This past Wednesday, the National Association of Scholars released a 359-page report criticizing the academia, policies, and practices at Bowdoin College. The report was generously funded by Thomas Klingenstein, a Williams graduate.
Why, one might ask, would a wealthy suit expend money towards digging into Bowdoin’s curriculum and social dynamics? The story goes that Bowdoin President Barry Mills found himself playing a game of golf against Klingenstein. As Barry swung his iron, Klingenstein purportedly said, “I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons.”
The only way we know this story is because it was retold in Mills’ convocation address in 2010. Klingenstein caught wind of the uncomplimentary portrait and herewith published an extensive correction piece in the “Claremont Review of Books” in which he denied all of Mills’ accusations.
After nearly two hundred years of tension, competitive rivalry, and back-channel negotiations, Amherst’s president Biddy Martin has formally apologized to Williams for the theft of the Williams library and president. On behalf of the Ephs, President Adam Falk accepted Amherst’s apology.
In 1821, then-Williams President Zephaniah Swift Moore was convinced by Amherst extremists that WIlliamstown was an unsuitable location for an institution of higher education, and became president of Amherst, bringing much of the Williams library and 15 Williams students with him. Upon his death, Williams trustee Heman Humphrey succeeded him in deserting to become Amherst’s president.
Because Amherst dishonorably robbed Williams of books and personnel, Williams froze bilateral relations, and an intensive athletic and general rivalry developed.
“I was delighted to experience firsthand the power of art last week. Our director Tina Olsen was out and while she was on the road her office underwent a radical transformation. We didn’t knock down walls or buy new furniture or repaint: we simply hung five paintings she had selected from our collection in the space. Returning from a meeting, I noticed it out of the corner of my eye and was stopped in my tracks. It was jaw dropping: those paintings made a palpable difference in the energy and feel of the room.
This episode made me really happy because of a project I’m currently working on: seeking works of art for a new WCMA initiative, the Student Art Loan Program (working title). Less than a year from now, instead of being an outlier, Tina will be one of many people on campus living every day with beautiful works of art.”
Read the rest of this article, by Katherine Myers, on WCMA’s blog HERE.