I applaud the Committee on Educational Policy’s effort to explore the question “Why Liberal Arts?” (fall 2014). However, the inclusion of alumni on the committee would provide valuable perspective on how the breadth of academic, cultural, athletic and social experiences available through a Williams education creates the foundation for a rewarding and fulfilling personal and professional life. We alumni live the value of that education and can share what worked well, what didn’t, what the invaluable and treasured opportunities were and what we now know we overlooked. “Williams taught me how to think” summarizes my four years of college. The development of skills in critical reasoning, receptiveness to new ideas, skepticism, diligence, attention to detail, valuing diverse opinions, perseverance, personal expression and inquisitiveness is one short answer to the question, “Why Liberal Arts?” Inviting other alumni viewpoints would make the committee’s work even more effective in examining the Williams experience.
—Bill Leininger ’86, San Diego, Calif.