Dan Rankin, Class of 1959

Class secretaries are essential alumni volunteers, keeping their classmates in touch with each other and the college. 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 recipient is always on time and always in touch, and his commitment to getting the latest news of his class is outstanding. Because he’s been a passionate Williams volunteer for years, he seems to know everything about everybody. His notes are peppered with time-honored sayings that set the scene for extensive reports about travel, replaced hips and knees, happy meetings, and formal gatherings. It’s clear he has a rapport with classmates by the friendly and often humorous tone of the letters, phone calls, and emails highlighted in his notes. After all, it’s easy to tell an old friend what you’ve been up to. So easy, in fact, that this secretary has enough news to consistently put his notes over the 2,500-word limit. (He often—gently—chides his editors for forcing him to trim those notes.) Yet he’s such a good sport that he takes the extra step of circulating an unedited column via email for any alumni who would like to read it. It’s clear in each new set of notes that he delights in being a class scribe. For his distinguished service as class secretary, the Society of Alumni is proud to honor, from the Class of 1959: Dan Rankin