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Be sure to express your thoughts on DDF post (above)

As a side-bar this, separate but related story:

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Another look at President Falk as the torch is passed …

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As a digression from the in-progress 15 part series on President Falk appearing in these pages, here is a review of his tenure as appearing in The Williams Magazine, Fall 2017.






Illustration by James Steinberg

It is interesting to note the approach taken by the editors:

Adam Falk will leave Williams in December to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. When we sat down with him to plan the magazine’s coverage of his tenure, he made an important observation: “This story is about Williams’ ideals, principles and priorities; it shouldn’t be about me.” We took what he said to heart and realized the best way to tell the story of his presidency at Williams is to tell the story of Williams during his presidency. So we asked the people responsible for some of the most important changes during Falk’s time to share their thoughts. Their essays follow.



In the spirit : “Toying with The Mountains” *

This just in from Adam Falk:

Williams alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff,

We asked a small group to play you a special song for the season, and they took us at our word. I hope you enjoy the results.

Best wishes for a joyous season and a happy start to the new year.

Adam Falk

*  This post, my 700th, makes me a very, very distant second place to Dave. My first post was 23 December, 2007.



2018 … The Year of Ultra Purple! And Williams’ 225th Anniversary!


Can it be mere coincidence that Pantone* has introduced Ultra-Violet Pantone 18-3838 TCX as the color of the year for 2018? I think not!

Pantone describes the color as  “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade”.

* Pantone Inc. is an American corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System, a proprietary color standard system used in a variety of industries, … Wikipedia

From De Zeen magazine :

Even more on the lineage and complexity of the color purple from the NYT:

What could have been on Winston Churchill’s mother’s mind …   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ **


** “beats me” courtesy of The New York Times.



Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 4.57.10 PMThe Ephblog masthead color does not match the printing specs as issued by the college. 267 C is the new color of the year (or close enough for jazz).



Steve Case ’80 and ‘Rise of the Rest’ fund …

merlin_128930624_db224d97-771d-4568-8abf-c8fd554028d5-master768Credit  Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

… Steve Case cut his wisdom teeth at P&G, Cincinnati and Pizza Hut, Wichita. In the picture above, he is with J. D. Vance , the author of  Hillbilly Elegy. Vance, born in Kentucky, grew up in Middletown*, Ohio.

The AOL co-founder Steve Case, front, and the author J.D. Vance quietly recruited some of the country’s wealthiest people to invest in their Rise of the Rest fund, which will seed investments in underserved cities and encourage their contributors to partner with benefiting businesses. The New York Times, December 5, 2017

* Old-time students of Prof Fred Schuman will have read Middletown A Study in Modern American Culture by husband and wife sociologists Robert Staughton Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd.  Published in 1925, Middletown is a study of every-day life and values in Muncie, IN.  The book became a best-seller and a basic read in sociology classes.


Recent Ephblog themes show up in DC: Native Americans, U.S. Marines, service to our country, and a painting …


… this most recent contribution was made under the presidential painting of Andrew Jackson, who ordered The Trail of Tears.


It’s ‘Politics and Pizza Night’ in Phoenix …

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 4.40.04 PM The Washington Post

… as AZ Democratic State Senator Steve Farley ’85 speaks out!

State Senator Farley, Class of 1985, is running for Governor of Arizona, home of past and present Republican giants.

The Washington Post in a review story headed ‘Elitists, Crybabies, and Junky Degrees’ reports attitudes toward government funding of colleges and universities. While Republican critics  “want to reduce the flow of government cash to what they see as elitist, politically correct institutions that often fail to provide practical skills for the job market, Steve Farley could not disagree more.

Farley says “This whole idea that government should be run more like a business is (so) profoundly morally flawed. We should not be manufacturing them (students) to be products to be consumed. That is a basic ethical and moral flaw in this whole argument, that everything’s got to have financial payback so we can reduce taxes for the Koch brothers.”

I call your attention to the complete article below. The positions will be of interest in the November, 2018 Arizona gubernatorial race. 

I was going to take 30 days to deconstruct the arguments (only 30 shopping days left til Christmas!) and prove that Williams had disputed awarding Farley his degree in Political Science based on his having taken a class or been somewhere on campus during the brief stay of JCD.

But I have reconsidered.

Perhaps, the readers of this blog would like to chime in on the role of the Government in education, decry the state of politics in Arizona, or laud the comfort of their condos in warm-weather retirement communities …


A Day-Brightener …

DOYIvV5XUAA8hMh  Williams Twitter feed



What is “a gun situation”?



No Pell Grant Needed!


The military academies are forgotten in the Ephdom discussions of great schools and value. It costs nothing but service, FREE!! In fact, your rich Uncle Sam pays you to go to college. Graduates include Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, numerous cabinet heads, ambassadors, scores of members of congress… etc. etc.


Legacies: Health Care if and only if a Wall?

trump_wallSome chips on the table as Trump makes moves.

 Perhaps another discussion at Williams like this one 9 November, 2015 might add some interesting views on the perception of legacies: positive v negative.

Looking back at the numerous legislative fights, years of partisan polarization, and disputes over issues ranging from healthcare to a nuclear Iran, how should we think about Obama—his presidency, his achievements, his shortcomings?  What kind of leadership has Obama exercised?  What type of legacy will he leave?  What sorts of lessons should we take from his presidency?  Come listen as three keen observers of Obama and astute analysts of American politics answer these questions as they discuss race, the economy, the War on Terror, and more.


For those interested in spies and tradecraft …

79f9c078764335a893bb6d12056ea644   34496624._UY630_SR1200,630_

 … and I am sure you might even catch a whiff about one or two of your classmates, John LaCarre’s new book, A Legacy of Spies, is out!

In the opening para you realize it is going to concern LaCarre’s first iconic spy, the one who came in from the cold, Alec Leamas. And include most familiar names and ancient doings from The Spy Who Came In From The Cold plus the trilogy: Tinker, Tailor, Honorable Schoolboy, and Smiley’s Friends. And indeed, the Great Man Himself:

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Here is  a rave review in The Guardian …

And for my redoubtable friend DDF and his rather limited view on blog acceptability, who better a reference than James Phinney Baxter himself! First head of the Research and Analysis Section of the OSS.







” … not a good war-time consigliere …


… we are going to the mattresses”.

The Godfather was included in a Williams class two years ago.

Michael Beschloss is analyzing the Banner Bannon departure right now on MSNBC.


A Vacation Special Quiz …




Please supply answers to these current events issues …

   • N Korean threats

   • Afghanistan  

   • Climate change and new US Government report

   • Debt limit and default

   • Bobby Sticks and possible Russian money connections

   • Budget and The Wall

 This list is not complete. Please feel free to add as you see fit!

Further fodder

A Williams thought … could this course become a part of an eponymous chain?



EphBlog (and other members of the press): Beware of Presidents’ Wrath …


DDF could be the subject of a subpoena for his leaks on President Falk.

“We respect the important role that the press plays, and we’ll give them respect, but it is not unlimited,” Sessions said. “They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’s role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in the intelligence community, the armed forces and all law-abiding Americans.” *

While my warning is addressed to my parochial interest of the world of Williams, I suppose I should give a shout-out to the NYT, WaPo, Politico,WSJ, MSNBC, CNN, the LA Times and others continuing to be a free press.

* There is no comma after the armed forces, Followers of some recent cases may be aware of the importance of inclusion/exclusion based on the use of the Oxford Comma.



Direct Order by Tweet?



Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford, pictured here in March, wrote in the message to the chiefs of the services and senior enlisted leaders that the military will continue to “treat all of our personnel with respect.” | Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Williams men and women have served and are serving in the military. US Army 1957-1959 for me. Our bone-spur President seems to have as little regard for military procedure as he has for the rule of law. How long, I wonder, until he receives a section 8.


Senator Chris Murphy ’96 (D) Conn has made this powerful statement of his belief in the right to serve our country:



When was the last time…?


In the interview, Rich and Rock discussed how Rock, like many comedians, has been criticized by audience members who were offended by his jokes. When asked what he thought about the recent controversy over Bill Maher’s invitation to speak at the University of California, Berkeley’s December commencement ceremony, Rock said, “Well, I love Bill, but I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative.” He elaborated:

Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.

Rock said he started to notice the trend about eight years ago, and that he wasn’t the only one—as he recalled, “I remember talking to George Carlin before he died and him saying the exact same thing.”



Once upon a time Chapin Hall was filled with music and laughter. Not long ago (20 years?), you could see popular bands and comedians there.


When was the last time the college had a (I guess what now would be considered “controversial”) band or artist on campus?


Once upon a time, Williams was free.






Glorified Yoga Space

A resident of Greylock writes:

Didn’t the building Greylock use to be a dining hall? I heard it closed because of the financial issues during the financial crisis. I know that Williams is much richer now, at least richer than it was back when Greylock had to be closed. Why hasn’t it been opened as a dining hall? Whenever I pass by or see something going on in Greylock, all I see are townies doing yoga or dancing in the afternoons/late evenings. Is Williams just maintaining it as a glorified yoga space instead of turning it into a venue we can regularly use? It just feels like Greylock can be used so much better and it’s just … there.

1) True! Greylock used to be a dining hall, but as extensive Record coverage will show, closing Greylock was one of the many policies implemented to reduce spending during and following the financial crisis. Same with Dodd. However, other coverage also details improvements made to other dining halls in light of these changes over time. Should we spend several posts discussing these, and dining services at Williams in general? General dining related issues among students include the declining quality of the food served (despite increasing costs to students), the daily window in which food is not served on campus (after lunch ’til right before dinner), and the cramped space in Paresky and Driscoll during mealtimes. The Record reported just a month ago that Greylock will be used as a dance studio next year due to renovations in Goodrich, although plans “have not been formalized yet.” Maybe now would be an excellent time to make some suggestions?

2) I have also noticed that Greylock is used more frequently as “yoga space” than as a gathering place for students. Besides the odd class that’s held in some of the classrooms during the day, Greylock classrooms are also used for a capella practice. I personally have seen the upstairs of Greylock – where the dining hall used to be – less than five times: thrice because this is where students sign up for housing every spring, and once for a campus party. The basement is used by students for storage sometimes. That’s about it! Am I missing anything?

3) From conversations I have with my fellow classmates, that Greylock is not a dining hall is taken as a given since the entire (current) student body arrived at Williams after the crisis. However, more of my classmates are now realizing this and asking – given the congestion in Paresky and Driscoll during mealtimes – why Greylock is barely used/not back to a dining hall. Should we spend posts discussing why Greylock is still not a dining hall even though Williams is much more financially capable than it was when it had to be closed? On that note, would it be worth going through the significant changes made during the financial crisis – the rollback of no loans policy, non-need blind for international students, among others – and why these changes haven’t been reversed?

What do readers think?


As always, tips to will help make Williams a better college for you and future Ephs!


A note from my classmate Peter Britton ’56 …

A man of no conscience.

I awake on Tuesday to find a sociopath has endangered every living organism on our planet.



AP Photo/ Charlie Riedel

Now, go to goggle and search “man of no conscience” and “sociopath.”

For prior proof search “EPA and energy,”  “at-risk populations” and “CO2 and rising seas and “carbonic acid.”  And Trump.

For the most powerful man on earth has made sadism and masochism his very own trademarks.

And only a man of zero conscience and empathy could do that where seven billion humans and trillions of other living things are concerned.

But, perhaps the rising seas will reach only the 20th floor of Trump Tower.

Here are two recent song-videos on this turn of events:



And a thought from the Appalachian Mountains:

Mother Nature’s brilliant plan
Sequestered all black rocks;
Then mankind’s selfish mind
Unlock’ t Pandora’ s  box

CLIMATE CHANGE is not a joke or a hoax. In 1972 I wrote a story on “weather” for Exxon’s house organ, The Lamp.

During my research I found a company plan to pave the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia with asphalt, blacktop and hydrocarbon discards to create rain for local farmers and, incidentally, enable in – depth study of global warming/climate change.

This story never ran and as far as I could tell, the project fizzled.

But reviving XL and Dakota Pipelines, dismantling Obama’s energy initiatives and Exxon’s $22 billion Gulf Coast investment in 11 new oil refineries brings back Dr. James Hansen’s recent and most dire warning: If Canada’s tar sands flow to Texas, “Game Over” for climate change …

Nota Bene from Dick Swart ’56    My classmate Peter Britton is a committed environmentalist. He expresses his concerns musically in themed albums like …

MI0002799857 … this and others are available online

and his book …

9781626757707_p0_v1_s437x700 available online


What are Values of the Two-Year College or university.

Enhanced schooling on this country is quickly becoming a necessity in the firm team in place of an extravagance. With the previous the people who experienced a secondary school teaching still had the prospect to fabricate a excellent planet for them selves and their households. People times are rapidly turning into a different dieing coal of your past. To the off prospect which you want to have vast attaining likely amid your life span you are absolutely limited by your getting to know capability and also amount of instruction you have got gotten.

The uplifting information is that you do not need to have got a get or bust process with reference to instruction. You could start out by producing infant strides with reference to enhanced education and learning. Over the off likelihood that you choose to have got a junior higher education as part of your standard vicinity, that is one of the greatest property for starting your university instruction at any period inside your living. Most junior faculties offer courses at diverse moments amid the working day and night time, even some on Saturday trying to keep in mind the end aim to oblige understudies of various ages and foundations.

Junior faculties also provide a fantastic opportunity to start out your grasping mission inside of a way that could be a superb deal a great deal more easily sensible towards normal national than an all out higher education. These universities are to a wonderful extent worker faculties then again you will find a few that allow understudies the practical experience of residing over a school grounds in a a lot of lower price tag than most serious schools charge for your exact or basically the same as benefits.

Junior schools additionally allow you to examine your possibilities in the event that you are not basically several what heading you wish for ones instruction to take lacking shelling out this sort of a higher price tag for that technique. In case you already know the vocation way you would like to require you might track down a two-year diploma software that may have you ever from faculty as well as in a profession a whole lot sooner than a four-year application will allow. On the off possibility that that may not sufficient information to suit your needs, a sizable portion of the two-year jobs of study that will be presented in the junior college amount might possibly just go effortlessly into four year certification systems at the university degree.

Junior colleges provide a amazing start off for some persons who will be shopping for highly developed education it doesn’t matter if to assist their professions or just to discover satisfaction on an individual stage in life. You will discover a large number of wonderful assignments in specialist fields and scholarly fields that can be investigated and studies to the junior college degree.

For graduating secondary university understudies junior schools help understudies information in to the alteration from secondary college to high school with no experiencing the best way of life stun that two or three faculties can set understudies through. You can see there are frequently a multitude of possibilities to meet instructive and likewise social must have over the junior university amount for understudies that can be occupied with trying to get after a junior school training.

You should furthermore notice that junior colleges are much a lot less demanding to spending as regards to placing aside finances and financial investment resources for possibly your individual university working out or even the instructive expenses of one’s children. Possessing them go to a junior higher education for any very long time then exchanging to some University can spare quite a few money and provides you a little bit of intellect that your kids are as however accepting an incredible level of instruction.

Absolutely, around the off possibility that you are looking for an astounding fine quality with regards to instruction you would do your self or your kids an injuries in the event that you do not look within the junior higher education choices into your basic vicinity prior to dove in and jumping to the faculty technique for lifespan. You will see that that junior faculties quite often provide you with an equal amount of instruction to the straightforward classes that to start with and second calendar year undergrads commonly acquire, these are a vastly improved esteem for the money, and they’re an exceptional characteristics with the people today who are attempting to juggle their teaching with loved ones and perform obligations.


Bill, interrupting your ‘deets’ …


…when I heard the sirens coming down our quiet Hood River, OR (pop 7,500) block, I knew the fire department was driving Christmas-decorated equipment through our local streets.

It is a much-anticipated tradition here in the Hood. And greatly appreciated by residents as the Season whitens the town. Another six inches is adding to that on the lawns. And a lot more to the base on Mt Hood!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.


Why we care about wars of the past.

eph and the log copy_zps2dewjps4

The current pick for Secretary of Defense Marine General James Mattis made the following observation on the history of warfare and our current position in it;

For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say … “Not really”: Alex the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.

Historical monuments are not “problematic in modern context.” These themes have not changed. War has not changed. It’s offensive. Making young men an women consider these issues will never be achieved by denying their current existence by censoring works of art and historical monuments. We are not above this. Remember that when you look at the log mural.


This guy has Alec Baldwin down pat …


US Coinage …

Someone has got to go so Trump can truly represent change!

Any thoughts?


“I believe a man lost in the mazes of his own mind may imagine that he’s anything.”



Quote from The Wolfman   1941

Genre:  Drama, Horror











Photo Credit:  The Atlantic, Win McNamee / Getty



Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Search Forum – Thursday, November 3 (7:30PM-8:30PM at Goodrich Hall)

To the Williams Community,

As you may have heard, the process of creating and hiring for the new position of Dean of Admission and Financial Aid is underway. To help inform how we communicate with and assess candidates for this newly created position, the search committee would like to seek input from the college student community as a whole. As a part of this process, we would like to share that there will be a public forum, which will take place at Goodrich Hall on November 3rd at 7:30-8:30pm.

Members of the committee will be on hand to listen to your comments and feedback, as well as answer any questions you may have. Hearing from as many people as possible will give us the fullest possible picture in making our decisions. We plan on this being a round-circle discussion. If you cannot make it but would still like to offer your thoughts/ask questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Bum Shik at bsk3 or in person around campus at any time.

Thank you for your participation and assistance in this process, which is of great importance to Williams now and in the future. We hope to see you there.

On behalf of the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Search Committee,
Bum Shik Kim, Class of 2019
Dukes Love, Provost and Professor of Economics


T-rump on the “Pussy” Trail …

T-RUMP 1.3 copy


When he’s miked on a bus to the set,

You’d think he’d be quiet, but yet …

He says he’s a star

And can go very far

With ladies he hasn’t yet met.

While the word in this headline is lewd,

It is the word that Trump spewed.

He’s taking a beating,

The word’s worth repeating!

No ‘sorry’ from me, John C. Drewd!


The Day After Mountain Day: A Tutorial …



Trump interrupted … or not interrupted:

How Lester Holt left out our candidate’s best stuff. The system is rigged!




That was a double lo-cal Yeats with extra symbolism …

Starbucks baristas prepare drinks during a preview of its new Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

The posts this story of the plight of Liberal Arts majors …

“A large chasm has opened between the fates of young liberal-arts majors and their peers in STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) fields. The former are struggling to find work that pays, at least before their late twenties. The latter are mostly finding lucrative work after they graduate.”

While pulling back on the ‘barista’ a bit, the story is interesting reading.

Having found my first job  in the training program at BBDO  at the bar in the Williams Club (RIP), I feel I am unable to relate.

But I am sure that some readers will have up-to-date experience.

Comment. 45 minutes. Use as many blue books as you need. Sign the Honor Statement.

(You can see what I mean about being out of it.)


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