On March 13, Williams announced Maud S. Mandel as its 18th president. She will formally assume her role on July 1. This letter serves as just one more welcome to our college’s new leader.
On behalf of the more than 28,000 alumni who make up the Williams Society of Alumni, I offer congratulations and a warm welcome to you in your new role. As you begin your journey with the many constituencies you serve, I wanted to share a few thoughts collected from 17 years of working closely with the most passionate, dedicated and thoughtful alumni family found anywhere.
Just as you’re here for us, know that the Williams alumni family will always be here for you.
A question you may ask yourself is also one you’ll likely hear from others. Why are Williams alumni so rabid, so passionate about their alma mater? It will be exciting for you to form your own answers over time, and there are many factors at play. The foundation of that passion is built on an undergraduate experience equaled by some and surpassed by none. Indelible relationships are formed over those four years between fellow students, faculty, staff and all who collectively make up the Williams community. Not everyone loved Williams when they were here, but almost all are committed to helping it become the best it can be so gaps in their experiences will be addressed to the benefit of those who follow.
Williams alumni give back to their college in remarkable ways. Having an annual giving percentage that is the envy of higher ed is just a small part of that story. Contributions from alumni, philanthropic and otherwise, saved Williams in 1821, when the Society of Alumni was founded. And they continue to fuel the college today. We’ll celebrate that legacy during the Society’s Bicentennial in 2021. Williams is blessed with a culture of volunteerism that is the backbone of all engagement between alumni and their college. Every year, 10 percent of alumni are active volunteers, and you’ll hear about the “gift of time” being valued as much as the philanthropic gifts that support our college.
Williams alumni live lives both extraordinary and ordinary. For every Eph in a high-profile leadership role in their field, there are countless more contributing in ways perhaps less visible but no less impactful. As they go about their daily lives, Williams is not always front of mind, but it’s with them always. You’ll have an opportunity to meet many alumni in their communities and yours, and what they want most of all is to know that their college is in good hands. While we all play a role as stewards of Williams, we take our lead from you. And just as you’re here for us, know that the Williams alumni family will always be here for you.
Welcome to the Williams family, Maud.
—Brooks Foehl ’88, Director, Alumni Relations