Not surprisingly, Williams alumni have been reaching out to ask how they can help students as they move off-campus and complete the semester remotely. Fortunately, Williams already has robust systems in place to connect students and alumni and alumni to each other.
- Those who want to help seniors connect with permanent jobs and younger students find internships and summer employment so register with Ephlink to mentor students individually or contact the ’68 Center for Career Engagement about listing positions on Handshake.
- The best way to provide financial support for students with the unexpected expenses involved with moving, travel, shipping, storage and more is through the Alumni Fund & Parents Fund, designated for highest priorities. Williams is committed to taking care of all of our students during this transition and time of uncertainty. Room and board will be credited for all student accounts, and refunded for those needing cash. More details available in President Maud S. Mandel’s message to campus. Making these commitments and seeing them through is the right thing to do but it is costly: back of the napkin calculations indicate that COVID-19 will require the college to spend $3M+ more than budgeted this year. It’s the unrestricted current dollars from the Alumni Fund & Parents Fund that give the college the flexibility to rise to the occasion in emergencies. If you would like to support these efforts you may make gifts online at give2.williams.edu. Beyond designating for highest priorities, you may indicate “COVID-19” in the special instructions portion of the giving form to convey your intent.
- If you want to make a connection with fellow Ephs to provide continuity in this unsettled time you can look up individual alumni in the directory. Information about Williams regional associations is here. You’ll find ways to find and connect with alumni affinity groups here.
- Williams events on and off campus are cancelled until further notice. The date when Williams gatherings will resume has not been determined so reunion registration is currently on hold.
- You will find answers to most questions about the campus closure in the FAQ section of Williams coronavirus page. If you have additional questions you can submit them here.
The Office of Alumni Relations encourages alumni to connect and support one another by using the resources below. We are here for each other— to share advice, experiences, and resources as we face the COVID-19 crisis in our communities, at home, and around the world.
- Williams College Alumni Connections & Resources Facebook Group
- Williams College Switchboard (a platform where you can post asks and offers, available to alumni, students, faculty, staff)
- Williams LinkedIn Alumni Group
These spaces are self-moderated by their members. To reach out with any concerns, questions, or feedback please email [email protected]
March 11, 2020
Dear Williams Alumni,
I write to share President Mandel’s campus message from this morning about the steps we are taking to care for our communities in light of COVID-19. I am also sharing information regarding alumni events on and off campus.
In uncertain times, we all lean on many communities. We hope your Williams network can be a place to find support and continuity. These crucial life-long connections make it all the more difficult for us to decide to cancel all on and off campus alumni gatherings until further notice. At this point, we cannot share an exact date when alumni gatherings will resume. Reunion Weekend is currently scheduled for June 11-14 and we have not yet made a decision about whether it will be held.
Many volunteers and staff have put in substantial time organizing experiences for alumni to connect in person. Canceling events in no way diminishes the importance of that work–rather it highlights the abiding value of the Williams alumni community.
The alumni directory is an important resource for staying connected digitally even if you can’t be physically together at this time.
As President Mandel says in the conclusion of her message: “A community can take many forms. We are about to confirm—if reluctantly and for unwelcome reasons—that Williams is more than a campus. Williams is all of us. And we will find ways to connect and thrive and celebrate our connections despite even these most unprecedented challenges.” Many have already asked how they can best support students through this change to their semester. In addition to the connection Ephs have with one another, the college is relying on unrestricted financial support from alumni and families through the Alumni and Parents Funds in order to provide a pathway forward for students, covering the costs of travel, storage and/or shipping, for example.
You are part of Williams, and Williams is part of you — and for a lifetime, not just the years you spent as a student. I hope that whatever situations you may face in your own community, whether related to COVID-19 or not, you know that you will always be part of Williams and we will always be there for you.
Vice President of College Relations