Gregory M. Avis ’80, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The Induction of Adam F. Falk as the 17th President of Williams College
Convocation, September 25, 2010
The Board of Trustees has no doubt that you are keen to the challenge. Your passion for teaching and learning; your exceptional ability to listen, collaborate, and synthesize; your commitment to inclusion; your courage to take calculated risk; and your record of accomplishment all promise a good match for Williams – a powerful alignment of person, purpose, and place.
We extend our warmest welcome to you and your family – Karen, Briauna, David, and Alex. Already the community has been enriched by the energy and warmth you have brought to the President’s House, the campus, and the town.
And about that house… It has been observed that a College President “lives in a big house, walks to work, and begs for a living.” Your impressive ability to persuade and build consensus will undoubtedly serve you and the College well during your tenure. But so will your sense of humor entertain and remind us of the unique (and occasionally quirky) delight inherent in the pursuit of serious scholarship and learning at Williams.
The challenges that today face society are daunting in their severity and complexity, emphasizing the need for the liberal
arts education that you embody and that Williams delivers – probing assumptions, developing critical and creative thinking, and enhancing our ability to understand others and express ourselves.
But amid any challenge lies opportunity. In this case it is the opportunity for Williams to energize and enhance its already significant leadership in the application of liberal learning and problem-solving to the world’s challenges. With deep confidence in your ability to move the College forward, we on the Board look forward to working with you and the entire Williams community to address these challenges and to make Williams an even better place to learn and live.