In just a few short weeks, we will welcome thousands of alumni, family and friends back to Williamstown for the first Reunion Weekend in three years. That’s the plan as I write this in early April, with the understanding that we’re still in a pandemic and can’t fully see out beyond a few months. Executing reunions is a massive undertaking for the college; all corners of campus join together as a well-oiled machine to ensure that our alumni have a meaningful, enjoyable, amazing celebration. We’re excited that machine will run again—just with a little more ingenuity where needed and changes that take into account safe and smart protocols to meet our moment in time.
As you know, each graduating class celebrates a reunion every five years. Because of the pandemic, the classes that would have returned to campus during the summers of 2020 and 2021—those whose graduation years end in 0, 5, 1 and 6—missed their Reunion Weekends. Many of you still took the opportunity to celebrate together online and in small groups around the country and globe. And as much as we wish we could bring everyone back to campus at some point for a re-do, it’s just impossible. We are, however, selectively inviting some classes to celebrate this summer.
Knowing the importance of that first five-year reunion after graduation—there’s nothing quite like it—the classes of 2015 and 2016 are joining the Class of 2017’s festivities in June. The classes of 1995 and 1996 will return in late June for a combined 25th reunion celebration. And 1970 and 1971 will celebrate their 50th reunions on campus in August. This summer will also see the return of the Class of 2020 for a weekend-long celebration to bring closure to their Williams experience, cut short two years ago.
The organic connections you’ve made over the past two years are strong and deep.
Those of you who have already experienced these milestone moments can appreciate their significance, and I hope those who have not will understand their meaning in the life cycle of being an alum. We’re sorry this plan leaves gaps in many classes’ reunion schedules. Strains on the infrastructure of the college and the limitations of our bucolic rural setting conspire against offering more. Yet we know the organic connections you’ve made over the past two years are strong and deep. We can’t wait to welcome all 0s, 5s, 1s and 6s back for an epic Reunion Weekend in 2025 and 2026.
I want to close by offering thanks and well wishes to my colleague Ashley Weeks Cart ’05, who has dedicated the past 12 years to keeping you all connected as director of classes and reunions and is now moving on from her role. The college and our entire alumni community have been the beneficiaries of her enthusiasm and creativity. Offer her your congratulations when you spot her hard at work during Reunion Weekend in June—her last hurrah until she returns in 2025 for her own class celebration.
With best wishes from Williamstown,
—Brooks Foehl ’88, Executive Director of Alumni Relations;
Secretary, Society of Alumni