A student wearing a mask unloads a rubber bin from the trunk of his car while a portrait of Harpo leans up against it.

A Semester Unlike Any Other

Fall 2020 has been unlike any other semester at Williams. As President Maud S. Mandel wrote in her start of semester letter, “Navigating change is never easy, but I’m heartened by the good will from so many, as we work together to create new structures and learning environments.” The galleries below offer a snapshot of what the start of the semester looked like for students and staff.
Photographs by Bradley Wakoff/Berkshirian Images


Move-in Days officially began on August 24. Students said goodbye to their families, went straight to a tent for Covid testing and then headed for their dorm rooms, where they were quarantined until they received two negative test results. (The Berkshire Eagle also provided a snapshot of the first day of student arrivals.)


First-year students began arriving on August 27 and were welcomed to their entries. Williams staff were on hand every step of the way to help students move in, from President Mandel greeting families to golf cart rides to each dorm.

During the quarantine, the college provided each student with in-room care packages, and Dining Services worked hard to safely prepare, pack and deliver delicious meals to every room.

The entire campus has been updated with directional signage and reminders for students, faculty and staff.

Classes began remotely on September 10, with in-person and hybrid classes starting on September 14. Students have already settled into safe study and social habits.