Well Said

foehlAs part of the Society of Alumni’s efforts to evaluate current practices and shape our path going forward, we’ve been collecting feedback from you through a variety of surveys. You’ve been tremendously helpful as we try to understand how you perceive your experiences and maintain a connection to Williams. It’s fascinating to process the volume of narrative responses accompanying the raw data. Buried therein lie the nuances of your individual experiences and shades of the personal stories that shape your perspectives and opinions. See if some of them sound familiar:

“I have a group of remarkable, intellectually engaging, loyal and fun-loving friends from Williams that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. Frequently, others I meet make remarks about how close I am with my college friends, despite being scattered across the country. In addition to honing my critical thinking and preparing me for my career, this is clearly the most significant long-lasting benefit that I have enjoyed from my time at Williams.”

Eighty one percent of alumni describe their Williams friendships as “very important” or “essential” to their feeling of connectedness to the college.  Others note the strength of the academic experience:

“Williams continues to be a strong source of academic inspiration for me.  While I was not as engaged as many in social, athletic and volunteer activities so do not have close connections to classmates, I relish the experience and have strongly influenced the decisions of at least three people to attend.”

Thanks—the Williams network is instrumental in feeding the admission pipeline.

“I think I became a bit intellectually shy as I was surrounded by so many people who seemed like intellectual heavyweights! I wish I had been more engaged with my professors, and my advice to the handful of younger people I know who have headed off to Williams is to engage with your professors.”

Good advice.

“Williams had a profound influence on me. I am consciously open to new ideas and different people and constantly seeking new and varied learning experiences.”

That’s one of the goals of the undergraduate experience. Many of you expressed similar goals for your alumni experience.

“As I anticipate a slowing of my professional activities, I look forward to finding ways to connect intellectually and socially with Williams and hope that such opportunities will be available.”

“People’s careers go vastly different paths after college. It would be helpful to connect up with other folks who have gone down a similar path.”

“The organization I oversee works actively with Williams students, alumni and faculty. We have Ephs on the board, working as volunteers and interns.  Involvement from Williams students and alumni has become an essential aspect to powering our organization ahead.”

You can do this, too.

“I miss the (purple) bubble every day.”

Enough said.

With best wishes from Williamstown,

Brooks Foehl ’88
Director of Alumni Relations
bfoehl@williams.edu