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It’s Moutain Day!

The mountains call us
In their sun-dappled splendor.
Let’s get out and play!

Adam Falk
President and Professor
Williams College

From Scott Lewis, Director of the Outing Club:

Visit  http://woc.williams.edu/ to see the list of hikes and on-campus events AND to check for any updates should the weather suddenly change!

Mountain Day is a celebration of community and place.  We would like to emphasize that Mountain Day is a day off for enjoying company, music, the all campus picnic and the splendor of our surroundings!
(A huge thank you to Dining Services for all their work on this day)

Mountain Day Accessibility Vans
Full transport to Stone Hill and Stony Ledge on Mountain Day is available- there will also be seating at both locations. Please email Phacelia Cramer (pjc2) with questions or to reserve a seat on the vans to Stone Hill, Stony Ledge, or both!

A quick highlight reel of the schedule:

10 a.m. – hike from Chapin to Stone Hill, performances by student groups, refreshments provided

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 (buses parked along Mission Park Drive behind Chapin Hall). Since 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. – Stoney Ledge performances by student groups, refreshments provided

4:45 p.m. – bus transportation from Stoney Ledge and Hopper trailheads to Mission Park Drive

Hope you can all seize the day and take time out to be outside!!

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Presidential Search Update

Dear Ephs,

Over the past two weeks, we have heard from many of you with thoughts and opinions about what to look for in our next President. We are winding down the input gathering phase but wanted to highlight a couple of final ways to engage with the process.
  • Fill out this survey! Information provided here will be used to help draft the job description. Please fill it out by midnight on October 18.
  • Stop by our table in Paresky tomorrow and Thursday at lunch! We will be there from 11:45 to 1:00 both days.
  • Email us! You can even just reply to this thread.
  • Have another idea? Let us know! We always want to hear how we can best get your opinions.
Thank you to all those who have already spoken to us, wrote a sticky note or sent an email! We have had many interesting conversations and look forward to many more.
Enjoy the short week!
Sarah Hollinger and Ben Gips
Student Representatives, Presidential Search Committee
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Survey for Williams presidential search: Please participate

To the Williams Community,

I write to follow up on my letter in early September regarding the search for Williams’ 18th President. The Presidential Search Committee has begun its work, with the assistance of a senior team from Spencer Stuart, a national executive search firm with expertise in higher education leadership searches, whom we retained to assist in the process. Members of the Committee along with the Spencer Stuart team have held a series of on-campus forums with faculty, staff, students and alumni in order to answer questions and, especially, solicit ideas from the Williams community regarding the search. As I indicated in my last note, information about the Presidential Search Committee, Spencer Stuart and, as we proceed, other matters related to this important work can be found on our search website.

As another important step in the input gathering phase, the Committee has prepared a survey to allow the broadest possible participation from our community. I encourage you to use it to share your views, which will help guide the drafting of a prospectus to be shared with potential candidates, and also help to guide the Committee in the process of interviewing and of refining the candidate pool. In order to be able to incorporate your input, the Committee asks for a few minutes of your time to complete the survey by October 18th.

In addition, the Committee welcomes nominations for the position. If you would like to suggest a candidate, please send an email with any supporting materials to the confidential address: WilliamsPresident@spencerstuart.com.

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, we thank you for taking part in this survey and look forward to updating you on our progress over the coming months.

Sincerely,

Michael Eisenson ’77
Chair, Williams College Board of Trustees

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transitions in the Dean’s Office

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you well, as fall officially begins.  I am writing to let you know about some important transitions in the Dean’s Office.

As you may have heard, Ithaca College just announced yesterday that Rosanna Reyes Ferro will be joining their campus as Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life. Dean Ferro is excited about this wonderful opportunity, and we could not be happier for her.

At Williams, Dean Ferro has strengthened our programming for first generation students in innumerable ways, developed and nurtured leadership positions for our students, built strong collaborations with partners from all corners of the campus, and enriched the lives of countless students.

Along with Dean Booker’s departure earlier this month, Dean Ferro’s move leaves the Dean’s office with some serious shoes to fill. Both of them have been incredibly talented, effective, generous, and beloved members of our team, and they will be greatly missed by faculty, staff and students alike. In addition to their broad skill sets in advising, mentoring, and supporting all of our students, they have each played key roles in building our programming for first generation college students, as well as deepening our collaborative work with the Davis Center and the Chaplains’ office. Their dedicated work has built a strong foundation that we are committed to sustaining and strengthening as we move forward.

In the weeks to come, we will be searching for two new deans in our office. This offers an opportunity for us to expand on our existing strengths, and also to enhance the services we currently provide.  We will be thinking intensively about the diversity of our staff as we conduct our search. We know how crucial it is for our staff to reflect the wide range of experiences and backgrounds that make the Williams community so wonderful.

During the transition process, rest assured that the Dean’s Office will be providing our full array of services, including individual advising sessions, walk-in hours, crisis management, and programmatic offerings of many kinds. In addition, we will be working closely with the student leaders of our First Gen Program to ensure that all of its events, discussion groups, and funding opportunities continue to run smoothly.

All best wishes,

Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College, Hales Professor of Psychology

Rachel Bukanc, Senior Associate Dean of the College

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Presidential Search Thoughts and Opinions

Dear Ephs,

We hope your week is getting off to a smooth start! Together, we have the important task of helping choose the next President of Williams College. We need to hear your input and ideas to represent you!

Over the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to you in several ways such as:

  • A kickoff event on Thursday at 7PM in Baxter where you can speak directly with us and representatives of our search firm, SpencerStuart, while enjoying a free gelato sundae bar!

  • Poster boards around Baxter where you can add your voice by grabbing a sticky note and answering specific questions about what you want to see, starting tomorrow at lunch

  • An online survey tool where you can provide more in-depth suggestions about what matters to you (coming soon)

  • An email address for nominations and other specific feedback that will go directly to the SpencerStuart team at williamspresident@spencerstuart.com

  • More full-campus forums and events, where anyone can speak directly with us and other students about their thoughts (coming soon)

  • Opportunities for smaller meetings and conversations with us and/or the SpencerStuart staff (email us if you or your student group are interested!)

We are very grateful for your support in helping us take on this task. You will be hearing more from us soon and feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

See you on Thursday night!

Sarah Hollinger ‘19 and Ben Gips ‘19
Student Representatives, Presidential Search Committee
shh1@williams.edu, bwg1@williams.edu

Edit: This was sent yesterday, at 3:31 pm.
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The Death of Faculty Governance at Williams

Note this Record interview with Falk:

Falk demurs on the notion that the College has grown more bureaucratic, emphasizing his belief that the goal of any hiring and reorganization was directly tied to the betterment of the community. “There had been great growth in the endowment in the previous decade [before I was president] and I think that it had put the College in a position where we didn’t have to make the same kind of difficult choices between different funding priorities that we would have to make once the endowment dropped 30 percent,” Falk said. “And we are just a more complex operation then we used to be. We have a debt portfolio of $300 million. We have a complicated [human resources structure], a complicated facilities operation, a childcare center, a controller’s office and auditors that are doing more and more sophisticated work. A lot of that is really hard work for a faculty member to rotate in every few years and do as effectively as someone who’s a really strong professional.”

The (anonymous!) faculty member who points out this passage asked some (rhetorical!) questions:

Falk’s opinion of faculty governance is on full display here. He clearly prefers a “really strong professional” to make the “difficult choices between different funding priorities.”

Exactly right. Most Williams presidents are remembered, at most, for one thing: Sawyer abolished fraternities. Chandler created Winter Study. Oakley instituted tutorials. What will Falk be remembered for 30 years from now? Tough to say, but one contender is: Put the final nail in the coffin of faculty governance.

Is it truly the case that students and faculty are comfortable with having unaccountable administrators in charge of the really difficult decisions?

Students don’t care, obviously. Faculty (like my correspondent!) love to complain but, when push came to shove, they did nothing of substance. Recall the “alignment” (pdf) that Falk outlined 7 years ago this week. I devoted nine days of discussion to explaining what this meant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Read it if you want to understand the past/future of faculty governance at Williams. Short version: Faculty governance has decreased each decade at Williams for at least the last 50 years. Falk accelerated/completed that change.

Does he really have such a low opinion of the faculty who have taken on administrative roles?

That is unfair. Falk loves Dukes Love and Denise Buell and Marlene Sandstrom. There are a dozen or more faculty at Williams who want/wanted those jobs. Falk turned all of them down, in preference for the ones he picked. But, at the same time, Falk (and the trustees!) want to pay Chilton/Puddestar/Klass two or three times as much money Love/Buell/Sandstrom and give the former much more power.

If so, what is his opinion of the other faculty and their voice in charting a path for the College?

They should shut up. There are a dozen (or a score? or more?) faculty at Williams that Falk has never had a meaningful one-on-one conversation with.

In any organization, the power lies with a) the people paid the most and b) the people who spend the most time talking with the boss. At Williams, a) and b) describe the senior administrators, not the senior faculty.

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Update on defacement of class banner

To the Williams community,

After seeing my campus message this afternoon about the defacement of the class banner in the ’82 Grill, students came forward and shared relevant information with Campus Safety. As a result, we are now confident that the “KKK” symbol was present on the banner as of last spring, and potentially earlier.

I want to thank those who reached out to communicate with CSS. They significantly aided the investigation. It does not eliminate the harmful impact of the incident. But it demonstrates the kind of community effort needed, in our continuing fight against racial hatred and other forms of bias.

Adam Falk
President

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Defacement of class banner in ’82 Grill

To the Williams community,

Just after 11:00 PM on Friday, September 15, Campus Safety and Security (CSS) received a report from a student who noticed that someone had defaced the Class of 2019 banner in the ’82 Grill by writing “KKK” among the names, in the same color of marker. I am attaching a photo of the banner, with the letters circled, so you can see it for yourself.

Campus Safety and Security staff notified the Williamstown Police, who photographed the site. CSS then promptly took the banner down and secured it. They are now working to try and determine the timeline and identify the perpetrator. Anyone found to be involved will be held accountable.

The banner was originally signed in Fall 2015. The small size of the letters and the dim lighting of the display space mean we do not know whether the act was committed recently, or went unnoticed for some longer period of time. Anyone who has information they think may be pertinent should contact Campus Safety at 413-597-4444.

If you have experienced an incident of bias or are aware of one, please report it immediately. If you are unsure whether a specific incident constitutes bias, you can find information about our policies and community standards on the Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity website.

The symbol “KKK” has long been used as a weapon, to intimidate and instill fear. We cannot yet know the writer’s intention, but the nature of a weapon is that it does harm regardless of intent. When someone inscribed those letters, or defaced the banner with them afterwards, they harmed our community. The fact that the investigation is ongoing should not delay us from turning to each other to offer help and care.

Adam Falk
President

 
Attached photo:
Banner

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Information about a Recent Campus Incident

From: Marlene Sandstrom
Date: September 10, 2017 at 6:49:14 PM EDT
To: WILLIAMS-STUDENTS@LISTSERV.WILLIAMS.EDU
Subject: information about a recent campus incident
Reply-To: Marlene Sandstrom

Williams students,

We write to inform you of a campus incident earlier this week that you should be aware of.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, two students defaced the door of their friend’s dorm room by painting on it. (We are not disclosing the dorm because the conduct process is confidential.) One of the two students wrote “I like beer.” The second student painted a swastika, and then quickly covered it with more paint to make it illegible. The students then removed all the paint from the door.

The student who painted the swastika reported to campus authorities what they had done. The college has begun disciplinary proceedings, and the student will be held accountable under our campus code of conduct. In addition, we will continue speaking directly with the students who were involved or immediately affected in the dorm where the painting occurred.

None of the people directly involved felt targeted as a function of their identity. For that reason we instigated our investigation and conduct processes without initially making a larger campus announcement. However, several JAs have reported that other students who heard partial accounts of the incident were concerned, especially in the aftermath of Charlottesville and other troubling events. Understanding their concerns, we want you to have full information about what happened and know what steps are being taken, and to assure you that we have no basis for thinking the incident points to an ongoing threat.

Defacing our campus is unacceptable at any time. But the use of a swastika, even as a “prank,” shows a lack of sensitivity to how that symbol has been used as a weapon of intimidation and hatred, both historically and in recent incidents around the country.

If you want support, or if you have questions, please contact the Dean’s Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity our Chaplains, the Davis Center or Wellbeing Services. And if you have experienced an incident of bias or are aware of one, please report it immediately so the college can step in.

Williams is a place where we all come freely to learn and live. It is at its best when we live up to the college’s values and make everyone feel equally welcome. This is a moment to reaffirm that commitment. We assure you that we are doing our part, and hope you will join with us to stand for Williams as a place of inclusivity and respect.

Marlene Sandstrom
Dean of the College

Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes
Vice President
Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity

Stephen Klass
VP for Campus Life
Williams College

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I am Williams

Our friends at the Williams libraries need to read EphBlog more often! The author is Professor of Rhetoric Carroll Lewis Maxey and the date is sometime before 1926. Background here.

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Looking forward to our semester ahead

To the Williams community,

Welcome back! As you heard over the summer, this term will be my last at Williams, before I move to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in late December. I’ll miss a lot about this place, but what I think I’ll miss the most is our sense of community—the fact that everything we achieve we achieve together.

Even over this last summer, we’ve continued the work of building our community and strengthening support for it. To cite just a few examples, this fall we’re welcoming twenty-two new tenure-track faculty into one of the finest cohorts of teachers and scholars in the world. We’re also celebrating the most diverse entering class in Williams history, and one of the most highly-qualified. We’re approaching completion of the first phase of the Science Center project, a vital home for teaching, learning, and research. We’ve opened a bookstore that’s bringing new energy to Spring Street—as will the new Williams Inn when it opens in 2019. And we’re making tremendous progress on the Teach It Forward campaign, with more than $560M raised so far, and thousands of Ephs giving time as mentors, volunteers, and more.

As we start this semester, the energy on campus is palpable. But so is the uncertainty. We’re coming together after a summer that laid bare—in Charlottesville and elsewhere—troubling fault lines in our national community. Then, last month, Hurricane Harvey further tested America’s resilience. There were Williams people caught in both storms, or personally affected by them. My heart goes out to them, as I know yours does, too.

It turns out the Purple Valley isn’t really a bubble at all. What happens in the world affects us here. If the nature of that impact is not yet clear, then we should take this time to think ahead about who we’ll want to be, and how we’ll want to act, in those moments when our values will be tested.

One of the great strengths we can draw on in such work is our commitment to each other. That doesn’t mean we need to think alike. Williams is a place where we respect, explore, and engage with differences. When we disagree, we aim to do so intelligently, openly, and with integrity. But there’s one proposition that isn’t up for debate: that every member of this community is of equal worth and has an equal right to be here. This simple truth is the essential value on which our community rests. Williams accepts students of all backgrounds who are committed to higher learning, and strives to sends them into the world as thoughtful and effective and moral people. Especially in light of the events of the past year, we should recommit ourselves to this purpose as we gather anew this week. Let’s look at what has happened in the world and think about how we’re going to meet the challenges ahead.

Much will become possible if we work together. Williams is a place where every person can and should bring their fullest self to our community, and where we should aim to contribute as much to this place as we draw from it. That’s what I’m going to commit to making possible in my last semester in the Purple Valley. I hope you’ll join me.

 

Adam Falk

President
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Drop/Add is now open– It’s time to explore courses!

Greetings, Ephs!

Welcome to Fall 2017 Drop/Add period! This is an opportunity to think about all we can explore and learn in the upcoming semester as we prepare to begin classes.

It’s time to make the most of Your 32 courses.

Many of your professors and classmates––and even President Falk––have been changed by one course they took outside of their comfort zone. They made the most of their 32. You can hear their stories in this short video.

As you’re solidifying your courses for this fall, you may want to consider:

  1. Taking a class in every division. This help you complete your divisional requirements, and it will encourage you to have a diverse schedule.
  2. Taking a class in a discipline you have never studied before. There are so many departments at Williams, and all of them are incredible! Try something new––perhaps you’ll fall in love with astronomy, or theater, or sociology, or any other discipline.
  3. Taking a class that uses different teaching methods. Never taken a course with an experiential component? Always wanted to try a lab course? This fall could be your semester to take a course in a totally different format.

Your 32 courses are an incredible opportunity to explore interests, challenge yourself, and learn about incredible topics. Take a risk. Try something new.

And, email professors to learn more about their courses! Professors often welcome students who are “shopping” courses to drop by their class on the first day. If you are interested in exploring a course by attending the first class meeting, contact the professor ahead of time. There is even a handy guide to help you write these sometimes-daunting emails.

This advice, we hope, is as true for first-years as it is for seniors. It is never too late to try something new.

These are Your 32.

They are Your Chance to Explore.

Drop/Add ends on September 15th. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!

Yours in a love of course exploration,

Arielle Rawlings ’18
College Council Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephanie Caridad ’18
Student Chair to the Committee for Educational Affairs
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Today’s DACA announcement

All campus email from Adam Falk, Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 12:04 PM:

 

To the campus community,

This morning, Attorney General Sessions announced the cancelation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Under DACA, since 2012, people who entered or were brought into this country illegally while minors have been eligible for a two-year, renewable deferral from deportation, as well as a work permit. The cancelation means the program will no longer accept new applications. It has also created uncertainty about the status of the more than 800,000 people who already hold DACA deferrals or permits.

Given this uncertainty, I want to affirm some important commitments Williams has already made to our community:

Staff who are aware that someone on campus needs help in light of the DACA cancelation will reach out to them privately with offers of support. If you need assistance, please contact the Dean’s office, our Chaplains, the Davis Center, or Counseling Services. This can be done confidentially.

Williams will not provide student or employee information to government agencies or their officers unless presented with a legitimate court order. Such agencies and people are also prohibited from conducting interviews, searches, or detentions on campus without a warrant or probable cause. You can always call Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 if you see anything you are unsure of.

Anyone admitted to or employed by Williams is a welcome member of this community, entitled to full rights, services, and protections. We will not tolerate bias or prejudice toward our people on the basis of DACA status or other identity attributes. If you experience bias or see it happening to someone else, use the reporting feature on the Williams: Speak Up! website to let the college know so that we can intervene.

We will continue to work with our colleagues in higher education and our legislative delegation to advocate for protection for undocumented students.

Many Williams faculty, staff, and students came here from other countries, or are the children of immigrants, as am I. We are all better off for their decision to make Williams their home. Faced with this latest news, we will begin where we always begin in such moments: by living out our values, and caring for those around us.

Sincerely,

Adam Falk
President

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Coming Soon: New Williams Online Housing Portal

Dear Students,
Over the past year, OIT and OSL have been working with a company named StarRez, to build and produce a centralized, cloud-based mechanism for student housing data management & room assignment/selection processes. We plan to use it for student housing selection for the first time for the August Mini-Lottery, so I wanted to share a little bit about it with you now.
Access for students will take place via a portal on the OSL website, using your Williams sign-in (like PeopleSoft). On that site, you will be able to participate in eligible housing selection & change processes, submit Special Housing Considerations information, see building rosters, view floor plans, create or join pick groups, etc. Most future room selection processes will be conducted online via the portal rather than in-person – including the large room draw we’ve held in Greylock in April the past many years. This means that you’ll be able to select your new room from the comfort of your current room. Or from Paresky. Or Sawyer Library. Or Tunnel City. Or New York City. Or London. You get the picture – wherever you are, if you have an internet connection, you can access the portal and participate.
Most housing processes will have the same parameters as they have in the past. One notable exception is that during a room selection process, there will only be a start time for groups to select based on their pick order, and not a by-group end time. This means that if you have a 3:30pm selection time and you forget about it until 4:15pm, it’s OK, you can still go in and select a room (until that entire room selection process ends and the selection portal closes).
We expect to learn a lot as we use the new system this first year, and we ask in advance for your patience as we do so. There may be times that we reach out to you to help us assess aspects of the system as well.
For now, we just wanted to let you know that this is coming; more details will be shared with you as we get closer to the August Mini-Lottery, including a link to the portal and instructions on how to access & use it. In the meantime, we hope you’re having a wonderful summer break.
 

-Doug

 
Douglas J.B. Schiazza, Director
Office of Student Life, Williams College
pronouns: he/him/his
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Fellowships Office, Welcome Back & News

Summer Fellows

If you received a summer fellowship, remember that your written report is due tomorrow, August 31.  Send to me as an word document attachment to email following the guidelines sent earlier.
 Upcoming Fellowship Deadlines & Info sessions 
 
Fall is a busy time of year for applications from graduating seniors! You can see campus and national deadlines on our webpage https://fellowships.williams.edu/    Also please read the Daily Messages for calendar updates or additional info sessions to be scheduled.
Coming up soon:
September 5, 5pm – Info session about the Fulbright research grant, Hopkins Hall 105
September 7, 5pm – Info Session about the Fulbright English teaching assistantship, Hopkins Hall 105
September 7, 5:45 pm – Info Session about the Watson & Chandler Fellowships, Hopkins Hall 105
September 11 – campus deadline for Fulbright research & study grant applications
September 18 – campus deadline for Fulbright English teaching assistantship applications
September 18 – Fulbright recommendations and foreign language evaluations are due online
October 10 – Campus deadline for Watson and Chandler Fellowships.  For access to the online application contact Lynn Chick
October 10 – Campus deadline for the Luce Scholarship
October 11 – Gates-Cambridge Scholarship deadline for US citizens
October 16 – Campus deadline for the Churchill Scholarship
October 24 – deadline for the Dr. Herchel Smith (Cambridge) and Donovan-Moody (Oxford) fellowships
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Winter Study 99, Roche Fellowship and Winter Study Travel Courses

FRIENDLY REMINDER!

 

The deadline to submit a Winter Study 99 proposal, apply for a Roche Fellowship or Winter Study Travel Course is Thursday, 28 September. All pertinent forms can be found online.

 

Winter Study 99s

(Note: there will be a 99 Workshop at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 12th in Hopkins Hall 002.)

 

Roche Fellowship for Winter Study 99 Research Projects and Theses

For Winter Study, any upper class student who is pursuing independent research either through a Winter Study 99 research project, or through a thesis, is eligible to apply.

 

Preference will be given to juniors for whom a proposed Winter Study 99 research project will catalyze a full-year honors thesis and to seniors doing a thesis or for whom a proposed Winter Study 99 research project will be their last opportunity to undertake advanced independent research at Williams. Sophomores for whom the project might catalyze an independent study on the same or related topic are also eligible. Proposals are not limited to any specific academic discipline.

 

Winter Study Travel Courses

 

Financial Aid is provided for 10-100% of the travel course costs based on the student’s level of financial need. Students receive notification of the percentage of their eligibility via email in late September.
(Note: Most travel course instructors will be holding informational meetings before the registration deadline. If you are on leave for fall semester, you should contact the instructor directly as soon as possible to express interest in his/her course. If you plan to be on leave FALL and SPRING semesters, you are not eligible to participate in a travel course.)

 

IMPORTANT: you can only apply for 1 travel course OR 1 99. If you apply for a travel course and are not admitted, you will be expected to register for a regular winter study course. YOU CANNOT APPLY FOR A LATE 99. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the registration process for Winter Study 99’s, the Roche Fellowship, and/or Winter Study Travel Courses.

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Information for Returning Students

Dear Students,
I hope you are having a wonderful summer.  We are busy planning for fall – just a few more weeks until the Class of 2021 arrives – and I’m very much looking forward to your return to campus and to our community.  There are many questions you may have brewing at this point – about keys and cars and transportation and room openings and many other things.  We have a website which we hope will offer most of the answers, here.  Of course, if none of the links there answer your questions, we are here and happy to talk and figure things out.
I’m wishing you a joyful remainder of your summer and safe travel back to Williamstown.
All best,
Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College
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Williams presidential search news

To the Williams Community,

I hope you are all enjoying the last days of summer, and looking forward, as I am, to the new academic year.

As you know, President Adam Falk recently announced that he will leave Williams at the end of December to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In my role as chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, I have been asked by the Board to lead our search for Adam’s successor. I am writing today to inform you of our considerable progress in organizing the process, and to share with you our plan for interim college leadership beginning in January of 2018, which was approved by the Board of Trustees yesterday.

First, I am pleased to inform you that Protik (Tiku) Majumder, Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy and Director of the Science Center, has graciously agreed to serve as interim president, starting January 1, 2018, and continuing until the new president is in place. Tiku has an outstanding record as a Williams teacher and mentor, scientist, and faculty leader, and just as importantly has earned wide trust and respect across the Williams community. Our objective was to find an interim president with a keen understanding of our institution; a love of Williams, of its students, and of its faculty; enormous patience, tact, and insight; and an ability to respond with intelligence, compassion, and calm to the inevitable challenges that will arise from time to time. Tiku has each of these qualities, and many more. He will do a superb job of keeping Williams on track, and I ask you to join me in thanking him and supporting his leadership.

Second, we have formed a Presidential Search Committee whose charge will be to present to the Board of Trustees one or more exceptional and thoroughly vetted candidates to become our next president, and to ensure that every member of the Williams community has an opportunity to give input with respect to qualities that we should be seeking, as well as to offer nominations. The Search Committee includes representatives from every sector of our community: students, staff, alumni, faculty, and trustees. Several members are also Williams parents. As their backgrounds indicate, each brings deep involvement with the College. Service on the committee will require significant time and effort, and I am personally grateful to the members for their dedication to Williams and their willingness to take on this essential task.

The members of the committee are:

Michael Eisenson ’77, Trustee and Chair of the Search Committee
O. Andreas Halvorsen ’86, Trustee
Clarence Otis, Jr. ’77, Trustee
Kate L. Queeney ’92, Trustee
Liz Robinson ’90, Trustee
Martha Williamson ’77, Trustee

Ngonidzashe Munemo, Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity and Associate Professor of Political Science
Peter Murphy, John Hawley Roberts Professor of English
Lucie Schmidt, Professor of Economics
Tom Smith ’88, Professor of Chemistry
Safa Zaki, Professor of Psychology

Chris Winters ’95, Associate Provost

Jordan G. Hampton ’87, President, Society of Alumni
Yvonne Hao ’95, alumna and Trustee Emerita

Ben Gips ’19, student representative
Sarah Hollinger ’19, student representative

Keli Gail, Secretary of the Board of Trustees and principal staff to the committee

Third, the board has retained the firm Spencer Stuart as consultant, to help manage the search process. Spencer Stuart has been involved in numerous recent and successful academic searches at the highest levels, and is very well positioned to help the committee in its work. Searches like this are complex and sensitive, and we expect to benefit greatly from their expertise, specialized resources, and pool of outstanding candidates.

The Search Committee will begin its work shortly, and we will announce opportunities for community input as these are developed. As a first step, we have created a website where you can find information and materials related to the search. We will add to the site as additional materials are available, as further process steps are scheduled, and as we have news to share. Our future email updates will link back to this site as the place of record for search news.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to again thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee for the work they are about to do, and Tiku Majumder for his service as interim president. I also want to convey to our entire community our enthusiasm and optimism as we set out to find the 18th president of Williams College.

Sincerely,

Michael Eisenson ’77
Chair, Williams College Board of Trustees

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All Campus Email: Mattresses and Box Springs from Home

Hello all,

Welcome back for another great year at Williams College. I want to take a minute to make you all aware of an existing Bed Bug Policy here at Williams and how it may impact you.

The following guidelines were developed in collaboration between Williams and a professional pest control company. Student Life and Facilities offices consistently observe these guideline and partner closely with students in detection and remediation.

The most important role you, as a student, can play is in preventing bed bug infestation in the first place, and the principal means of prevention is to leave your own mattress at home. The mattresses that Williams provides are bed-bug free: most of them are made of tightly woven material that has no exposed standing seams and therefore no place for beg bugs to hide, and all of them will be similarly covered shortly. They do not contain any chemicals or pesticides. Mattresses from home carry no such guarantees and therefore are no longer allowed in campus residences.

Thank you for your continued help in keeping Williams College a healthy environment to live and learn in.

Best,

Dan


Dan Levering, Assistant Director of Custodial Services and Special Events
Williams College
60 Latham Street
Williamstown MA, 01267
(413) 597-4466

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Jews at Williams, 11

Jews at Williams: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Class at a New England Liberal Arts College by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft is both an interesting read and a source for dozens of fascinating anecdotes. Let’s spend a month or so going through it. Today is Day 11.

Jews at Williams, like their counterparts at other institutions, were subject to anti-Semitic treatment during this period, ranging from verbal abuse to exclusion from fraternities and clubs. However, the label “anti-Semitic treatment” may obscure more than it clarifies.

Indeed. Like many of the comments/observations that are labelled as “racist” at Williams today, some of these comments/observations are just simply the truth. Consider:

praise for the imagined business sense of the Jewish people,

What PC nonsense! Is Wurgaft seriously suggesting that “Jewish people” aren’t more successful in business than non-Jewish people?

Imagine that you were a 1950s Eph, perhaps minding your own business, hanging out at the Deke House, and you happened to mention that Jewish people seem fairly successful in business. Perhaps you even dared to praise Jews and/or Jewish culture for this achievement. Then the Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft of the era comes by and attacks you for antisemitism! That would be fairly annoying!

Especially when, today, you notice that the last 50 years have proved that your (allegedly!) antisemitic observation was spot on. Around 1/3 of the member of the Forbe 400 are Jewish, the vast majority of whom made their fortunes over this time period. Sure seems like “Jewish people” might have better than average “business sense.”

The same PC nonsense, of course, happens at Williams today to any student who happens to notice, much less publicly comment on, much less actually praise, the strong performance of Asian-Americans on the SAT.

This is a war — not so much against antisemitism or against racism — but against noticing true facts about the world.

The exclusion of Jews from upper-class social facilities, for example, was prompted by proprietors’ (not entirely unreasonable) fears that a marked Jewish presence would drive out their traditional WASP clientele.

I am, in theory, sympathetic to this argument. Perhaps one reason that Harvard/Yale/Princeton are more successful than Columbia today is that the former discriminated much more heavily against Jews than the latter? I don’t know but the case could be made. Is Williams smart to discriminate against international students for similar reasons? Recall Jim Kolesar’s ’72 argument more than a decade ago:

But a college that gave itself over to educating mainly international students, which is eventually what would happen given the numbers, would have a significantly different mission, very different standing with U.S. prospective students, and greatly altered relationship with government, donors, etc.

Is Williams smart to have a quota for international students?

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Eisenson ’77 on Falk Departure

At 12:53 pm yesterday, just 19 minutes after Falk’s all campus email:

To the Williams Community,

I write, on behalf of the Williams College Board of Trustees and with mixed emotion, to officially confirm that Adam Falk will leave Williams at the end of 2017 to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The College has flourished under Adam’s leadership. We have sustained and, indeed, enhanced our position as a national leader in liberal arts education. We have maintained our commitment to providing access to the broadest possible spectrum of exceptional students, attracting ever increasing talent and diversity to our campus. We have had great success recruiting accomplished and highly sought-after new members to join our outstanding faculty ranks and, as well, Adam has built a deep and effective senior leadership team. Our campus is undergoing an ambitious, carefully-orchestrated renewal, with superb new facilities, including the Sawyer Library and a major new center for the sciences, positioning us for the next fifty years, while reflecting a purposeful commitment to managing our carbon footprint. Our alumni and friends have set the historic Teach It Forward campaign well on the path to achieving our ambitious goals, and the College’s finances are in all ways very sound.

Adam has been an exceptionally fine president for Williams. He has demonstrated a keen ability to appreciate and retain the best of Williams traditions, while encouraging the College to grow through a genuine openness to innovation, always with the education and wellbeing of our students foremost in mind. His departure will be a loss for the College and our community, and I will personally miss his wisdom, his friendship, and his deeply thoughtful and principled leadership. At the same time, he will be leaving at a time when the College is as strong, secure and thriving as it has ever been and the Board of Trustees is completely confident that Williams will attract another exceptional talent to lead us into the next decade.

Adam’s last day at Williams will be December 31, 2017. The Board has approved the formation of a search committee, and I have been appointed as its chair. In that capacity I will be back in touch later this Summer with information about the search process. We will organize various opportunities in the Fall for the community to thank Adam for his service and wish him well. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Adam on his exciting next adventure and in making the most of his remaining time in the Purple Valley.

Best regards,
Michael Eisenson ’77
Chair, Williams College Board of Trustees

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Falk Steps Down

Today at 12:34 pm:

To the Williams community,

I’m writing to share with you the news that, at the end of December, I will leave Williams to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York.

I arrived in the Purple Valley in April of 2010, and the ensuing years have been among the most gratifying of my career. It makes me genuinely happy, looking back, to see what together we’ve achieved. Williams is attracting even greater numbers of passionate, insightful and diverse students. We’re making this place accessible to people who couldn’t consider coming here otherwise. We’re renewing our campus and making major investments in its sustainability. We’re hiring and supporting the deeply committed faculty and staff who define this college. And our loyal alumni are giving and volunteering in ways that help students thrive at Williams and build successful and rewarding lives after graduation.

Why would anyone leave such a place, at such a time? There are few opportunities that could have drawn me away. But it’s a familiar irony that the best time for a school to recruit a new president isn’t during a period of stagnation or trial, but at a time of vitality and promise. When the Sloan Foundation approached me a short while ago to lead their extraordinary institution, I was only able to consider this invitation to pursue other passions of mine—science and graduate education, among them—because I knew I’d be leaving Williams at such a vibrant moment in its history.

There will be no coasting during my remaining months on the job: we have much to accomplish together. Among my goals for this fall are the successful conclusion of our decennial reaccreditation process, raising support for Williams through the Teach It Forward campaign, continuing to advance the Science Center project, and paving the way for a smooth transition for my eventual successor.

December will come soon enough. And when it does I’ll miss Williams, and all of you, deeply. Thank you for the affection this community has shown me, and for the good work we’ve all been able to do together over these eight years.

Sincerely,

Adam Falk
President, Williams College

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Looking Ahead – Fall 2017 Check-In for Housing at Williams

To the Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020,
Though the summer is barely upon us, I write today…
  • to highlight a new check-in process that we’ll be piloting this fall,
  • to remind you of move-in dates for the upcoming fall semester, and
  • to remind you of how to access meals prior to the official start of the fall semester meal plan.
More information about moving in can be found at this link.
You can always find regular opening & closing dates for campus housing at this link. Dates are typically put out at least 18 months in advance (sometimes even earlier), so as always, please plan your travel accordingly.
Be sure to read everything below, and plan accordingly. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.
Doug Schiazza
Director, Office of Student Life
 
************************************
In-Person Check-In
When you arrive to campus to move in, you’ll be checking in with a member of the OSL staff to receive your room key/code along with some general housing information – be sure to have your Williams ID with you.
The schedule & location for both early arrivals and for regular arrivals are noted below.

Fall 2017 Regular Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor. All times listed are Eastern time.

Students not involved in one of the early arrival activities listed farther below do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7.

You may move into campus housing as early as Wednesday, August 30 @ 2pm​–giving you several days before classes start for travel, as well as some extra time to settle into your room if you choose to do so.
 
So, to be clear: unless you’re involved in the various pre-semester activities listed farther below, you won’t have access to campus housing until after 2pm onWednesday, August 30. If you arrive before your day ​and ​time to move in, you need to make your own accommodations elsewhere off-campus.

August 30
Check-In for returning students from 2pm – 7:30pm

August 31 – September 6
Check-In for returning students from 9am – 7:30pm

 
 
Fall 2017 Early Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor, unless otherwise noted below. All times listed are Eastern time.

The names of the students involved in the early arrival activities noted below will be provided to the Office of Student Life by the offices overseeing the early arrival programs.

August 19
Summer Students depart by 12noon (approved summer-to-fall Transitional students remain in summer housing)

August 21
Check-In for JAs, JAAB, 1st Gen Orientation leaders, International Orientation leaders, Transitional students from 5pm – 11pm

August 22
Check-In for Neighborhood Directors from 2pm – 5pm

August 23
Check-In for House Coordinators & Neighborhood Reps from 2pm – 5pm

August 24
Check-In for OIT leaders from 2pm – 5pm

August 25
Check-In for 1st Gen and International Students in the Class of 2021 from 8am – 8pm

August 26
Check-In for WOOLF Directors from 8am – 9am
Check-In for WOOLF leaders, Ephventure leaders, and Football players (first-year and upperclass) from 2pm – 9pm

August 28
Check-In for the Class of 2021 and College Council Co-Presidents @ Paresky First Floor from 8am – 1:30pm

August 29
Check-In for upperclass Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball players from 8am – 7:30pm

Access to Meals in Campus Dining Halls
 
Again, students not involved in one of the early arrival activities above do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7. Meals are covered by dining plans beginning with dinner on Wednesday, September 6. Meals won’t be covered by dining plans for students who return before Sept. 6 (unless they’re required to return because they’re involved in the early arrival activities above). You’re welcome to eat in the dining halls using your student ID card, but each meal will be charged to your student account. Questions about this should be directed to Dining Services.
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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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One last opportunity to make a gift in person

Hi Anonymous Senior,

We just wanted to let you know that we’ll be tabling one last time for the Senior Class Gift to the Alumni Fund at the Resource Fair tomorrow in Paresky from 10 am – 2 pm. This will be your last opportunity to make a cash gift!

You can also make your gift online: give2.williams.edu.

Thanks to the 186 members of our class who’ve already contributed – we’re aiming to hit a goal of 215 donors by the end of this year’s Fund on June 30, so we hope you’ll step up and join us in giving back to this amazing place!

Though we’re about to graduate, our relationship with the college will continue once we’ve left the Purple Valley (though fortunately without any Williams finals). Supporting current and future students and faculty by contributing to the Alumni Fund is a way for us to give back to a place that has given us so much, and it’s also a way to continue making our voices heard once we’ve graduated. With designated giving, we can channel our gifts into the things we’d most like the college to develop, grow, and support. We hope you’ll consider making a Senior Class Gift now if you haven’t already, and we’ll look forward to being in touch again once next year’s Alumni Fund kicks off in the fall!

Here’s to making the most of our last moments at Williams,
Your 2017 Head Agents
Caitlin, Khari, and Sara

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SENIOR WEEK SCHEDULES

The two biggest goals of Senior Week are 1) Fun and 2) Safety. With that, we have moved around pieces of this week’s schedule in order to navigate and maximize on the good weather and to do our best to give you a REAL Mount Hope Experience. Below please find the updated schedule for Senior Week. Major changes are bold in purple
Tuesday May 30th (Tonight)
  • 10pm-1am – Night “Under The Stars” – Paresky Center (rain location). Enter on Park Street Side
Wednesday May 31st
  • 6am – SENIORise Hike – Meet at Paresky
  • 10am-2pm – Senior Resource Fair / Cap and Gowns – Baxter Hall
  • 2pm – Senior Class Photo – Paresky Steps
  • 6pm-7:30pm – Entry Reunion BBQ – Paresky Lawn (inside Paresky if raining)
  • 7:30pm-10pm – Poker Campfire – Poker Flats (cancelled if raining)
  • 10pm-1am – #TBW Lounge – Dodd House
Thursday June 1st
  • 10am – Check-In for Jazz Brunch Bus – 62 Center (enter front door)
  • 11am-1pm – Jazz Brunch at Mount Hope
  • 1pm-4pm – Cap and Gowns – Leukenmeyer Lounge
  • 5:30pm – Check-In for Mount Hope Dinner Dance – 62 Center (enter front door)
  • 6pm – Mount Hope Faculty/Staff Reception – Mount Hope (invited faculty/staff will be informed separately)
  • 7pm – Dinner
  • 9pm-12am – Dancing
Friday June 2nd
  • 10am-2pm – Gap and Gowns – Leukenmeyer Lounge
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – Brunch In The Tent – Frosh Quad Tent
  • 2pm-3pm – Senior Super Storytime – EcoCafe
  • 3pm-5pm – Final Trivia – EcoCafe
  • 10pm-2am – Last Chance Dance – Paresky Center
We look forward to enjoying this week with you all and celebrating your time here at Williams.
See you soon!
Best,
Ben
 
Don’t Forget! Be sure to use #Williams2017 in all your fun Senior Week posts to be a part of the story being collected by Communications! 
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Registrar Announcement

Dear Williams Community,

I am excited to announce that after a national search, Williams has hired Kathleen Kilventon to serve as our next Registrar. Kathleen will be joining us this summer.

Kathleen comes to us from Amherst College, where she has served as Registrar for the past 9 years. Prior to that, Kathleen served as the Registrar at the Sage Colleges in New York and MCLA in North Adams. She will be bringing us 20 years’ worth of experience in higher education, a keen interest in the liberal arts, and a strong passion for supporting undergraduates. Kathleen grew up in Williamstown, and has many family members in the area. For her and her husband, coming to Williams will be like coming home.

I’d like to thank all the members of the search committee—Megan Konieczny, Jeannie Albrecht, Damian Turner, Toya Camacho, Tina Breakell, and Barron Koralesky — for their participation in the search process. I would also like to acknowledge the faculty, staff, and students who helped to organize our campus visits. Many thanks for your valuable input, and for showing Kathleen what a wonderful fit Williams will be for her skills and talents. Please join me in welcoming Kathleen to our community.

All best,
Marlene

Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College

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Trustee Web Page III

Our readers wanted more discussion of the new Trustee web page and the documents linked thereto. Day 3.

Again, kudos to the Trustees for transparency! This is a welcome change from the way Williams has been run in the past. Perhaps the most timely document is the notes from the Board Meeting Report from April (pdf).

1) To the extent that the Board has been creating documents like this for the last several years (decades?), it should make them public now. The more that Ephs see how well-run Williams is, the more trust we will have in the people who run it. I realize that the actual meeting notes can include a variety of material — especially the comments made on sensitive comments by names trustees — that should remain secret for years. That is OK! But generic overviews of who presented what can be made public now.

2) There are 15 items in the report. I could spend a day on each of them! Should I? Are there any in particular that people are interested in? Here is an example:

The board approved the remarketing of $50.5M of existing college debt, and the issuance of up to $60M in new debt to fund a number of capital projects.

The College’s debt load is perhaps the single financial I am least qualified to opine on. First, my understanding is that we can’t issue new debt unless it is going to fund new projects. Is Williams really gearing up to spend an additional $60 million? Is that all/mostly the Bronfman replacement? Second, can someone explain what “remarketing” is? This discussion seems relevant but it sure would be nice if someone were to walk through the details. Third, I continue to believe that the College has enough debt right now. Of course, I have been singing that song for 6 years. Levering up the endowment has worked marvelously well over that time period. What could go wrong?

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Director of Libraries Announcement

Williams faculty, staff and students,

I’m delighted to inform you that, following a national search, Williams has hired a new Director of Libraries to replace Dave Pilachowski, who will retire at the end of June. Jonathan Miller, currently Library Director at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, will begin work with us on July 31.

Jonathan earned his B.A. from Sheffield (U.K.) University in Political Theory and Institutions, his M.L.S. from SUNY Buffalo, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Before his 11 years at Rollins he held progressive positions in the libraries at the Ohio State University, Augustana College in Illinois, and the University of Pittsburgh. He is active in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and serves as treasurer of the Oberlin Group of liberal arts college libraries.

At Rollins, Jonathan and his staff established the college’s Olin Library as a critical contributor to academic life, partnering with the school’s Instructional Technologies team and Johnson Institute for Effective Teaching to better support teaching, learning and scholarship across campus; nurturing the college’s Tutoring and Writing Center; and refocusing and refurbishing the library to make it more appealing as a center for academic work and collaboration. For their efforts Jonathan and the Olin staff were honored with the 2013 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). I encourage you to read the ACRL’s award citation to get a richer sense of Jonathan’s vision and approach. You may also find his most recent published writings in the Rollins Online collection at http://bit.ly/2rN8mxj.

In accepting our position at Williams, Jonathan emphasized the appeal of working with our talented librarians and staff at Williams to build on the remarkable array of collections, services, technology, and spaces created under Dave’s leadership.

I want to thank all the members of the search committee—Barb Casey, Sonnet Coggins, Edan Dekel, Danielle Gonzales, Barron Koralesky, Dave Richardson, Jana Sawicki and Dorothy Wang—for their contributions to this highly successful search. In addition, I would like to extend a special thanks to the students, faculty, and staff who participated in the effort, and especially to our librarians and support staff for their valuable insights along the way.

Jonathan’s wife, Bethany Hicok, Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program at Westminster College, will join Williams as Lecturer in English in 2018. I look forward to their arrival this summer, and hope you’ll join me in welcoming Jonathan and Bethany to the Purple Valley.

Sincerely,

Dukes Love
Provost and Professor of Economics

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Congratulations, Class of 2017, from the Society of Alumni

To the Great Class of 2017 –

CONGRATULATIONS! You are so close to graduation!! On June 4th you will transition from being an undergrad to being an alum. And while you have been a student for 4 (sometimes long) years, you will be an alum for the rest of your life. I currently have the huge honor of serving as the President of the Society of Alumni, and I look forward to officially welcoming you at Commencement.

I know that each of you has experienced Williams in you own unique way, and that for most of you, the past few years have surely had their ups and downs. That will likely continue once you leave the Purple Valley. But you will come to learn that there is an entire community of Ephs out there ready and thrilled to welcome you into the fold. Your Williams connections will continue to grow and evolve. And there are lots of ways to feed those connections – attend reunion every five years; participate in regional events; travel to a NESCAC school to watch your favorite team compete; come back to campus to speak to students about your career; or be a volunteer… You can be a class agent, or a head agent or a Vice Chair for the alumni fund; you can work to organize events in your region; you can be a class officer or help to organize your reunion – or motivate classmates to return to campus too; you can connect with other alums in your affinity group and organize those events. If you want to get involved, contact the alumni office (alumni.relations@williams.edu or 413-597-4151) where they will be more than happy to find a niche for you!

I can tell you that personally, my relationship with Williams has only deepened over time. When I was graduating, I had a lot of mixed emotions about leaving campus. But what I didn’t expect was that my classmates and other alums would support me through good times and bad, would help me along my career path, and that Williams as a place would continue to feel like home. Through my own volunteer work, I have met so many wonderful Ephs from classes ranging from the ’40s to now ’17. And while the world has changed in many ways, what has not changed is the fundamental belief we all share in the value of receiving an excellent education, in a small place, where people care about one another and develop a strange fondness for cows and the color purple. We are all connected to each other – and we all care about you. Do not hesitate to reach out to any of us to ask for help, to request information, or just to say hi.

I will see you at graduation. In the meantime, enjoy your last few days as an undergrad, and here’s to a wonderful future as an alum.

All my best,

Jordan Hampton ’87
President, Williams College Society of Alumni

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