ephs64 Notes and Thoughts

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05/28/14 11:26 AM #12    

Peter Buttenheim


Williams' loss is Columbia's gain to be sure!

As a former teacher and school administrator, I know how complex and difficult these situations can get.

in the case in question, however, the young man sounds as if he does not belong at Williams College.

I wish you were going to be at the 50th reunion. You have always been both a spark plug and a raconteur in the Class of 1964, and our reunion will be diminished greatly without your presence. I have just been able to schedule 48 hours in Williamstown amidst grandchild duties -- the thing I am enjoying most in the world right now.

Best personal wishes to you and yours, and thanks for sharing your strong feelings!

Peter Buttenheim



05/29/14 05:26 PM #13    

Terence Finn


If what Peter Hero reports is correct, shame on Williams College.


Terry Finn

05/29/14 06:05 PM #14    

Peter deCourcy Hero

Thanks for your expressions of concern, please understand, this is an emotional issue for me, both for my love of the College, and especially for the Knight family.

This is a (another) time I wish Peb Bloom was still with us, for I know he could have figured out what next for us makes sense, he always did, and we know we could count on a Gargoyle AND Gurgle to do no less!


Best to you all.

05/30/14 11:44 AM #15    

Joel Reingold

This is a bad time for strong points of view.  Not when we are about to gather together to celebrate each others' lives, and our shared experiences.  Not quite the moment for red-faced differences of opinion.

But at the absolute least, there are clearly many, many things that are extremely troubling about every aspect of Woody Knight's granddaughter's experiences as recounted by Peter, and by the press.

Significantly to me, assuming any of the events as told are true, it does not sound like anything has been done to prevent the next such events.  President Falk's letter seemed unfocused and unconvincing to me.

So many of you have been so generous to Williams' future over the past few months especially, that it seems to me that you have established a voice for us in that future whether or not we already had one.

Many of us have wives.  Sisters. Daughters.  Granddaughters.  I am pretty sure we all have had mothers.

Do you think -- in the midst of our wonderful all boys' school camaraderie -- that we should use that voice to ask?  To speak?








05/30/14 01:14 PM #16    


John Cannon

Rape at Williams – thoughts

What I don’t know:

The facts of the incident. 

What I do know:

  1. Rape is a heinous, violent crime.
  1. Victims of rape should be supported emotionally, attended medically, and encouraged -- NOT discouraged -- to report the incident immediately to official, impartial law-enforcement agencies (in this case, probably, the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Massachusetts State Police).
  1. All bureaucracies have a horrific reflex tendency to cover their own ass and protect their own vested interests.  (This knowledge is based on 35 years of living and working in Washington, DC, the world’s epicenter of bureaucracies).

What I believe:

If individuals in the Williams College Administration behaved in the way reported by Peter Hero and the Boston Globe, then those individuals and the Administration as a whole need to be investigated by an impartial, outside group not only for a totally irresponsible and self-serving response to this incident, but for possible obstruction of justice (certainly morally, if not legally).

And yes, Joel, we sure as shit should ask and speak.  And we should ask what is being done right now to change the College’s approach to preventing and responding to future incidents.

John Cannon



05/30/14 03:56 PM #17    


Stephen Bowling

I do not know Peter well, but I do know he is not only highly regarded in the Williams family, but he is a recognized community leader in the SF Bay Area.  And I think community is the key here.

Sexual assault should not trigger an issue of whether the guilty party should be ejected from college, but why he/she is not in jail.  It seems that rape on campus, or in the military, has been viewed as parochial problem to be dealt with by a subset of our society. 

Rather than be comforted by following procedures, Williams should take the opportunity to lead a collaborative community effort, establishing a model to prosecute under criminal statutes – and making that a clear consequence of any assault

05/31/14 11:30 AM #18    

Joel Reingold

John is quite correct in every way.  Stephen also.  No balanced viewpoint or two ways about it.  The real authorities are the ones to be making determinatioons.  Perhaps if the young lady did not make a formal charge... I personally don't know about this aspect of legalities.  But no matter how well meaning, school administrators have no business stepping in to make judgements and, essentially, control the spin.

What to ask, what to say...   hmmmmm.  Going to consult some of you. j.


06/02/14 01:40 PM #19    

Paul Kritzer

I missed the story in the Boston Globe and the report on NPR.  Can someone share the links?

Paul Kritzer

06/02/14 11:34 PM #20    

Bruce Birgbauer

As a Father of two daughters and Grandfather of 3 and 1/2 Granddaughters, I am very moved by Peter Hero's comments. As a member of a Higher Education Initiative at a law firm which represents many colleges and universities,  I am very concerned about how this matter was handled by the College. On the one hand, Williams has to be careful not to leap to an unfair judgment as Duke University did to  its men's lacrosse team in the Exotic Dancer fiasco. On the other hand, colleges and universities such as Penn State have been ignoring some of their core moral principles (such as educating students and the public in a safe environment free from sexual predators) to protect football or other teams,  and colleges and universities, from bad publicity. The balancing act for Williams is  taking the high moral ground while avoiding legal minefields.

On another subject, did any of you see the article in the Weekend Wall Street Journal (5/31/14, p. A11) containing the comments of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg  at Harvard University about students and faculty members   protesting graduation speakers  to such an extent that Freedom of Press and Expression have become seriously impaired. He raises the question of whether college students are receiving a proper education when only one point of view is expressed and learned . As he stated,  "Requiring scholars-and commencement speakers, for that matter- to conform to certain political standards undermines the whole purpose of a university." I strongly agree with his comments. What do you think?

06/03/14 09:15 AM #21    

David Macpherson

For Paul: a link to a WBUR analysis. http://www.wbur.org/2014/05/12/williams-sexual-assault-case

We are adding a new item to our reunion schedule. On Saturday at 1:00, Dean Sarah Bolton will meet in Griffin Hall Room 3 to talk with us about sexual policies and initiatives at the college. 

Bruce - hope you can make it. Your paragraph gives us several examples of these issues at other schools. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and experience.

We also need to remember that Dean Bolton will talk of how Williams is addressing sexual violence on campus and the policies of the college that address it. If the policies are well thought out and effectively communicated and implemented then we can have confidence that Williams is taking the moral high ground.

06/03/14 11:02 AM #22    

Nicholas Goodhue

Two items of particular interest:



06/11/14 08:44 AM #23    


John Cannon

Another short piece relevant to Rape on college campuses.




06/15/14 07:24 AM #24    

Gay Mayer

Thanks John for adding to the conversation. There teems to be a problem with the link you posted.... Some of  us have been directed to the XXX rated site. And at least one other just cannot get to.the article. Would be good if you might resend the link.

AS a general update... Our webmaster is recovering from an emergency operation for a burst appendix en route to Reunion. Skip was able to join us Saturday evening for the memorial service honoring the 36 classmates who have died and stay for dinner. BUT, he is still recovering and It may be a while before we get photos and the rest uploaded.


We have had a wonderful reunion with laughter,  tears and just a a really nice time reconnecting.

06/16/14 09:01 AM #25    


John Cannon

The gist of the article is that Miss America trivialized Rape by suggesting that women just need to learn self-defense skills.

Here, again, is the link that works for me --




06/16/14 09:45 AM #26    

David Macpherson

Our long awaited reunion has come and gone. It was really great to see old friends - Rick Rosan, Paul Riecks and Dave Newbury. Old friends can pick up as if time were no barrier. And to have a chance to speak with Rich Lyon was eye opening. What an interesting guy! My loss in not knowing him 50 years ago. I am sure others have similar reactions. Can we use this forum to document our memories?

06/16/14 11:08 AM #27    

Nicholas Goodhue

The following shortened form of the URL cited by John may work for some of you:


Note that the subject of this story is Miss USA, not Miss America (as is clear from the article itself, despite the "miss america" in the long-form URL).

06/16/14 11:33 AM #28    

Paul Riecks

I was privieged to attend the 50th Reunion and I am truly grateful to all of you for making me feel a part of the celebration and the pride. My thanks go to Dave Macpherson and Bob Furey for a magnificent job of organizing everything and to Gay Mayer for reeling me back in. Some of you asked me to post what I said at the luncheon the other day in support of a liberal arts education.

Human survival and progress has been made possible by optimism-by the belief that we are going to make it or that our idea will work. That optimism is based on our belief that the information or idea must exist somewhere that will see us through. That optimism is also sparked by exposure to the existence of a huge storehouse of knowledge based on countless years of human experience. We don't have to know it all. We can't even know it all. We just have to learn how to look for it and then go look for it. By exposing us to a variety of disciplines a liberal arts education prepares us for a lifetime of learning so that we never stop looking for what we need to know  when we need to know it.

06/17/14 09:34 AM #29    

David Macpherson

Take a look at 64 Photo Galleries. The class photos taken in the Hockey Rink have been posted already.

06/17/14 09:14 PM #30    

Gay Mayer

More pictures are on the way -- AND if you have photos you would like uploaded to the site -- please send therm to Darlene --- dja1@williams.edu


We have a few -- now i need to figure out how to get them out of the camera....



06/19/14 12:02 AM #31    


Martin Wasserman

A rainy Wednesday night after a glorious 50th reunion weekend . It was so great meeting old and new friends and their spouses.

I am in the midst of writing our class notes , so please send any information to me.




01/17/16 11:16 AM #32    

Jay Freedman

As a neophyte to posting any message on the website, I am not sure I am putting this in the correct place on the website. If I am incorrect, i would appreciate anyone re-posting it properly. I have the unfortunate role of informing you of the death of our iconic classmate, and friend to many, Joel Reingold. Joel suffered a major stroke on December 18th and suffered a number of reverses since then. He passed away in the early mornig hours yesterday. His daughter, Rachel Mucahy, has arranged a gathering to remember Joel's life on January 30th from 2-5 p.m. at Sperry's Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is located at 33-1/2 Caroline Street. If you think you will be able to attend, let me know at jfreedman@foley.com so I can advise Rachel. Obviously, feel free to share your thoughts here.

01/18/16 09:27 AM #33    


John Cannon



Just seeing his name

makes me smile


and he’s been making me smile,

or laugh uproariously,

for more than 60 years.


Let’s face it ―

most of us are ordinary ―


Oh sure, we have occasional

flashes of uniqueness,

some exceptional moments,


but, mainly, we follow

ordinary paths.


Not Joel.


No, Joel was extra-ordinary

throughout his life.


He thought

and lived


outside the box.


No way you could,

or ever would want to,

keep him in the box.


He was





and always drawn

to the unusual, the unexpected,

the exciting edge of living.


As I smile, I think of him

as a blazing comet


sent to us

as a precious gift


to bring

a dazzling burst of light

into all our lives.



01/18/16 07:01 PM #34    

Jay Freedman

John - Beautifully expressed. In my prior posting, i misspelled Rachel's name. It is Rachel Mulcahy and her email is rimucahy@gmail.com. Jay

12/28/19 10:01 AM #35    

David Macpherson

12/28/2019: Following email received from Sarah Foehl this morning. We have lost a classmate and true friend.

John died so very peacefully at 6:40 this morning.  I wish I could tell you all individually but I am sure you understand.  John and I had a great ride for 59 years. So many wonderful memories.  So many close, special friends that we were so very lucky to have in our lives.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being there. We will have a celebration on Friday at 11:00.  If you are able to attend I look forward to seeing you at the reception.  Xxx’s Sarah

02/27/20 11:32 AM #36    

David Macpherson

The mini-reunion is on the weekend of October 2-4 (2020) with the following temporary schedule:

FRIDAY, October 2


NOON – 5:00PM       Check In for weekend to pick up name tags, schedules & buttons, Lobby,’62 Center

2:00PM                       Tours. Classes.

3:30PM                       Admissions through the Years, Centerstage (or AMT), ’62 Center 

5:00PM                       Welcome Reception, Alumni Center (or Center Stage Lobby)

6:00PM                       All Classes Dinner, Faculty Club

8:00PM                       Abraham In MotionMainstage, ’62 Center 

SATURDAY, October 3


8:30-9:30AM              Traveling Ephs Breakfast, The Faculty Club
9:30AM – NOON       Check In for weekend to pick up name tags, schedules & buttons, 

                                    Lobby,’62 Center

10:00AM                     Conversation with President Maud Mandel, Mainstage, ’62 Center

11:15AM                     Academic Lecture, Mainstage, ’62 Center

NOON                                    Home sporting events, Williams Campus

1:00PM                       Williams FootballThe Log

5:00                             Wine and Dinner for the class of ’64 will be held at the 

                                    Macpherson’s home: 242 North Hoosac Road, Williamstown 


9:00PM                       Reunion Jazz Band Concert, Location TBD


These weekends have always been a wonderful time to reconnect with our classmates and find out what is new on campus. We would love to see you there, so reserve the dates on your calendar.

Bob Furey/Dave Macpherson

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