Writings and Remarks

The Passing of Alfred Cross

To the Williams community, It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of retired custodian Alfred “Al” Cross, who passed away on Sunday, July 7, in Pittsfield. He was 91. Al was born in Adams and attended local schools. He joined the Williams staff in 1969 and… Continue reading »

On Campus Activism: From the Summer 2019 Williams Magazine

President’s column from the Summer 2019 edition of Williams Magazine. Explore the full summer issue at https://magazine.williams.edu/2019/summer/ It’s summer in Williamstown: a wonderful time to step out onto campus and feel the embrace of mountains on all sides. And yet this summer also feels like the quiet… Continue reading »

The Passing of Bertrand Lavoie

To the Williams community, I write to share the sad news that retired groundskeeper Bertrand “Frenchie” Lavoie, who worked in Buildings and Grounds (Facilities) for nearly 30 years, passed away on Saturday, June 22. He was 93. A native of Quebec, Canada—the third of 16 children in his family—Bertrand was… Continue reading »

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Inquiry and Inclusion

To the Williams community, In November 2018 I charged an ad hoc committee with recommending to me “a set of speaker invitation guidelines that would demonstrate our full commitment to both inquiry and inclusion.” The committee has delivered their report, and it’s my pleasure to direct you to it on the … Continue reading »

Summary of the June 2019 Board meeting

This year, as always, the Board of Trustees scheduled their last meeting of the academic year to coincide with Commencement. Following is my usual brief summary of their topics and votes. You can find archived reports in the News from the Board section of … Continue reading »

The Passing of Elinore Herne

To the Williams community, I write to share the sad news that retired secretary Elinore Herne, who worked in the admissions office for nearly two decades, passed away on Tuesday, May 21. She was 92. In the 17 admissions cycles during her tenure, Elinore was highly regarded for her attention… Continue reading »

College Council vote on Williams Initiative for Israel

During meetings of Williams’ College Council (CC) on April 16 and 23, 2019, CC members debated and ultimately rejected, by a 13-8 vote, a proposal to create a registered student group (RSO) called the Williams Initiative for Israel, or “WIFI.” WIFI’s constitution described its purpose as being “to… Continue reading »

Creating a healthier campus culture

Williams students, faculty and staff, I’m hearing from people throughout our community, representing a wide range of backgrounds and viewpoints, who are upset by some breakdowns in campus relations. Their perspectives are diverse: some are concerned about racism, others about a culture of open antagonism, and many about both of… Continue reading »