Williams SoA Bicentennial Events

Upcoming Events

You're officially invited! Join us for digital-first programs celebrating the Society of Alumni Bicentennial. These events are designed to be thematic, organized, relevant and enjoyable—and each month will usher in a new theme for exploration and engagement.

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View the past event recordings.

pink spot graphic with text that reads as March, Connection. Alumni connection is the beating heart of the SoA. This month, we bring forward and share programs that bring this to life.

Women in the Society of Alumni

Celebrate International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, and 50 years of Williams co-education with a panel discussion moderated by Williams Trustee and former Society of Alumni (SoA) President Leila Jere ’91. Joining Leila in conversation will be current SoA President Kate Boyle Ramsdell ’97, current SoA Executive Committee member and WBAN member Katherine Sharpe ’79, and former SoA Executive Committee member and BiGLATA member Cat Vielma ’10.

Panelists will speak to several questions, addressing the ways in which alumnae have pushed the Society of Alumni to be more inclusive, expansive, and interconnected. How has the alumni body and its values have changed over time, reflected in the matriculation of Williams women in 1971 and, later, the addition of female voices to the Board of Trustees, the SoA Executive Committee, and Williams Alumni Networks’ executive boards? This event is also an opportunity to consider and discuss in open forum the work still to be done in the Society of Alumni toward gender equity, gap closure, and an inclusive definition of Women of Williams. This panel promises to be part celebration, part critical reflection, and part forward momentum.

Leila Jere

Purple Prose Book Club: Just Us

Reading Period: January 7, 2021 to March 11, 2021

Join our virtual book club to connect with fellow Williams alumni and members of the Eph community as we read and discuss various book genres, including novels, lifelong learning, personal growth and more! The book club will read one book every two months so that you will have plenty of time for each book.

In celebration of the Bicentennial milestone and all things #WilliamsAlumni200, we are excited to announce a very special All-Alum Authors Year of Purple Prose! Yes, you read that correctly: an entire year dedicated to reading works written by Ephs!

Our January 2021 to March 2021 selection is Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine ’86. Participation in the text-based online discussion is free – you just need a copy of the book!

Claudia Rankine Just Us

Purple Prose Book Club: The Unwinding of the Miracle

Reading Period: March 18, 2021 to May 20, 2021

Join our virtual book club to connect with fellow Williams alumni and members of the Eph community as we read and discuss various book genres, including novels, lifelong learning, personal growth and more! The book club will read one book every two months so that you will have plenty of time for each book.

In celebration of the Bicentennial milestone and all things #WilliamsAlumni200, we are excited to announce a very special All-Alum Authors Year of Purple Prose! Yes, you read that correctly: an entire year dedicated to reading works written by Ephs!

Our March 2021 to May 2021 selection is The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams ’97. Participation in the text-based online discussion is free – you just need a copy of the book!

Unwinding of the Miracle book cover

Today and Tomorrow: An Interactive Project with the Theatre Department

What would it be like to jump into the future and tell people what this unprecedented time has been like for us? How would we create a history out of the present? And how can we represent the moment knowing that tomorrow’s audience might not share our perspectives? These are some of the questions students of the Theatre Department will ask as they create a digital performance time capsule and an accompanying physical “artifact” of the year 2021 drawing from theatre, dance, puppetry, poetry, the visual arts, and music. Students will work with Theatre Department faculty members Amy Holzapfel and Shanti Pillai and an interdisciplinary group of professional artists. The digital performance and artifact will be presented to the Williams community, April 23-25. The materials will then reside at the Williams Archives from where they will emerge (again) for students, faculty, staff, and alumni in 2041.

Theatre Department Scenic

Bicentennial Medalist in Conversation: Jason Hehir ’98

Established in 1993 on the occasion of the college’s 200th anniversary, Bicentennial Medals honor members of the Williams community for distinguished achievement in any field of endeavor. The program, reimagined this year for a digital environment and the Society of Alumni Bicentennial, will feature each medalist honoree in conversation with a contemporary.

In this Bicentennial Medalist event, hear from Jason Hehir ’98 and acclaimed sportswriter Tim Layden ’78 in conversation. Jason Hehir is a seven-time Emmy-winning director and producer whose 2020 series The Last Dance chronicled the Chicago Bulls dynasty and Michael Jordan’s career. At the close of the program, President Maud S. Mandel will confer the college’s Bicentennial Medal to Jason.

Jason Hehir

Puzzles in Purple: Williamsiana Trivia

So, you think you know something about Williamsiana? Well, let’s find out! Join us on April 10th, 2021 at 8:00-9:30pm EST for pub-style trivia. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Society of Alumni of Williams College, this trivia event is brought to you by a hearty band of Eph alums and students!

Participation in this event does NOT require registration for Puzzles in Purple and is a standalone event. Puzzles in Purple participants should know that there will be an answer embedded in the trivia event. Details to follow.

ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 300 participants, and registration is first come, first served!

Questions? Feel free to reach out to Michael Rodriguez ’17 at [email protected]

Purple puzzle