The college formally launched Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams in early October, and I encourage you to explore the campaign’s fundraising priorities at teachitforward.williams.edu. But I also want to draw your attention to an initiative designed to engage the Williams community in a deliberate and broad-based manner in support of the campaign.
First, let’s go back a couple of years. As part of the planning for Teach It Forward, the leadership of the Society of Alumni explored deeply how to engage alumni over the course of the campaign. Specifically, what could we do to promote connections between alumni and the college beyond traditional models? It was clear from the beginning that when the campaign concludes, its success will be measured not only by dollars raised but also by how well the college and the Society of Alumni have been able to engage the entire Williams community.
Out of that thinking, Purple with Purpose was born. Building upon our extraordinary history of collective action, volunteerism and alumni pride,
Purple with Purpose enables and encourages all members of the Williams family to strengthen our connections with each other and the college, show how Williams has made a difference in our lives and share the ways in which we Teach It Forward.
This is not a passive endeavor, and so I want you to understand what we’re asking of you and how you can participate in ways that resonate with you. Let me share a few possibilities.
Society of Alumni President Leila Jere ’91 writes about the Williams Song Competition on the inside front cover of this issue of People. Read what she has to say, submit a song, and encourage others to do the same.
Nominate a fellow alum for Regional Recognition. A sampling of what people are saying about fellow Ephs:
• A 1992 alumna “has single-handedly changed lives, changed organizations, changed huge institutions, changed our city.”
• A 1974 alumnus “has been a force for education, social change and environmental stewardship in our area and made Williams proud in every measure of the liberal arts tradition.”
• A 1989 Eph’s “civic contribution has been their personal and professional focus over a 20-year career in international rescue, humanitarian relief and poverty alleviation. Every day they deliver on the very values PwP seeks to celebrate.”
You can share your own stories of impact and read about others at purplewpurpose.tumblr.com.
You can also share memories of retiring faculty who have made a difference in your life, check out ways to volunteer with the college, network with Ephs and more. Explore the full list of opportunities at teachitforward.williams.edu/pwp. Then, join the charge, follow what your fellow Ephs are doing, and share your own #Ephpurpose.
With best wishes from Williamstown,
Brooks Foehl ’88
Director of Alumni Relations