Williams Alumni Stories

Stories

Connect with other Ephs across generations and geographies through stories of what it means to be a Williams alum—and what we mean to each other.

We hope that you will take a moment to tell your own story, however you define it.

Chilifest

Coming Together Over Chili

Felix Grossman ’56 broadened the reach of the Society of Alumni through connections with students .

Rockwell painting

The Williams Quarterback became a Doctor

Celebrating a moment on the gridiron and the turning point in Williams football history.

Yearbook photo of Michael Robbins

Adventures at Sea and on Ice

Michael Robbins ’49, anticipating his 95th birthday in November, is planning a big party, complete with printed copies of some of his stories. And he has stories to tell.

Betsy Harper house

A Mutual Vision

Betsy Harper ’79 has watched as Williams’ commitment to sustainable buildings has mirrored her own path.

Anton Bestebreurtje

Reunion Recognition

Anton Bestebreurtje ’75 remembers the moment he felt a humble appreciation for his alma mater.

Any Reason to Go Up Into the Hills

Douglas MacBain ’75 recalls a simple, albeit magical, moment hiking with his classmate and friend up Pine Cobble.

Skip Kotkins

Navigating a Post-College Life

Skip Kotkins ’70 finds himself continually amid good company — his Williams classmates.

How Did We Get Through?

Jackie Laughlin ’75 reflects on the ongoing work of building the Black legacy at Williams.

Drew Newman on cow

Career Connections

Drew Newman ’04 benefited from the Eph network and continues to pay it forward whenever he can.

Ned D

A Life-Changing Phone Call

Ned Donoghue II ’66 found a home at Williams.

Class Secretary Struggles: 1961 Special Edition

No class secretaries pleaded and ranted quite like the Class of 1961.

Class Secretary Struggles: VOLUME 5

Begging for class notes is timeless…

Class Secretary Struggles: VOLUME 4

Begging for class notes is timeless…

Kate and Sally

My Roomie/My Bestie

Kate Stone Lombardi ’78 reflects on 47 years of friendship thanks to the serendipity of first year roommate assignments at Williams.

Bruce McNutt yearbook

Williams Poems

Bruce McNutt ’70 started writing Williams Poems 35 years after graduating from Williams as a way to give back to the college and thank his classmates.

Drawing Williams

Every week since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, Dan Cohn-Sherbok ’66 has drawn a cartoon of a campus building and shared it with his classmates as a digital jigsaw puzzle.

Christopher Baker Yearbook photo

Understanding Excellence

Christopher C. Baker ’70 is grateful for a Williams education and his continued connections to the college

Olympic MedalEphs

With the Tokyo Olympics upon us, let’s take a look back at the Ephs who have won Olympic medals over the years.

saifa flex and pointing straight ahead, wearing glasses and a shirt with words that say 'unborn, son, media.'

Feeling Your Way Forward

Sean Saifa Wall ’01 encourages the graduating class of 2021 to lead with love and conviction, and a few other adages to help them on their way into the world post-Williams.

photograph of a person sitting on top of a rock. they are wearing a horizontal striped to in assorted colors, a black skirt, and maroon shoes with a multicolored edge.

Office Hours: Alvaro Jarrin ’03

Hailing from Quito, Ecuador, Alvaro Jarrin ’03 shares with Shayan Moazeni ’22 their journey to Williams as an international student as they found a ‘chosen family’ of long-lasting friendships, their current research on the aesthetic hierarchies in Brazil and exploration of artivism, David Bowie, comic books, and more.

Black and white photo of actors

You are Now Leaving Williamstown

William Finn ’74 shares reflections of his own winding path after Williams to the graduating class of 2021.

A row of people drumming in front of a mirrored wall

Proud to be Purple

Esu Anahata ’88 found his passion after exploring different career paths, and stayed connected to Williams along the way.

Man leaning over writing page with pen in hand

Stretching Endlessly

Bob Parker’s ’59 winding path brought him all over the world, and his writing brings him right back to Williamstown.

A Family Occasion

The Williams family legacy of Pete Sterling ’53.

''The Holy Trinity'' of art professors at Williams College

Richness of Understanding

Arthur Wheelock ’65 remembers what he learned about the joy of discovery from Professor Lane Faison ’29.

Step Dancers at 62 Center

Unlocking the Story of Step

Maxine Lyle ’00 is unlocking the story of step with “Step Show: The Musical,” being developed as part of a residency with the ’62 Center.

person wearing glasses, with a blue suit jacket and white shirt underneath

Office Hours: Seulghee Lee ’07

Watch Seulghee Lee ’07 share his journey with David Shakirov ’22 into academia to teach African American Studies at University of South Carolina as well as his reflection on anti-Black and anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.

a photo of a person wearing a light pink shirt with blue tie

Ephs on the Frontlines: A Year Later

A year later, Matthew Fogg ’94 provides a sobering reflection on confronting the pandemic and asks us to ‘be our best selves.’

Charles, Nadine and Sandra

Aided by the Eph community

Sandra Egues-Ponce CDE’88 reflects on a moment when fellow Ephs helped her through a hard time.

Watchable Williams

Watchable Williams

Grab some popcorn and enjoy the vast array of movies and television created by and starring fellow Ephs.

Craig Smith

Distinguished Achievement in Humanistic Healthcare

Bicentennial Medalist Dr. Craig Smith ’70, Chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, wrote updates to faculty and staff about response and priorities in the early months of the pandemic which inspired those in his care and a broader society searching for understanding and leadership.

Monsie standing in front of the Williams College sign

Embracing a Personal Legacy

Monsie Muñoz ’09 became who she was meant to be during her time at Williams.

a person wearing a yellow top with long braided hair and a background with abstract circular green and aqua blue patterns

Office Hours: Jallicia Jolly ’14

Learn how Jallicia Jolly ’14 experienced her Williams intellectual journey as an opportunity to ‘set her soul on fire’ with a foundation that has led her to research and teach on Black women’s social movements, reproductive justice and health inequities, and intersectionality and HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Man in hat propped up in bed with 50th Reunion paraphernalia on his chest

Alumni across the world helped Bob Mist ’44 recover from a devastating injury

A brief update in the class notes section of the alumni magazine led to an outpouring of support well beyond classmates and a profound gratitude for the power of the Williams network.

People who are eligible and registered wait in line to get COVID-19 vaccine at NYC Health Department Vaccine Hub at Hillcrest High School in Queens.

Vaccinations and Connections

Jonathan Landsman ’05 writes about his heartwarming and heartbreaking experience volunteering at a vaccination center in his hometown of Queens.

Dick Peinert Yearbook

From First-Gen to Forever Eph

Dick Peinert ’69 cherishes his Williams experience and the connections to its people and campus.

Black and White headshot of a man in glasses and a suit and tie

A Full Life

John K. Notz Jr. ’53 recounts the ongoing influence of Williams on his life.

Two people standing in front of a car with Prpcow license plate

A Very Small Williams World

Chris Alberti ’75 finds Ephs in Montana thanks to a special vanity license plate.

Black and white photo of Michael Rosenblum in front of video camera

Becoming the Gaudino Model

Experiential education changed Michael Rosenblum’s ’76 education—at Williams and beyond

Bob Sillcox yearbook

Where You Must Apply

Bob Sillcox ’53 chose Williams on the advice of his older sisters.

Jason Hehir

Distinguished Achievement in Sports Journalism

Bicentennial Medalist Jason Hehir ’98 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.

Photo of Cole Field at First light

Support During the Pandemic

Jeffrey Etemad ’89 helped a new grad in her career exploration.

C David Petersen and his fraternity brothers

Anchor to an Era

C David Petersen ’53 recounts a full life and his cherished Williams friendships.

Celeste Berg '13 and husband Andrew Gaidus '11

Ongoing Intellectual Curiosity

Celeste Berg ’13 is grateful for Williams connections through lifelong friends, career opportunities and family members.

person wearing a mask and eyeglasses in a blue apron, holding a sign with cutout cows and text that reads as 'one step closer to herd immooooooonity!!!.' There is a bookshelf full of books in the background.

Ephs on the Frontlines: A Year Later

A year later, Ann Marie Swann ’91 reflects on the challenge encountered with Covid-19 as a hospitalist and how she kept ‘moving forward.’

Wole Coaxum

Promoting Economic Justice

The son of Williams College’s first Black president of the Society of Alumni, Bicentennial Medalist Wole Coaxum ’92 left behind his managing director position at J.P. Morgan after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO. That event compelled him to think about how he could leverage his Wall Street experience and contacts to address the racial wealth gap.

Black and White photo of man in suit and tie from chest up

Increasing Understanding of Arabic Language and Culture

Coming to Williams from Saudi Arabia in the 1950s dramatically changed Al Wohabe’s perspective. Today his family honors his memory by helping Ephs explore the world.

Sally Blout

Threads of Purple

Frank Richards ’75 discovers his connection to Williams goes back to his great-grandmother.

Sculpture by Craig Biddle III

A Never-Ending Source of Joy

Craig Biddle III ’53 began his time at Williams idealistic and dreamy and went on to live a life full of ministry, nature, art and gratitude.

July 30: Home Part 2

Boston and Williamstown, MA

July 29: Home Part 1

Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, and Hartford, CT

July 28: DC and Baltimore Double-header

Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD

July 22: No Lanes to New Orleans

Houston, TX to New Orleans, LA

July 21: Double Duty in Texas

Dallas and Houston, TX

July 18: Roomie Reunion!

Albuquerque, NM

July 13: From Mountains to Oceans

San Francisco to Los Angeles, Pacific Coast Highway

July 12: California Dreamin’

Sacramento, San Francisco, East Palo Alto, CA

July 10: Utah-kin’ to Me?

Manti and Salt Lake City, Utah.

July 8: Rocky Mountain High

Denver, CO Part 2

July 3: Mozzarella Mayhem

Toledo, OH to Milwaukee, WI.

July 2: Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Rochester, NY to Toledo, OH.

Ephelia looking out from the RV and waving hands out

Day 1: Departure

The point of no return is officially here.

photo of 2 people posing in front of an RV

The Joke’s on Us: Welcome

Meet the copilots and learn how the germ of an idea takes shape.

photo of a woman sitting on stairs painted with rainbow colors and holding a purple flag. She is wearing blue striped short pants, a white top, wedges, and has blond hair.

Naming Love and Gratitude Out Loud

Ashley Weeks Cart ‘05, a deeply passionate Williams community member, shared with us the importance of her family, a love of knitting, and a dedication to bringing people together.

of Leila sitting down and posing for a photo.

A Serendipitous Journey

Leila Jere ’91 reflects on her unexpected journey as a student and the extended Williams family she has encountered both as an alum and volunteer.

two person face profiles smiling

Forever To Be Continued

Kallan Wood ’10 and Chloe Brown ’10 explore place and belonging and what it meant for these West Coasters to find “their people” in a small New England college town.

Tim Hildreth and faculty member

Saved by Williams, More than Once

Tim Hildreth ’91 shares gratitude for three of the ways Williams shaped him.

person standing by a door smiling and pointing to sign on it that reads F303

Office Hours: Tatiana Cruz ’11

As a first-generation student and parent while at Williams, Tatiana Cruz ’11 shares her influences and journey into becoming a historian of race, gender, and social movements in modern U.S. culture with David Shakirov ’22.

Chaedria LaBouvier

Socially Engaged Scholarship

Bicentennial Medalist Chaédria LaBouvier ’07 is the first Black curator, first Black woman, first curator of Cuban descent and first Black author of a catalogue in the Guggenheim’s 80 year history, with her exhibition, “Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story.”

Etienne Aduya

Building a More Inclusive Environment

Etienne Aduya ’15 shares his story as a gay, Black student athlete in the hopes that they will have a better experience than he did.

Morris Ernst '09

A Changed and Constant Brotherhood

One of the last students to join a fraternity, Norman Spack ’65 shares the transition to residence houses and how he brought some of the fraternity connections and traditions to the college’s new model.

of man sitting down and smiling.

Office Hours: Rory Kramer ’03

From growing up in Williamstown to realizing he was a sociologist on his road to becoming a professor, Shayan Moazeni ’22 chats with Rory Kramer ’03. Break-dance anyone?

Hiroko Imamura with her Husband Kamla

On sharing Williams and all that remains constant even amid change

Hiroko Imamura ’82, P’22, P’22 shares a path influenced by Williams experiences and connections throughout her career.

Bob Whitton and his fiance

Lasting Connections

Bob Whitton ’69 found what he was looking for on a college visit in the ’60s.

Alex Deaderick headshot

Making Things Better

Alex Deaderick ’15 raised $25,000 to support the racial justice movement, thanks in large part to fellow Ephs.

the eyes at WCMA

A Place of Growth

Daphne Lurie ’87 remembers the magic of her time at Williams.

2019 Williams Graduates at Commencement

Looking to the Future

Steve Harty ’73 shares his beliefs in the next generation of Williams College students.

Louie Lafevre

Master of the Game

Brooks Goddard ’63 pays tribute to a favorite Williams friend.

lawrence hall

“I see something in you”

Peter D. Kiernan ’75 became a best-selling author, just as his Williams professor predicted he would.

Biko outside CDE

A Broadened World, and Worldview

Sisters Danielle Bahr Eason ’98 and Talia Bahr Goldfarb ’94 expanded their Williams family through kinship with Abubaker Ali Ba Abbad CDE ‘17, a Yemeni student they met through Claiming Williams Day

Jim Blume and Bill Whitney

A Serendipitous Friendship

Jim Blume ’63 had a friend at Williams before he set foot on campus.

Herbet Ogden on a Williams travel trip in Switzerland

Fifty Years of Eph Connections

Herbert Ogden ’69 measures his life in the varied circumstances of several Williams connections.

Andy Hess and his entrymates

A Career Launched at Williams

Andy Hess’ ’62 journey to college began with an overheard conversation.

Class Secretary Struggles Volume 1

Class Secretary Struggles: VOLUME 1

Begging for class notes is timeless…

Class Secretary Struggles Volume 2

Class Secretary Struggles: VOLUME 2

Begging for class notes is timeless…

Robin and William yearbook photos

Making Communities Better

A 1986 class meeting over Zoom leads to a new professional collaboration between William Leininger and Robin Flagg.

Class Secretary Struggles Volume 3

Class Secretary Struggles: VOLUME 3

Begging for class notes is timeless…

Clive K (Hulick) Connor and her daughter

A Family Away from Home

Clive Connor ’75 remembers how reaching out to the alumni network resulted in helpful advice and a delicious shared meal.

Amanda Gallagher Yearbook Photo

A Tutorial that Almost Wasn’t

Amanda Gallagher ’90 remembers how a beloved professor insisted she take his class.

Bill Wadt at the Schilthorn looking towards the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau in Switzerland

Chemistry Lessons

Bill Wadt ’70 credits a chemistry professor with launching him on a successful research career

Ryan in Williamstown

Well Rounded Thinkers

Ryan Farley ’16 joined a company who valued the liberal arts education and the perks included yearly recuiting trips to Williamstown.

Alan and the soap bubble

Shelver, Driver, Switchboard Operator

Alan Dittrich ’69 remembers the campus jobs he held during his time at Williams.

1976 Williams Basketball Team

Leadership, intellect and humanity

Gerry Kelly ’79 recounts how his Morgan East JA and basketball teammate helped make his hometown a better place for physically disabled citizens.

Bill Jaume Yearbook photo

Coming Full Circle

A child of Cuba, Bill Jaume ’77 now supports other students from his home country with his gift to financial aid.

Protest March on Route 2

Contentious and Powerful

Kerrita Mayfield ’93 and Simeon Stolzberg ’92 reminisce about the activism and community-building they took part in as students, and how it has shaped their careers.

Williams Science Quad in fall foliage

Fleeting Highlights

Karen Bowen ’86 fondly recalls her time at Williams and one lasting friendship that took hold.

Kelsey sitting down

My Eph Story: Kelsey Roggensack ’13

“Williams is a whimsical place.”

Portrait of Peter McKelvey

“To those whom much has been given, much will be expected.”

Teaching a Winter Study course was Peter McKelvey ’86’s chance to “pay it forward.” It was the chance of a lifetime.

Mace and one of her students

Becoming a Writer

In her own classroom, Mace Foehl ’85 shares lessons she learned from a favorite Williams professor.

man wearing glasses and yellow sweater

My Eph Story: Todd Mauck ’53

Recalling the injustice of eight o’clock classes on Saturday morning and the deep bonds among Williams alumni.

Fireworks over Baxter Hall

Blowing Up Baxter Hall

Hugh Germanetti ’54 recounts saying goodbye to Baxter Hall as part of his class’s 50th reunion celebration.

Greg Williams and Friends golfing

Constant and Valued

Greg Williams ’73 made connections in Professor Steve Lewis’ Econ 101 class far beyond the curriculum.

A college yearbook photo of Kennedy Richardson.

A Great Intellectual Game

Kennedy Richardson ’71 turned the study of physics into a career managing an equity fund, always connecting his work back to lessons learned at Williams.

Women's Lacrosse Players from 2001

What Really Matters

Kate Leonard Hood ’03 learned an important life lesson thanks to Williams coach, Alix Barrale ’93.

Snowy view of the Purple Mountains

Teaching Winter Study Set Me on My Career Path

Teaching a Winter Study course in January 2009 set Amy Whitaker ’96 on her path as a middle-of-career college professor.

Laura and Colby

The Making of a Grand-Doctor

Laura Moberg Lavoie’s fellow 1999 classmate taught her doctor HOW to be a doctor. And then this doctor went on to deliver her child and save both of their lives.

An archival black-and-white photography of E. Kendall Gillet, who wears a sweater with the year 1908 across the chest.

Time Traveling Through Williams Alumni History

Leigh Winter Martin ’99 tells the story of E. Kendall Gillett, Class of 1908, just one of many Ephs she has “met” through her archival research for the Bicentennial.

Grey wearing a Williams hat

The Quirky and Whimsical

Tempted to get those purple boots? How about finding an Ephlats record at your local antique store? Did you keep that Winter Carnival jamboree poster? Explore what else fellow Ephs have been up to.

Melinda at Convocation

A Letter to the Class of 2020

A letter from Melinda Kan-Dapaah ’20 to her classmates.

Sad Stuffed Cow

“Is There Anyone Else Here Who Feels Like A Failure?”

This fall, Laurie Bennett ’99 posed the question, “Is there anyone else in the ‘I’m a loser’ Eph club?” in the “You Know You Went to Williams If…” Facebook group. The response was overwhelming.

Keep calm and carry on graphic.

From Williams to Woodberry Forest

Pat Bassett ’70 reminds us to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

band equipment

Rob Farnham’s Ode to Ephdom

A reaction to the Williams Marching Band as one of endearment, and other Eph musings by Rob Farnham ’71.

An interior view of chapel bells

See If This Rings A Bell

Williams Alumni report meeting up in some unusual places, and that includes Josh Burson ’01 and fellow Eph carillonneurs.

Kate pictured at NPR

A Change of Course

A fellow Eph completely changed the course of Kate Stone Lombardi ’78’s career, but she didn’t find out about it until 40 years later.

Weston Language Lab

The Thrill of Giving Back

In 1983, Carol Buck Whitehead ’78 sent off her first small check to the Alumni Fund, and it marked the start of a lifelong friendship.

Person standing with Thumbs Up in front of Lecture Screen

Pretending it’s the ’90s again

For a few weeks each January, Rob Wittenmyer ’98 goes back in time with playlist.

A black and white photograph shows a young woman with her parents on either side of her.

Amongst the Most Lucid Prose in the English Language

Robert Kent ’84 fondly remembers the impact Clara and David Park had on his time at Williams.

Pinsi standing with parents in front of Chapin Hall

First Guamanian to Attend Williams

Pinsi Lei ’12 recounts the moment she learned she was accepted into Williams.

An orange and pink mountain sunset.

Nostalgia for the Mountains

Adam Grogg ’04 has become “that alum.”

Commencement1973

Early Days for One Woman at Williams, 1970-1973

Thomasin Jean Berry ’73 writes about her experience being among some of the first female students at Williams.

Two male students pose together in their football uniforms.

Great Commonality

1999 teammates Matt Sigrist and John Berry-Candelario discuss how they continue to feel connected to their alma mater since graduating.