The Passing of David Holland

Williams faculty and staff,

I write with more sad news that we’ve lost another member of our community. David Holland, who served as the college’s bursar for 15 years, passed away on October 5 at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington.

Many of David’s former colleagues have reached out to share their remembrances, often noting how much he enjoyed working with students during his tenure at Williams. “David was a great teacher and mentor,” said Paula Langer, manager of student accounts. “He loved the work he did and helping all students.” Having worked closely with other offices, he got to know many people on campus who appreciated his patience, kindness, and diplomacy. “His relationship with us was more than a colleague,” said Paul Boyer, retired director of financial aid. “He was a friend, a collaborator, and a supporter.”

Those who knew him well also recalled his sense of humor, his distinctive laugh, and the joy he took in spending time with his family. A regular fixture at his twin daughters’ field hockey and lacrosse games, he liked to chat with fellow spectators about history, one of his favorite subjects, and share stories of his days in the military. He was also a devoted Red Sox fan.

David grew up in Connecticut and joined the Navy out of high school. After serving four years on a submarine, the USS Conger, he left with the rank of Quartermaster 2/SS. He then earned his B.S. from Suffolk University and forged a decades-long career in higher education. He worked at several New England colleges and universities before arriving at Williams, where he was the bursar from 1997 until his retirement in 2012.

David was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Denise Holland Glemser. He is survived by his daughters, Rachel and Leah, and their mother, Laura Lee Ashbrook.

There will not be a funeral service, though the family welcomes memorial donations to Second Chance Animal Shelter or SVMC Cardiac Rehabilitation, c/o Hanson Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home P.O. Box 957, Bennington, VT 05201.

Our thoughts are with David’s colleagues, family, and friends.


Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies