Dear Classmates and Friends/Family/ Guests of the Wonderful Class of ‘ 71:

Here is an outline of the schedule for our Reunion, which starts on the evening of Sunday, August 7 and ends on Wednesday, August 10. We have tried to strike the right balance between optional programs covering the arts, intellectual stimulation, and what’s doing at Williams, and free time:  golf at Waubeeka Springs, tennis, hiking, biking, pickleball, visiting museums, or just hanging out with classmates.  Some events are labelled “Pre-registration required” because for various reasons, only a limited number of people can attend.  You’ll be able to sign up for these when you register for Reunion.  Any questions or suggestions, please let Rob or Steve know.

Of course, the most important thing is to make sure every classmate you want to see is going to be there. Please pick up the phone, send an e-mail or text or write a letter urging those folks to be there!

Here’s the schedule as of May 17:

Class Headquarters:  the Williams Inn.

Class Tent:  at Farley-Lamb field, the replacement for Weston Field, within steps of the Williams Inn.  Meals will be served here.

Saturday, August 6:  (For early birds)

Possible play or other cultural event together for very early arrivals.

Sunday, August 7: (For early birds during the day, and then Welcoming Dinner for all!!)

9 AM – 5 PM:  Free time.

11:10, 11:20, 11:30 AM:  Tee times at Taconic for foursomes.  Contact our golf chair, Gene Bauer, if you’re interested.

1:00 – 4:00 PM:  Boston Pops at Tanglewood.  Contact Steve Latham if you’re interested.

1:00 – 4:00 PM:  Williamstown Theater Festival production: Jimmy Naughton and Friends – An Afternoon of Stories and Songs.  Join two-time Tony Award® winning actor and WTF veteran for a memorable event.  Contact Bob Eyre if you’re interested.

5 PM – 9 PM:  Registration open at the Williams Inn.

6 PM – 9 PM:  Heavy hors d’oeuvres fit for dinner at the Faculty House.  Beer tasting:  Lager, Pilsner, Ale, IPA, Double IPA, and Kolsch.  Wines from France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S., featuring several grape varietals and sparkling wines to suit the heat of the summer.  Tables set up for House affiliations, and just for people to hang out.

9 PM – 10 PM:  Bar remains open for continued conversation, etc.

Monday, August 8:

8 AM – 10 AM:  Continental breakfast in Class Tent — coffee, juice, muffins / Danish, yogurt, fruit.

8 AM – 12:00 Noon:  Free time

9 AM- 5 PM:  Registration open at the Williams Inn.

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM:  Tour of Chapin Library Rare Books Special Collections hosted by Rich Casden.  Pre-registration required.

10:30 AM – 12:00 Noon:  Visit Professor Hank Art’s house (144 Stone Hill Road) for a tour of his meadow and vegetable garden.  Pre-registration required.

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM:  Tour of Chapin Library Rare Books Special Collections hosted by Rich Casden.  Pre-registration required.

11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon:  Tour of Sawyer Library.  Pre-registration required.

11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon:  Tour of Wachenheim Science Center.  Pre-registration required.

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM:  Lunch in Class Tent.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM:  Programs:

  • “Adding a Bit of Color and Light to the Brain”  Associate Professor of Biology and Faculty Affiliate in Neuroscience Matt Carter discusses his collaborative research with students aiming to shine light on how factors such as sleep, food, and water produce sensations in the brain described as “tired / awake,” “hungry / full,” and “thirsty / quenched.”  Room A, Williams Inn.
  • “What and How Will Your Grandchildren Learn”  A discussion incorporating Judy Willis’ neuroscience expertise and David Sobel’s teaching and authorship on such subjects as “The Forest Kindergarten” or “Thinking Skills Developed in Nature.”  John Chambers, with supervisory experience as Superintendent of Schools in Westchester, NY, moderates.  Room B, Williams Inn.

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM:  Programs:

  • “What Would Chafe, Bobby Coombs, and Al Shaw Think:  Coaching Today’s Williams Athlete”  Athletics today on campus.  Athletic Director and coaches discuss today’s Williams athletes, the changes in coaching, and the role of athletics in the College’s educational mission.  Room A, Williams Inn.
  • “Sondheim”  Steve Lawson and Gordon Clapp trace Stephen Sondheim ’50, his artistic first steps while an undergraduate, and subsequent rise to becoming the leading theatrical composer/lyricist of our time.  Steve will also share anecdotes from his personal acquaintance with Sondheim.  Room B, Williams Inn.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM:”Women of ’71”  This documentary by Paul Lieberman chronicles the experience of women on campus and their paths to becoming a critical and historical part of Williams ’71.  The film runs 40 minutes, and will be followed by a panel discussion with female classmates and exchange students.  Bronfman Auditorium.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM:  Cocktails in Class Tent.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM:  Formal dinner in Class Tent with remarks by President Maud S. Mandel.  Business Casual attire.  Maud will describe how ’71’s 50th Reunion Gift will be used and how it promotes the Williams strategic plan.  There will also be remarks by Class President Steve Brown and Reunion Chair Rob Farnham.

9:00 PM – 11:00 PM:  low-key entertainment in Class Tent or on Williams Inn porch.

Tuesday, August 9:

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM:  Continental breakfast like Monday’s.

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM:  Small sessions:

  • “Home Caregivers” Managing infirmity to stay at home.  Join Dr. Mark Ruchman, caregivers, and physicians in a discussion regarding infirmities of vision, mobility, and cognition, sharing ideas on how be be alert to symptoms, and managing the care of loved ones at home.  Room A, Williams Inn.
  • “Ukraine / Russian War”  John Walcott, past editor of Knight Ridder newsgroup, and Bill Strong, President of Eschaton Funds, will discuss the resulting geopolitics of the Ukraine War, the effectiveness of economic sanctions as a global policy tool, and its impact on U.S. and global economies.

10:30 AM – 10:50 AM: Break and walk to Chapin

10:50 AM – 12:15 PM:  “What would Fred Rudolph, Bob Gaudino, and Whit Stoddard Think of Teaching Today’s Williams Classroom?”  Williams Student of Today.  Faculty member panel to discuss student body make-up, the increased role of STEM courses within the liberal arts, challenges in the classroom (e.g., cancel culture), the tutorial experience, and theme housing.  Chapin Hall.

12:15 – 1:30 PM:

  • Picture on Chapin Steps
  • Parade down Spring Street
  • Box Lunch with students in Class Tent

12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM:  Free time

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM:  Visit Professor Hank Art’s house (144 Stone Hill Road) for a tour of his meadow and vegetable garden.  Pre-registration required.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM:  Tour of Chapin Library Rare Books Special Collections hosted by Rich Casden.  Pre-registration required.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM:  Tour of Wachenheim Science Center.  Pre-registration required.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM:  Tour of Sawyer Library.  Pre-registration required.

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM:  Tour of Chapin Library Rare Books Special Collections hosted by Rich Casden.  Pre-registration required.

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM:  Classmate Memorial Service.  Shared memories of classmates we’ve lost since our 45th Reunion including a video loop, as well as recognition of all our deceased classmates.  Piano accompaniment by Bob Eyre.  Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall in the Bernhard Music Center, adjacent to Chapin Hall.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Cocktails in Class Tent

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM:  Informal buffet dinner in Class Tent, with recognition and thanks to Class members.

9:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Dance (DJ) to the golden era of music (1967 – 1971) spiced with some fun disco and recent hits.  All styles (Twist, Jerk, Watusi, Frug, etc.) and motions encouraged with no embarrassment allowed.

Wednesday, August 10:

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM:  “Shared thoughts on the Reunion”  Upscale brunch in Class Tent.  Improvisational forum by all.  The Reunion experience expressed by classmates.  New bonds formed.  Thoughts on future gatherings.  The 50th Reunion as a waystation to future connections.