In order to have a meaningful discussion about the Gaudino Option, especially with regards to the B- minimum grade required to invoke it, we need some basic data about grade point averages at Williams. So, in my role as EphBlog reporter, I sought out that data. Here is what Registrar Charlie Toomajian wrote back:


I am sorry to report that the information you requested is not considered public by the College. By faculty regulation, we do not release information about class rankings and providing the data you requested could jeopardize that ruling.

I hope the discussion proves lively and informative.

Charlie T.

1) Thanks to Charlie for taking the time to answer and for giving me permission to quote him. Note that this ridiculous paranoia is not Charlie’s fault. There are voices at Williams who think that the less transparent that Williams is, the better. Those voices prevent us — or, really, all alumni, students and parents — from having an informed conversation.

2) My original e-mail to Charlie is below the break. But note that I am not asking for class rankings! I just want to know average GPAs and the cut-offs for Latin honors. This is some sort of state secret? Pathetic.

3) If the College were serious about not “releas[ing] information about class rankings,” then it should stop publishing the names of Summa students (or the name of the Valedictorian). (Summas are the top 2.5% of the class by GPAs.) But, obviously, Williams is just using that phrasing as an excuse to keep me (and you!) poorly informed.

4) Given the strong praise that Adam Falk had for transparency at the Boston Alumni meeting, do you think that I should politely follow up with him?

5) Some of this data (like average GPA) is regularly discussed at Williams and reported in the Record. Why keep it a “secret” from us?


We are having a fun discussion about the Gaudino option at EphBlog.

Would you mind clarifying a few points of fact? (Info for just the class of 2010, or some recent class, is fine.)

1) What is the average GPA at Williams?

2) What are the typical GPA cut-offs for summa, magna and cum laude?

3) What is the standard deviation of GPA?



PS. Obviously, feel free to check this out with the powers that be, but President Falk had great things to say about transparency when he met with the Boston Alumni Society, so I don’t anticipate any problems.

I was wrong about that last bit . . .

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