Test your knowledge of Williams history

Here are some brain teasers about Williams and Williams history. See how well you can do.

Q. Which of these events never happened?

(a) A student expedition to Greenland in 1860
(b) Quarrying of stone by students to help build the Hopkins Observatory
(c) The sale of seats in the recitation room by freshmen and sophomores to the next class

A. All happened

Q. Who was the last Williams College president trained as a Congregational minister:
(a) Henry Hopkins
(b) Tyler Dennett
(c) Harry Garfields

A. (a) Tyler Dennett (who served from 1934 to 1937)
Here are the details on Dennett’s resignation

Q. Williams College presidents served in the two World Wars in federal government positions. Who were they, and in what agencies did they serve?

A. WWI: Harry Garfield, Federal Fuels Administration (controlling coal supplies)
    WWII: James Phinney Baxter III, Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA

Q. What event destroyed the barnlike gym in 1883, just as the class of 1833 was having its 50th reunion dinner there?

A. A freakish tornado that swept through Williamstown

Q. Which Williams College president commissioned the development of the first campus plan? What company conducted it?

A. Henry Hopkins, in 1902. The Olmsted Brothers.

Q. Which two dormitories bear the names of alumni who served as governors of the State of New York?

A. Morgan Hall (Edwin Morgan) and Lehman Hall (Herbert Lehman)

Q. Who was the first woman faculty member to become a tenured professor, and when?

A. Russian teacher Doris DeKeyselingk, in 1966

Q. What did Gardner Cotrell Leonard ’87 (1887) do for his graduating class?

A. Designed their graduation gowns. He later advised the commission which developed the standard academic attire adopted in America.

Q. Which Williams College president wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of a United States Secretary of State?

A. Tyler Dennett, John Hay: From Poetry to Politics (1933)

Q. What was the first dormitory built with indoor plumbing and central heating?
A. Morgan Hall

Q. What building was torn down to build the Sawyer Library, which has since also been demolished?
A. The ex-fraternity house of Sigma Phi

Q. Who was the first Williams College President since the mid-nineteenth century not to have been a Williams alumnus?
A. John Chandler (in office 1973-85)

Q. What feature of Griffin Hall did Frank Lloyd Wright criticize?
A. The front door

Q. What did the members of the Art Department think of Baxter Hall?
A. Every member signed a public letter of protest against it (in 1952).

Q. President Morty Schapiro made clear that he had the student union of what other college in mind when the Paresky Student Center was designed?
A. Middlebury

Q. What has the 2016 landscaping with marble slabs adjacent to Chapin Hall been nicknamed?
A. “Falkhenge” and “Explosion in a Marble Quarry

Extra credit:
How many US states have a town called Williamstown?

Not counting Williamstown, Ontario or Williamstown, Victoria (Australia), these are the Williamstowns and faux Williamstowns currently known to us:

Arizonahas a town named Williams, getting close
AlabamaHas a hamlet named Williamstown
FloridaA community near Jacksonville
IllinoisWilliamstown Court near Naperville IL (well, an address)
IowaLegitimate (Chickasaw County)
Michiganmisspelled as Williamston ;>
Mississippi(historical, no longer listed on map)
New JerseyLegitimate
New YorkLegitimate (Oswego County)
North Carolinamisspelled as Williamston ;>
OhioLegitimate (Southern Madison Township)
PennsylvaniaLegitimate (Borough in Dauphin County)
South Carolinamisspelled as Williamston ;>
Tennesseemisspelled as Williamson ;>
TexasWilliamson County, Williamstown Road in Dallas (cutting it close)
UtahWilliamstown Court in Park City (benefit of the doubt)
West VirginiaLegitimate
WisconsinLegitimate (Dodge County)

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