In this, our final issue of the year, we wanted to use this space to say thank you to someone whose service to Williams went well beyond the call of duty: Carl Vogt ’58.
Vogt was tapped for the job as interim president at a crucial time for the College. Finding themselves in the awkward position of not having anyone to fill the presidency, the board of trustees put their confidence in Vogt, who fortunately for Williams was at a point in his career where he could commit to the position.
At the beginning of the year tensions were high between students and members of the faculty who felt as if the administration was making decisions as an entity separate from the rest of the College. As a central task, Vogt effectively bridged the gap between these various constituents and in doing helped to start the long process of bringing the College community closer together.
One of the most effective actions on this front was Vogt’s decision to facilitate communication by inviting small groups of the faculty at the President’s house for dinner. Not only did this show that Vogt was here to listen, but it seems an effective way for the president of the College to really understand and be able to address the concerns of the faculty.
In his time here, Vogt has also been extremely willing to work with the Record and was kind enough to sit down for a full interview. He also spent time with College Council (CC), going as far as having CC members to his house for a dinner so that he could listen to student concerns.
More important than any action that he took, though, was the dignity Vogt brought to his office, which he made clear in his capacity presiding over faculty meetings. When Vogt addressed the faculty, he did so in a matter that was not only honest and forthcoming, but which also leant himself and the position a certain stature.
In public appearances Vogt was always open and easily accessible and never missed an opportunity to tell stories about his Williams experience. His humor and deep-rooted love for this institution helped to keep the issues that we have been facing in perspective.
Vogt knew that he had not been brought to Williams to make radical changes and instead filled the role of bringing people together. There is no doubt that what Vogt has learned will help incoming president Morty Schapiro make a much smoother transition, which is exactly what he was sent here to do.