My name is Alex Manter, Class of 2013, and I’m as proud an Eph as they come. As I reluctantly approach graduation, I cannot help but reflect on my all-too-short time at Williams. The last four years have been simply incredible, and I know they never would have been possible without the Alumni Fund and the kindness and generosity of alumni like yourself.
Even though my blood now runs purple, I originally was not too sold on Williams. I’m from a big public high school in Napa, CA where the majority of kids do not go to college and the moderate percentage that do end up at in-state schools. I saw the host of small liberal arts schools on the East coast as basically identical; I planned to apply to a bunch and hope to be content with wherever I got in. By miraculous fortune, I ended up visiting family on the East coast during spring break my junior year and my mom forced me to visit Williams. I will never forget that road trip.
We started at Williams in the ’62 Center at a prospective student meeting with Dick Nesbitt, director of admissions, who got up on the stage and told us that everything we had probably heard about Williams was true. Yes, Williams was a strong, highly-ranked small liberal arts school: great teachers, small classes, liberal arts curriculum. But he also knew, and warned us, that this was probably the same pitch all the families there would get at the rest of the liberal arts schools they were likely to visit. Instead, he wanted to let us know why Williams was different and better. Williams had Oxbridge tutorials. Williams had the entry system. Williams had one of the most generous financial aid policies in the country. Williams had one of the strongest athletic communities among liberal arts schools. It stood out from the other East coast schools, and became my top choice. I sat quietly toward the back, eager to return home and apply early to Williams. I got in, and have never looked back.
Now it seems hard to believe that almost four years have already passed since I started. Then again, I suppose it’s less surprising given how busy I’ve been. From the Williams Sustainable Growers to Amnesty International, from philosophy tutorials to psychology research, from learning to ski falling flat on my butt at Jiminy to running around campus in the summer as a Reunion Ranger, my years at Williams have been incomparable. I will never be able to find the words or means to express how grateful I am for this privileged opportunity, and I know it simply would not have been possible without the Alumni fund. Thank you so much for all that you have done.
With eternal gratitude,
Alex Manter ’13