This week in Williams history

Sept. 27, 1932

In a move both reminiscent of and distinctly different from our modern time, the 15 fraternities decided at this time to institute “student waiter” positions for fraternity dining in response to the economic hardships of the Great Depression. Only students who were receiving scholarships or in need of support to pay for board were allowed to apply. The fraternities also made clear that this would be only be a temporary measure, to be reversed when the depression lifted.

Sept. 15, 1951

This issue announced that the founder of the Williams Record died over the summer. While a junior, Albert Priest Newell ’05 recognized the need for more frequent publication of campus news than the existing publication, which was weekly. With the help of classmates, he founded the Record as a biweekly paper to provide fresh and up-to-date news. After graduation, Newell went on to become an “industrialist and attorney,” running corporations as well as civic groups and clubs. During both world wars, he led Liberty and Victory loan campaigns, devising new strategies to drum up support.


Sept. 15, 1978

The All-Campus Entertainment Committee (ACEC), the predecessor of today’s ACE, was in uproar after finding out that the administration would ban them from hosting rock concerts in Chapin Hall for the year. ACEC had already scheduled several concerts for the year, and was left without a venue. The administration justified their decision on the basis of damage done to seating in Chapin during the previous year’s concerts.


Sept. 24, 1985

The federal government announced that it had selected an area of Vermont just north of Williamstown as a potential dumpsite for nuclear waste.  A panel of local residents and professors gathered to discuss the possible problems. According to the director of the Vermont Public Research group, the canisters containing waste were designed to last 1000 years, though the hazardous life of nuclear waste is approximately 10,000 years. Professor of Geology Paul Karabinos emphasized the need to conduct more research before establishing a waste depository site.


Sept. 16, 1997

In the current day and age, most students cannot remember a time when the College was anything other than first or second in the national, much maligned, college rankings. In this year, the College tied with Wellesley College for the third spot on US News and World Report’s annual ranking system. Williams fared poorly (No. 28) in the Faculty Resources category, particularly the class size subcategory.


Sept. 18, 2001

Almost 10 years ago to the day, the Record was permeated with coverage of 9/11. The first issue of the year came out on the very day of the attacks, so this second issue covered a full week of reactions and revelations. Two alumni from New York City were missing as the paper went to print, in addition to the parent of a student. Many other alums in the city who were witness to the event spoke with the Record about it. There was concern expressed about anti-Arab sentiment affecting the College’s community: The South Asian Student Association canceled a field trip to Pittsfield, the Center for Developmental Economics explicitly warned its students to stay close to campus and several students reported anti-Asian incidents throughout the community. The Opinions pages were filled with declarations of grief, justifications about an appropriate response and calls for a new generation to take up its mantle.

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