Letters from the President

Toward racial justice and inclusion

Dear Williams students, faculty and staff, Institutions of higher learning are essential contributors to the project of creating just and equitable societies. Why? Our campuses are charged with educating the next generation of leaders, providing them with the tools they need to become problem solvers and positioning them to take… Continue reading »

Starting a semester unlike any other

Dear students, faculty and staff, I’m writing today to welcome you all to the start of a new academic year—one unlike any we’ve experienced before. Over the past several months, we’ve faced extraordinary challenges in our lives and our communities. In light of these challenges, we’ve planned for… Continue reading »

Public health rules and expectations

Williams students, faculty and staff, Over the last few weeks we’ve regretfully had to convert two on-campus students to remote study status after they violated the college’s quarantine. Judging from the campus reaction, some people may not understand the reasons for our policies, or may feel we’re enforcing them too… Continue reading »

Message to Williamstown Select Board

President Mandel sent this email to the Williamstown Select Board on Monday, August 17, 2020 Dear Select Board members, I write, as Williams College president, to ask that you commission a prompt, full and impartial investigation of recent allegations regarding racism and sexual misconduct within the Williamstown Police Department. Such… Continue reading »

Sharing good news about international students

Williams students, faculty and staff, I’m writing to share this afternoon’s happy news that the government is rescinding its July 6 directive and July 7 FAQs on international students, and returning to its March 2020 guidance. This means international students will be able to study in the U.S. even if… Continue reading »

Williams condemns ICE guidance on international student visas

Williams students, faculty and staff, On Monday, ICE (the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency) announced a new federal guidance that will prohibit international students at American colleges and universities from returning to or remaining in this country if they’re enrolled in an online-only curriculum this fall. In short,… Continue reading »

Announcing our plan for Fall 2020

Note: On July 24, 2020, the web version of this letter was corrected to note, under the heading Cost and Financial Aid, that “Families on financial aid will have their parent contribution reduced by 15 percent.” The original had said that the “expected family contribution” would be reduced by 15… Continue reading »

Juneteenth will be a college holiday

Dear Williams faculty, students and staff, Tomorrow marks an important day in our nation’s history. On June 19, 1865, the emancipation of African people enslaved in America was extended into Texas, the last Confederate state to refuse to comply with the Emancipation Proclamation. Black people in America… Continue reading »

Williams will confront and fight racial and social injustice

Dear members of the Williams community, What role should Williams College play in confronting and fighting racial and social injustice? That’s a question I’ve been asked, and have been asking myself, with particular intensity in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others. Following… Continue reading »