Grayson Brooks ’25

The Williams Club, New York, NY

Throughout the summer, I worked at the Williams Club of New York as the marketing and membership intern. The Williams Club provides Williams students, faculty, alumni and those of our affiliate schools an opportunity to build a collegiate community after or away from college. Members come to the Club to dine, to exercise and to attend talks, panel discussions, musical performances and social events. As a Club “in-residence” at the Penn Club in Midtown Manhattan, Williams Club members are also full members of the Penn Club and have access to all their facilities.

Grayson Brooks with Dale Riehl '72, Director of the Williams Club.A group of alumni in New York City founded the Williams Club in 1913, and from 1924 to 2010 the Williams Club operated out of its own twin brownstone on 39th Street. In 2010, the Club sold the building and moved “in-residence” to the Princeton Club. In March 2022, the Williams Club moved again to our current home, the Penn Club, after the Princeton Club was forced to close their doors. The move last spring lost the Williams Club members and momentum, and the Club has no revenue at all until it reaches a requisite member goal at the Penn Club. Thus, my role as the Williams Club’s marketing and membership intern was crucial to its survivability and success.

Under guidance of the Club’s director and my supervisor, Dale Riehl ’72, I designed and executed a marketing strategy. First, I distributed flyers, brochures and pamphlets at Williams events. I initially designed the pamphlets in Google Slides and then improved upon past designs using Adobe Acrobat Pro to create a more professional pamphlet that I distributed at the incoming freshmen reception hosted by the Club.

Second, I made the Club’s website more accessible and interactive. I redesigned and updated prominent pages regarding dining, event spaces and athletics. I reduced the Penn Club’s complicated cost table into a simple form on our website that calculated people’s potential dues and initiation fees for them. And I created a virtual tour in addition to a web page on which people could automatically sign up for either virtual or in-person tours, most of which I conducted myself throughout the summer.

Third, I reached out directly to potential members. I called people who had only partially completed their application process or who had left the Club because of the pandemic. I told them about our new Club home, answered their questions and encouraged them to apply. I also helped Dale design mass emails to former members who were with us at the Princeton Club but who had not rejoined us at Penn.

I hope that my efforts will help the Williams Club reach its membership goal and recover from the upheaval of the move and the pandemic. I am grateful to have been able to contribute to the Club, to meet alumni and to become knowledgeable about marketing. And I am most grateful to Dale Riehl, my supervisor and friend, who has made many sacrifices to keep the Williams Club afloat.