Academic Programs

  • In 2013, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Williams a $300,000 grant to bring two choreographers to Williams to teach and to use the resources of the college to help develop and present new choreographic work. The program, led by Lipp Family Director of Dance and Senior Lecturer in Dance Sandra Burton and the theatre department’s producing director Randy Fippinger, will run through June 2017.

Ron Brown (center) and dance workshop students

Ron Brown (center) and dance workshop students

  • Since the beginning of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Program in 1998, Williams has invited more than 15 distinguished young scholars to teach at the college.  Each appointment has been guided by three overarching goals: enrich the curriculum, complement existing faculty strength, and support the career development of young academics.  The presence of Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows at Williams has had a
    significant impact on the character of the college’s humanities and social sciences programs and has enabled the school to expand and enrich its curricular offerings in emerging, underrepresented, and interdisciplinary fields, such as Middle Eastern history and Africana studies. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endowed the program with a $1.5 million grant in 2007.
  • A $1.5 million endowment funded in 1997 by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation helps defray travel costs for students who are enrolled in Winter Study Program courses that involve international travel.  This support enables the college to provide to all students who wish to pursue international study opportunities.  The endowment was originally created to support the development and teaching of interdisciplinary courses.  In light of the successful integration of interdisciplinary teaching into the Williams curriculum, the CJE grant was re-purposed in 2011.
  • In 1993, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation granted Williams $700,000 in support of the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences.  The Oakley Center was established in 1985 and supports research across the humanities and social sciences, with a special emphasis on interdisciplinary work. The Center now plays a vital role in the scholarly life of the college, providing a meeting place where faculty and administrative staff can pursue their intellectual and research interests.  It sponsors numerous colloquia, the annual Davis, Richmond, and Weiss lectures, as well as conferences and special events.