Dr. Richard Besser ’81, former acting director of the CDC, reflects on COVID-19 and his career since Williams

Dr. Richard Besser ’81 said he met his wife during his “first outbreak,” a befitting idiosyncrasy for the CEO ofthe largest philanthropic health organization in the United States, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Besser’s career spans almost four decades, including as former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama and later as ABC’s chief medical correspondent.

Professors balance remote teaching with childcare as Massachusetts schools close

Following Gov. Charlie Baker’s March 15 order for schools across Massachusetts to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some faculty at the College have had to contend with caring for their children in addition to restructuring curricula for remote learning. School closures were initially set to expire on April 6, but an extension ordered by Baker will keep public and private schools and non-emergency daycare programs closed until at least May 4.

Williamstown Theatre Festival performances moved to Audible

In a statement issued yesterday, Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) announced the cancellation of all live performances for the 2020 summer season. The seven plays set to perform this year at WTF — including a Robert O’Hara-directed revival of A Streetcar Named Desire and five world premiere works — will instead be released as readings on Audible, the popular platform for audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment.

The Class of 1970 awaits its 50th reunion, whenever it may be

As the chair of the Class of 1970’s 50th reunion, which was to be held June 10-14, I have been leading our 50th reunion effort since 2015.  While I may be the chair, I am supported by many other classmates and their spouses who have volunteered their time and energy to raise money for our class gift, build a class website, prepare a special class book and organize the programming for the reunion weekend, including selecting meals and event venues. In addition, we mounted an extensive outreach program, which has been ongoing since 2015.

Physical education classes continue through remote learning

Remote physical education (PE) classes began this week, in an effort to allow seniors still in need of PE credit to fulfill their requirements and to provide other students with a healthy option for exercise amidst social distancing. The athletics department announced in March in an all-student email that it will continue to offer five PE classes in digital form.

Classes resume in new remote format

Students and faculty have made the transition to remote learning in the wake of the closure of campuses across the country. (Alice Qu/The Williams Record)

Classes resumed remotely on Monday, plunging students and faculty into the unfamiliar world of online learning.

College advises students planning on studying abroad this fall to register for on-campus classes, housing lottery

Students who applied to study away programs this upcoming fall have been advised by the Office of Study Away to register for Williams classes and housing in the coming weeks should programs be cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  “We do not know yet if programs will be back up and running in the fall and we likely will not for another few months,” wrote Assistant Director of International Education and Study Away Isabel Hansen in an email to all students who applied to study off campus next semester.

Creatives in quarantine: CJ Salapare ’20

There is something in a nationwide quarantine that, for many Americans, reconfigures their collective and individual sense of time’s passage. Entering self-isolation has forced them to upend the daily routines which they so treasure — hallmarks of productivity and accomplishment — and discover new ways to differentiate each day.

Professors approach remote learning with creativity, cautious optimism

Imagine you are a Williams professor. You care deeply for your students. You try to develop a high-quality, intellectually invigorating experience. But the College has shut down, and a pandemic threatens the world. You’re at home, perhaps with a child or two to take care of, and an elderly parent to worry about. Your only teaching tools are online — Zoom, Glow, Piazza — but you’ve never taught online.