Class of ’67 50th Reunion Class Gift – a Follow up Report

Ted McPherson

Remarks re-written and summarized from information provided by Development Office Donor Relations staff – delivered by Ted McPherson ‘67 at Williams College Class of 1967 meeting at 55th Reunion June 2022.

In celebration of our 50th Reunion, the Class of 1967 presented a cumulative class gift to Williams College of $12.7M, of which $4.8M in near-term gifts was divided equally between two purposes: the Class of 1967 Memorial Scholarship and the Class of 1967 Fund for Faculty Recruitment.

My remarks focus on our Fund for Faculty Recruitment that is so impactful helping Williams College successfully navigate a decade of faculty retirement.

  • From 2012 to 2021, 68 faculty members, or 27% of an eventual 10-year anticipated 100 people or 40% of 250 faculty, retired to emeritus status.
  • Since the start of the 2017 academic year, Williams has hired 89 tenure-track faculty, both replacing retiring faculty and augmenting selected disciplines.
  • Specifically, those 89 hires are distributed in the following departments: Computer Science (11); Chemistry (6); History (6); Mathematics (6); Art History (5); Art Studio (4); Biology (4); Economics (4); English (4); all other departments (39).
  • The Class of 1967 Fund for Faculty Recruitment starting with $2.4M of principal, augmented by $255K of income, has thus far invested $555K in Faculty Recruitment, leaving a remaining current balance of $2.1M.

The valuable support that our Fund provides Williams faculty members varies by individual case. Here are several actual examples:

  • Alice Bradley in Geosciences does research at the intersection of engineering and climate science, where she studies how to observe changes in sea ice environments. Her lab was outfitted with computers and scientific instruments, tools, and laboratory supplies, as well as experimental gear for use in the field, such as ice coring equipment, a large-payload quad-copter drone, Global Positioning cameras, and cold weather gear for student researchers.
  • Shikha Singh in Computer Science researches the intersection of computer science and economics by focusing on algorithmic game theory and how incentives and rational behavior influence the outcome of algorithms.
  • Cecilia Aldarondo in the Art Department teaches film and video. She is a documentary director-producer from Puerto Rico who makes films integrating linguistics and politics.

Other investments help make sure that faculty members can thrive in Williamstown upon arrival, ranging from housing to considerations for their families and dependents.

  • One significant investment in recent years has been the college’s Children’s Center, which serves as both a recruitment resource for new faculty deciding to come to Williams, as well as a resource for new faculty to meet other families with young children. The Center has been able to expand capacity to meet faculty demand, especially for infant care.

—- Assistant Professor of Chemistry Katie Hart said that “having access to such high-quality childcare at the Children’s Center was a crucial part of [her] decision to join the faculty at Williams.” In fact, Katie’s husband Jake Chu is trained in early elementary education, and “he was particularly impressed.”

In short, the Class of 1967 Fund for Faculty Recruitment creates compelling value, and Williams College is most grateful to all of us.  

… another quiet well-done to the Class of 1967!

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