Schapiro to be inducted as College President Oct. 21

Williams College will induct Morton Owen Schapiro as its 16th president in a public ceremony Saturday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. in Chapin Hall.

His predecessor, Carl W. Vogt, will formally present him with two symbols of the Williams presidency – a key and a copy of the college’s charter.

Margaret Johnson Ware, chair of the Board of Selectmen, Robert L. Bahr, president of the Society of Alumni, Christine M. DeMasi Naughton, assistant to the chair of the Department of economics, Ami M. Parekh and Todd T. Rogers, co-presidents of College Council, and Thomas A. Kohut, dean of the faculty, will offer official greetings, representing the Williamstown community, College alumni, staff, students and faculty, respectively.

Raymond F. Henze III, chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, will welcome those attending. William G. Bowen, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and former president of Princeton University will deliver the main address, entitled “The Two Faces of Wealth.” Schapiro also will speak.

The invocation and benediction will be delivered by Richard E. Spalding, chaplain, and Sigma F. Coran, associate chaplain.

The academic procession, led by Carmen C. Massimiano, Berkshire County sheriff, and a student band under the leadership of Matthew Jenkins, begins at 2:30 p.m.

Festivities begin Thursday, Oct. 19, with an Induction Concert honoring President Schapiro and his wife, Mimi Schapiro, performed by the Berkshire Symphony. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall and is free and open to the public.

Sawyer Library is mounting an exhibition on the field of President Schapiro’s research, entitled “The Economics of Higher Education: 20 Years of Research at Williams and Beyond.” Sawyer Library is open Thursday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Schapiro is among the nation’s premier authorities on the economics of higher education, with particular expertise in the area of college financing and affordability, and on trends in educational costs and student aid. He is widely quoted in the national media and is regularly asked to testify before U.S. Senate and House committees on economic and educational issues.

He has written more than 50 articles and five books, including (with his long-time co-author Michael S. McPherson) The Student Aid Game: Meeting Need and Rewarding Talent in American Higher Education (Princeton University Press, 1998); Paying the Piper: Productivity, Incentives and Financing in Higher Education (University of Michigan Press, 1993); and Keeping College Affordable: Government and Educational Opportunity (Brookings, 1991).

Schapiro has received research grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the World Bank, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the College Board, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, and other groups to study the economics of higher education and related topics.

He began his Williams presidency July 1 after nine years at the University of Southern California, where he served as chair of the Department of Economics from 1991 to 1994 and as dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from 1994 to 2000. During his last two years as dean he also served as vice president for planning for the university.

He was a member of the Williams College faculty from 1980 to 1991, serving as professor of economics as well as assistant provost.

He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Hofstra University in 1975 and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

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