My name is Allison Wu, and I am a member of the Class of 2016 from Newton, Massachusetts. I wrote a thank you note to Eph alumni last year as a freshman to express my thanks for contributing to the Alumni Fund and thus the Williams experience, and I’m writing to thank you again.
A year and a half into my Williams education, I’m more grateful than ever before of the opportunity to learn from, work with, and befriend my passionate peers and professors. I have not yet declared a major but will most likely decide to major in economics and perhaps political science as well. Last semester, I took Introduction to International Relations with Professor Cheryl Shanks, who opened my eyes to a fresh perspective on the dynamics of power. The course epitomized a liberal arts education and its thought-provoking nature was nothing short of fantastic—unsurprising for Williams.
In last year’s letter, I mentioned that I had just begun to recruit students to tackle the problem of the Millennial generation’s “action gap,” the perceived apathy of my generation toward issues of global significance. One year later, my endeavor has emerged in the form of Kinetic, the college’s action-oriented think tank and now the second-largest organization on campus. I co-founded Kinetic with two other members of the Class of 2016. Each semester, Kinetic members work in teams to design a solution to a facet of an issue, like hunger in Berkshire County, or to implement a solution designed the previous semester. I’m extremely excited to develop strategic partnerships with nonprofits and companies to jointly address critical issues.
In addition to Kinetic, I am a coxswain for the women’s crew team. The opportunity to train and compete alongside such driven, hardworking teammates is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had – the team’s spirit of purpose and determination captures the essence of Williams. As Williams students, every day we embrace challenges in the classroom, on the field, and in our personal lives, and it is thanks to the support of alumni like you that we are able to rise to meet them, confident in knowing that other Ephs have our backs through struggles and will celebrate with us in success. Thank you.