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Reunion Thoughts: The Williams Dream

I have promoted this post to the top and will continue to promote reunion-related posts to the top until the end of reunion.  –93kwt as 93kwt

I can still recall the day now nearly thirty years ago, December 15, 1980, when my Mom brought a thin envelope from Williams College to my high school in Cincinnati.  Having heard that when it comes to college admissions, a thin envelope is bad news, I feared the worst.

But, when I opened it up, I learned that I had been accepted early decision into what would soon be acknowledged (on numerous occasions) as America’s finest liberal arts college.  I jumped so high, I punched a (metaphorical) hole in the ceiling outside Room 15.

I often referenced that “hole in the ceiling” as the dream I had for Williams College.  When things got rough in parts of my freshman and most of my sophomore year, it felt like the hole closed up.  Later, in my junior year as things began to turn around in a big way (a very big way), it felt like the hole not just opened up, but expanded beyond measure.

Williams did not quite meet the lofty expectations I had had as an upperclassman at Cincinnati Country Day School eager to set off to college.  But, when I became more in touch with my own qualities and passions, it became a good place, a very good place, one I was loath to leave a quarter-century ago and where I am eager to return this afternoon.

Knowing this year would be a big reunion year, I had been making plans for quite some time to return.  And realizing it would follow shortly after a niece’s Bat Mitzvah (also on the East Coast), I’d been thinking for some time about making another cross country drive to attend both events.

I didn’t make such plans to attend my 25th high school reunion even though I had spent thirteen years in the same private (PK-12) school.  Indeed, for that celebration, I only decided to go at the last minute. Williams has that kind of pull for many of us.

And I wonder sometimes if one of the things that makes us love Williams so is the dreams we had about what that place might be.

To be sure, there is much more to our affection for our alma mater than the dream we once had, but I do wonder if that dream adds to its glow.