This year, the Biggest Little Challenge has a new purpose: coming together in collaboration, because 2020 already has enough challenges.
Typically, young alumni from Williams and Amherst compete to see which college has the greatest number of donors. However, this year, we are keenly aware of the power of community and instead are teaming up to encourage alumni from the classes of 2011 – 2020 to support one of three vital areas at their respective institution: financial aid, equity and inclusion, and student emergency aid.
The goal: 900 total donors by the end of Wednesday, October 21.
Or give via Venmo: @Williams-College
(include name, class year, and designation on Venmo)
Each of these three areas are incredibly important to the success of Williams students.
This year the College reduced every family’s cost of attendance by 15% and provided an additional $2 million of support to the more than 50% of students on financial aid. The college’s commitment to financial aid is at an all-time high, representing nearly $50 million each year to support more than half the student body. The approximate total subsidy for a typical financial aid student is $100,000 per year.
Equity and Inclusion
Funding the Davis Center, RASAN, special academic programs, and more creates an inclusive academic experience where all students are sustained, supported, and celebrated on campus and as members of our community making Williams and the world a better place. Williams has recently initiated the creation of diversity, equity, and inclusion action plans across all campus departments and divisions. There is a renewed commitment to inclusivity programming and Davis Center facilities on campus, with a $20 million capital project underway to replace and/or renovate the Davis Center (Rice House, Jenness House, Hardy House, and Chandler House). The Davis Center also has new leadership and additional staff that have recently joined Williams to further the College’s commitment to these important issues.
Covid-19 Student Emergency Fund
These funds are used to directly support those students who need it most, ensuring they are able to stay safe and continue their studies via remote learning. There have been over $22 million in unbudgeted expenses to the support of students, faculty, staff, and the community in the face of Covid-19. The cost of testing students, faculty and staff this fall is estimated at $2.5 million, while in the spring, the College spent $6 million to refund room and board for students and $1 million to help students travel home. Meanwhile, Williams has kept all staff and hasn’t furloughed or laid off anyone during the pandemic.