'96 Celebrates 26th


***NEW REUNION DATES CONFIRMED***
June 24-26, 2022 – mark these dates on your calendar for an epic in-person celebration on campus!

Accommodations: Mission will be reunion headquarters but if Mission reaches capacity you may be housed in other nearby dorms. If you’d like to stay on campus, you can sign-up for dorms rooms when you register for reunion. Registration will open mid-March 2022.

If you are planning to stay off-campus, make your reservations as soon as possible as local accommodations fill up quickly during the summer. Link to local accommodation options.

Additional details will follow later in the summer – see you in Williamstown in June 2022!!

When we finally gather together, we hope everyone will be ready to reconnect with friends and classmates in the Purple Valley.  Whether you’ve come to every reunion or haven’t set foot on campus since graduation, please join us for this very special reunion weekend – the first and only class to celebrate our 26th Reunion! AND we’ll be celebrating with the Class of ’95 whose 25th Reunion was also postponed. What a fun gathering – don’t miss it!

Each June the 25th Reunion Class gathers in the Purple Valley to celebrate, renew acquaintances, and make new friends. Get involved in the planning and connect with classmates throughout the year leading up to reunion!  See below for the many ways you can get involved.  Contact the 25th Reunion program or Reunion Weekend Co-Chairs Peter Everett, Katherine Kelton and Shawei Wang for more information or to volunteer.

  • Led by Peter Everett, Katherine Kelton and Shawei Wang, this team will be planning the big weekend at Williams. In partnership with the 25th Reunion staff, this committee is responsible for activities, menus, special beverages, entertainment/music, tent decor and speakers. This group also includes Brian Lee as Golf Chair to organize golf rounds at the beautiful Taconic Golf Club.

    Reunion registration will open in spring 2022. When you register for reunion next spring, you will also be able to reserve dorm rooms for the weekend.  If you prefer to stay off-campus, please take a look at this list of hotel options in the area.

    With a rescheduled reunion weekend, events are being reconfigured. We'll update the reunion schedule as soon as possible to give you a sense for the activities that will be available.

    Reunion Weekend Committee

    Co-Chairs: Peter Everett, Katherine Kelton and Shawei Wang
    A.J. Bernheim Brush
    Mike Brush
    Katy Ganino Reddick
    Brian Lee, Golf Chair
    Lindie Zwolinski Pagliarello
    Matt Kohn

  • Friday evening is a casual BBQ for the whole family under the tent on Poker Flats with games and activities available on the lawn, weather permitting. (If rain forces us indoors to the Towne Field House, there will be organized activities there, too.)

    On Saturday there is a separate 25th kids dinner and activities (for kids ages 5+)** supervised by counselors at the Williamstown Youth Center (WYC), 66 School Street. This is included in your child's registration fees but it does require advance registration. To sign up, please complete the sign-up sheet and submit to the 25th Reunion Office when you register for reunion in the spring. Parents should plan to check-in their children at WYC at 5:30pm (as well as sign waivers and permission slips). Dinner starts at 5:30pm. Following dinner, kids will be divided into groups by age and interest. Several choices will be available:
    • Arts & crafts
    • Outdoor (weather permitting) playground and games like basketball, tetherball, Capture the Flag, etc.
    • Movies on large screen TV
    • Games like dodgeball in the indoor gym
    • Foosball, pool or ping pong
    • Quiet time in the Learning Center or the Computer Lab
    • Trip to Ramblewild for kids 11 and older
    WYC counselors will be in charge of each of the groups and a 25th staff person will be on hand at WYC. Groups leaving WYC will compile a list with the name of each child who is away from WYC. Parents are expected to pick up their child(ren) by 11:30pm.

    On Saturday evening after dinner, a group of kids (ages 11+) who have pre-registered will go to Ramblewild ropes course, 5:30-10:00pm. Parents of kids going to Ramblewild need to check-in their child(ren) by 4:45pm, so kids can eat and leave on the 5:30pm bus. The bus will not wait! To sign up for Ramblewild, when you register for reunion, please complete the waiver and submit both the waiver and payment (amount TBD) to the 25th Reunion Office.

    Teens who stay at WYC will be able to enjoy their own space in WYC. Following dinner, teens can choose from the range of activities above or play Xbox (for teens 12 and older) in the Teen room.

    ** For kids four and younger, you may want to consider bringing a babysitter with you. Because of licensing restrictions, there is no childcare available for children four and younger.

  • REGISTRATION INFO:

    What is the registration deadline?
    Online registration for reunion will open spring 2022. If you miss the online registration, you are still welcome and encouraged to attend reunion, but please register in person when you arrive to campus at the 25th Reunion Headquarters.

    Where do I check in when I arrive to campus?
    25th Reunion alums should check in at the 25th Reunion Headquarters for your class to pick up a schedule, class mementos, and dorm room keys.

    What are 25th Reunion check-in hours?
    Friday: 9 a.m.- 11 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.- 7 p.m.

    If you registered for College housing but arrive after check-in closes for the night, visit Security (Hopkins Hall, lower level) for access to your dorm room.

    May I receive a registration refund if I have to cancel my plans to attend reunion?
    If you need to cancel your registration and would like to receive a refund, email Conny Isby in the 25th Reunion Program at [email protected] with your information, and depending on timing, status of '96 class account, and number of total cancellations, we'll determine whether or not a refund (full or partial) may be granted.

    LOGISTICS:

    Where can I find out information about the reunion program?
    With a rescheduled reunion weekend, events are being reconfigured. We'll update the reunion schedule as soon as possible to give you a sense for the activities that will be available.

    Where can I park on campus?
    Parking on campus can be a challenge during reunion, so we suggest you park in the lot behind Thompson (the old Infirmary), in front of Poker Flats. If you are staying in the dorm, unload in the spaces along the north side of Mission and then move your car to the Thompson lot. If you do park elsewhere on campus, please pay attention to posted signs and time restrictions. Williamstown police will ticket violators.

    I’m interested in sharing a ride. Where do I find fellow carpoolers?
    If you’re looking for a ride to town, or willing to offer one, you can connect with classmates via the '96 Facebook page or use the Williams Switchboard to connect with other reunion attendees.

    What’s the dress code?
    Bring comfortable, casual clothes for the weekend. The Saturday evening reception and dinner are a bit dressier - think smart casual - but ties are not required. Remember that Williamstown in June could be boiling hot or cold and windy – there is even the occasional downpour. It would be wise to check the forecast before you come! Our dinners will be on grass under a tent, so keep that in mind when selecting footwear.

    How do I sign up for golf at Taconic?
    All tee times for play at Taconic must be reserved through the '96 golf chair Brian Lee, starting in March 2022. Tee times are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Brian at [email protected] by May 1st if you would like to play during the weekend (Taconic’s Pro Shop will refer calls to the golf chair, so save a step and contact him directly). We're trying to set up some friendly competition, so tee it up.

    COLLEGE HOUSING:

    What is the cost to stay in campus housing?
    The cost is $80 per bed for the entire weekend.
    You can reserve a room through the online reunion registration or on the reunion registration form in your packet. Dorm rooms are first come, first served. If you plan to stay in the dorms, please register as early as possible. Rooms contain one single bed, but you may bring sleeping bags and an air mattress for a child or children to share your room at no additional cost. Babysitters attending reunion with your family are housed in the dorm at no cost. If you prefer to stay in a nearby hotel, here is a list of local hotels.

    Will sheets and towels be provided in the college rooms?
    Yes. No need to bring your own linens if you are staying in college housing, although some classmates bring their own linens and towels for comfort. You will be provided basic sheets, 1 blanket, 1 pillow and 1 towel per bed registration.

    Can I find out where I am housed on campus before I come to town for Reunion?
    Housing is finalized just before reunion so unfortunately we cannot let people know in advance of Reunion weekend where they are housed. However, if you know you will be arriving on campus after 25th Reunion Check-in has closed, please let the 25th Reunion Program know and we can get you your room information just before you arrive to campus.

    Can my pet stay with me in on-campus housing?
    No, pets are not allowed in college housing. Pets are allowed on the campus grounds, but not in campus buildings unless you have a medical need. Please look for local kennels, or speak to local hotels/rentals about pet accommodations.

    Are the rooms air conditioned? Do they have private bathrooms?
    The rooms are not air conditioned. Dorm rooms do NOT have private bathrooms. They are the same dormitories that you remember from your years as students, communal bathrooms and all!

    AMENITIES:

    What childcare is available during reunion?
    Friday night: The 25th Reunion Program will have Reunion Rangers organizing games and activities for '95 and '96 kids during the family dinner at Poker Flats.

    Saturday night: The 25th Reunion Program provides a separate kids dinner and activities (for kids 5+)** supervised by counselors at the Williamstown Youth Center from 5:30 p.m to 11:30 p.m. This is included in your kids' reunion fees but does require advance registration. Parents should plan to drop their kids off at 5:30 p.m. (as well as sign waivers and permission slips). Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. Following dinner, kids will be divided into groups by age and interest. Many choices will be available including but not limited to: arts & crafts, outdoor games (basketball, tetherball, Capture the Flag), dodgeball, foosball, ping pong, quiet time in the Learning Center or Computer Lab, and video games. Teens (11+) will also have the opportunity to go to the local high ropes course Ramblewild. Pre-registration for Ramblewild is required (cost TBD). You will have the opportunity to sign up for both programs when reunion registration opens in spring 2022. Please contact the 25th Reunion Program if you have any questions.

    ** For kids four and younger, you may want to consider bringing a babysitter with you. Because of licensing restrictions, there is no childcare available for children four and younger. Kids four and younger are welcome to join the 25th reunion kids' dinner (along with their caregivers) at WYC.

    Will I have cell-phone service in Williamstown?
    Yes

    How can I access the campus wireless network?
    We’ll provide you with directions on how to connect to our network upon arrival to campus.

    Where can I find driving directions, travel information, hotel information, etc?
    Check out the Visitor’s Guide: http://www.williams.edu/home/visitors/

    STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
    Contact the 25th Reunion Program at 25th[email protected] or 413-597-4208.

  • Thank you to the 310 classmates who have already partipated in the '96 25th Reunion Class Book! You set a new participation record, beating the previous record of the Class of '85 (268 classmates)!!

    The hard copy books have been printed and mailed so you should receive your book by mid-July. If you haven't received your book by the end of August, please contact the 25th Reunion program at [email protected]. If you haven't participated in the online book yet, you still can. Click on the book link to request access to create your own page.

    BOOK OVERVIEW
    Each 25th reunion class produces a reunion book featuring autobiographical essays from its members. The book is conceived and edited by the Class Book Committee (in partnership with the 25th Reunion Office) and often includes historical photos, comments from the president, and essays written by members of the class. This year we did two versions of the reunion book, a digital online version and a printed version with additional materials.

    The richness of the resulting book is directly related to what you contribute. As you’ll see in these samples from previous books, alumni have used this opportunity to share a broad variety of life experiences and to pay tribute to enduring Ephriendships.

    Check out the '96 online Class Book and create your page today! The digital online book is available to everyone in '96. If you would like to participate in the book, or if you have questions about creating your page, please contact Conny Isby in the 25th Reunion Program at [email protected].

    In addition to entries from classmates, the online and printed books have pictures from your time at William and also include a special In Memory section of tributes to classmates who have passed away – Kelly Beard, Jay Edwards, Nathaniel Gerhart, Matthew Godrick, Andy Kitchen, Nate Lowe, William Meadors, Matt Stauffer, Katie Birrell Utley, Jerome Williams and Amy Woodward. To give you some ideas for what you might want to include in the In Memory tributes, you can see examples from prior 25th Reunion classes here.

    For more information on how to participate in the ’96 Reunion Class Book, please take a look at the Guidelines for ’96 reunion book submissions.

    Class Book Committee

    Co-Chairs: Leslie Whitcomb Fierst and Jennifer Stoner
    Silas Beebe
    Yulia Chentsova Dutton
    Ann Dillemuth
    Kate Newman Jerris
    Paige Patterson Duff

  • The class wrapped its fundraising efforts in June 2021, raising a total of $8.1 million for the 25th Reunion gift to Williams, including $800,000 to support the '96 Fund for Equity and Access. This is the 6th largest 25th class gift since the college began tracking 25th reunion class gifts! What a remarkable achievement!!

    Leadership Giving Committee

    This committee partners with and builds on the great work of the Alumni Fund agent team to lead the class towards making its largest gift to Williams to date. The 25th Reunion is the first of two times (the second is the 50th Reunion) when a class will have the opportunity to come together to fund an endowed class gift designated to a particular purpose at Williams. Recent 25th class gifts have ranged from $2 million to $10 million. These gifts have helped to support faculty, provide scholarships, fund tutorials, and finance new construction and building renovations.

    The magnitude of individual gifts varies, based on each donor’s financial capacity and his or her inclination to give to Williams. Nonetheless, most class members who participate in the 25th Reunion Fund stretch to make the largest commitment they have ever considered to Williams.

    '96 25th Reunion Class Gift

    Ideas for the '96 endowed class gift were discussed by the Leadership Giving Committee. That group reflected on several criteria, including the importance of the initiative relative to the college’s priorities, the magnitude of impact the class could have, and the level of broad appeal to a range of alums across the class.

    To ensure the class gift truly was a class effort, the Leadership Giving Committee asked the class for input on several options. About 20% of the class participated and selcted two programs as their top choices, Williams Firsts and the Summer Sciences/Summer Humanities programs. With enthusiasm for these two programs serving similar student populations, the committee opted to combine support for both programs into one fund, the Class of 1996 Fund for Equity and Access, to support programs like these in perpetuity. Spearheaded by the Leadership Giving Committee and the Alumni Fund agent team, the Class of  ’96 will seek continued support for the Alumni Fund in addition to supporting the Class of 1996 Fund with a goal of fully endowing the Williams Firsts programs and partially endowing the Summer Sciences/Summer Humanities program. This gift to Williams from the Class of '96 will be the class's legacy for years, positively impacting generations of students to come.

    The Williams Firsts program and the Summer Humanities and Summer Sciences programs are essential to the success of students coming from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds or who are first generation college students. Through these programs, students can begin their time at Williams with the skills necessary to not only survive but thrive at Williams with ongoing support from a close-knit community while at Williams and beyond.

    Williams Firsts

    Williams Firsts are students who are the first in their family to go to college, first in their community to travel away to college, students first in their high schools to attend a college like Williams, and more. To be the first in any of these ways takes hard work and courage and we support the success of approximately 100 first-year students and 300 upperclassmen each year. The program includes pre-orientation for students and their families to acclimate them to campus, and familiarize them with available resources and opportunities; social events that build community across class cohorts; and workshops to inform and empower them as they navigate their paths through the college. The Williams Firsts program is the manifestation of our commitment to ensuring all students feel able and empowered to take advantage of the full Williams experience.

    Summer Humanities and Summer Sciences

    Students coming from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds or who are first generation college students can apply to come to campus for either the Summer Humanities or the Summer Sciences programs, five-week programs held the summer prior to their freshman year. In both summer programs, students take classes, attend sessions on study skills and time management, writers workshops and cultural activities, work with librarians, and hear from guest lecturers. The 50 students in each program are not only exposed to the myriad options available at Williams, but they are paired with a faculty advisor who helps them choose classes and consider future academic and career opportunities in the future.

    You can learn more from the 1996 25th Class Gift brochure.

    Alumni Fund

    In addition to the Class Gift, the class will also be supporting the Alumni Fund, led by Mitch Howell and Brian Lee (and a great group of Class Agents). As you may know, the Alumni Fund provides Williams with unrestricted financial support that is critical in helping cover the college’s most pressing needs. This year the class is aiming for record participation for the 25th Reunion, 60%. All gifts and pledges to the Class of 1996 Fund for Equity and Access and to the Alumni Fund will count toward the 25th Reunion Fund total.

    What counts and how does crediting work?

    View a history of 25th Reunion Fund.

    Leadership Giving Committee

    Co-Chairs: Margaret Lawrence, Scott Sartorius and Siobhan Toohey
    Jay Carey
    Ken Chen
    Warren Eng
    Tita Freeman
    Michele Gleason Gonzalez
    Samantha Jones
    Amanda Silver Karcioglu
    Chris Marangi
    Kate Marquis
    Aga Morgan
    Molly Myers
    Jennifer Palm Elworth
    Shing Chi Poon
    Walker Stapleton
    Krystal Williams

    Alumni Fund Agent Team

    Co-Head Agents: Mitch Howell and Brian Lee
    Betty Abebe-Wolpaw
    Maija Jacobson Bentley
    Yvonne Barnes Blaxter
    Penn Clarke
    Carrie Strauss Dunn
    Warren Eng
    Peter Everett
    Silvina Fernandez-Duque
    Alexis Gilman
    Smith Glover
    Michele Gleason Gonzalez
    Kasia Sullivan Horner
    Amanda Silver Karcioglu
    Corey Modeste
    Paige Patterson Duff
    Scott Sartorius
    Louis Smith
    Shawei Wang
    Lydia Vermilye Weiss
    Josh Wilsusen

  • The Reconnect Committee reconnects and networks with classmates, uses social media tools to reconnect with classmates. We will be looking for creative ways to engage with each other throughout the coming year. We need more classmates to help reach all our scattered geographies and affiliations (frosh entries, teams and clubs, etc.), so please contact the 25th Reunion Program if you are interested in helping.

    The Reconnect Committee will be planning a number of virtual events, so keep an eye on your emails and watch for an invite.

    Find the class on Facebook
    See what's new for the 25th Reunion on Instagram at: Williams25thReunion

    Reconnect Committee

    Chair: Warren Eng
    Megan Barber
    Karen Coyle
    Scott Sartorius
    Penn Clarke - Social Media Chair
    Judy Lee - Social Media Chair