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The Purple Rubble

The College Council has removed from its Facebook account a controversial video. This video captured an example of profane, incendiary, anti-white bigotry directed at white student representatives by one of the most prominent black student leaders at Williams College on June 9, 2019.

The video featured a long, stream-of-consciousness rant saying, in part, “…to be here is like sucking white d*** every f***ing day.”

“You want a discussion and dialogue. Here’s the f***ing dialog. We don’t have dialogue, because every time we try to talk to you we get shut down by the white moderate, white liberal bull***t.”

A link to the video was published on Ephblog on April 15, 2019. A partial transcript appeared at the Anonymous Political Scientist blog on that same day. Finally, The College Fix published a link to the video on April 19, 2019. The College Fix is a national-level conservative website where student journalists write on topics in higher education.

NOTE: A heavily redacted transcript of the June 9, 2019 meeting is still available at 4_9 Minutes.

According to the Williams Record, black student activists planned a demonstration to protest their treatment by the College Council. It was canceled, however, after links to the video rant were published at various on-line sites.


Future Ephs (Glad-I-Applied-in-1992 Edition)

Being a kid today ain’t easy, at least not if you hope to attend Williams … as can be seen from the scarily exhaustive accomplishments of some of the future Ephs highlighted in recent news stories.  Somehow, I fear that my high school resume, which included memorizing all of the dialogue in Die Hard, shooting hoops in my driveway, making wry observations while hanging around the mall, re-reading the Lord of the Rings, and just generally rocking the suburbs, would suffer in comparison:

  • Tara Miller was valedictorian of Lansing High School in Ithaca, New York.  Somehow, in her spare time, “her many accomplishments and activities include: two Academic Achievement Award in Foreign Language and one in science, the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, and ranking nationally and regionally in the French exam, a National Merit Finalist, a Presidential Scholar Candidate, Press Corps Outstanding Journalist at Hilton Model UN, NYSSMA Sr. High All-State Chorus for two years, co-president of Model UN, co-captain of varsity volleyball, secretary of National Honor Society, secretary of the Green Team, varsity indoor and outdoor track, the American Mathematics Competition, musicals, varsity chorale, show choir, band (flute), symphony orchestra, NYSSMA Solo Festival and seven published poems.”  Then again, why not publish EIGHT poems?  Slacker.
  • Rahul Nath was valedictorian of Glen Cove High School on Long Island.  Rahul’s ambitions — “I don’t know exactly what I’d like to be yet, but it should involve changing the way one would eat cereal in the morning,” he said. “You know, making a difference in the world” — are matched by his precociousness: “During this year’s Senior Awards ceremony, Nath won seven different awards for his achievements in community service, mock trail, drama and science.  He is also a designated AP Scholar with Distinction from the College Board, having received awards for excellence in AP Calculus, Biology and European History. In total, Nath completed 10 AP courses.  Not only has Nath achieved Principal’s Honor Roll since his freshman year, he was also named a Long Island Scholar by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented students.  A four-year member of the Wrestling squad, Nath earned All-Conference status for three of those years and a Superintendent’s Cup nomination this winter.  He also played football, lacrosse and tennis during his four years at GCHS.  Nath served as first chair trombone player with the Jazz Ensemble and as Vice President and bass section leader with the Select Chorale. He achieved All-County in Chorus last year and has performed with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Choir.”  Nath is not exacting resting on his laurels this summer, when his plans include “learning to drive a stick shift, learning to play bridge and the bagpipes, learning to speak rudimentary Latin, and learning to count cards effectively.”
  • Steven Kiesel, the boy’s scholar-athlete of the year at the Breck School in Minnesota, maintained a “3.6 GPA, with an emphasis on AP classes,” has played the saxophone since fifth grade, was named (despite being an undersized 5’9 160) first-team all-state as a wide receiver, is a three-time all-state lacrosse player, is a National Merit semifinalist, and “is one of seven MSHSL Triple A (Athletics, Academic, Arts) finalists as a senior.”  He is also wise beyond his years, listing his most gratifying non-athletic accomplishment as follows: “Getting accepted to Williams College. It’s a very exclusive school. I’m very proud to get in there. It was a big moment for me when I heard I was accepted.”  Be sure to watch the interview with Kiesel below as he illuminates a reporter about the history and pronunciation of “Ephs.”

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  • Andrew Bravo, valedictorian of Lenox High School, will stay close to home as an Eph next year.  “Bravo is an accomplished scholar-athlete.  He has played on the LMMHS varsity soccer team, varsity basketball team and the varsity baseball team, serving as captain for all three teams.  He has been an All-Eagle selection in each sport and has served as LMMHS’s senior MIAA Student Ambassador.  In addition, he is president of the National Honor Society, has been in Peer Education since 10th grade and is a member of the Quidditch team. He was the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and the CIAO Soccer Scholarship.  Bravo plans to attend Williams College in the fall where he will be majoring in biochemistry.”
  • Elaina Pullano, another local product, and yet another arts-athletics-academics-leadership quadruple-threat, was valedictorian of Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, Massachusetts.  “Pullano is a member the National Honor Society, Student Council, Peer Mediation and the Mentoring program.  She participated in four years of varsity girls soccer and track and was captain of the track team this spring.  Within the community, she has been active as a member of the Interact Club, CRA Leaders Club and participated in her church by teaching Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.  She also was an award-winning vocalist in chorus and was selected Girls’ State.”
  • Jenna Maddock was in the cum laude society at Berwick High School in Maine.  Her insane depth and breadth of accomplishments should sound familiar by this point: “Jenna was inducted into the Cum Laude Society her junior year. She has maintained a respectable academic record, achieving high honors in every marking period and having the highest class average for five of the seven years from fifth grade on. She has also received Departmental Recognition Awards in science and French, the Princeton Book Award of Maine, the Chemistry Medal, and is a member of the National French Honor Society.  She has placed first in the state of Maine and in the top ten nationally for the past 5 years in the National French Exam and was a Presidential Scholar Nominee and National Merit Finalist.  She was also the top scorer in the state of Maine for the Chemistry Olympiad as a junior.  In addition to her academics, Jenna has played seven seasons of Varsity athletics at Berwick, four in Cross-Country and three in Softball.  In running, she has been named All-NEPSTA for all four years, team MVP and an EIL All-Star for the past two years, and was a co-captain her senior year.  She was named an EIL All-Star as a junior in Softball as well.  In addition to school athletics, Jenna is a Nordic skier and trains year round for the sport.  Skiing for Gunstock Nordic Association, she has been named to the New Hampshire J2 for both years she was eligible and has been named to the New Hampshire Eastern High School team for all four years.  This past year, she was the top-ranked female skier on the New Hampshire team and also qualified to compete in Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, where her best finish was nineteenth place.  Jenna also plays flute, playing in the Winterfest Audition Concert for three out of her four years in high school and performing in the pit orchestra for musicals. She has also played the piano at school concerts and Coffeehouses and enjoys being able to perform with other students.  In addition, she has been part of the stage crew for the winter musical.”  Jenna has not, however, discovered a cure for cancer or traveled to the moon.  So there.
  • Lauren Nevin was salutatorian of Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire.  “While in high school, Lauren’s school and/or community activities included Portsmouth High School student council: co-president as senior, treasurer as junior; varsity lacrosse: senior captain, four varsity letters; varsity soccer: senior captain, three varsity letters; varsity basketball: senior captain, three varsity letters; referee for fifth-grade basketball league; National Honor Society: Executive Board.  During her high school career, Lauren received the following honors or awards: Harvard Book Prize (2010); National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Achievement Award in Writing (2010); St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program Superior Merit in Core Class (“The Quest”); St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program Superior Merit in Writing Workshop; NHIAA Scholar Athlete Award; Granite State Scholar; National Honor Society; Several Awards in Academic Achievement in various high school courses; All State Honorable Mention for Soccer (2009 and 2010); Foster’s Dream Team Honorable Mention for Soccer (2010); Most Valuable Player, Lacrosse (2010).”

Congratulations to all.  I’d wish them good luck, but I don’t think they really need it …


CONGRATULATIONS to the Class of ’15

(Video: the Springstreeters sing “I’m Feeling Good”)

As Eph ’11 pointed out on Speak Up!, admissions decisions are out. Congratulations to all those who are now considering joining the Williams College Class of 2015 — you have the opportunity to spend the next four years at the finest undergraduate institution in America.

Judging by the exclamation points in their Facebook updates, those admitted are excited. Among those with public Facebook updates to that effect (last names abbreviated):

Nathan P.:

Accepted: HARVARD, STANFORD, Colombia University, University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, University of Virginia, Hillsdale College Not so much: Yale, Princeton So, I didn’t get my favorite. But even so, I’m surprisingly NOT disappointed – just excited at what’s to come next! :-)

Sandro R.:
Williams College: Accepted :D

Nestor O.:

Got Accepted to Williams College :D

Andrew V.:

Accepted into Williams College!!!

Cody R., whose mother writes:

 I am the mother of two Ephs, Class of ’12 and ’15!!! Congratulations Cody on your admission to Williams College!

Andrew C.:

Accepted to Brown and Williams, today!

And then there’s Twitter user Kyle, Kyl3dk05, who would like to “become a character concept artist in the video game industry”:


Admitted to Williams College — definitely the best reason for an excited, all-caps tweet!


Future Eph Veil Honored

Great to see that future Eph Alyssa Veil ’15 received the annual national youth award of the National Conference of LGBT, owing to her role speaking out against bullying of gay kids in schools.   Congrats to Alyssa, and welcome to Williams!  And while we are on the topic of gay rights, here is a related article of note from The Onion.


End of Year Athletics Round-Up

Several stories of note from the end of 2010:

  • Football coach Aaron Kelton was recently recognized in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd.  All-NESCAC WR / PR Darren Hartwell ’13 was earlier recognized as a Face in the Crowd as well.
  • Great article on Zoe Dillon-Davidson ’15 and Simone Frank ’15, current teammates and future Eph softball players who both hail from Amherst, where I imagine they will continue to have a winning record when they return as visiting players.  Here is another recent article on Dillon-Davidson, focusing on her recovery from a concussion last season.
  • Another article discussing a  future Eph, this time Kellie Macdonald ’15, who was a regional MVP in both soccer and basketball.
  • UMass Football, coached by Kevin Morris ’86, may soon be moving to Division 1-A (they are currently in Division 1-AA, which I believe is a football-only designation, and one which may be on the verge of obsolescence).  Speculation involves them joining the MAC, where Morris would get a chance to match wits with another Eph, Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson ’89.  If only University of Cincinnati offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian ’96 had been named head coach at Central Michigan (he was one of two finalists last year), the MAC could be a three Eph league!  Speaking of Morris, he is quoted in this article on the evolution of head injury treatments in football, among other sports.
  • Article on future Eph Andy Grabowski ’15, who as a pre-med National Merit Scholar and lacrosse star, sounds like a great fit for Williams.
  • Sam Flood ’83 of NBC Sports is quoted in this article on the NHL’s Winter Classic (which has been enormously popular, and probably the best NHL innovation in years).

Colors of the Wind

Another member of the class of 2014:

Caroline Sinico has been named the valedictorian with a grade point of 101.0 and Christine Niccoli is the salutatorian with a grade point of 98.9

Sinico is the daughter of Anthony and Kathleen Sinico of 29 Central Berkshire Boulevard. She is a gifted vocalist and has performed in the community at events including Irish Idol Liam Geddes, with Sister City Jazz Ensemble, singing the national anthem for Berkshire Chamber, and on the local television show “Jerry’s Place” for Italian heritage. She also received musical recognition for her participation in events including Sound of America National Chorus, Massachusetts Western Districts Chorus and lead roles in spring musicals.

Sinico is a member of the National Honor Society, and has received the Superintendent’s Award for Academic Excellence. She was recognized for academic excellence in four subjects, and for Superiority in Theatre and Chorus. She received the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for outstanding Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System scores in the district, was nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security, and People to People Youth Leadership Conference. She received the Williams College Book Award and Scholarship, and was selected to attend “Windows on Williams” at the college as a high school senior.

At Taconic, Sinico participated in Class Council, Quiz Team and Berkshire Youth United and was a Student Ambassador. She was also captain of varsity soccer and varsity Nordic skiing, and was on the varsity track and field team.

In the fall, Sinico will attend Williams College, taking a liberal arts program with a focus on music.

[Side note: I am not sure that iBerkshires understands what Windows on Williams is for . . . ] More on Sinico here.

The Class of 2010 at Taconic High School was a very accepting group of graduates.

The 197 seniors enthusiastically received good advice — along with their diplomas — during Sunday’s commencement ceremony before a standing-room-only crowd in the high school’s gymnasium.

“The acceptance of others and their differences, the acceptance and conquering of many impediments that cross our path and the acceptance of ourselves as individuals is paramount for our futures,” said valedictorian Caroline Sinico.

“Engaging and possessing an accepting attitude will help you throughout your life,” she said.

Sinico, well-known locally for her tremendous singing talent, emphasized her message of acceptance by interrupting her speech to sing “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney animated movie, “Pocahontas.” The song’s message is one of embracing the differences of others, “whether we are white or copper skinned.”

“Now that you have completed high school, enter the world with an unbiased mind,” Sinico said after singing to her classmates. “If you embark on your next journey with an accepting attitude, you will be able to paint not only with green and gold (Taconic’s school colors), but with all the colors of the wind.”

Welcome to Williams!


Million Dollar Ephman

Future Eph Theo Pippins ’14 qualified for a million dollars worth of scholarships … $1.3 million to be exact (too bad he can’t keep the change ):

“I didn’t know the exact total until graduation; it was a surprise for me too,” he explained.

It was for his mom, Linda as well. “I was overjoyed at the amount. I had no idea they would say that, I just about jumped out of my chair.”

So how did he do it? “You just have to start early and really be motivated, just start looking. There are scholarships for everyone.”


Athletics Round-up: Renaissance Ephs Edition

A few athletics stories of note from the past few weeks, many focusing on athletics in an academic / worldly context:

  • Nice summary of another tremendously successful year for Williams athletics (one in which they will soon win yet another Director’s Cup, potentially by a record margin) in the Advocate.
  • Article on Dr. Thomas Graham ’84, “perhaps the nation’s most prominent hand specialist,” who has treated numerous prominent athletes, including Shaq.  Now if only he could fix Shaq’s foul shooting …
  • Great feature on baseball star Al Matthews ’10, whose graduation day was doubly memorable.
  • Williams mathematicians published a paper on the optimal base running path.
  • Nice article about Kathleen Elkins ’14, who will join the three-time champion Eph tennis team following a highly unusual high school experience.
  • Joey Lye ’09 named to Canadian national softball team.
  • Feature in Runner’s World on Mika Brzezinski.
  • Taylor Epley ’14 fared well against big-time players in the Kentucky-Indiana high school basketball all star game.
  • Annie Weisman ’95’s new play “Surf Report,” focuses on, among other things (yes, you guessed it), surfing.  Her prior play, Be Aggressive, centered on a cheerleader dealing with a family crisis.
  • Tom Yankus ’56 retires following legendary (52 year!!!) career coaching baseball at Choate.  Yankus wrote a book, Montana Summer, focusing on his time playing minor league baseball.
  • Article on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his father, former New York Senator Charles Goodell ’48.
  • ESPN’s college recruiting blog features future Eph Alex Scyocurka ’14, who chose Williams over BYU, Brown, and Boston College.  “He chose Williams College, a Division III program,” Phillips Exeter coach Bill Glennon said.  “He went for the education, and I think you have to applaud him for that.”

Brenner ’14 Honored with Stifel Award

Pingry alum Lowell should enjoy this story concerning a particularly impressive addition to the group of future Ephs recently featured here.  Jon Brenner ’14 has overcome some difficult obstacles prior to his admission at Williams:

The character similarities between Henry Stifel and award recipient Jon Brenner became apparent once Norman LaValette stepped to the podium to tell Jon’s story as someone who knows him as an advisor, teacher, and coach.  He described how Jon was injured during a collision with an AAU basketball teammate during spring break of 2007.  Jon suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell to the court and was rendered unconscious.  The resulting concussion and skull fracture led to a large epidural hematoma—bleeding between the brain and skull that can cause a fatal increase in pressure on the brain if not relieved immediately.  An epidural hematoma was the same dangerous injury that claimed the life of actress Natasha Richardson after a skiing fall in 2009.

Jon’s life was thankfully saved by a neurosurgeon’s skill and the mechanical assistance of four plates and eight screws needed to close the fracture.  After three hours of brain surgery, Jon’s challenges were only beginning.  The injury had caused short- and long-term memory deficits, and he needed to relearn how to speak and how to read.  After six months of cognitive, physical, and occupational therapy, Jon gradually returned to classes at Pingry and went about trying “to reinstate himself as quietly and efficiently as possible.”  With the coordinated help of the Pingry community, Jon caught up on all of his classes over the summer, took his exams, and was back on track with his sophomore classmates by the fall of 2007.  He has since returned to the basketball court, the honor roll, track and field, the Blue Key Club, and community service with the ECLC special needs school.  As described by Norman LaValette during his remarks, Jon now looks at his remaining challenges with a “rear view mirror” mentality:  they continue “moving farther behind and away from him—despite the warning on the mirror that they may be closer than they appear.”

Jon heads to Williams College in the fall, accepted as one of their Early Decision candidates.


Future Ephs

This time of year, there are always a ton of news stories mentioning graduating seniors headed to Williams.  This May has been no exception.  Congrats and best wishes to the following future Ephs: Willis Koomson, Sandy LaTourrette, Julianne Fontana, Theresa Legan, Alix Wicker, Katy Carrigan, Melissa Arias, and Catherine Gerkis.


Female-to-male ratio now 55:45

Most interesting snippet in this month’s EphNotes?

Williams admitted 1,200 students out of 6,633 applicants–an 18 percent acceptance rate. Of accepted students, 659 are women and 543 are men, bringing the female to male admit ratio to 55:45.

I think I have heard that Williams, like most other schools, has a policy to accept female and male students in the same proportion as those who applied. So from this we deduce that 55% of applicants were female. However, this could (will?) create a significant gender imbalance at Williams.

I seem to recall arriving on campus in fall 2003 and learning that our class (’07) was the first class to have a 50-50 gender balance; all previous classes had more males than females. I found this interesting because I had also been a member of the first 50-50 class at Phillips Exeter, four years earlier. I am somewhat surprised that it only took seven years to go from 50-50 to 55-45.

This is a reflection of a larger trend, of more females pursuing higher education than males. Here is (fluffier but more recent) background from the NYT and (less fluffy, less recent) more background from the NYT on the trend of more females than males in college.



What every Eph golfer needs?

By my reckoning, the catalog of the Williams Shop consists of stuff that nobody needs, but that nonetheless can be useful or cute when paired with small children. Take the golf headcovers, for example. Don’t they just reinforce the old stereotype of Williams being a “country club” school? On the other hand, my 3.5-year-old son really likes them. I think they make golf clubs look more like stuffed animals, and thereby make golf more fun.

Phil Crowther, Class of 2028...

and his weapon of choice.


Mid-Spring Athletics Round-up

Been awhile since we’ve had an athletics post, so lots of news to report …

  • Superstar Eph track and cross country alum Jen Campbell ’05 recently won the Boston Athletic Association 5k in record time.
  • The break-out Eph athlete of the Spring has to be super-frosh (and NESCAC ROY lock) Cedar Blazek, who was recently named NESCAC player of the week for the second straight week after batting an incredible .813 in last week’s games.  Blazek has put up other-worldly statistics, and currently leads the Ephs (and in several cases all of NESCAC) in virtually every offensive category, including batting average, on base percentage, slugging, runs, home runs, RBI’s, batting average, doubles, triples and stolen bases (!!!).  Blazek has already broken the Eph single-season home run record after only 2/3 of a season as an Eph.  A very inexperienced women’s softball team has really grown over the course of the season: following an 0-8 start, the team has since posted a 14-10-1 record, including a 7-2 record in NESCAC play.  If the Ephs win this weekend’s three game series with Amherst, they will clinch first place in NESCAC West and top seed in the NESCAC tourney.  Expect Blazek to be walked early and often, ala Barry Bonds in his prime (minus the steroids).
  • Baseball, winner of eleven of its last twelve games, has likewise been on a major roll after a tough start to the season.  The Ephs have already won the Little Three, and locked up the NESCAC West title this weekend as well with two victories over Wesleyan.  Williams is led by perennial all-NESCAC outfielder Al Matthews ’10, who is batting nearly .500 on the year.
  • Check out this great article on future Eph pole vaulter Jenna Adams ’14.
  • Two-time defending national champ women’s tennis has risen to its usual spot atop the national rankings, thanks to an upset of previously top-ranked Amherst and an incredible eleven wins against top 25 teams this Spring, including every team in the top five.  The site features numerous great articles on the Ephs tennis juggernaut.
  • Speaking of juggernauts, the top-ranked women’s crew dynasty keeps on chugging, dominating the competition this year while they aim for a FIFTH straight national championship.
  • Great article by former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, discussing the role creativity in, among other things, his stewardship of MLB, and giving a massive shout-out to math prof Ed Burger.
  • The presentation of the Deford and Pinsky awards, a great  unique-to-Williams tradition, occurred on Monday.
  • Williams has narrowed its football search down to six finalists, and the new head coach will be hired in May.  The pool of candidates sounds impressive.
  • Congrats to the men’s and women’s track teams, each of whom won its tenth straight NESCAC title last weekend … just an incredible decade-long run of sustained excellence for the track program.  Special kudos to Stephen Simalchik ’13 who shattered a 25-year-old conference record in the javelin throw.
  • Although I am in hoops withdrawal, I was happy to see tidbits on two future Ephs, Hayden Rooke-Ley, who turned down scholarhips offers for Williams, and Taylor Epley, who will be playing in the Kentucky-Indiana all-star game in June (last time I checked, hoops was fairly popular in those states …).
  • Fun article on Student Athletic Advisory Committee talent show.

Williams shirt sighting/cuteness alert



Dream Team

Honorary Eph Thomas Friedman recently published a great Op-Ed about the Intel (f/k/a Westinghouse) Science Talent Search.  Inspiring stuff.

Speaking of Intel scholars, this article focuses on research by 2010 Intel Semifinalist Daniel Bornstein, an aspiring member of the Class of 2014, and this article (from a few years back) highlights current Eph and former Intel Finalist Kathryn Friedman ’11.

In addition, Stephanie Chen was, based on her summer research conducted at the Williams ESR lab and supervised by Eph professors Blackwell and Blickstein, named a Siemens finalist.  Chen’s team, which included Cathy Zhou and Israt Ahmed, ultimately finished third.

Congrats to all the Intel / Siemens honorees, particularly those with an interest in or affiliation with Williams!


Rick Mahorn and Williams

Who knew former Pistons “bad boy” Rick Mahorn was just a big softy?  Future Eph Alexis Akridge ’14 found out just that, when he awarded both her and her competition $10,000 college scholarships.  Be sure to watch the video, featuring several snippets of Akridge’s infectious personality.  I dare you to watch through the conclusion without getting at least a little verklempt.

UPDATE: Video fixed by DK.


It’s a boy!

Congratulations to Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson ’97


Links, 08/18

From Eph Planet:

Some posts and discussions from EphBlog in the last week or two that are worth revisiting:


Class of 2013 Profiles

This time of year, there are usually lots of news articles about the always-impressive exploits of recent high school graduates preparing to enter Williams.  The class of 2013 is certainly no exception.  We already highlighted Jonathan Wosen.  Congratulations also to future Ephs John Armstrong, Alec Greaves-Tunnell, Gabe Cervantes, Jeff Riemann, Chris Cameron and Hannah Wang.

Thanks to Larry George for initially finding several of these articles.

Added by RB: Stephen Simalchik


Gentle Wisdom

David mentioned in one of his posts that some of the best of EphBlog is what arrives in the comments. I agree, and note that it is sometimes from anonymous, and seemingly intermittent bloggers.

In the spate of athletic posts, an incoming freshman, “MT”, made an appearance. He said he was an athlete, and he expressed chagrin at the tone of the thread and wondered instead why athletes weren’t encouraged and applauded for their success at “balancing a challenging school with a time consuming passion.” 

In the comments that ensued was one by “Reader”.  I thought it’s gentle wisdom perfectly captured the positive aspect of pursuing and balancing one’s passions, whatever they may be. 

Thank you to “Reader” for saying so much in so few words, no small thing after all, especially here on EphBlog. ;-)

MT –

In my experience the “best”, most well rounded, most interesting, most successful people are those that have seemingly disparate interests – athlete/scientist, musician/historian, etc., etc. And they are not necessarily the ones who work their butts off to get straight As because they find other things interesting and worth spending their time on. There is a real advantage to being an athlete or a musician or an artist whose major is not phys ed, music or art at an academically rigorous school like Williams. These students have a variety of things to focus on; to be trite – they really do learn how to work and play well with others, to develop priorities, learn how to manage time etc, etc. There are many student who can put the study time in and get great grades at places like Williams; labeling anyone as an underachiever based solely on academic performance is doing them a huge injustice.

I would much rather hire/work with a person like this than one who is an academic achiever with “appropriate” ECs.

I hope that the school you [chose] to attend offers you lots of opportunities and that you take advantage of them, not to become a stellar academic, but to let you grow as a person.

Good luck



Article on Jonathan Wosen ’13

Jonathan Wosen


For seven years, Jonathan Wosen has been commuting 45 minutes from his Oak Park home to the Preuss UCSD campus, where he’s about to be valedictorian and the first in his family to attend college. […]

Read more


Kevin Koernig ’05 and his little friend

Picture of the day comes from this article about a baby giraffe born this Monday at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA:


(h/t aparent)


No Loans for Bankers!

Amherst is going to a no-loans policy for financial aid. President Tony Marx, famous crusader for social justice, has decided that it is tragic that so many investment bankers graduate from Amherst with $10,000 in debt. How can they get through the financial screening process from those notorious NYC co-op boards? Think of their clothing bills!

Other than Princeton, I do not know of another school with the same policy. Does Williams have any other choice but to follow suit? If you were advising a high school senior with a choice between Williams and Amherst, would you argue that choosing Williams is worth the extra $14,000 in debt? I wouldn’t.

Those better informed should let us know more details. I think that the maximum debt for Williams students is now set at $14,000. Is that correct? I know that it was lowered a few years ago. What was Amherst’s set at before this move? How much money will the change in policy cost them? How much would a similar change cost Williams?

Tony Marx should have called Morty for advice. President Schapiro would have pointed out that financial aid is too confusing to applicants already. Why give them more choices? Why compete on price? We wouldn’t want the Little Three to turn into a nasty bazaar, would we?

My prediction stands. Within a few decades, an elite college education will be free for many/most students.

Thanks to a loyal Jeff reader for the news. More mocking to come.


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