by Celeste Berg '13
I am forever grateful for my network of Eph friends spread across the country and how, no matter the physical distance between us or the time since we last spoke or saw each other, we seamlessly pick up where we left off, engaging in thoughtful conversations on politics, books, cooking, athletic pursuits and everything in between. All of my closest friends (and my husband and brother-in-law!) are Ephs, and I so value the insightful perspectives, deep thought and good humor each brings to every exchange and shared experience.
My career in local government has been (coincidentally!) shaped by some influential Ephs, and I often think of how this keeps me connected to the Williams community. When I was a senior at Williams and applying to City Hall Fellows — an immersive yearlong fellowship in San Francisco’s local government — CHF alum and Williams Class of 2008, Stevon Cook was kind enough to tell me about his experience. When I began my fellowship year placed in the City Performance Unit of the controller’s office, my boss happened to be Peg Stevenson ’84, the director of the unit. Following my fellowship I spent four more formative years at City Performance; it was here that I developed my professional skill set and passion for local government.
The ongoing intellectual curiosity I feel in my engagement with my Williams friends and in the career connections I’ve made is also reflected in the way the college interacts with alumni. I am particularly grateful for the ways Williams provokes deep thinking and encourages its alumni to continuously broaden our worldviews (and interact with other Ephs along the way). In this year of unprecedented challenges I have found great connections in The Purple Prose Book Club, Lifelong Learning and numerous other virtual seminars, Williams Magazine, and networking opportunities. I’m so very grateful to have access to all of this!
And I’m grateful to share the Williams community with my husband, Andrew Gaidus ’11. Together we stay connected, literally, as even before the pandemic we both worked remotely, and we share the same hobbies, so it’s safe to say we spend nearly every minute together!