Christopher F. Giglio ’89, President of the Society of Alumni
The Induction of Adam F. Falk as the 17th President of Williams College
Convocation, September 25, 2010
President Falk, on behalf of the Williams College Society of Alumni, I welcome you into this remarkable family. I am certain that you know by now that we are the oldest continuing college or university alumni association in North America, created 189 years ago in response to a critical event in the history of the College — the defection of a group of faculty and students to form another Massachusetts institution that shall remain nameless.
Today, there are more than 27,000 Williams alumni living around the world, making valuable contributions to society, their communities, and their families, all while managing to give back to their alma mater in a variety of ways. Williams alumni are generous, not only financially but with their “human capital,” the time, energy and talent they devote to an institution they love. They are dedicated to the notion that they must emulate the works of their predecessors, who were instrumental in ensuring that future students enjoy the support that helped make their own brief years in Williamstown so memorable and fulfilling.
Alumni are excited and impressed that you reached out to them across the country even before you formally entered the President’s Office in April. We are captivated by your energy, as well as by your interest in embracing Williams traditions while searching for new and innovative ways to provide students with the finest liberal arts education in the world.
I had the privilege of serving on the Presidential Search Committee, so I was fortunate enough to meet you more than once prior to your selection. I specifically remember a conversation we had when you were kind enough to meet me for a lunch in Washington, D.C. You had done some research on past Williams presidents, noticed that an overwhelming number were either alumni or former faculty members, and wondered whether alumni in particular would be accepting of an “outsider” in the Williams presidency.
At that time, I told you that the alumni would embrace you and do all they could to make your tenure a success should you be selected. Today, I repeat that pledge: We will be your partners in all that you do to make a great college even better.
On behalf of the Society of Alumni, I wish all the best to you, Karen, Briauna, David, and Alex as you embark on this exciting challenge.