Bicentennial Medal

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 college awarded 23 Bicentennial Medals in 1993 and has added five to seven in each year since.

Maxine Burkett, Class of 1998

When on PBS Charlie Rose asked you, while still in high school, what you wanted to be when you grew up, you immediately replied, “activist.” After Williams and Berkeley Law School, that ambition got revised to scholar/activist, with your path-breaking work focused on the intellectual, legal, moral, and practical lineaments… Continue reading »

Sharon Burke, Class of 1988

Not many people get to create a new office in the Pentagon, but that you did as the first assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs. The department each year had been burning ninety million barrels of oil—draining resources, straining delivery systems, and increasing soldier vulnerability. It… Continue reading »

Jeff Speck, Class of 1985

An important front in the effort against climate change turns out to be the city. We humans are causing this crisis and most of us now live in urban areas, so the effort to transform our cities into sustainable communities is vital, and one of its preeminent thinkers and planners… Continue reading »

Bruce Beehler, Class of 1974

It was a red-bellied woodpecker. At the age of seven, looking up from a picnic table, you locked eyes on it, an experience, you have said, that changed your life forever. It was no surprise then that your senior thesis focused on bird life in the Adirondacks, and that a… Continue reading »

Eliot Coleman Jr., Class of 1961

The term “celebrity farmer” verges on oxymoron except in regard to you. A self-described hippie, you pursued rock climbing, skiing, and mountaineering before deciding that your next adventure would be, with no training or experience, to turn a rocky, wooded tract on coastal Maine into a working farm. With a… Continue reading »

Kristin Forbes, Class of 1992

You know someone is a real monetary policy wonk when she gets married at Bretton Woods—site of the post-war conference that established the current international financial order that you have come both to study and to shape. Your research and award-winning teaching have been at MIT, where, among other efforts,… Continue reading »

Michael Curtin, Class of 1986

It starts with food for the body. D.C. Central Kitchen, which you have led for the past decade, has come to provide to a large percentage of that city’s residents meals that are healthy, affordable, and locally sourced—much of it using ingredients that would have gone to waste. These meals… Continue reading »

Claudia Rankine, Class of 1986

“Truth is such a rare thing,” Emily Dickinson said, “it is delightful to tell it.” Delightful perhaps to tell, but not always to hear, especially when, as in much of your writing, the truth is hard and the telling of it pierces the heart. Your genre-bending work, including the book-length… Continue reading »

Hernando Garzon, Class of 1984

Earthquake in Haiti…tsunami in Sri Lanka…bombing in Oklahoma City…while nations are still reeling in shock and the world looks on aghast, you more often than not are already on the scene treating victims. An emergency room physician in Sacramento and director of regional emergency management, your employer, Kaiser Permanente, has… Continue reading »

Jonathan Fielding, Class of 1964

The doctor is in…in the office, in the know, and in position to advance the health of the nation. A pediatrician by training, you have gone from treating individual patients to caring for ever larger segments of the public. In your more than sixteen years as director of the Los… Continue reading »

Kenard Gibbs, Class of 1986

With uncommon business creativity and savvy, you have become a central player in the development and the spread of American urban culture. As president of Vibe, you lowered the readership age of this leading urban music magazine and expanded its reach overseas. You migrated the brand into new media… Continue reading »

David Spadafora, Class of 1972

Ever the educator, you taught at Simon’s Rock and at Yale, where you became dean of the university’s Morse College and Calhoun College, and then at Lake Forest, where you served as dean of the faculty and then president—all of this before moving to The Newberry. There you preside… Continue reading »

Steven Rothstein, Class of 1978

People who think of Perkins as a venerable school for the blind have missed what you turned it into—a multidimensional powerhouse of support for people with impaired sight, involving almost one million students, teachers, and parents in more than sixty countries. In addition to serving students at its Boston… Continue reading »

Ethan Zuckerman, Class of 1993

We forgive you. Yes, you invented the popup ad, but perhaps because of being married to a rabbi, you have spent the rest of your life atoning. In the first dotcom wave, you helped develop the Williams-based startup Tripod, the first company to make it easy to post on… Continue reading »

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Class of 1994

Who else but a Williams alum could have written the lyrics to “Frozen”? The evidence is all there. Only a former Ephlat could imagine really belting it like Elsa. Only the beneficiary of our distribution requirement could work into a Disney song the word “fractals.” And only someone who… Continue reading »

Mary Cotton, Class of 2001

The pseudonymous author of eleven young adult novels, including six that have been New York Times best sellers, you are the fiction editor and former managing editor of the literary magazine “Post Road” and the co-editor of two compilations. At the same time you have achieved the lifelong dream… Continue reading »

Mariam B. Naficy, Class of 1991

Timing, so some say, is everything. In your case, this began when as a child you fled Iran with your family on the eve of revolution. Then, while in business school, you wrote a best-selling guide for a generation newly hungry for careers in finance. With two hundred thousand… Continue reading »

Douglas H. Shulman, Class of 1989

For exhibiting wisdom beyond your years, you were chosen at an early age to serve as chief of staff for the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service. Grappling with such complexity proved useful experience when you later directed the restructuring of the National Association of Securities Dealers… Continue reading »

William R. Moomaw, Class of 1959

When your Williams department chair asked back in 1969 if you’d consider developing a course in environmental chemistry, he could not have known that he had triggered a reaction that would have global impact. You have since then not only lit in countless students a passion for environmental… Continue reading »

Michael S. Weiner, Class of 1983

The smartest guy I ever met . . . the nicest guy I ever met . . . a genius at explaining complicated things . . . always constructive and respectful . . . the best thing that ever happened to this game: these are among the accolades you… Continue reading »

Norman P. Spack, Class of 1965

Pediatric endocrinologist Norman Spack co-founded the Gender Management Service at Boston Children’s Hospital, a groundbreaking clinic that serves young people who are physically intersexed or transgender, and their families. He is one of the first and only doctors in the world to provide hormone replacement therapy to minors. Spack’s… Continue reading »

David S. Paresky, Class of 1960

David Paresky is considered the man who largely made the travel industry what it is today. As a scholarship student from Bennington, Vt., at Phillips Academy, Paresky ran a travel concession, organizing spring break trips to Bermuda. He continued the business successfully while at Williams and then at Harvard,… Continue reading »

Charles N. Waigi, Class of 1972

Charlie Waigi is the founder, director, and general contractor of the Jeremy Academy in his hometown of Limuru, Kenya. After graduating from Williams and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he returned to Kenya and worked in various finance and development organizations. In 1999, he retired and, with… Continue reading »

Kathleen A. Merrigan, Class of 1982

Deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the author of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, Merrigan is widely regarded as the moving force behind the development of federal organic standards. She is an outspoken advocate of moving federal farm policies toward conservation and sustainable land… Continue reading »

Erin I. Burnett, Class of 1998

Until her move last fall to CNN’s primetime lineup, Burnett was a highly visible business journalist at NBC. At CNBC she anchored Street Signs and co-anchored Squawk on the Street. She also appeared regularly on Today and Nightly News with Brian Williams and was a contributor on MSNBC’s Morning… Continue reading »

A.R. Gurney, Class of 1952

After graduating from Williams in 1952, A. R. Gurney served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and earned a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. He has gone on to become one of the most prolific and produced playwrights in America. He has examined middle class… Continue reading »

William Finn, Class of 1974

“The history of American musicals in the 1980’s begins and ends with March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland.” So has said The New York Times, which called their combination in the production Falsettos “more powerful than any other American musical of its day.” All this acclaim for work with a… Continue reading »

Delos M. Cosgrove, Class of 1962

In nearly 20 years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, which you now serve as chair, you have pioneered efforts to reduce surgical and post-surgical risks and have invented devices and instruments resulting in no fewer than four medical patents. Your innovative techniques for conserving… Continue reading »

Whitney S. Stoddard, Class of 1935

In your blend of meticulous scholarship and spirited teaching, whether in the classroom or while cheering for the home team during four decades and more at Williams, you have embodied for generations of students the essence of a liberal arts education. Your interest in medieval European sculpture and architecture, particularly… Continue reading »

J. Hodge Markgraf, Class of 1952

It would take a scientist, like you, to compute the enormous odds of a college finding within its own faculty someone with the many skills needed to manage, and manage so effectively, an operation as complex and as important as the one you have overseen for the past nine years here… Continue reading »

Frederick Rudolph, Class of 1942

One of the most celebrated historians of American undergraduate education, Frederick Rudolph’s scholarly achievements and civic contributions to Williams span more than seven decades. As a member of the Class of 1942, Rudolph was a house officer, junior advisor, member of College Council and the Gargoyle Society, and editor… Continue reading »

A. Clayton Spencer, Class of 1977

“Clayton Spencer’s contributions have helped countless students fulfill their dreams and have strengthened America.” So says Education Secretary Dick Riley. As chief education counsel to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources you were the lead staff member on all Senate legislation involving education. You oversaw passage of the Student… Continue reading »

A. Laurie Palmer, Class of 1981

Your sculptures and installations, exhibited in this country and in Europe, use a variety of materials to engage and challenge an audience that often becomes participants as well. It is work that, according to one reviewer, expresses an “ongoing interest in process site, renewal, and decay, creating a tension between domestic and public… Continue reading »

Alice Albright, Class of 1983

Alice Albright serves as executive vice president and chief financial and investment office of the GAVI Alliance, whose mission is “to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunization in poor countries.” Thanks in significant part to the work of the alliance, the World Health Organization… Continue reading »

Alvin B. Kernan, Class of 1949

What an inauspicious start to a great career. In the fall of 1945 you set out from your home in Wyoming in a decrepit 1936 Chrysler, fueled by the G.l. Bill, to begin your academic work here at Williams. A Moody Fellowship sene you further east for a second B.A. at… Continue reading »

Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, Class of 1976

Susan Schwab was appointed in 2006 to the Cabinet-level position of U.S. trade representative, serving as the presidents’ principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.  She earlier served as deputy U.S. trade representative, overseeing trade relations with Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and the Americas.  Before that she… Continue reading »

Anna L. Waring, Class of 1978

Despite your Ph.D. in education administration and policy at Stanford, where you helped create the Haas Center for public service, your work nationally with A Better Chance, and your teaching in DePaul’s master’s program in public services, your greatest legacy has been your extraordinary leadership of a school that defies… Continue reading »

Arthur Levitt Jr., Class of 1952

Earlier this year Arthur Levitt concluded the longest term ever as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman.. During those eight years, he was an advocate for investors, especially small ones. He instigated regulations for fuller disclosure by mutual funds, increased the amount and timeliness of information from companies to investors,… Continue reading »

Arthur K. Wheelock, Class of 1965

You are currently renowned as curator of the National Gallery of Art’s overwhelmingly successful exhibition of the work of Jan Vermeer—which brought together many works of art never before seen in this country and that not even a government shutdown could close. We know, however, that your creative involvement with… Continue reading »

Bernard Bailyn, Class of 1944

Bernard Bailyn’s time at Williams was cut short by World War II. He left in 1943 to serve in the army and received his diploma in 1945. He then earned his Ph.D. in history at Harvard, where he spent his whole career as one of the country’s most influential historians. Continue reading »

Bethany L. McLean, Class of 1992

An English and mathematics double major from the Class of 1992, Bethany McLean gained international prominence as the first journalist to question the financial dealings of Enron with her 2001 Fortune magazine article “Is Enron overpriced?” After the company’s collapse, she collaborated with Peter Elkind to write The Smartest Guys in the… Continue reading »

C. Eric Reeves, Class of 1972

By day a mild-mannered professor of English; by night, weekend, and sabbatical a dauntless campaigner against atrocities in Sudan. Beginning eight years ago as a lone voice crying out in a desert of disinterest, you have used a relentless barrage of articles, lectures, op-eds, letters to the editor, and Internet postings to draw the… Continue reading »

Camille L. Utterback, Class of 1992

Technology and art, mind and body, viewer and object, virtual and real – the spaces between all these apparent dichotomies come into play throughout your work. Writing computer code as a way of “sculpting the medium,” you have pioneered the development of interactive art, resulting not only in patents… Continue reading »

Catherine M. Salser, Class of 1988

The idea arose while you were walking with a friend in Hopkins Forest and gave new meaning to the term “road trip.” You packed your car and drove across country offering art workshops at domestic violence centers along the way, while producing portraits on the side to pay for gas… Continue reading »

Channing G. Lowe, Class of 1975

Beginning with a comic strip in the Williams Record/Advocate that chronicled the exploits of a student named Slack and his nemesis Professor Gutbuster, you have developed into one of America’s premier editorial cartoonists. After stints at the News-Star in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma City Times, you moved to the… Continue reading »

Charles H. Shaw, Class of 1955

A city, you have said, is like a heart, which when healthy pumps life through its entire region. Your own developments have brought life to regions all across our country. Manhattan’s U.N. Plaza, the Williams Center in Tulsa, and Century City in Los Angeles all pumped new vitality into those… Continue reading »

Charles M. Collins, Class of 1969

The African Americans, the photographic portrait of Black achievement you conceived, has chapters on those who serve their communities, those who educate, those who strengthen spirits, those who excel in business, and those who are “everyday heroes.” If produced now, which chapter would you appear in? Possibly all. As Founder, Chairman, and President of… Continue reading »

Charlotte Neuville, Class of 1973

Winner of the first Mouton-Cadet Young Designer Award, finalist for the Chicago Fashion Award, lecturer on your work at the Smithsonian Institution, you drew extraordinary attention within your profession right from the start of your career. Fashion writers most often apply to your designs of women’s clothing the word “sophisticated,” and… Continue reading »

Clarence Otis, Class of 1977

Having grown up in the Watts section of Los Angeles, you came to Williams with the personal encouragement of fellow Medal recipient Felix Grossman. You then went on to Stanford Law School, and launched a career, first in law and then in finance, of truly meteoric proportions. You led at… Continue reading »

Colin McCord, Class of 1949

A long-standing desire to work abroad led you to interrupt a thriving practice in heart surgery for what was intended to be two years of service developing and assessing rural health projects in the Punjab. But war between India and Pakistan drove you a year later to Bangladesh where for eight… Continue reading »

Daniel Kleppner, Class of 1953

Few are able to say, as can you, that their laboratory has contributed fundamentally to our understanding of the physical world. You co-invented the hydrogen maser, an atomic clock whose precision and stability has advanced research and such applications as radio astronomy and global positioning systems. You pioneered the… Continue reading »

David Battey, Class of 1985

The list of great moments in the history of the Williams Snack Bar surely includes the one in which you, under the influence of a double chocolate frost, had what you have described as a near out of body experience with the lightening-bolt realization that the long sought topic of… Continue reading »

Dean Cycon, Class of 1975

Fifteen years ago, Dean Cycon formed the company Dean’s Beans as a model of how a commodity could be grown, processed, and sold in ways that are environmentally sensitive, economically fair, and return a profit.  He buys organically grown beans from farmer cooperatives throughout the world and roasts them in… Continue reading »

Dennis Butler, Class of 1987

Linguist, athlete, lover of music, strong devotee of German culture—this description of a typical Williams student both discloses and conceals what was extraordinary about your undergraduate career. “I never gave up wanting to return to Williams,” you said of the time following the accident, as one of the College’s ski patrollers,… Continue reading »

Dominick Dunne, Class of 1949

One critic has called you “the best novelist of America,” adding that “no one else better understands the nuances of American class.” Your The Two Mrs. Greenvilles, People Like Us, An Inconvenient Woman, A Season in Purgatory, and Another City, Not My Own bring to life stories of the powerful… Continue reading »

Deborah M. Robinson, Class of 1978

Deborah Robinson, a 1978 graduate of Williams, has traveled to more than 40 countries working on human rights issues, with a particular focus on environmental justice.. She has visited, worked with, and produced educational material on the Dalit Liberation Movement in India, the FLNKS Liberation Movement in New Caledonia, and… Continue reading »

Frank Richards, Class of 1975

More than one-hundred-twenty million people in thirty-eight countries are believed to be at risk of contracting the skin and eye disease known as River Blindness, but hope for them grows yearly on account of your strategic efforts. Your work with the Centers for Disease Control and now The Carter Center,… Continue reading »

Lisa Capaldini, Class of 1978

An unerring ability to find the good in any situation, as ascribed to you by your associates, must be a pre-condition for choosing to spend one’s career treating people with HIV/AIDS in the Castro District of San Francisco, or for calling a “blessing” your own accidental near-death because it helped… Continue reading »

E. Mandell de Windt, Class of 1943

“Unless (business leaders) meet the needs of the total community,” you have said, “we cannot have a good society and a healthy society.” This insight has guided your remarkable career both inside and outside the corporate boardroom. As president, and then chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton Corp., where… Continue reading »

E. Wayne Wilkins Jr., Class of 1941 P1968

But for a brief stint in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy and for a year spent as a Fulbright lecturer in Austria, your entire 44-year career centered on two great institutions with international influence—the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. You were already a distinguished thoracic surgeon… Continue reading »

Earl A. Powell III, Class of 1966

Still in the early days of your tenure in the most prestigious museum job in the country, you have already developed an ambitious program of exhibitions and brought major works of art to our Na­tional Gallery. Few can be surprised by the speed of this accomplishment given your previous record. Continue reading »

Edgar Bronfman, Class of 1950

Edgar Bronfman, a member of the Williams Class of 1950, was the son of a poor Russian immigrant to Canada and eventually became head of the family business: The Seagram Company. Since 1981 he has also served as president of the World Jewish Congress and one of Jewry’s most visible… Continue reading »

Edmund M. Mauro Jr., Class of 1954

“It was the stupidest idea I’d ever heard.” So said one youth worker of your plan to convert a crime-infested former gravel pit into a golf center for the multicultural, low-income children of your hometown of Providence. But years of hard work and four million dollars later, Button Hole Golf… Continue reading »

Elizabeth A. Andersen, Class of 1987

Law is the foundation of society’s economic, social, and even physical health—a fact never taken for granted in the countries you work. As Executive Director of the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, you have been midwife to new legal systems in scores of countries emerging from… Continue reading »

Ellen Vargyas, Class of 1971

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School you served with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the National Senior Citizens Law Center. Your work in the last of these roles on private pension issues… Continue reading »

Eugene C. Latham, Class of 1955

After graduating from Williams in 1955 and serving as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Gene Latham moved to Mexico on business, fell in love with the country, and stayed.  For more than 40 years he has presided over the growth of “Our Little Brothers and Sisters,” a… Continue reading »

Felix Grossman, Class of 1956

“I had a high degree of motivation,” you said. Now that is an understatement. A passionate backpacker, skier, windsurfer, and, most notably, diver, you faced in your fifties the replacement of both arthritic hips. Most patients use a cane long afterward but, through a combination of exercise, training, and good,… Continue reading »

Gary L. Fisketjon, Class of 1976

Not many fiction editors become public figures. But then there is you. At a young age you revolutionized the publishing of fiction by creating the Vintage Contemporaries series, which combined classic writers with newcomers, including your classmate Jay McInerney, and published them first in paperback, thus launching what has become… Continue reading »

George Kennedy, Class of 1948

You are known as a man who gets results, whether in reorganizing businesses, leading cultural boards, or helping to rejuvenate the north Berkshire economy. Early success as president of two paper companies led to the challenge to diversify the world’s largest private phosphate and potash producer, as president and then… Continue reading »

George Hyde, Class of 1949

Many would have settled for being Chief of Medical Staff at the Children’s Hospital of San Francisco and Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California at San Francisco, with a thriving private practice and string of medical publications. Instead you decided with your wife, June, a pediatrician,… Continue reading »

George H. McCracken Jr., Class of 1958

Until you helped lead the way, few researchers chose to explore how to treat infectious diseases in infants and children. There was little financial incentive for drug companies, little reason to believe medication would work in such fragile bodies, and a raft of technical challenges to overcome. You, however, were… Continue reading »

Glenn Lowry, Class of 1976

Glenn Lowry grew up in Williamstown, graduated from Williams in 1976, and earned a Ph.D. in art history at Harvard. While a curator at the National Museum of Asian Art in Washington he oversaw the acquisition of a heralded collection of Persian and Indian painting and produced two catalogs on… Continue reading »

Gordon J. Davis, Class of 1963

When you approached in 1978 the issues associated with being the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation in a metropolitan area as intricately challenging and complex as New York City, you took on a task of enormous proportions, with responsibility for 25,000 acres of parkland, 700 playgrounds, 104 swimming pools, 7… Continue reading »

Gregory H. Zaff, Class of 1984

An All-American squash player at Williams, as a member of the Class of 1984, and a former top-ranked professional player, Greg Zaff turned a term-paper project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government into a youth development program. It uses squash, a game generally played at wealthy schools and clubs, to… Continue reading »

Gregory M. Avis, Class of 1980

Despite your Ph.D. in education administration and policy at Stanford, where you helped create the Haas Center for public service, your work nationally with A Better Chance, and your teaching in DePaul’s master’s program in public services, your greatest legacy has been your extraordinary leadership of a school that defies… Continue reading »

H. Ward Marston IV, Class of 1973

Ward Marston, a successful jazz pianist and orchestra leader, is considered a legend among sound engineers for his painstaking and innovative work in restoring old recordings. The performances he has saved for current and future listeners and scholars include the entire recorded works of singer Enrico Caruso and conductor Arturo… Continue reading »

Henry Strong, Class of 1949

In a life dedicated to the service of others, you have led the Hattie M. Strong Foundation to take risks, funding projects that do not qualify for much, if any, other support. At the same time, you have provided effective leadership to so many educational and cultural organizations that, as… Continue reading »

Henry N. Flynt Jr., Class of 1944

During longtime service to your beloved College, most notably as creator of its modern system of financial aid, and continuing well into a remarkably unretiring retirement, you have set a standard for civic engagement in our area that may be unmatched. Clerk, Trustee, Deacon, and Moderator of the First Congregational… Continue reading »

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Class of 1983

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle creates art in a variety of media, including painting, video, sculpture, and sound and their combination. His work, as described by one reviewer, combines “heady intellectualism with homeboy street smarts.” He has had solo shows across the U.S. and in Europe and been exhibited on three continents, including… Continue reading »

Jack Sawyer, Class of 1939

As professor at Harvard and Yale, as the youngest permanent trustee that Williams had ever had, as president of the College, and as vice president and then, for 12 years, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, you spoke passionately for the cause of the liberal arts and worked creatively and… Continue reading »

James M. Burns, Class of 1939

The breadth of your contribution to our nation’s understanding of its political history has been truly admirable. It includes your widely-used high school and college textbooks, your biographles (including the Pulitzer Prize-winning series on Franklin Roosevelt), your trilogy on The American Experiment, your continuing work on the subject of leadership, your presidency… Continue reading »

James P. Stearns, Class of 1970

Most of us spend our lives avoiding emergencies, but you have made a life of pursuing them. In two decades as emergency coordinator for CARE International, you have consistently been among the first on the scene in response to human disaster in some of the world’s most far flung places… Continue reading »

Janet H. Brown, Class of 1973

Your career in government service was jump-started when, at the age of 23, you were asked by former attorney general and ambassador Elliot Richardson to help him with research for a book on U.S. policy making. Two years later you assisted him in his duties as head of the U.S. Continue reading »

John Malcolm, Class of 1972

Nothing, it would seem, could be more natural than for a Williams man to dedicate his life to cows. Yet the path is not well worn between this green campus and the pastures of our nation’s dairyland. What was intended to be a single year as a farm intern between college and veterinary school… Continue reading »

John Frankenheimer, Class of 1951

Brando, Bergman, Lancaster, Neman, Gielgud … a director working with such an array of stars might have had his own work outshone. But for more than 40 years you have been known, in the words of The New York Times, for your “bravura way with the camera and … artfully… Continue reading »

John Toland, Class of 1936

Few notable writing careers have begun less auspiciously. You have estimated that your first two million words went unsold, including 25 plays that by your own account were “lousy.” But with patience, gumption, great persistence and the valuable ability to listen well, you eventually built an exceptional body of work… Continue reading »

John C. Bennett, Class of 1924

The titles of your dozen books, and of Christianity and Crisis, the journal you co-founded and edited, underline the conclusion of the Washington Post that you had “spent more than a half-century defining, on a global scale, the implications of the … mandate to love one’s neighbor.” That effort has… Continue reading »

John F. Raynolds III, Class of 1951

Still fresh from Williams, you served in the Korean War as a diver in the Navy underwater demolition team that was the first ever to carry out an assignment having leapt from a helicopter – an operation that led to the development of the famous U.S. Navy Seals. From this… Continue reading »

John R. Lane, Class of 1966

Few art museum directors bring to their position such breadth of education and experience—an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard along with service as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, as teaching fellow at Harvard, as curator and assistant director at the Fogg… Continue reading »

John W. Chandler, President Emeritus

Your decision to depart Clinton, N.Y., for Williamstown (a decision so good I wish I had thought of it myself) launched a Williams presidency of true distinction. With a love and knowledge of the college developed during your previous 13 years as faculty member and by terms as acting provost… Continue reading »

John W. Kifner, Class of 1963

“The crackle of rifle volley cut the suddenly still air”-thus your description of the shooting at Kent State, which added, “This reporter, who was with the group of students, did not see an indication of sniper fire, nor was the sound of any gunfire audible before the Guard volley.” The… Continue reading »

Jon Stone, Class of 1952 P1989

Which of these things belong together? Which of these things are kind of the same? Cap and Bells … Yale Drama School … Cookie Monster … All three, actually, belong together in your remarkable life story. After Williams and Yale, you moved to New York to become, you had hoped, the… Continue reading »

Joseph C. Harsch, Class of 1927

The first measure of a journalist is a nose for news, and in this you have no contemporary equal. You were in Washington to cover the nation’s response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing economic depression. In Berlin when Hitler’s divisions swept across Europe and in… Continue reading »

Joseph C. Thompson, Class of 1981

It has been an odyssey of epic proportions. Long ago given up for dead and armed only with your considerable wits and the fierce loyalty you inspired in your band of troops, you have in a journey of more than ten years felled the Cyclops of Boston politics, navigated between… Continue reading »

Joshua M. Kraft, Class of 1989

Some people clean up the messes caused by society and some help prevent them from happening. You are one of the latter. The title of Founding Director of the Boys and Girls Club in Chelsea may sound glamorous but here is the reality. It began when, as an intern,… Continue reading »

Karen DeLong Parles, Class of 1981

In 1997, when librarian Karen Parles, a lifelong non-smoker then 38 years old, received the stunning news that she had lung cancer, she could find no central repository of information on the disease for patients and their families. The 1981 Williams graduate soon took care of that. With her disease… Continue reading »

Kevin White, Class of 1952

Cities seemed an endangered species in this country until you led the battle to save one and then, by word and example, so many others. Boston was a fractious and provincial place until your unprecedented four terms as mayor. With the instincts of a third-generation politician, a breadth and depth… Continue reading »

Kirk Varnedoe, Class of 1967

You have described the history of modem art as a recurrent pattern which has “produced the broadest conceivable changes in our way of looking at and thinking about the world,” and art itself as being most powerful when “it orchestrates perplexity” and “fails to conform to what you already know.”… Continue reading »

Kristine Karlson, Class of 1985

Having rowed in eights for four years at Williams, you went on after graduating in 1985 and at medical school at the University of Connecticut to teach yourself single sculling in your spare time. With remarkable speed you launched yourself into international competition, winning a gold medal in the lightweight… Continue reading »

Lee F. Jackson, Class of 1979

Effectiveness and efficiency—two qualities in great demand among public servants have distinguished your tenure as Collector-Treasurer of the City of Bolton. Since 1988 you have reduced the size of your department by 25 percent while, at the same time, achieving through new programs, the lowest tax delinquency rate in the… Continue reading »

Lucy Calkins, Class of 1973

“Human beings,” you have said, “have a deep need to represent their experiences through writing.” As teacher, writer, speaker, and now director of the English education program and founding director of the Writing Project at Teachers College of Columbia University you have addressed that need by instilling within countless children… Continue reading »

M. Jay Tarses, Class of 1961

Your early forays in the entertainment industry included work as co­ writer of the movies Up The Academy and The Great Muppet Caper, as Emmy Award-winning co-writer for “The Carol Burnett Show,” and as an executive producer of “The Bob Newhart Show.” But it is your offbeat creations in the… Continue reading »

Margaret Lowman, Class of 1976

A Hollywood film of your life might dub you “lndiana Meg,” the swashbuckling biologist. You have worked from a sled hanging from a dirigible in Cameroon. You have conducted more than sixty live classes by satellite from the rain forest of Belize. You have used slingshot cord, cranes, hot air… Continue reading »

Margaret Kim, Class of 1991

As director of historical programming for The History Channel and executive producer for many of its series and specials, Margaret Kim played a key role in the network’s positioning and programming. She was the creator and executive producer of the hit series “Digging for the Truth” and oversaw the development… Continue reading »

Marissa Reddy Randazzo, Class of 1989

Marisa Reddy Randazzo focuses on understanding and preventing violent behavior. Until recently, she served as chief research psychologist and research coordinator at the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center. She directed all research on assessing threats of all kinds of violence, including assassinations, stalkings, school shootings, workplace shootings, and… Continue reading »

Martha A. Williamson, Class of 1977

With Touched by an Angel and Promised Land you have become the first woman ever solely to executive produce two hour-long dramas simultaneously on network television and, perhaps more remarkably, have pioneered the treatment of religious themes in prime time. In a medium awash with wryness and cynicism, you deeply… Continue reading »

Martha M. Coakley, Class of 1975

Beginning with your role with the Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force, then as Assistant District Attorney, and now District Attorney for Middlesex County, you have, as the Boston Herald has rightly claimed “been on the front lines of the battle against domestic violence and a host of criminal… Continue reading »

Mayda A. Del Valle, Class of 2000

Mayda Del Valle turned an independent study on spoken word and performance during her final semester at Williams in 2000 into a career as one of the country’s most renowned slam poets.  Self-performances of her poetry on issues of identity and culture at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York… Continue reading »

Michael Beschloss, Class of 1977

You were already, at the age of 36, the author of three books when The New York Times called you “one of the leading practitioners of the diminishing art of diplomatic history.” Your first book, Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance, a revised version of your Williams senior honors thesis… Continue reading »

Michael Reed, Class of 1975

During the course of your professional life, first as an educational psychologist at the Children’s Residential Treatment Center in Washington, then here at Williams in admissions and alumni relations, and later on as director of programs for the A Better Chance organization, your efforts have consistently targeted one of our… Continue reading »

Michael F. Roizen, Class of 1967

Co-founder of 12 companies, co-inventor of a drug recently approved by the FDA, and co-writer of a daily column syndicated in more than 70 newspapers, Michael Roizen is a distinguished anesthesiologist and internist. Currently chief wellness officer at the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Roizen’s previous positions include… Continue reading »

Michael J. Govan, Class of 1985

An art major in the Williams Class of 1985, Michael Govan was drawn immediately into museum administration by Tom Krens, then director of the Williams College Museum of Art, with whom he worked on the conception of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.  When Krens then became director of the… Continue reading »

Mika Brzezinski, Class of 1989

As co-host of The New York Times’ top news program of 2008, you and Joe Scarborough have fashioned early mornings on MSNBC a format of reporting, commentary, and interviews with a wide following, especially among political leaders. Your early career included a series of programs on local teen pregnancy produced… Continue reading »

Mitchell J. Besser, Class of 1976

From a position on the faculty of Harvard Medical School you jumped to an experimental OB/GYN practice for under-served residents of San Diego County. There you chose the patients no one else wanted and designed for them a system of private care that could survive at Medicaid levels of funding. Continue reading »

Navjeet K. Bal, Class of 1984

In 2008, Navjeet K. Bal became the first ethnic minority and the second woman to serve as commissioner of revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As commissioner, she oversees the Department of Revenue’s approximately 2,200 employees who work in tax administration, child support enforcement, and municipal finance across the… Continue reading »

Patricia Hellman Gibbs, Class of 1982

With medical degrees from Yale and a growing private practice in a silk-stocking section of San Francisco, you and your husband Richard’s lives seemed to be set … until you chucked it all to care instead for the uninsured, estimated to comprise one quarter of the city. Your founding of… Continue reading »

Paul Grogan, Class of 1972

It would almost seem like magic, if it weren’t for all the hard work, as communities across America once given up as economically lost have now sprung back to new life. This has been the legacy of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which combines philanthropic dollars, investment capital, and local leadership to aid… Continue reading »

Reed Zars, Class of 1977

With his bachelor’s degree from Williams (1977) and law degree from Northeastern, Reed Zars has used the court system to win precedent-setting rulings to protect clean air and water throughout the West. As a solo practitioner from Laramie, Wyo., and working pro bono with only $5,000 for expenses, he won… Continue reading »

Regina A. Kelly, Class of 1986

So much of community depends on the finding and telling of stories. This you have helped the community of Tucson to do in innovative ways. It began with your project, Regina, helping low income teenagers explore the history of their neighborhoods. In designing the book that resulted, you learned that… Continue reading »

Charles W. Gilchrist, Class of 1958

In a career that might seem on the surface disjointed, with its mid­-course shift from politics to the church, you have, in fact, shown a persistent continuity of care for those in our country with the greatest need. You first relinquished practice in tax law with a prestigious law firm… Continue reading »

Preston Washington, Class of 1970

Few leaders anywhere combine your depth of faith and commitment to social action. As a dynamic preacher and teacher, you have roused congregations and audiences throughout the United States and in Cuba, China and South Korea. As pastor since 1976 of Memorial Baptist you have led this Harlem congregation in community… Continue reading »

Richard Moe, Class of 1959

No less an authority than The Washington Post has called you “the quintessential Washington insider” in the best sense of that term—working effectively, though mostly behind the scenes, to advance the public good. You quickly rose in your native Minnesota to serve as chairman of the state’s Democratic-farmer-Labor Party before… Continue reading »

Richard Helms, Class of 1935

Described by The New York Times as “one of the most respected men in Washington,” you helped fashion this country’s intelligence operations over thirty years-first with the Office of Strategic Services in World War II and then, from its beginning, the Central Intelligence Agency, through whose ranks you rose to… Continue reading »

Richard Repp, Class of 1957

Williams sent you to Oxford on a Wilson Fellowship and, except for three years teaching in Istanbul, you have made your home there ever since. After earning a doctorate in Turkish history, you gained prominence as a scholar of the Ottoman period. Your notable contributions to the field include your… Continue reading »

Robert Oxnam, Class of 1964

Sometime professor of history at Trinity College, novelist, and authority on 17th-century and modern Chinese history, by training and inclination you appreciate both the richness, breadth and distinctiveness of the various Asian cultures and the vital and growing importance of Asian and American cooperation in establishing mutual understanding. One of… Continue reading »

Robert T. Coulter, Class of 1966

With a commitment both morally deep and globally broad, you have fought your entire professional life to improve the lives of indigenous peoples. Straight from Columbia Law School, you joined an Indian legal organization working on behalf of Mohawk clients. When that office closed for lack of funds, you continued… Continue reading »

S. Lane Faison, Class of 1929 P1961

The list of your service to this college over the past 70 years is of near-Biblical proportions—teacher for 40 years, department chairman for 29 years, successor to Karl Weston as director of the Williams College Museum Art for 28 years—while outside the College you served as president of the College… Continue reading »

Senator Mark E. Udall, Class of 1972

Few have followed more fully the Hopkins Gate admonition to “climb high, climb far.” A Winter Study project analyzing the snow pack in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains confirmed your love of the outdoors and led to twenty years of service to Colorado Outward Bound – ten as Course Director and… Continue reading »

Sonia Nazario, Class of 1982

At a time when political discourse is dominated by spin, attitude, and rhetoric that seems remote from the lives of real people, you have made it your mission to document suffering and struggles that would otherwise remain invisible. As a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times you have ventured… Continue reading »

Stacy M. Schiff, Class of 1982

Almost as if you had fallen from the sky, your biography of aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery made such a splash, becoming a Pulitzer finalist, that it made people ask, “Where did this woman come from?” We knew the answer: Adams, Massachusetts, Williams College, and a successful but anonymous career in editing. Continue reading »

Stanley O. Foster, Class of 1955

Bangladesh … 1975. Hidden under a burlap bag by parental shame, three-year-old Rahima Banu lay severely ill. Yet there you were, able to diagnose her—the last person in the world known to suffer from naturally occurring major smallpox. The road to that moment had been long. It began when, inspired… Continue reading »

Stephen Case, Class of 1980

In a business career marked in its early stages by false steps in brand naming (including your student company called Williams Fruitbaskets and rock group named The The) you have gone on to establish America Online, which you co- founded in 1985, as the premier name in the much more… Continue reading »

Stephen Lewis, Jr., Class of 1960

Stephen Lewis has served as an economic consultant to the governments of Kenya, Pakistan, and since 1975 Botswana, where he has been instrumental in that country’s remarkable development. At the time of its independence in 1966, land-locked Botswana was among the world’s twenty-poorest countries. Over the following three decades its… Continue reading »

Stephen J. Farley, Class of 1985

So much of community depends on the finding and telling of stories. This you have helped the community of Tucson to do in innovative ways. It began with your project, Regina, helping low-income teenagers explore the history of their neighborhoods. In designing the book that resulted, you learned that roving… Continue reading »

Stephen S. Clarey, Class of 1962

Thirty years after entering Officer Candidate School fresh out of Williams you retired from the U.S. Navy as a rear admiral and commander of the 18,OOO-member Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force. With time out to earn your M.B.A. at Harvard, those years were filled with an array of military experience. You completed nine overseas deployments… Continue reading »

Stephen S. Marino, Class of 1976

Since earning your master’s degree in teaching at Brown, you have taught sixth through twelfth graders in Glastonbury public schools such subjects as Current Events, American History, World History, World Geography, English, Economics (thank you very much), Psychology, and, long before the need for it became widely recognized, a course on the Early Islamic… Continue reading »

Steven Rogers, Class of 1979

“He brings real life to his students,” one colleague has said. And what a life it has been. From the south side of Chicago to Williams to Harvard Business School to Bain and Company to ownership of several companies to Clinical Professor of Finance and Management at the Kellogg Graduate… Continue reading »

Steven A. Gould, Class of 1968

Your reputation as one of the most able practitioners in your field is evident from your academic appointments at the University of Chicago and the University of lllinois College of Medicine at Chicago, from your winning research grants from such organizations as the Office of Naval Research and the National Institutes of Health, and… Continue reading »

Tao Ho, Class of 1960 P1985

After Williams and Harvard, and after working with Walter Gropius, you returned to Hong Kong where your work has flowed across artistic and geographic borders. Your TaoHo Design company combines the practice of architecture with urban planning and interior and graphic design, and enhances the landscape of cities from Asia… Continue reading »

Telford Taylor, Class of 1928

Your work at Nuremberg as Chief U.S. Prosecutor in 12 trials involving 190 defendants not only made history but gave life to such concepts as “War Crimes,” “Crimes Against Peace,” and “Crimes Against Humanity”—concepts with a sadly enduring relevance to our present day. By your own account, little in your… Continue reading »

Dickinson R. Debevoise, Class of 1946

One of the nation’s most highly respected jurists, Dick Debevoise joined the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in 1979 and attained senior status in 1994.  He also serves with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which works to “turn thoughtful and sustained attention to some of the greatest… Continue reading »

Karen M. Ashby, Class of 1979

Inspired by the family closeness of your own upbringing, you leapt at the chance, after Williams, law school, and private practice, to serve in Juvenile Court instead of waiting for what many counseled would be a more prestigious judgeship. You certainly have never looked back. As Presiding Judge of the… Continue reading »

Robert J. Kelleher, Class of 1935

Robert Kelleher has served as judge in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California since his appointment by President Nixon in 1970. He was a New England and Eastern Collegiate doubles champion as a member of the Williams Class of 1935. He captained the victorious U.S. Davis Cup… Continue reading »

Thomas Payzant, Class of 1962

Thomas Payzant has had decades of success in one of the most challenging jobs in America–school superintendent. Only seven years after graduating from Williams in 1962, he became superintendent of the School District of Springfield Township, Pa. He followed that with superintendencies in Eugene, Ore., Oklahoma City, San Diego, and… Continue reading »

Tracy P. Lewis, Class of 1983

Imagine our delight that the first black president of a professional baseball team since the demise of the Negro League turned out to be a 24-year-old English major from Williams who had previously seen three baseball games in her life. When you became president of the Cardinals of Savannah, Georgia,… Continue reading »

Tsong-Zung J. Chang, Class of 1973

Your curating, writing, and gallery work has led the Far Eastern Economic Review to call you “a pioneer in contemporary Chinese art.” Driven by a love of ideas, spawned, you have said, in your days as a philosophy student at Williams, you have become perhaps the world’s most influential advocate… Continue reading »

Wendy W. Jacob, Class of 1980

Assistant professor of art at Illinois State University, you have also taught and served as visiting artist at a number of institutions, including the University of Illinois, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Williams. Your own work has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Paris, Cologne, and… Continue reading »

Wilfred Chabrier, Class of 1977

Wilfred Chabrier has served as general manager of tunnels and bridges for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since 2007. Since he first joined the Port Authority in 1995, he has held a variety of management portfolios and received recognition for his influential support of minority-owned… Continue reading »

William Hoch, Class of 1989

Inspired by what was intended to be a one-time community service project, you dedicated a significant portion of your time at Williams, along with an intervening summer and a full year after you graduated, to developing your vision of a social service program for North Adams residents centering on the… Continue reading »

William Bo S. Peabody, Class of 1994

Peabody is known as one of the most dynamic young entrepreneurs in the country. Even before graduating from Williams in 1994, Peabody, along with friend Brett Hershey ’95 and Professor Richard Sabot, formed the company Tripod, Inc. By building an online community of college students and young professionals, the company… Continue reading »

William E. Spriggs, Class of 1977

With the intellectual skills of a Political Economy major and the personal adroitness of a J.A., you have built from your Mead Summer Internship in Washington a singular career in the application of analytical horsepower to the improvement of people’s lives. Bridging the worlds of the academy, advocacy, and… Continue reading »

William H. Eddy, Class of 1949

From your home in Vermont’s Northeast Kindgom, you have traveled the globe to expand human understanding of the natural world – launching some of the first public awareness programs in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean; preserving important archaeological sites in India; and helping the Navajo interpret and convey… Continue reading »

William M. Boyd II, Class of 1963

Throughout a career in education that began as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at the Lycee de Manegouba in Nkongsamba, Cameroon, you have worked persistently and well to address issues of racial understanding and harmony. After your time in Africa and with your PhD in political science from Berkeley,… Continue reading »

William M. Partington, Class of 1950

Known as Central Florida’s original environmentalist, you have labored for 30 years to bring ecological considerations to bear on the planning of economic growth in one of the most rapidly developing regions of our country. Director of the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, founding chairman of the Federated Conservation Council… Continue reading »