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What’s Your Number?

It has been 11 years since Williams last capital campaign. Time for another! It would be natural to announce the next one tonight, amid the Convocation festivities and dedication of the new Sawyer Library. Is that on the agenda? (I have the vaguest memory that the last campaign was also announced on Convocation week-end, in the fall of 2003, but can’t find a link.) Surely at least one of our readers are in the know. Background on the last campaign here. Questions include:

1) What will the campaign be called? Last one was “The Williams Campaign,” which had the virtue of being descriptive and easy to remember. Nothing wrong with using that name again, but Director of College Relations John Malcolm ’86 was inventive guy back in the day. Maybe he has come up with something better.

2) Got any good jokes for Adam Falk to use tonight at the big donor event? How about: “I hope you all got a tour of the new Sawyer Library this afternoon. Isn’t it beautiful? We spent $75 million of borrowed money to build it. Now, please, take out your checkbooks . . .”

3) What will the campaign target be? Last time, the official goal was $400 million, but the final result was $500 million. (Corrections welcome to these or any other data points.) You want a goal that is aggressive, so that people like new Chair of the Board of Trustees Mike Eisenson ’77 write huge (and not just big) checks — and get their friends to do the same. But you also want a goal that you can reach. I hope that the College is aggressive and goes for $1 billion, but more forecast would be for something more like $800 million.

Maybe some of our Williamstown residents can provide us with the inside scoop . . .

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