Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Williams College is a small, private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. As of 2004, the undergraduate enrollment was approximately 2,000 students. Fraternities were phased out beginning in 1962. Coeducation was adopted in 1970. There are three academic curricular divisions (humanities, sciences, social sciences), 24 departments, 31 majors, and two small masters programs in art history and development economics. The student:faculty ratio is 8:1. The academic year consists of two four-course semesters plus a one-course Winter Study term during the month of January. Williamstown is located in the Berkshires in northwestern Massachusetts, 145 miles (233 km) from Boston and 165 miles (266 km) from New York City. The College sits at the foot of Mount Greylock. When Henry David Thoreau visited in 1844, he remarked that "It would be no small advantage if every college were thus located at the base of a mountain."
When Colonel Ephraim Williams of the Massachusetts militia was killed at the Battle of Lake George in 1755, his will included a bequest to support and maintain a free school to be established in the town of West Hoosac, Massachusetts, provided that the town change its name to Williamstown. The will was unsigned and undated, and provided additional stipulations, such as the town remaining in Massachusetts rather than becoming part of New York as some residents wanted, before the bequest could be disbursed. this involved a delay of over 35 years until, in 1791, the Williamstown Free School opened. Not long after the school opened, the trustees petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to convert the free school to a tuition-based college. The legislature agreed and in 1793, Williams College was chartered.
In 1806 a student prayer meeting gave rise to the American Foreign Mission Movement . In August of that year five students met in the maple grove of Sloan's Meadow to pray. A thunderstorm drove them to the shelter of a haystack, and the fervor of the ensuing meeting inspired them to take the gospel abroad. The students went on to build the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the first American organization to send missionaries overseas. The Haystack Monument near Mission Park on the Williams Campus commemorates the meeting.
By 1815, Williams had only two buildings and fifty-eight students, and was in serious financial trouble. On November 10, 1818, nine of the twelve Williams College trustees voted for a resolution stating that:
"Resolved, that it is expedient to remove Williams College to some more central part of the State whenever sufficient funds can be obtained to defray the necessary expenses incurred and the losses sustained by removal, and to secure the prosperity of the college, and when a fair prospect shall be presented of obtaining for the institution the united support and patronage of the friends of literature and religion in the western part of the Commonwealth, and when the General Court shall give their assent to the measure."
In February 1820, a petition to the Massachusetts legislature to this effect was defeated, and the college was not moved.
In 1821, Williams College President Zephaniah Swift Moore, who had accepted his position believing that the college would move east, abandoned Williams. He took fifteen students with him, and assumed the first Presidency of Amherst College. Story has it that Moore also took portions of the Williams College library. Though plausible, this account is unsubstantiated, and was declared false in 1995 by Williams College President Harry Payne. Moore died just two years later after founding Amherst, and was succeeded by Heman Humphrey, a trustee of Williams College.
Williams played Amherst College in the first intercollegiate baseball game in 1859 and continued on to pioneer many areas of academia and education. Williams' website has a list of "firsts" and a more detailed history. Notable among these, Williams was the first American college or university to feature caps and gowns at graduation.
Presidents of Williams College
- Ebenezer Fitch, 1793-1815
- Zephaniah Swift Moore, 1815-1821
- Edward Dorr Griffin, 1821-1836
- Mark Hopkins, 1836-1872
- Paul Ansel Chadbourne, 1872-1881
- Franklin Carter, 1881-1901
- John Haskell Hewitt, 1901-1902
- Henry Hopkins, 1902-1908
- Harry Augustus Garfield, 1908-1934
- Tyler Dennett, 1934-1937
- James Phinney Baxter, 1937-1961
- John Edward Sawyer, 1961-1973
- John Wesley Chandler, 1973-1985
- Francis Christopher Oakley, 1985-1993
- Harry C. Payne, 1994-1999
- Carl W. Vogt, 1999-2000
- Morton Owen Schapiro, 2000-present
School colors and origins thereof
Williams' primary school color is purple.
The story goes that at the Williams-Harvard baseball game in 1869, spectators, watching from carriages, had trouble telling the teams apart (there were no uniforms) so one of the onlookers bought ribbons from a nearby millinery store to pin on Williams' players. The only color available was purple. The buyer was Jennie Jerome (later Winston Churchill's mother) whose family summered in Williamstown.
Williams' other color is gold, purple's complementary color, which is why most team uniforms and paraphernalia have purple and a form of gold or yellow as the two dominant colors.
The Williams college mascot, formally established by a vote of the student body in 1907, is a purple cow. This peculiar mascot has several possible sources:
- Gelett Burgess's nonsense poem:
I never saw a purple cow
Nor do I hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.
- Another possible source of the mascot is the color of the surrounding mountains, which often appear purple in the light of the setting sun (but which don't really resemble cows).
- A humor magazine in the early 20th Century was named "The Purple Cow."
According to a caption on a photograph at the Williamstown House of Local History, the the purple cow may have come from a student prank: a farmer always left his cow staked near Weston Field, and several students painted the cow purple.
Williams claims the first alma mater song written by an undergraduate, "The Mountains", which was written by Washington Gladden of the class of 1859.
There are several Williams publications produced by students each year. The longest running student newspaper is the Williams Record which is a weekly broadsheet paper produced every Tuesday. Several other newspapers have been founded over the years, but none have survived as long as the Record.
The student yearbook is called the Gulielmensian (named after the Latin word for Williams). It has been irregularly published in the past decade, but dates back to the mid 19th century.
Numerous smaller campus publications of a literary nature are also produced each year, including a campus humor magazine and collections of poetry.
WCFM Williamstown 91.9 broadcasts from new offices in Prospect Hall at 1.1 kilowatts, reaching most of the Berkshire area. As the campus radio station, it is commercial and format free, leaving DJs to program as they wish. It also occasionally broadcasts Williams sporting events and hosts campus concerts. An online feed makes WCFM available to listeners worldwide.
At the end of every semester since 1966, the Williams College radio station has hosted an all-night, 8-hour trivia contest. Teams of students, alumni, professors and others compete to answer questions on any number of subjects, identify songs, and perform a variety of unnecessary tasks. The winning team's only prize is the obligation to create and host the following semester's contest. It is the oldest continuous competition of its sort in the United States. Further history and details are available at an archival website.
Williams has the oldest existing Alumni Society of any academic institution in the United States, and may have the oldest alumni organization in the world. The Alumni Society was founded during the "Amherst crisis" in 1821, when Williams College President Zephaniah Swift Moore left Williams. Graduates of Williams formed the Alumni Society to ensure that Williams would not have to close, and raised enough money to ensure the future survival of the school.
In the years since the Amherst Crisis the generosity of alumni has made Williams one of the wealthiest educational institutions in the United States, with an endowment of over $1 billion.
Not affiliated with the Society of Alumni, but also serving the college's alumni is the Williams Club in New York City. Located at 24 East 39th Street in Manhattan, the club is open to the paying public as a hotel and restaurant, and operates as a meeting space for Williams alumni living in and visiting the city.
- Michael Beschloss 1977, called "the nation's leading presidential historian" by Newsweek.
- Sterling Allen Brown 1922, African-American teacher, literary critic, and poet
- James MacGregor Burns 1939, Pulitzer Prize winning author.
- Allison Davis 1924, sociologist
- Robert F. Engle 1964, won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics "for methods of analyzing economic time series with time-varying volatility" (ARCH models) and holds the Armellino Chair at New York University (NYU). He graduated with Highest Honors in Physics.
- Walter Kaufmann 1941, philosopher, poet, and translator.
- S. Lane Faison 1929, art historian.
- Kristin Forbes 1992, Mitsubishi Career Development Professor of International Management, MIT and Member, Council of Economic Advisers (confirmed by the Senate in 2003, she is the youngest person to ever hold this position).
- Keith Griffin 1960, former president of Magdalen College, Oxford.
- Mark Hopkins 1824. According to former U.S. president James A. Garfield (see below), "The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other."
- Stephen Lewis 1960, president of Carleton College.
- Earl R. Mandle 1963, president of the Rhode Island School of Design
- Curtis T. McMullen 1980 is Professor of Mathematics at Harvard and winner of the 1998 Fields Medal for his work in complex dynamics.
- Barrington Moore Jr. 1936. Leading figure in Comparative Politics and professor emeritus at Harvard.
- Daniel Muzyka 1975, Dean of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
- Richard Repp 1957, master of St. Cross College , Oxford.
- T. Hedley Reynolds 1942, president of University of New England.
- David Ruder 1951, Professor and former Dean, Northwestern University School of Law, and former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Michael Scanlan 1953, president of University of Steubenville .
- James C. Scott 1958, Sterling Professor of Political Science and director of Agrarian Studies at Yale.
- Herbert Stein 1935, former Chair, Council of Economic Advisers (and father of Ben Stein).
- Lester Thurow 1960 is the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Professor of Management and Economics, and former Dean (1987-1993), MIT Sloan School of Management.
- Richard Warch 1961, president of Lawrence University.
Actors, artists, and cinema
- Gordon Clapp 1971, Emmy Award-winning actor on NYPD Blue.
- John Frankenheimer 1951, director of The Manchurian Candidate and other notable films.
- Ulrich Franzen 1942, architect.
- Max Gail 1965, actor.
- A.R. Gurney, playwright, The Dining Room and Sylvia.
- Tao Ho 1960, architect.
- Elia Kazan 1931, Oscar-winning director of Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront and writer.
- Charlotte Neuville 1973, clothes designer.
- John Sayles 1972, director of Lone Star and Eight Men Out.
- Paul Stekler 1974, documentarian.
- David Strathairn, actor in Sneakers, The Sopranos, and Memphis Belle (1990), among many others.
- Sydney Walsh 1983, actress.
- Martha Williamson 1977, Producer, Touched by an Angel.
- Herbert A. Allen, Jr. 1962. President and Chief Executive Officer of Allen & Company , a privately held investment firm and host of a storied annual media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
- Steve Case 1980, founder and former CEO of America Online.
- E. Mandell de Wind, 1943, former CEO of Eaton Corp.
- Chuck Fruit 1969, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Coca-Cola.
- William Klopman 1943, former CEO of Burlington Industries .
- Bernard Lanvin 1958, president of Lanvin Perfumes .
- Robert I. Lipp 1960, Chairman and CEO of Travelers Property Casualty Corp.
- John McCoy 1965, CEO of Bank One.
- Clarence Otis, Jr. 1977, CEO of Darden Restaurants
- Bo Peabody 1994, founder of Tripod (sold to Lycos in 1998 for $64 million) and Chairman of Village Ventures.
- Leigh Perkins 1950, president of Orvis Co.
- Joseph L. Rice, founder of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice , Inc., one of the oldest and most respected private equity investment firms in the world (and Trustee Emeritus of Williams College).
- Robert Rich 1963, president of Rich Products Corp.
- Walter Shipley 1957, president of Chemical Bank.
- Edson Spencer 1948, former chairman of Honeywell, Inc.
Curators and museum directors (aka the Williams art mafia)
Many were trained and deeply inspired by Whitney S. Stoddard and S. Lane Faison, who headed the art history department at Williams from 1940 to 1969.
- Robert Buck, 1961, director, Brooklyn Museum
- Michael Govan, director of the Dia Art Foundation.
- Thomas Krens 1969, Director Guggenheim Museums Worldwide.
- John R. Lane 1966, Director Dallas Museum of Art.
- Glen Lowry 1976, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
- Earl A. Powell III 1966, director of the National Gallery of Art 1992–present.
- Joseph C. Thompson 1981, director, MassMoca.
- Kirk Varnedoe 1968, MoMA Chief Curator of painting and sculpture until his death in 2003.
- James N. Wood, director of the Art Institute of Chicago (1980–2004).
Government officials and political notables
Ambassadors, diplomats, and bureaucrats
- Janet Brown 1973, Executive Director, Commission on Presidential Debates.
- Henry Catto 1952, U.S.I.A. director and former ambassador to Britain
- Richard Helms, 1935, former C.I.A . director and ambassador to Iran.
- Takayuki Kimura 1964, director of cultural affairs, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Arthur Levitt, Jr. 1952, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1993–2001.
Governors and state politicians
- Donald Beyer 1972, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
- Arne Carlson 1957, 37th governor of the state of Minnesota.
- Sanford Dole 1867, governor of Territory of Hawaii.
- Alfred E. Driscoll 1925, 60th governor of the state of New Jersey.
- Joseph B. Ely 1902, 58th governor of the state of Massachusetts.
- Philip Hoff 1948, 73rd governor of the state of Vermont.
- Henry Hoyt 1849, 18th governor of the state of Pennsylvania.
- Herbert H. Lehman 1899, 49th governor of the state of New York and a co-founder of Lehman Brothers.
- John Chapman "Chap" Petersen 1990, 2005 candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
- Bill Simon 1973, two-time California gubernatorial candidate.
- Bruce Sundlun 1946, 69th Rhode Island Governor.
- Nathanial Tallmadge 1814, last governor of the Territory of Wisconsin.
- Gilbert Walker 1854, 43rd governor of the state of Virginia.
- Emory Washburne 1817, 27th governor of the state of Massachusetts.
- Charles S. Whitman 1890, 44th governor of the state of New York.
- Charles Williams 1800, 20th governor of the state of Vermont.
- William Williamson 1804, 2nd governor of the state of Maine.
- Elisha Hunt Allen 1823, Maine First Congressional District (1841-1843)
- Chester Ashley 1811(?), Arkansas Senator (1844-1848)
- Daniel Barnard 1818, New York Congressman (1827-1829, 1839-1845)
- Samuel Rossiter Betts 1806, New York Congressman (1815-1817)
- Lewis Bigelow 1803, Massachusetts Congressman (1821-1823)
- Victory Birdseye 1804, New York Congressman (1815-1817)
- Bernard Blair 1825, New York Congressman (1841-1843)
- Samuel Augusutus Bridges 1826, Pennsylvania Congressman (1848-1849, 1853-1855, 1877-1879)
- Ed Case 1974, Hawai'i Second Congressional District (2003-Present)
- Alfred Clark Chapin 1869, New York Congressman (1891-1892)
- Timothy Childs 1811, New York Congressman (1829-1831, 1835-1839, 1841-1843)
- Horace Francis Clark 1833, New York Congressman (1857-1861)
- John Chamberlain Clark 1811, New York Congressman (1827-1829, 1837-1843)
- Ernest Harold Cluett 1896, New York Congressman (1937-1943)
- Rodolphus Dickinson 1821, Ohio Congressman (1847- died in office on March 20, 1849)
- James Dixon 1834, Connecticut Congressman (1845-1849) and Senator (1857-1869)
- Michael Edward Driscoll 1877, New York Congressman (1899-1913)
- Henry Williams Dwight 1809(?), Massachusetts Congressman (1821-1831)
- Mark Udall 1972, Colorado Congressman (1998-present)
- Samuel Finley Vinton 1814, 19th century Ohio congressman (1823-1836, 1843-1851)
- Kevin White 1952, the longest-serving Mayor of Boston (1968–1983).
Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Cabinet Positions
- Bill Bennett 1965, Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan. Appointed as the United States' first drug czar under President George H. W. Bush.
- Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and founder of United States Progressive Party.
- President James Garfield 1856.
- Edward McPherson 1967 , nominated by President George W. Bush as Undersecretary of Education, and current CFO at the U.S. Department of agriculture.
- Goh Chok Tong Prime Minister of Singapore (1990-2004). Received Masters from Williams' Center for Development Economics.
- Prince Hussain Aga Khan 1997, Shia Muslim Royalty.
- Reza Pahlavi II (would have been 1983), former Crown Prince of Iran, matriculated at Williams, but left after his freshman year due to the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
Judiciary and Legal
- Stephen J. Field 1837, Associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and chief architect of the constitutional theory that protected industry from Federal regulation during the rapid industrialization that followed the Civil war.
- Anthony T. Kronman 1968. Dean (1994-present) and Edward J. Phelps Professor of Law, Yale Law School.
- Paul Michel 1962, Federal Circuit Judge.
- Jeffrey Sutton 1983, Federal Judge sitting on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Telford Taylor 1928, Prosecutor of Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials, General in the U.S. Army, and professor of law at Columbia University and Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law .
- Stanley Foster , M.D., 1955, led successful fight to rid world of small pox.
- Charles Whittlesey 1905, awarded Medal of Honor for his actions as commander of the famed Lost Battalion of WWI. Was named as one of the "three outstanding heroes of the AEF" (Allied Expeditionary Force) by General Pershing.
- Chris Collingwood, Fountains of Wayne member.
- William Finn 1974, Broadway composer of musicals, among other shows, Falsettos, and winner of the Tony award.
- Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne member.
- Stephen Sondheim 1950. Sondheim premiered Phinney's Rainbow , a satire of Williams, and All that Glitters while at Williams.
- Lee-Hom Wang 1998, pop star and actor in East Asia.
- Jesse Winchester 1966, Singer/Songwriter
Science, technology, and engineering
- Alexander L. Fetter 1958, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Materials and former Chair of the Physics Department, Stanford University (1985-1990).
- G. Stanley Hall 1867, the father of American Psychology and the first American to be awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology.
- William Higinbotham 1932, American physicist credited with creating the first video game.
- Edward Morley 1860, who co-performed the Michelson-Morley experiment, one of the most famous experiments in the history of physics.
- Ethan Zuckerman 1993, a co-founder of Tripod, founder of GeekCorps , and a fellow at the Berkman Center .
- Ethan Brooks 1996, NFL player for Baltimore Ravens.
- Alex Blake 2003, Colorado Rapids (MLS).
- Dan Calichman 1990, MLS All-Star.
- Jim Duquette 1988, senior vice president of baseball operations for the New York Mets.
- Kristine Karlson 1985, world rowing champion.
- Jonathan Kraft 1986, operator, investor and owner's representative to the New England Patriots, New England Revolution and Gillette Stadium. He is also COO of The Kraft Group .
- George Steinbrenner 1952, owner of the New York Yankees.
- Khari Stephenson 2004, Kansas City Wizards (MLS).
- Fay Vincent 1960, former major league baseball commissioner.
(A list of Williams' Olympians is available at the Williams Sports Info website.)
Writing and journalism
- Stephen Birmingham 1950, writer.
- Sterling Brown 1922, poet.
- William Cullen Bryant 1814, poet.
- Dominick Dunne 1949, author.
- Gary Fisketjon 1976, editor.
- Ed Larson 1974, 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.
- Tim Layden 1978, Sports Illustrated writer.
- David Marash 1964, Nightline correspondent.
- Jay McInerney 1976, author of Bright Lights, Big City.
- Bethany McLean 1992, author of The Smartest Guys in the Room , on the collapse of Enron.
- Hedrick Smith 1955, 1974 Pulitzer Prize winner in international reporting.
- John Toland 1936, writer.
- Charles Webb 1961, author of the book upon which The Graduate was based. (Supposedly, Williams College is the alma mater of Dustin Hoffman's character.)
The school's sports teams are called the Ephmen, or the Ephs (pronounced "Eef", or "if" in IPA) - a shortening of the first name of founder Ephraim Williams. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Williams has had tremendous success winning the NACDA Director's Cup, also known as the Sears Cup.
Williams has a traditional rivalry with Amherst College's Lord Jeffs. Williams and Amherst currently compete in 26 varsity sports and Williams sports a winning record vs. Amherst in 23. Amherst leads only in baseball and men's soccer while the two schools' women's soccer teams were tied, as of 11/6/2003.
Williams has played in the last two men's basketball Division III national championship games, winning the title in March 2003.
Williams is currently ranked #1 on U.S. News and World Report's ranking of liberal arts colleges, and has ranked first in the academic reputation category each year that U.S. News has produced a survey.
Williams ranked fifth, after Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, in a 2004 Wall Street Journal survey of the "feeder schools" to the top five business, law, and medical schools in the country.
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