In Memoriam

The college last spring noted the passing of two influential community members—music professor Ernest Brown and former alumni secretary John English ’32. Brown “broadened culturally the college’s engagement with music,” stated President Adam Falk in a letter to the Williams community announcing the ethnomusicologist’s death, at the age of 64, after a three-year struggle with cancer. In addition to teaching an array of courses including “Music Cultures of the World” and “Black Music and Postmodernism,” he founded and directed both the Zambezi Marimba Band and Kusika African dance ensemble. Read his full obituary at English, a reporter and avid golfer who was an assistant executive director of the U.S. Golf Association, was Williams alumni secretary from 1959 to 1975, serving as director of the college’s alumni relations, Alumni Fund and public information operations. He continued to connect his classmates to each other for decades as author of the class notes for the Class of ’32. At the time of his death, at the age of 101, he was also the college’s oldest alumnus. In a letter noting English’s passing, President Falk called him “one of the college’s more versatile retired staff members.” Read his full obituary at