Browse Recipients

A. Clayton Spencer, Class of 1977

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 1997

“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 Loan Reform Act of 1993, which brought real savings to students nationwide by establishing the Direct Loan Program—the first major overhaul of the important federal student loan program in 20 years. You also directed passage of the Technology for Education Act of 1994, which has provided for schools across the country the electronic infrastructure needed to help prepare students for life and work in the 21st century. More recently, as lead minority counsel, you led the strategy that turned a proposed one-third decrease in federal education funding into bipartisan support for a 15 percent increase. No wonder a leading Education Department official, when hearing of my Williams identity, immediately stated, “Why you must know the incomparable Clayton.” You ac­complished this, according to observers, with a combination of ability, sound judgment, and a ready sense of humor that won the respect of both Republicans and Democrats. As Senator Ted Kennedy said upon learning of our gathering here this evening, “Williams is rightly proud of Clayton, and so is the United States Senate.”

A. Laurie Palmer, Class of 1981

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 1996

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 space as they relate to larger cultural and political histories.” This was said of work of the art collaborative known as Haha—comprised of you, Wendy Jacob, Richard House, and John Ploof—which has blurred the line between audience and artist in settings from the XLV Venice Biennale to the west side of Chicago. It was as part of Chicago’s Culture in Action program that Haha installed “FLOOD”—a water garden that built community by drawing neighbors into a powerful experience of issues of water, growth, food, work, collaboration, and caring. No longer acting as mere audience, participants grew food and shared the harvest with people dying with AIDS. You write frequently on the current art scene for such publications as Dialogue, Artforum, and New Art Examiner, while your own work exhibits a growing ability to visualize the condition and history of a community, distill it, and present it in ways that enable even those who live there to experience the place afresh.




A. Peter Barbaresi, Class of 1981

Awarded the Frederick C. Copeland Award in 1991

A.R. Gurney, Class of 1952

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2005

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 WASP life both comically and poignantly in more than 40 plays, including “The Dining Room,” “The Perfect Party,” and “The Cocktail Hour,” which are performed across the country and abroad. He has won a Drama Desk Award, a Rockefeller Award, and two Lucille Lortel Awards: one for outstanding play, “The Cocktail Hour,” and one for outstanding body of work. In 2000, he won the Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award at the William Inge Theatre Festival and Conference.

Adam Schlesinger, Class of 1989

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2017

You knew it might be wrong . . . but you were in love with the dream of a life in music. It began humbly with a summer gig, playing piano at The Seafood Shanty on Martha’s Vineyard, but, hey, things could only look up. And soon they did thanks to the song writing moxie that you started developing at the age of nine. With classmate Chris Collingwood, you formed Fountains of Wayne, whose sharp lyrics and tight harmonies climbed the charts and put you all over MTV. You also wrote and played bass for the groups Ivy and Tinted Windows, touring the U.S. and Europe with wry songs about life amid the middle class, middle teen years, and even middle management. Other performers recognized your talent and wanted a piece. Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson—all of them have featured your work. You have also written for stage and screen and the likes of Hugh Grant, Sarah Silverman, and Neil Patrick Harris. Watch an award show and you are probably the guy who wrote the opening song. In fact, you have become “one of the most sought after and prolific songwriters working today” and even “one of the most nimble artists in the music industry.” If this is a dream, it is one that we, and an array of musical stars, hope keeps goin’ on.

In recognition of your distinguished achievement in music, Williams
College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.

September 16, 2017

Alex Carroll, Class of 1939

Awarded the Joseph's Coat Award in 2009

As a Williams undergraduate, this year’s recipient was a varsity basketball player, a Junior Advisor, and a member of Phi Delta Theta. Like so many of his classmates, he served in World War II and thereby as a founding member of America’s “Greatest Generation.” He settled in Indianapolis to pursue a long, successful career in investment management. Beyond his day job, he has been a fearless leader in his hometown — from the Chamber of Commerce to the children’s museum to the symphony, and more recently as founding trustee of a charter school for bright students from unpromising backgrounds. And all the while, he has pursued a parallel career of devotion to Williams, serving as Class President, Class Agent, and 50th Reunion chair. I have it on good authority that our recipient also has sustained a lively correspondence with several Williams presidents. The energy, devotion, good cheer, and wisdom expressed in his letters have earned him true friendship with those presidents as well. When his classmate, James MacGregor Burns, learned that this award was coming our recipient’s way, he said, “A great choice — he thoroughly deserves it. I have never known an alumnus to be so devoted to the College and to his class…” Williams is proud to present the Joseph’s Coat — a symbol of her deep regard for this exceptional Eph — with gratitude and affection to her devoted son and proud member of the great Class of 1939 Alex Carroll.



Alfred Cary Schlesinger, Class of 1921

Awarded the Joseph's Coat Award in 1991

Alfred Eastlack Driscoll, Class of 1925

Awarded the Rogerson Cup Award in 1950

Alfred Schlosser, Class of 1951

Awarded the Joseph's Coat Award in 2011

At Williams, this year’s recipient majored in music and was treasurer of the Thompson Concert Committee. A member of the Garfield Club, he was active in the Students’ Activities Council and the Williams Christian Association. After Williams, he pursued a long and successful career in the paper business, both as president of Lindenmeyr Paper Company and vice president of Zellerbach. He even taught pulp and paper making in the Division of General Education at NYU. A lifelong supporter of the Episcopal Church, he also served as rules official for the Metropolitan Golf Association—bringing him close to the world’s greatest amateurs and pros and inspiring him to acquire the email address: “one-putt.” Through it all, he has done everything his alma mater could ask of him, and more. He has held every position in his class—president, vice president, secretary, class agent, and 50th reunion fund vice chair—with pride and great commitment. He also served for years on the board of the Williams Club. Classmates and other who’ve worked with today’s honoree say he makes serving Williams a great deal of fun. His meetings are crisp and productive, he’s always ready to go the extra mile, and his wry humor is never ending.Williams is proud to present the Joseph’s Coat — a symbol of her deep regard for this exceptional Eph—with gratitude and affection to her devoted son and proud member of the great Class of 1951 Alfred Schlosser.

Alice Albright, Class of 1983

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2007

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 calculates that millions of premature deaths have been prevented, tens of millions of additional children have been protected by basic vaccines, and more than a hundred million more by new vaccines. The alliance’s goals include a 66 percent reduction in child mortality rates in 36 countries by 2015, introduction of hepatitis B vaccine in 72 countries by 2010, and raising an additional $4.5 billion to support immunization programs by 2010. GAVI is also known for its innovative, public-private approaches to building financial systems to support immunization programs and health systems in the world’s poorest countries. After graduating from Williams in 1983, Albright earned a master’s degree, with a concentration in international finance, from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Allan R. Phipps, Class of 1934

Awarded the Kellogg Award in 1984

Allan W. Fulkerson, Class of 1954

Awarded the Rogerson Cup Award in 1999

Alvin B. Kernan, Class of 1949

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2002

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 Oxford. After a Ph.D. in English at Yale, you remained in New Haven to the delight of students and colleagues. There you set the example of a lively and engaged teacher and prolific, much,ciced scholar. Your books and papers expanded understanding of topics from Renaissance literature to the effects of printing on intellectual history. You edited the Yale Edition of Ben Johnson’s work. At the same time, you developed a reputacion for wisdom and integrity and as someone willing to challenge established points of view, often with refreshing wit. You took on important roles in administration-Chairman of the Literature Major, Director of Humanities, Associate Provost, and Acting Provost during the politically tumultuous spring of 1970. Three years later, you moved to Princeton as Professor and Dean of the Graduate School. In that position and subsequently as Director of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities you helped shape a generation of scholars and teachers across the country. You followed the widely read book of your experiences as an enlisted man in the Pacific battles of World War II with one on the slightly less contentious arena of academe. In Plato’s Cave has been called “one of the great American academic memoirs of our time,” which “makes the reader both smile and think.” Your teaching, scholarship, administration, and perhaps most of all your appropriately irreverent candor, have greatly enriched all of higher education.


Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, Class of 1976

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2008

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 served as president of the University System of Maryland Foundation and earlier as dean of the university’s School of Public Policy. Her previous government service included work as assistant secretary of commerce and director general of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, as legislative director for Senator John Danforth, as trade policy officer in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and as an agricultural trade negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. After graduating from Williams in 1976, she earned a master’s in development policy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in public administration and international business from The George Washington University.

Anamaria Villamarin-Lupin, Class of 1995

Awarded the Thurston Bowl in 2015

Class secretaries are essential alumni volunteers. They devote countless hours to gathering and writing Class Notes, ensuring that their classmates continue to have a connection to each other and to Williams—no matter how much their lives have changed since they left the Purple Valley.

The Thurston Bowl is awarded for distinguished service as class secretary. It was donated by the family and friends of Ted Thurston, Class of 1912, who wrote Class Notes for 65 years. During that time, Ted missed only one deadline—and only because he forgot to send his completed notes to the magazine.

This year’s recipients are exemplary Ephs and excellent storytellers, committed to including news from a broad swath of classmates in each edition. Their notes are always on time, and their tone is always cheerful. Their enthusiasm for class events and milestones is contagious—as is their obvious love of their classmates. Whether sharing news of a new job in Cameroon, a minireunion in Charleston, or even a breast cancer scare in Maine, these secretaries celebrate and support their classmates in every way.

One member of this dynamic duo has served as class scribe for five years and is an active associate class agent. The other has held the pen for 10 years and is a member of the Executive Committee, a class agent and a past Tyng administrator. She may also be the person most responsible for getting Ephs of all ages to visit her and her husband in New Orleans.

For their distinguished service as class secretaries, the Society of Alumni is proud to honor, from the Class of 1995: Anamaria Villamarin-Lupin and Nancy O’Brien Wagner

Andrew D. Heineman, Class of 1950

Awarded the Rogerson Cup Award in 1990

Andrew G. Knox, Class of 1945

Awarded the Kellogg Award in 1995

Andrew S. Keck, Class of 1924

Awarded the Joseph's Coat Award in 1979

Anna L. Waring, Class of 1978

Awarded the Bicentennial Medal in 2006

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 the odds. Josephinum Academy is a Catholic middle and high school for girls in Chicago’s Wicker Park. Almost all its students are of color, eighty-five percent qualify for federal free or reduced-price lunch, and many of them enter performing below grade level. However, one hundred percent graduate and ninety-five percent earn college admission. To encourage their growth into young women of “faith, character, and intelligence,” you have created an environment in which, as you have said, they can try on the role of “smart girl” too often denied them in the outside world. You encourage them to excel in math and science and the use of technology. You provide tutors and counseling and programs that focus on study skills. You take them outside the school and outside themselves on field trips to the city’s cultural offerings and to engage in community service in Chicago, South Carolina, and New Mexico. And, as you have said, “We don’t ask whether you’re going to college but where.” Thanks to your efforts, this transforming education is available to students regardless of their families’ ability to pay. It is hard to imagine a more powerful educational model. In recognition of your distinguished achievement in education, Williams College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.

Anne Swift Sawyer

Awarded the Ephraim Williams Medal in 1984


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