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Some Redesign Kudos…

Williams Magazine Fall 2012

Williams Magazine, Fall 2012

Thank you to the group of people who produced the fall 2012 issue of Williams Magazine. You have done an outstanding job inspiring, entertaining, informing and stretching a reader. It’s truly like a liberal arts education condensed into 40 pages—just add water, read and enjoy.

—Malinda Bergamini Chapman ’80, Ticonderoga, N.Y.

I knew that the Magazine Working Group had been working very hard and imaginatively on the redesign for at least a year and that it was going to be very good. But this is one of those very rare occasions where high expectations have been significantly surpassed by the reality that has emerged. It strikes a wonderful balance among ideas, issues and developments that are (or should be) of interest to alumni and then makes connections to the Williams community where appropriate. It is substantial and written and designed very well. Congratulations on a wonderful success.

—Bob Stegeman ’60, Williamstown, Mass.

…And One Concern

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I like the new magazine design, but I don’t like the new size. I retain prior issues of the Alumni Review, and the new size doesn’t fit the shelf.

—Guy Verney ’54, Madison, Conn.

A Time of Transition

"A Time of Transition," Williams Magazine Fall 2012

"A Time of Transition," Williams Magazine Fall 2012The illustrations for “A Time of Transition” (fall 2012) were not only beautiful—magnificent would be a far better word! The article was thoughtful, and as proud as I am as a Williams graduate, the story reminds me of how great Williams College really is—a place for many to attend in our very diverse world. Thanks for being the Williams College of today as it was in the past, a truly great institution of learning.

— Sandy Singer ’47, Evanston, Ill.

Game Changer

"In the Game," Williams Magazine Fall 2012

"In the Game," Williams Magazine Fall 2012As the 77-year-old winner of a gold medal in diving at the 2005 World Masters Games, I am very familiar with Title IX (“In the Game,” fall 2012). The revolution in collegiate sports since 1972 has been dramatic and particularly advantageous for women’s roles in varsity competition, and very deservedly so. But there have been some downsides for men’s participation in varsity sports, particularly non-revenue sports, and particularly at public universities.

Williams was quite flexible in handling Title IX. But as swimming and diving programs were dropped at University of Illinois, University of Miami (Florida) and University of California, Los Angeles—which all previously had supplied an impressive number of Olympic champions—there has been an unfortunate impact on ongoing U.S. Olympic competition.

—Bill Harwood ‘49, Evanston, Ill.

 

I’m puzzled by negative references to the past state of women’s crew. I rowed from 1973 through 1977, when women’s and men’s crew were club sports. We were supported by gracious alumni and parents, plus we raised our own funds. We shared most equipment, which was generally in “experienced” condition. We drove personal cars and stayed with family or on the couches of friends for away races. Both crews competed favorably against well-funded varsity programs. In particular, Nancy Storrs ’73 and Sue Tuttle ’78 went on to much success with USA National Teams. It was tougher for our coaches due to very low compensation.

I wish crew had been a varsity sport during my time at Williams, but then I might not have made the team or had the great experiences I enjoyed. I graduated, got a job and donated a boat. It was my way of thanking the alumni who made my opportunity possible.

—Dan Fox ’77, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Lessons from the Grid

"The Well-Tempered Grid," Williams Magazine Fall 2012

"The Well-Tempered Grid," Williams Magazine Fall 2012Kudos and gratitude to the magazine and the faculty contributing to “The Well-Tempered Grid” (fall 2012). The article is a veritable proof of the practical value and importance of the liberal arts today. By studying Sol LeWitt’s art, one hones skills of abstraction, enumeration and integration—so critical to information technology. By studying the dance of Martha Graham, one learns to “rediscover” rather than “invent” elements and then recombine them to express new constructions—so central to the packaging of financial products. By studying archaeology’s progression from grid-based recording of finds at a dig to the artful interpretation of their meaning, one embodies the very essence of strategic management, medical diagnosis and more.

The value of the liberal arts for their own sake is widely acknowledged—as a means to a fulfilling life of curiosity, self-creation and glorious contemplation. But when we talk about the creative economy, our future national prosperity, one’s career earnings potential—all this “practical” stuff—the liberal arts are more important than they’ve been in a century, possibly ever. Perhaps this was the editors’ and authors’ purpose, or perhaps not. Regardless, you nailed it!

—Malcolm Smith ’87, Williamstown, Mass.

A Cool Visualization

"Visualizing the Liberal Arts," Williams Magazine Fall 2012

"Visualizing the Liberal Arts," Williams Magazine Fall 2012

Satyan Devadoss’ “Visualizing the Liberal Arts” (fall 2012) is about the coolest thing I’ve seen in any publication in a very long time. I went to the website, where its “coolness” only grew. Thank you for publishing that—I’ve shared it with my kids (both committed liberal arts majors, too, and facing uncertain career opportunities these days).

—Jim Christian ’82, Gunnison, Colo.