it might not serve well those students who reach the end of their first year with ambivalent feelings about their entry experience.

These “others” are fairly clueless. Williams had a ten year experience with sophomore only housing in Mission Park under free agency. There is no evidence that Williams sophomores in that era were any more cut off from juniors/seniors then than they are today. Most substantive relationships between sophomores and juniors/seniors have always been driven by shared participation in extra-curricular activities (or via JA connections from the previous year). If you are a sophomore, the juniors/seniors you know best are those that play on your team, sing in your a cappella group, participate in your student organization or hang out with your JAs. The housing system does not change those relationships. It is true, of course, that sophomores may also get to know the juniors/seniors that live near them, but this will be a relatively unimportant part of the total cross-class interactions. No one has disputed my description of what life was like in the 1980s. Summary: Even in an era in which students lived in Carter House for three years, less than half the seniors even knew the names of at least half the sophomores. I had lunch with a current junior who lives in a Greylock dorm last month. He reported not even knowing the names of the sophomores who lived next door.

Recall (?!) my Record op-ed from 2005.

Different housing policies have different effects on student life. It would be irresponsible to implement cluster housing without taking a data-driven look at the experiences of other colleges.

Let’s focus on a specific example. The CUL’s argument asserts that cluster housing would benefit sophomores because it would allow for “deeper connections” to other classes. This is an empirical claim. It might be true, but, having lived in Carter House from 1985 to 1988 and in a Harvard undergraduate house from 1993 to 1997, I am not sure that it is. But why rely on CUL Chair Will Dudley’s assertion, my observation, or your guesswork? Why not gather some data and examine the issue?

First, we would need to operationalize the notion of “deeper connections.” What does this mean and how can we measure it? We could ask each sophomore:

1. How many seniors he knows.

2. How many seniors are among his five closest friends.

3. How many seniors he has shared a meal with in the last two days.

Much of survey research is devoted to figuring out the best way of eliciting correct information. There are several Williams professors (Marcus, DeVeaux, Klingenberg, Sheppard, Zimmerman, et al.) with the requisite expertise as well as statistician alumni more than willing to help out.

Second, we need to see how these measures of “deeper connections” vary across time and space. It is a shame that the CUL, or some other body, does not design a thorough survey of undergraduate life at Williams and administer it every year. If participation in room draw were contingent upon completing the form, response rates would be close to 100 percent.

If the CUL had been doing this for the last 20 years, it would be much easier to examine how life at Williams has changed and to speculate on the causes of those changes as well as the likely effects of alternate policies. Although this hasn’t been done, there is no reason not to start now.

Did the College listen to me? No. The problem with the Administration is not that it engages in social engineering. It has to. The problem is that it is incompetent. If the Administration really cared about the amount of interaction between sophomores and upperclassmen then it should have started to measure that interaction five years ago. If it still cares, it should start measuring it now.

But, in fact, Williams does not really care. The Administration/Trustees wanted to stop all the black students from living together in a theme-house fashion. Mission accomplished! It has no interest in taking a serious look at the interactions between sophomores and juniors/seniors. If it did, data collection would be the first step.

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Women’s Tennis NCAA Championship Match Live

Free video available here. Can anyone figure out how to embed this? Please live-blog the match in this comment thread. Match statistics here. Video features the #1 doubles match, with Ephs Grace Baljon ’10 and Taylor French ’12 ahead 3-2. Williams leads in the other two doubles matches.

Baljon won the Lindsay Morehouse Award. It would be nice if she could finish her Williams career with another NCAA Championship.

Go Ephs!

UPDATE: Williams has won one doubles match and is up 6-2 in another. Baljon and French just broke service to go up 5-3. (Doubles matches are to 8. Call a “pro set,” I think.) Does Emory play particular weak doubles (and strong singles)? If not, thinks look good.

UPDATE II: Williams wins all three doubles matches in convincing fashion. 8-3, 8-2 and 8-0. Emory needed to go 2-1 in doubles against Amherst to beat them 5-4 in the semi-finals. I don’t think Emory has the singles game to come back from this deficit . . .

UPDATE III: All singles matches going on simultaneously. Four of the 6 are very even, but two featured easy wins in the first set by Ephs Lucy Marchese and Caroline Capute. There is a good chance that Williams will win 5-0 if those two play their second sets as well as they played their first.

UPDATE IV: Video has switched to the number 3 singles match, featuring Eph Nikki Reich, now ahead 6-4, 3-2. Williams has won the first 4 matches and the first set of 4 of the 5 remaining. If Williams loses after taking such a lead, it would be the worst collapse in Eph athletics in at least a decade.

UPDATE V: Three championship points for Reich . . . Williams wins! Happy video celebration ensues.

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Create Sophomore Housing

The best part of the Final Report (pdf) from the Neighborhood Review Committee (NRC) is its praise of sophomore housing.

It is striking to note that just over 70% of the first-year respondents believe that the College should offer sophomores the option of living in designated sophomore housing. … The committee concluded that the sophomore housing option is worthy of further study.

Read the whole thing. As best I can tell, the Committee was pro-sophomore housing but with a non-trivial minority against. Yet the central flaw of the Report in this regard was its complete failure to describe and analyze the history of sophomore housing at Williams, at least since 1990. (Useful references here, here and here.) Short version: Sophomores decided, on their own, that they wanted to live together in Mission. A large majority of sophomores preferred living in housing that was 90% sophomores. They achieved this goal in the early 1990s by trading their picks. Free agency arrived in 1994 and made the process more simple/fair/transparent.

Recommendation: Allow the sophomores to live together in the Berkshire Quad. The Kane Housing Plan (pdf) provides all the necessary details.

A fine rant (slightly edited) from past discussions below.
Read more

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Brenner ’14 Honored with Stifel Award

Pingry alum Lowell should enjoy this story concerning a particularly impressive addition to the group of future Ephs recently featured here.  Jon Brenner ’14 has overcome some difficult obstacles prior to his admission at Williams:

The character similarities between Henry Stifel and award recipient Jon Brenner became apparent once Norman LaValette stepped to the podium to tell Jon’s story as someone who knows him as an advisor, teacher, and coach.  He described how Jon was injured during a collision with an AAU basketball teammate during spring break of 2007.  Jon suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell to the court and was rendered unconscious.  The resulting concussion and skull fracture led to a large epidural hematoma—bleeding between the brain and skull that can cause a fatal increase in pressure on the brain if not relieved immediately.  An epidural hematoma was the same dangerous injury that claimed the life of actress Natasha Richardson after a skiing fall in 2009.

Jon’s life was thankfully saved by a neurosurgeon’s skill and the mechanical assistance of four plates and eight screws needed to close the fracture.  After three hours of brain surgery, Jon’s challenges were only beginning.  The injury had caused short- and long-term memory deficits, and he needed to relearn how to speak and how to read.  After six months of cognitive, physical, and occupational therapy, Jon gradually returned to classes at Pingry and went about trying “to reinstate himself as quietly and efficiently as possible.”  With the coordinated help of the Pingry community, Jon caught up on all of his classes over the summer, took his exams, and was back on track with his sophomore classmates by the fall of 2007.  He has since returned to the basketball court, the honor roll, track and field, the Blue Key Club, and community service with the ECLC special needs school.  As described by Norman LaValette during his remarks, Jon now looks at his remaining challenges with a “rear view mirror” mentality:  they continue “moving farther behind and away from him—despite the warning on the mirror that they may be closer than they appear.”

Jon heads to Williams College in the fall, accepted as one of their Early Decision candidates.

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Worley ’13 to the Rescue?

Women’s tennis NCAA semi-finals against University of Chicago are a nail-biter! 4-4 with just one match left. Can Nancy Worley ’13 come through again? She is leading 4-0 in the final set . . .

UPDATE: Worley wins 6-0! Is there another Eph first year who has had such a dramatic impact on her team as Worley? Williams to face Emory (who upset Amherst) tomorrow at 1:00 for the championship. Do we have any readers at the match who would be willing to live-blog or twitter with updates?

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Alumni Elections are a Farce

The elections for Alumni Trustee and Tyng Administrator are a farce. Consider the ballot. (Click for a larger version.)

First, there is no way for an outsider — say Wick Sloane ’76 — to get on the ballot. If the Alumni Office does not like you, then you will never be nominated. (Details on the process here.) Much better would be a system, like Dartmouth’s, that allowed for non-mainstream voices to (try to) gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. The alumni of Williams — not the insiders at the Society of Alumni — should decide who serves as Alumni Trustee.

Second, the College forbids candidates from discussing anything substantive in their statements. Are you interested in changes in financial aid policy at Williams? Do you want to know what these candidates think? Tough! They aren’t going to tell you because the College won’t let them.

Third, Williams successfully discourages candidates from answering questions. I e-mailed each of the three trustee candidates this question:

Hello!

My name is David Kane, Williams class of 1988, and I would like to make an informed vote among the three of you in casting my ballot for alumni trustee. Would you mind answering a single question?

What are your thoughts on President Bill Wagner’s recent changes in financial aid policy?

I realize that the three of you are very busy people, but it is very hard for me to choose among you unless I have at least an inkling of how you feel about this critical issues.

Further comments:

1) I have cc’d Wick Sloane ’76 on this e-mail because he convinced me to contact you. I am sure that he would also like to know how you feel about financial aid.

2) I have cc’d Secretary of Alumni Brooks Foehl as well. I understand that the College does not want you to “campaign” for this election. But I hope/assume that Brooks would agree that just answering my question, at least in private, is not campaigning.

3) I have cc’d Ronit Bhattacharyya ’07, one of the leading lights behind EphBlog. With your permission (and only with your permission), I am sure that Ronit would like to post your answers at EphBlog so that other alumni could cast more informed ballots. But, if you did not want to do that, I still hope that you could answer the question to me directly.

Thanks for your time and your past service to Williams.

Dave Kane

Two of the three candidates were polite enough to respond. Both refused to answer the question. Pathetic! Or, rather, just what the Alumni Office would want them to do.

The Alumni Office does not want Williams alumni to make an informed choice in trustee elections. Your local high school has sophomore class elections with more substance.

Who did you vote for and why?

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BACK ONLINE.

All seems “okay.”

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Technical Difficulties; Please…

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Real Estate Transactions

What do we make of this?

Gina M. Coleman and Michael C. Mongue sold property at 730 Pine Cobble Road, Williamstown, for $545,000 to Williams College President and Trustees.

Williams College President and Trustees sold property at 1587-1589 Green River Road, Williamstown, for $375,000 to Joseph C. Bergeron III.

The entire Pine Cobble enterprise was a suspect exercise for the start. Williams should not try to be a real estate developer, any more than it should own its own apple farm. Are there really 5 Pine Cobble houses for sale?

What do our faculty and staff readers think about the Pine Cobble Development?

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Darlingside and Caitlin Canty play Brooklyn Bowl June 15th

Darlingside and Caitlin Canty at Brooklyn Bowl: June 15

The string-rock quintet Darlingside and singer/songwriter Caitlin Canty will play a FREE album release show at Brooklyn Bowl and would like to extend a special invitation to fellow Ephs. All musicians are Williams College alumni from ’04-’09 and have been collaboratively writing music and touring the Northeast in recent months. The show will feature singer-songwriter performances as well as full band numbers. Both groups will be releasing new EPs at the show and invite you to celebrate with them.

June 15th 8-10PM @ Brooklyn Bowl (11 Wythe Ave in Brooklyn) Rock. and Roll. *Album Release Show* FREE

More info at www.caitlincanty.com or www.darlingside.com

(via Williams Alumni Group on LinkedIn)

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Championship Week

By my estimation, the Ephs have already essentially clinched their umpteenth straight Director’s Cup by virtue of a big lead heading into the Spring sports season, a fairly pedestrian Spring by top challenger Amherst, and strong finishes already for men’s tennis, women’s golf (a program best seventh), and women’s lacrosse.  The four remaining competing Eph teams are all expected to do some serious additional damage in this week’s NCAA championships:

  • Second ranked (and two-time defending national champion) women’s tennis narrowly survived what would have been a monumental upset by Tufts, thanks to a clutch third set from frosh Nancy Worley.   Williams has two more tough matches to get through (vs. number eight Gustavus and, likely, number three Chicago, who the Ephs barely squeaked by earlier in the Spring) if they want a chance at payback against top ranked Amherst in the national title match.  Amherst has beaten the Ephs two out of three times this year, but Amherst will be looking for payback of its own after Williams upset them to claim last year’s title.  Follow live results of today’s match here.
  • Top ranked women’s crew is aiming to win an incredible FIFTH straight national title.   Can you say dynasty?
  • Women’s and men’s track and field are both bringing large groups of elite athletes to the championship.  Based on pre-meet seedings, the women are expected to finish tenth, and the men tied for eighth.  The teams are each led by precocious frosh who are individual title contenders: all-around superstar Tanasia Hoffler and javelin ace Stephen Simalchik, respectively.
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Two Students Arrested

Freshmen do the stupidest things.

Two Williams College students have been arrested on felony vandalism charges after a series of overnight incidents in Williamstown.

According to Williamtown Police, 19-year-old Charles James of Los Angeles, Calif., and 19-year-old Samuel Marshall of Sun Prairie, WI, vandalized several buildings and cars on and off the Williams College campus early Sunday morning.

Police began to receive reports after midnight of buildings being struck with eggs, windows in houses being smashed and a college service van being struck by a large rock.

A fire was also set on West Field, though police haven’t made a definitive connection to James and Marshall.

James and Marshall were released and scheduled to return to court May 28.

Three other Williams College students are expected to receive court summonses for felony vandalism. Their names are not being released until they are formally charged.

Time to lawyer up. I recommend whoever did the good work with the Cole Field Bombers.

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Future Ephs

This time of year, there are always a ton of news stories mentioning graduating seniors headed to Williams.  This May has been no exception.  Congrats and best wishes to the following future Ephs: Willis Koomson, Sandy LaTourrette, Julianne Fontana, Theresa Legan, Alix Wicker, Katy Carrigan, Melissa Arias, and Catherine Gerkis.

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Almost Presidents

Adam Falk, long may he reign, is the president of Williams. But who are the almost presidents? Approximately 40 people had serious interviews with members of the Presidential Search Committee. A handful of those might fairly be termed finalists. Who were they? I assume that Nancy Roseman had an interview, but, other than her, I am not sure who the internal candidates would have been. My sources have failed me on this. Comments?

Presumably, anyone named in the near future to the presidency of a liberal arts college would have had an interest in the Williams job, especially if they were an outsider. So, I bet that John Bravman, recently named Bucknell’s 17th president, was a (strong) candidate for the Williams job.

I am glad that we choose Falk instead. Are you?

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George Steinbrenner High

George Steinbrenner (’52) High:

High schools often carry the name of a church saint, president or other historical figure, so in this northern Tampa suburb there is George Steinbrenner High, a nod to “The Boss,” the principal owner of the New York Yankees and one of the most controversial forces in baseball history.

“Certainly this wasn’t the usual way of naming a school,” says MaryEllen Elia, superintendent of Hillsborough County Schools. “But when one of our board members suggested it, the board talked for five minutes and voted unanimously to name it after Steinbrenner. We are committed to the people who support our schools and community.”

Steinbrenner earned millions as a shipping magnate in Ohio and has won seven World Series titles leading the Yankees in New York, but Tampa is where he has made his home since the early 1970s and developed a legacy in stark contrast to his image as a free-spending, short-tempered villain. Instead, the 79-year-old billionaire is known in these parts for his community spirit and philanthropic ways.

teinbrenner is in declining health and has turned over operation of the Yankees to his sons, Hal and Hank; through spokesman Howard Rubenstein, he declined a request to be interviewed. But like the team that won the World Series last year, the Steinbrenners march on, continuing to lend a hand to their hometown.

The Boss always has had a soft spot for disadvantaged children, athletes and coaches, members of the armed forces, law enforcement and firefighters, and he has offered his charity and influence. The Tampa area is dotted with thank you signs to Steinbrenner. Besides the high school, Legends Field was renamed Steinbrenner Field in 2008 by the city of Tampa, and the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa and a pediatric emergency and trauma center at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital carry his name.

“He would have been less excited about it 20 years ago when he wouldn’t have wanted the recognition,” Hal Steinbrenner says. “But he’s excited, and it is rewarding to him to be recognized. He’s emotional and appreciative.”

Read the whole thing.

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Choosing Princeton

I am trying to collect information from students who turned down Williams for other schools. Here is one story:

The main thing tipping my decision to Princeton was athletics. I am a dedicated track and field athlete, and the sport is a huge part of my life. And it has always been my dream to compete in Division I athletics. Thus, when the opportunity to go to a program as competitive as Princeton came along, I could not pass it up.

It was really a gut wrenching choice on my part because Williams–albeit D3–is the best D3 track program in the nation. And Coach Fletcher Brooks was incredibly respectful and honest while recruitting me. The hardest part of my decision was probably telling him about it, but I believe that I will undoubtedly have a better athletic opportunity at Princeton so I had to seize it. While I could choose to go to Williams and maybe dominate early on, I wanted to go to Princeton where the better competition would push my development.

Academically, I actually preferred Williams. The school’s focus on undergraduate education–especially its tutorial program–was something that really intrigued me. And as a student that aspires to go to a top graduate school, I was very impressed with Williams. But, of course, I wouldn’t be missing out on an education by going to Princeton. I looked at the quality of education as the same at both places, just a point of preference. Moreover, I am absolutely sure that I will succeed in both environments so the academic decision was really a win-win.

Financially, both schools basically offered me a full ride. Williams asked me to contribute $400 total from my summer savings and Princeton asked for $300. Williams’s package was just slightly better because the school’s book grant allowed me to spend less time in work study.

In the end, it really came down to where I thought I’d have the better college experience. Academically, both schools provided the best of the best. I didn’t have to worry about money at either school. But athletically, the edge went to Princeton.

Interesting. Do you know someone who turned down Williams? Tell us those stories.

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Photo ID, #112

Clearly a building, but which building is it?

Photo from Flickr user stenz; original photo here (warning: link contains puzzle answer)

Thanks to EphBlog’s webmaster Eric Smith ’99 for taking this cool photo.

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Kingston

Jamaica Declares Emergency Amid Unrest

The Jamaican government declared a state of emergency in portions of Kingston, the capital, on Sunday after supporters of a gang leader who is wanted in the United States on gun and drug charges attacked three police stations in an attempt to pressure the government to let him remain free, officials said.

In the western Kingston neighborhood where the gang leader, Christopher Coke, is holed up, residents set up barricades and exchanged gunfire with the police. The Daily Gleaner reported that gunmen allied with Mr. Coke, who is commonly known as Dudus, were roaming the streets with high-powered rifles.

Amid growing unrest, the government met in an emergency session to try to keep the lawlessness from spinning out of control. The authorities, who said other gangs appeared to be coming to Mr. Coke’s aid, called on him to turn himself in for a hearing on extradition to the United States.

My thoughts are with the many Jamaican Ephs and their families.

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Surprise Party

On Saturday night, approximately 100 Eph alumni, friends, and family (including me) gathered at Pine Cobble School for a surprise celebration to honor the 25th anniversary of the tenure of Peter S. Wells ’79 as coach of the Men’s Crew. Ephs from as far away as Beijing arrived to express their gratitude, admiration, and respect for Peter, who has built the team into a perennial New England powerhouse and recently coached the men to their first-ever national championship. (A happy coincidence, as the anniversary fete had been in the works since before the spring season began).

The celebration was a great success, featuring moving tributes to Coach Wells from John A. Shaw ’62 (who brought rowing back to Williams in 1968 after a thirty year absence), Justin Moore (head coach of the five-time national champion Women’s Crew), as well as several of the alumni in attendance. The backdrop for the festivities included a vast array of Eph rowing memorabilia, including the historic Saratoga Oar and a selection of other trophies and framed photographs of great Williams crews of the past.

Notwithstanding the huge group in attendance, surprise was total, as Peter’s family and the other coaches sequestered Peter at the Pittsfield boathouse and thoroughly maintained the ruse, even as Ephs arrived by the dozen and concealed themselves in the inns, motels, and guesthouses of Williamstown or on the slopes of Mt. Greylock.

Special thanks go out to the all-star committee of a dozen or so members of the Williams Crew family, as well as the incomparable Sue Wells ’84 (and the rest of Peter’s family) for making this happen — and keeping it a secret. (I know how tough it was – there were at least two comment threads here at EphBlog where I had to refrain from mentioning that I was headed to Williamstown).

Hopefully I’ll have a link to a full photo album to post soon, but in the meantime, here’s a photo of Peter at the party with my freshman coach, Jim Scott ’94.

Photo of Peter at celebration

Peter Wells '79 with Jim Scott '94 (freshman coach 1994-1996) at the anniversary party

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A Day in Prague (Williams In Prague Reunion, Day 2; Chapter 8)

“CHAPTER EIGHT: STRUGGLE” PLEASE SEE NOTES BELOW.

Another film day and night. Another (mostly) quiet voyage.

Quick viewing notes:
Best seen if you click on the embed/image below, then on “Full Screen” in the top left of the window that pops up after that, and then press F11 for actual Full Screen. (This page will, unfortunately, loop back through the start.) You probably wish to use the your right and left arrows to move through sequences which do not interest you quickly.


This is one of nine chapters. Due to limits in Picasa, chapters must be presented separately. Other chapters:Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9.


Approx. 2400 frame slideshow film, shot @ .8333fps in 6-frame bursts; enhanced and edited.

Presented via Picasa. Approx. run time: 120 minutes (at default settings; set to 3sec per frame).


Description/Notes: Many Easter Eggs and human stories. Special prize awarded to any non-European alum who can identify more than 75% of Williams alums pictured here and there.


Further notes: Viewer can adjust playback speed from .10-1 fps, use forward/back keys to skip, use other means to skip or rearrange.
Best viewed on a laptop or other device where the viewer can turn the screen, or learn to turn their head.


This may interest:
Those who would like to take a look at Prague;
those with a particularly obsessive interest in space, detail, or the Czech Lands;
those who have not seen the area in 10 years or so;
those who have never had the time or opportunity to look hard.

&Further further notes: Viewer may need to mutter odd witchcraft to use keyboard controls. Picasa does not allow all kinds of things from this kind of embed.


Read more

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A Day in Prague (Williams In Prague Reunion, Day 2; Chapter 7)

“CHAPTER SEVEN: WALK THE HUMAN” PLEASE SEE NOTES BELOW.

Another film day and night. Another (mostly) quiet voyage.

Quick viewing notes:
Best seen if you click on the embed/image below, then on “Full Screen” in the top left of the window that pops up after that, and then press F11 for actual Full Screen. (This page will, unfortunately, loop back through the start.) You probably wish to use the your right and left arrows to move through sequences which do not interest you quickly.


This is one of nine chapters. Due to limits in Picasa, chapters must be presented separately. Other chapters:
Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9.


Approx. 2400 frame slideshow film, shot @ .8333fps in 6-frame bursts; enhanced and edited.

Presented va Picasa. Approx. run time: 120 minutes (at default settings; set to 3sec per frame).


Description/Notes: Many Easter Eggs and human stories. Special prize awarded to any non-European alum who can identify more than 75% of Williams alums pictured here and there.


Further notes: Viewer can adjust playback speed from .10-1 fps, use forward/back keys to skip, use other means to skip or rearrange.
Best viewed on a laptop or other device where the viewer can turn the screen, or learn to turn their head.


This may interest:
Those who would like to take a look at Prague;
those with a particularly obsessive interest in space, detail, or the Czech Lands;
those who have not seen the area in 10 years or so;
those who have never had the time or opportunity to look hard.

&Further further notes: Viewer may need to mutter odd witchcraft to use keyboard controls. Picasa does not allow all kinds of things from this kind of embed.


Read more

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A Day in Prague (Williams In Prague Reunion, Day 2; Chapter 6)

“CHAPTER SIX: RIVERLAND” PLEASE SEE NOTES BELOW.

Another film day and night. Another (mostly) quiet voyage.

Quick viewing notes:
Best seen if you click on the embed/image below, then on “Full Screen” in the top left of the window that pops up after that, and then press F11 for actual Full Screen. (This page will, unfortunately, loop back through the start.) You probably wish to use the your right and left arrows to move through sequences which do not interest you quickly.


This is one of nine chapters. Due to limits in Picasa, chapters must be presented separately. Other chapters:
Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9.


Approx. 2400 frame slideshow film, shot @ .8333fps in 6-frame bursts; enhanced and edited.

Presented via Picasa. Approx. run time: 120 minutes (at default settings; set to 2sec per frame).


Description/Notes: Many Easter Eggs and human stories. Special prize awarded to any non-European alum who can identify more than 75% of Williams alums pictured here and there.


Further notes: Viewer can adjust playback speed from .10-1 fps, use forward/back keys to skip, use other means to skip or rearrange.
Best viewed on a laptop or other device where the viewer can turn the screen, or learn to turn their head.


This may interest:
Those who would like to take a look at Prague;
those with a particularly obsessive interest in space, detail, or the Czech Lands;
those who have not seen the area in 10 years or so;
those who have never had the time or opportunity to look hard.

&Further further notes: Viewer may need to mutter odd witchcraft to use keyboard controls. Picasa does not allow all kinds of things from this kind of embed.


Read more

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A Day in Prague (Williams In Prague Reunion, Day 2; Chapter 5)

“CHAPTER FIVE: WALK IN THE PARK” PLEASE SEE NOTES BELOW.

Another film day and night. Another (mostly) quiet voyage.
Quick viewing notes:
Best seen if you click on the embed/image below, then on “Full Screen” in the top left of the window that pops up after that, and then press F11 for actual Full Screen. (This page will, unfortunately, loop back through the start.) You probably wish to use the your right and left arrows to move through sequences which do not interest you quickly.


This is one of nine chapters. Due to limits in Picasa, chapters must be presented separately. Other chapters:
Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9.


Approx. 2400 frame slideshow film, shot @ .8333fps in 6-frame bursts; enhanced and edited.

Presented via Picasa. Approx. run time: 120 minutes (at default settings; set to 3sec per frame).


Description/Notes: Many Easter Eggs and human stories. Special prize awarded to any non-European alum who can identify more than 75% of Williams alums pictured here and there.


Further notes: Viewer can adjust playback speed from .10-1 fps, use forward/back keys to skip, use other means to skip or rearrange.
Best viewed on a laptop or other device where the viewer can turn the screen, or learn to turn their head.


This may interest:
Those who would like to take a look at Prague;
those with a particularly obsessive interest in space, detail, or the Czech Lands;
those who have not seen the area in 10 years or so;
those who have never had the time or opportunity to look hard.

&Further further notes: Viewer may need to mutter odd witchcraft to use keyboard controls. Picasa does not allow all kinds of things from this kind of embed.


Read more

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