For the benefit of future historians, here are the e-mails sent out to announce Mountain Day this fall.

The trees on the hills beckon us with their multi-colored glory, with the promise of the sun to warm us. Let’s heed their call. It’s Mountain Day.

The mountains are older than all of us. They remind us, through their enduring presence and subtle beauty, that our unity as people is fundamental, far more meaningful than the differences that we sometimes allow to divide us. On this day, particularly as some among us look forward to Eid al-Adha and Yom Kippur beginning this evening, let us cherish, contemplate and embody the values of diversity and deep caring for each other on which our community is founded.

And let us do so together, in the embrace of our mountains.

Adam Falk
President and Professor
Williams College


1) Is there are an archive of all the all-campus e-mails that have been sent out? I would hope that the Williams Archives would keep track of such documents (even electronic ones) and make them publicly available. Pointers welcome.

2) Does Adam Falk write these himself? No worries if he does not. Presidents are busy people and he would not be the first or only college president who gets some help with his writing.

3) Either way, “The mountains are older than all of us.” is a nice thought. But maybe a bit tighter?

“The mountains are older than we are.”


“The mountains are older than we.”

or even

“We are as children before the Mountains that surround us.”

As always, suggestions welcome.

4) “enduring presence and subtle beauty” is nice phrasing.

5) “[O]ur unity as people is fundamental, far more meaningful than the differences that we sometimes allow to divide us.”

Agreed! But then why does Williams go to so much trouble to highlight, even to inflame, those differences. Every time that Dean Bolton sends out an all-campus e-mail about silly Halloween costumes, she is telling every Williams student that their “differences” are more important that our similarities.

6) “Eid al-Adha and Yom Kippur beginning this evening” Hmmm. I would wager (corrections welcome) that this is the first Mountain e-mail that includes a reference to Eid al-Adha.

a) Given the extremely low percentage of Muslim students at Williams, this seems like a bit of gratuitous PC blather.

b) Which religious/cultural holidays will be mentioned in Mountain Day e-mails 20 years from now?

c) Don’t think that mentioning Eid al-Adha is laughable? Hmmm. What if I told you that Falk got the date wrong? It began on the evening of Saturday October 4th this fall, not Friday evening. You can always tell a thoughtless pander by the wrong details.

7) “the values of diversity and deep caring for each other on which our community is founded.” More PC blather. If Williams were really “founded” on those values, then it would select its students and faculty using those criteria. We don’t so we aren’t. We choose on the basis of academic talent and ambition, with a little (lot?) of athletics/race/income thrown in for students and race thrown in for professors.

8) If you were President, what would your Mountain Day e-mail be?

See below for the details of the day’s events from Scott Lewis.

Visit to see the list of hikes and on-campus events AND to check for any updates should the weather suddenly change!

A quick summary of the day:

10 a.m. – hike to Stone Hill from Paresky steps for singing and donuts!

11 a.m – 1 p.m. community picnic on Chapin Lawn
Administrative offices should consider closing for an hour to enjoy this campus-wide celebration.

12:30 p.m. – bus transportation to Stoney Ledge and Hopper trailheads (the bus will not bring you directly to Stoney Ledge). Please be prepared for changing weather and temperatures as you hike up AND down the mountain 2 miles each way. You should have hiking shoes for wet, muddy, slick terrain and bring a filled water bottle!

2:45 p.m. – performances by student groups, refreshments provided

4:45 p.m. – bus transportation from Stoney Ledge and Hopper trailheads to Paresky steps

As President Falk said, this is an opportunity to “seize the day” and to celebrate our wonderful community and place.

Scott Lewis
Williams Outing Club

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