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The Houses of Williamstown: Alpha Delta Phi …

Alas, the top entry with architectural and  ’56 Gul insert of copy seems to be lost in time. Click on COMMENTS to get remains of the day and an example of the conversation of the day.

 

(The first in a series of 16 posts) … originally posted 5 October, 2009ad top copy
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Morning of Comey

Wonderful poetry from Arjun Narayan ’10:

comey

Consider this your open thread for Comey-related discussion. Have at it!

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MOMA Expansion …

THUMB19461_328915

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has completed the first phase of its major renovation programme, and unveiled its final plans for a multi-year expansion designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, alongside Gensler.http

://www.cladglobal.com/news.cfm?codeid=33230

Williams trustee Glenn O. Lowry ’78 is the director of MOMA. Over the years since its beginning, Ephs have been part of the fabric of MOMA.

http://williams.imodules.com/s/1670/interior.aspx?sid=1670&gid=2&pgid=1110&cid=2503&ecid=2503&ciid=4052&crid=0

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Falk:Derbyshire :: ?:? Part 2

Yesterday, we asked the question: When was the last time that a Williams president banned a speaker from campus? No one has given us the right (?) answer yet. Adam Falk’s decision to ban John Derbsyhire in February 2016 must have an historical parallel. What is it? Consider this SAT analogy question:

FALK:DERBYSHIRE ::

A. Baxter:?
B. Chadler:?
C: Garfield:?
D. Hopkins:?
E. Sawyer:?

I have provided some Williams presidents, in alphabetical order, as options. My reasoning:

A. Phinney Baxter ’14 was president during World War II and the worst parts of the Cold War. Might he have banned someone? Sure! But Baxter was, perhaps more than any other Williams president, a defender of free speech. From the Harvard Crimson of 1949:

“Like most if not all of my other colleagues on the Williams faculty,” Williams College President James Phinney Baxter, 3rd, wrote in an article for his school’s May, 1949, Alumni Review number, “I support the Marshall Plan, the Atlantic Pact, and the furnishing of military supplies to our fellow signatories.”

But the point of Baxter’s article was not to express his own views on foreign policy. It was to defend the right of Frederick L. Schuman, a member of the Williams faculty, to expound differing opinions.

Baxter noted that Schuman had been “severely criticized by a number of alumni for speeches critical of the current foreign policy of the United States.”

The college head wrote that Schuman had attacked the policies of both America and Russia, that he was an advocate “of a stronger form of international government than the United Nations,” and that he had “freely criticized the Communists for many years.”


For Free Debate

Baxter said Schuman should be as free to express himself as those who held the majority viewpoint.

Exactly right.

B. John Chandler was president during the dawn of the PC-era and had to contend with many racially-charged debates, including South African Divestment and affirmative action. The election of Reagan in 1980 was, from the point of view of faculty/student opinion, almost as surprising/shocking/disgusting as Trump’s election 36 years later.

C. Harry Garfield served as president from 1908 through 1934. There were non-trivial restrictions on free speech during World War I, and it would not be surprising to see this sentiment expressed at Williams.

D. Hopkins. I am cheating a bit with this one since Williams had two presidents named Hopkins: Mark and Henry (his son). They served for a combined 42 years. Surely, at some point, a proposed speaker was so offensive as to require banning from campus . . .

E. Jack Sawyer ’39 is almost uniformly regarded as the best Williams president of the last 100 years. But not everyone is perfect! He served from 1961 — 1973, the height of campus turmoil over civil rights and the Vietnam War. It sure must have been tempting to shut down debate on occasion! Sawyer, who served in the OSS — the forerunner to the CIA — during World War II must have felt some frustration at the campus snowflakes of his era . . .

Any guesses as to the correct answer?

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Falk:Derbyshire :: ?:? Part 1

Who remembers the analogy questions from the old SAT Verbal?

sat

Recall Adam Falk’s February 2016 decision to ban John Derbyshire from speaking at Williams. When was the last time that a Williams president banned someone from speaking on campus? In other words, we need the answer to the following analogy:

FALK:DERBYSHIRE :: ?:?

Any guesses from our readers? It has taken us more than a year to answer this question and, even now, I am not sure if we have it correct.

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Women’s Crew Wins* Nationals

From New Jersey:

The Williams College women’s V1 boat made a statement today out racing top-seeded Bates to the finish line to earn the title of The Fastest Crew in DIII, but Bates won the NCAA team title with the combined scores of its V1 and V2 boats, edging the Ephs by one point: 39-38.

“The group of 22-23 rowers that was here to compete is the result of the entire 38-member team we have that pushed each other throughout the season to be at our best, so I want to thank those where were not here,” [Williams Coach Kate] Maloney said. “And of course I want to thank our assistant coaches, our support staff, our trainers, and our parents for a great year. I’m just so proud of the 2016-17 Williams program.”

1) Congrats to Coach Maloney and her team on an impressive performance. I believe (clarifications welcome) that women’s crew gets very little support from Admissions each year. (Perhaps one tip a year? Perhaps only a protect or two?) It is quite likely that the academic performance of the women’s crew team as whole is indistinguishable from that of the rest of the women at Williams. And that is as it should be.

2) I love that there are 38 students on the team. Participation should be the highest value in Williams athletics. It is much better to have a crew team with 38 committed students who have an amazing experience (but who don’t win national championships) than to have a team of 15 that does. Kudos to Coach Maloney for being so welcoming to students who will never be good enough to row in a national championship. Their athletic experiences at Williams are every bit as important as those of the members of the V1 boat.

3) It is a shame that participation is not as valued as it used to be at Williams. Back in the day, there was a freshmen basketball team. There is not one now, despite the fact that there are a score or more of freshmen each year who played basketball in high school but who are not good enough to play for Coach App. Why not a team for them?

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The New Face of America…

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Getty Photo

“I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.”

 —Donald Trump (November 3, 2016)

 

Mika Brzenski believes that by issuing alt-facts, the administration is undermining the role of the media and furthering the extent to which peoples opinion can be manipulated. This is, of course, the definition of ‘propaganda’. When an administration and the press are at the extreme ends of interpretations, the ‘truth’ can be seen by the observations of consequences of actions.

My hope is that at some point, these consequences will be obvious to all and an accurate assessment of our political and moral position as a country can be made.

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Commmencement Executive Summary from the College Marshal

Dear soon-to-be graduate,

Enjoy a marvelous graduation weekend, but especially the highlights below.

Pick up caps & gowns and tickets: downstairs Paresky Center
Friday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 4, 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Last minute pickup!

Ivy Exercises: Assemble in cap & gown on the Frosh Quad (by Williams & Sage).
Sunny Saturday, June 3, 12:50 p.m. Line up pairwise for procession to Library Quad.
After the ceremony, collect prizes at Commencement Central, Paresky.

Conversation: Splendid Saturday, June 3, 3:15 p.m. MainStage, 62CTD
Honorary degree recipients Gina McCarthy & Gavin A. Schmidt
Moderated by Bill Moomaw ‘59

Baccalaureate: Assemble in cap & gown on Route 2 sidewalk in front of the Faculty House.
Gloroius Saturday, June 3, 4:30 p.m. Line up for procession to Chapin Hall.

Commencement: Assemble in cap & gown on the Frosh Quad (by Williams & Sage).
Sunday, June 4, 9:00 a.m. Line up alphabetically for procession to Library Quad.

President’s Reception: A lunch buffet for everybody on Chapin Lawn,
immediately after Commencement (about 12:15 p.m.).

Only if there is extreme weather on Sunday, will we move inside. The decison to hold
Commencement indoors or out will be made Sunday morning. In the unlikely event
of dangerous weather, then Great Bell will toll at 8:30 a.m. to signal indoor Commencement
in Lansing Chapman Rink, with assembly in Towne Field House at 9:00 a.m.
Everyone favors outdoor Commencement, even in light to moderate rain.

Details: http://commencement.williams.edu/

Cheers,
Jay Thoman, College Marshal

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The Houses of Williamstown : a series … The original teaser from October 2009

Intro top
This article continues below the fold. Read more

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1,200 Academic Rating 2s

President Falk is not as transparent as former President Schapiro was about admissions statistics, but he does, on occasion, provide some interesting details. Mary Dettloff kindly provided this background on a Falk speech from several years ago.

In 2013, the number of applicants with an AR2 rating was 1,269. I am confirming that number for you since Adam did mention it at a private, not public, event that you attended. The information for the Class of 2021, however, is not information we have to report publicly anywhere, so I will not be providing that information.

Fair enough! And thanks, as always, to Mary for all her help with our endless questions.

1) “AR2” — which is the insider abbreviation for “Academic Rating 2” — is a standard designation in the ranking system that the Admissions Department uses. A reminder:

  • Academic 1: at top or close to top of HS class / A record / exceptional academic program / 1520 – 1600 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 2: top 5% of HS class / mostly A record / extremely demanding academic program / 1450 – 1520 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 3: top 10% of HS class / many A grades / very demanding academic program / 1390 – 1450 composite SAT I score;
  • Academic 4: top 15% of HS class / A – B record / very demanding academic program / 1310 – 1400 composite SAT I score;

2) We know from the 2005 Alumni Review article that any applicant without a “hook” [1] is rejected if their Academic Rating is below a 2 — that is why the raw number of AR2s is so important. Williams could fill its entire class with AR1s and AR2s! [2]

3) Recall the details from the latest Common Data Set (pdf):

scores

It is a coincidence (?) that the 1450 combined math/verbal SAT average marks the cut off for AR2. But it sure is convenient! Speaking very broadly, half of every Williams class is admitted based on their academic ambition/talent/conscientiousness. The other half would not have been admitted were it not for their race/income/athleticism.

4) If it were me, I would place a lot more emphasis on academics and a lot less on everything else. What would Williams look like if we only admitted AR2s and above? Assume that we still cared about race/income/athletics. That is, we still give preference to AR2 hockey players over AR1 non-hockey players. What would our racial numbers look like? How well would our sports teams do?

[1] Almost all hooks are involve race/income/athletics. There are 66 athletic “tips” who would not have been admitted were it not for a nod from a Williams coach, and another 30 or so “protects” whose chances of admissions were only 50/50. Williams, like all elite schools, has huge problems finding enough qualified black/Hispanic applicants, and so is happy to take plenty who are AR3 or 4. Williams, especially via Questbridge, seeks applicants from poor families. (And the Development Office creates spots for (how many?) children of big donors.)

[2] Of course, it is hard to know for certain that this is true. We would need to know two other pieces of information: How many AR1 applicants are there and how well Williams yields among AR1s and 2s? Contrary opinions are welcome, but my strong sense is that, with so many AR2s (hundreds of whom Williams rejects outright), Williams could easily fill a class in which every student scored above 1450 in math/verbal SAT (with high school grades to match).

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