Eleven short months ago, Williams publicly launched the Teach It Forward (TIF) campaign and, with it, Purple with Purpose (PwP), the Society of Alumni’s engagement initiative designed to support the ambitious fundraising goals put forth by the college. If that sounds confusing, think of TIF as the umbrella under which PwP stands. Here’s some more information about PwP and some special initiatives launched in the past year.
Building upon our extraordinary history of collective action, volunteerism and alumni pride, PwP enables and encourages all members of the Williams family to strengthen their connections with each other and the college and demonstrate how Williams has made a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. This past spring and summer, the first alumni recipients of the PwP Regional Recognition program were honored under the auspices of local regional associations. In Fairfield County in Connecticut, Becky Walker ’95 and Bobby Walker ’95 were celebrated for their collective contributions to the local community. Berkshire County recognized Michael Wynn ’93 for his leadership of the Pittsfield Police Department. The Boston Regional Association recognized three deserving alumni at its Annual Meeting in June. The list of recipients continues to grow.
As part of a PwP Faculty Recognition initiative, hundreds of alumni sent in notes of appreciation for and memories of retiring faculty members. We compiled your contributions and created a book for each retiree. Faculty retiring at the end of this academic year are Ed Epping, Darra Goldstein, Meredith Hoppin, Andy Jaffe, E.J. Johnson ’59, Jeff Strait, Karen Swann, Bill Wagner and Bill Wooters. You can submit notes of thanks and memories for each of them online.
Perhaps the most public PwP effort from year one of the campaign was the Williams Song Competition. Twenty-one submissions were received, and 11 will be included, along with traditional favorites, in the 2016 Williams Songbook, to be shared with you later this fall. Congratulations to Kevin Weist ’81 and Bruce Leddy ’83 for their winning entry, “Echo of Williams,” and thanks to the thousands of you who voted.
Our PwP engagement goal for the campaign is set at 85 percent. We’re tracking event attendance, volunteerism, online engagement and giving. Once you participate in any of the four categories, you’re counted as having participated in the campaign, which ends in June 2019. Seventy-three percent of you have done so already. We hope you’ll check all four boxes many times before the campaign’s end, and we’ll do our best to provide meaningful opportunities that represent the breadth of interests within the society.
You can learn more about PwP and the opportunities for connection it provides at the Teach It Forward website. As always, thanks for doing your part to stay connected with each other and our college.
With best wishes from Williamstown,
Brooks Foehl ’88
Director of Alumni Relations