Financial Aid and Fire on the Mountain (Class of 1988)

Dear [name]:

As I write this, I am told that the hills surrounding campus are ablaze with color. Does the men’s rugby club still sing the Grateful Dead’s Fire on the Mountain this time of year? If not, it’s a shame. While only an occasional “social” member of the rugby club, thanks to invitations from friends, I remember the “beer practices” and the enthusiastic (if not exactly on-key) singing that was an integral part of those pre-game rituals.

One of the things I like best about being one of your class agents is singing Williams’ praises every chance I get.*  I wasn’t aware that Forbes had gotten into the act of rating colleges, a la US News and World Report, until my mother mentioned it to me after seeing a report on T.V.  “Hey son, I guess it was pretty good you got that Williams Book Award in High School. We never even heard of Williams before that!”

While the College tends to downplay these ratings, I don’t. The more press Williams gets, the more kids who have never heard of Williams will be inspired to learn about the college and to apply: kids whose parents didn’t go to college and haven’t heard of Williams, kids whose parents pick vegetables for a living, and kids who hear the elevated train rattle by their apartment so often that they no longer notice it.

I keep those kids in mind when I ask for donations to the Alumni Fund. Because of your generosity, Williams students today graduate with lower education debt burdens than most students who graduate from public universities.  Thanks to you and others like you, the average education debt of a Williams graduate in 2012 was $8,300.

So spread the word that according to Forbes Williams is the best college in the U.S., beating out Princeton, Harvard, and all the other better-known schools.  And please make a gift to Williams, so that Williams can continue to accept kids who can’t afford to pay.  Here’s the link for online giving,, or you can mail a check to the Alumni Fund office.

Best wishes,


Class of 1988 Head Agent

*One classmate (whose name rhymes with the deceased comic actor John Candy) requires that I sing “The Mountains” before he will part with his annual contribution.  I am always happy to oblige.