- Michael Beschloss 1977, called "the nation's leading
presidential historian" by Newsweek.
- Sterling Allen Brown 1922, African-American teacher,
literary critic, and poet
- James MacGregor
Burns 1939, Pulitzer Prize winning author.
- Allison Davis 1924,
- Robert F. Engle 1964, won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics "for methods of analyzing economic
time series with time-varying volatility" (ARCH models) and holds the
Armellino Chair at New York University (NYU). He graduated
with Highest Honors in Physics.
- Walter Kaufmann 1941, philosopher, poet, and translator.
- S. Lane Faison 1929, art historian.
- Kristin Forbes 1992,
Mitsubishi Career Development Professor of International Management, MIT and Member, Council of Economic Advisers (confirmed by the
Senate in 2003, she is the youngest person to ever hold this position).
- Keith Griffin 1960, former
president of Magdalen College, Oxford.
- Mark Hopkins 1824. According to former U.S. president James A. Garfield (see below), "The
ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other."
- Stephen Lewis 1960, president of Carleton College.
- Earl R. Mandle 1963,
president of the Rhode Island School of
- Curtis T. McMullen 1980 is Professor of Mathematics at
Harvard and winner of the 1998 Fields Medal for his work in complex
- Barrington Moore Jr. 1936. Leading figure in
Comparative Politics and professor emeritus at Harvard.
- Daniel Muzyka 1975, Dean of
School of Business at the University of
- Richard Repp 1957, master of
St. Cross College,
- T. Hedley Reynolds
1942, president of University of New
- David Ruder 1951, Professor and former Dean, Northwestern University School of Law, and former Chairman of
the Securities and Exchange
- Michael Scanlan 1953, president of University of
- James C. Scott 1958, Sterling Professor of Political Science and director of Agrarian Studies at Yale.
- Herbert Stein 1935, former Chair, Council of Economic Advisers (and father of
- Lester Thurow 1960 is the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Professor of
Management and Economics, and former Dean (1987-1993), MIT Sloan School of Management.
- Richard Warch 1961, president of Lawrence University.
Actors, Artists, and Cinema
- Gordon Clapp 1971, Emmy
Award-winning actor on NYPD Blue.
- John Frankenheimer 1951, director of The Manchurian Candidate and other notable films.
- Ulrich Franzen 1942,
- Max Gail 1965, actor.
- A.R. Gurney, playwright, The Dining Room and Sylvia.
- Tao Ho 1960, architect.
- Elia Kazan 1931, Oscar-winning director of Gentleman's
Agreement and On the Waterfront and writer.
- Charlotte Neuville
1973, clothes designer.
- John Sayles 1972, director of Lone Star and Eight Men Out.
- Paul Stekler 1974,
- David Strathairn, actor in Sneakers, The Sopranos, and Memphis
Belle (1990), among many others.
- Sydney Walsh 1983,
- Martha Williamson
1977, Producer, Touched by an Angel.
- Herbert A. Allen, Jr. 1962.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Allen & Company, a privately held investment firm and host of a storied annual media conference in
Sun Valley, Idaho.
- Steve Case 1980, founder and former CEO of America Online.
- E. Mandell de Wind, 1943, former CEO of Eaton Corp.
- Chuck Fruit 1969, Chief
Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Coca-Cola.
- William Klopman 1943,
former CEO of Burlington Industries.
- Bernard Lanvin 1958,
president of Lanvin
- Robert I. Lipp 1960, Chairman and CEO of Travelers Property Casualty Corp.
- John McCoy 1965, CEO of Bank
- Clarence Otis, Jr. 1977, CEO of Darden Restaurants
- Bo Peabody 1994, founder of Tripod
(sold to Lycos in 1998 for $64 million) and Chairman of Village Ventures.
- Leigh Perkins 1950,
president of Orvis Co.
- Joseph L. Rice, founder of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc., one of the oldest and most respected private equity investment firms in the world (and Trustee Emeritus of Williams
- Robert Rich 1963, president of Rich Products Corp.
- Walter Shipley 1957, president of Chemical Bank.
- Edson Spencer 1948, former chairman of Honeywell, Inc.
Curators and Museum Directors (aka the Williams art mafia)
Many were trained and deeply inspired by Whitney S. Stoddard and S. Lane
Faison, who headed the art history department at Williams from 1940 to 1969.
- Robert Buck, 1961, director, Brooklyn Museum
- Michael Govan, director of the Dia Art Foundation.
- Thomas Krens 1969, Director Guggenheim Museums Worldwide.
- John R. Lane 1966, Director Dallas Museum of Art.
- Glen Lowry 1976, Director of the Museum of Modern Art,
New York City.
- Joseph C. Thompson 1981, director, MassMoca.
- Earl A. Powell III 1966, director of the National
Gallery of Art 1992–present.
- Kirk Varnedoe 1968, MoMA Chief Curator of painting and sculpture until his death in
- James N. Wood, director of the Art Institute of
Government officials and political notables
- Janet Brown 1973, Executive
Director, Commission on
- Henry Catto 1952, U.S.I.A. director and former ambassador to
- Richard Helms, 1935, former C.I.A. director and ambassador to Iran.
- Takayuki Kimura 1964,
director of cultural affairs, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Arthur Levitt,
Jr. 1952, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1993–2001.
- Donald Beyer 1972, Lieutenant
Governor of Virginia.
- Arne Carlson 1957, 37th governor of the state of Minnesota.
- Sanford Dole 1867, governor of Territory of Hawaii.
- Alfred E. Driscoll 1925, 60th governor of the state of
- Joseph B. Ely 1902, 58th governor of the state of Massachusetts.
- Philip Hoff 1948, 73rd governor of the state of Vermont.
- Henry Hoyt 1849, 18th governor of
the state of Pennsylvania.
- Herbert H. Lehman 1899, 49th governor of the state of
New York and a co-founder of Lehman Brothers.
- John Chapman "Chap" Petersen 1990, 2005 candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
- Bill Simon 1973, two-time California gubernatorial candidate.
- Bruce Sundlun 1946, 69th Rhode Island Governor.
Tallmadge 1814, last governor of the Territory of Wisconsin.
- Gilbert Walker 1854, 43rd governor of the state of Virginia.
- Emory Washburne 1817,
27th governor of the state of Massachusetts.
- Charles S. Whitman 1890, 44th governor of the state of
- Charles Williams 1800, 20th governor of the state of Vermont.
- William Williamson
1804, 2nd governor of the state of Maine.
- Elisha Hunt Allen
1823, Maine First Congressional District (1841-1843)
- Chester Ashley 1811(?),
Arkansas Senator (1844-1848)
- Daniel Barnard 1818, New
York Congressman (1827-1829, 1839-1845)
- Samuel Rossiter
Betts 1806, New York Congressman (1815-1817)
- Lewis Bigelow 1803,
Massachusetts Congressman (1821-1823)
- Victory Birdseye 1804,
New York Congressman (1815-1817)
- Bernard Blair 1825, New York
Augusutus Bridges 1826, Pennsylvania Congressman (1848-1849, 1853-1855, 1877-1879)
- Ed Case 1974, Hawai'i Second Congressional District (2003-Present)
- Alfred Clark
Chapin 1869, New York Congressman (1891-1892)
- Timothy Childs 1811, New
York Congressman (1829-1831, 1835-1839, 1841-1843)
- Horace Francis
Clark 1833, New York Congressman (1857-1861)
Chamberlain Clark 1811, New York Congressman (1827-1829, 1837-1843)
- Ernest Harold
Cluett 1896, New York Congressman (1937-1943)
Dickinson 1821, Ohio Congressman (1847- died in office on March 20, 1849)
- James Dixon 1834, Connecticut
Congressman (1845-1849) and Senator (1857-1869)
Edward Driscoll 1877, New York Congressman (1899-1913)
- Henry Williams
Dwight 1809(?), Massachusetts Congressman (1821-1831)
- Samuel Finley Vinton 1814, 19th century Ohio
congressman (1823-1836, 1843-1851)
- Kevin White 1952, the longest-serving Mayor of Boston
- Bill Bennett 1965, Secretary of Education under President Ronald
Reagan. Appointed as the United States' first drug czar under President
George H. W. Bush.
- Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and
founder of United States Progressive Party.
- President James Garfield 1856.
- Edward McPherson
1967, nominated by President George W. Bush as Undersecretary of
Education, and current CFO at the U.S. Department of agriculture.
- Goh Chok Tong Prime Minister of Singapore (1990-2004). Received Masters from Williams' Center for Development Economics .
- Prince Hussain Aga Khan 1997, Shia Muslim Royalty.
- Reza Pahlavi II (would have been 1983), former Crown Prince of
Iran, matriculated at Williams, but left after his freshman year due to the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
Judiciary and Legal
- Stephen J. Field 1837, Associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and chief architect of the constitutional theory
that protected industry from Federal regulation during the rapid industrialization that followed the Civil war.
- Anthony T. Kronman
1968. Dean (1994-present) and Edward J. Phelps Professor of Law, Yale Law
- Paul Michel 1962, Federal
- Telford Taylor 1928, Prosecutor of Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials, General in the U.S. Army, and professor of law at
Columbia University and Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law.
- Stanley Foster, M.D.,
1955, led successful fight to rid world of small pox.
- Charles Whittlesey
1905, awarded Medal of Honor for his actions as commander of the famed Lost
Battalion of WWI. Was named as one of the "three outstanding heroes of the AEF" (Allied Expeditionary Force) by General Pershing.
- Chris Collingwood, Fountains of Wayne member.
- William Finn 1974, Broadway composer of musicals, among other shows, Falsettos, and winner of the Tony award.
- Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne member.
- Stephen Sondheim 1950. Sondheim premiered Phinney's Rainbow, a satire of
Williams, and All that
Glitters while at Williams.
- Lee-Hom Wang 1998, pop star and actor in East Asia.
- Jesse Winchester 1966,
Science, Technology, and Engineering
- Alexander L.
Fetter 1958, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Materials and former Chair of the Physics Department, Stanford University (1985-1990).
- G. Stanley Hall 1867, the father of American Psychology and the
first American to be awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology.
- William Higinbotham 1932, American physicist credited
with creating the first video game.
- Edward Morley 1860, who co-performed the Michelson-Morley experiment, one of the most famous
experiments in the history of physics.
- Ethan Zuckerman 1993, a
co-founder of Tripod, founder of GeekCorps, and a fellow at the Berkman Center.
- Ethan Brooks 1996, NFL player for Baltimore Ravens.
- Alex Blake 2003, Colorado Rapids (MLS).
- Dan Calichman 1990, MLS All-Star.
- Jim Duquette 1988, senior vice
president of baseball operations for the New York Mets.
- Kristine Karlson 1985,
world rowing champion.
- Jonathan Kraft 1986,
operator, investor and owner's representative to the New
England Patriots, New England Revolution and
Gillette Stadium. He is also COO of The Kraft Group.
- George Steinbrenner 1952, owner of the New York Yankees.
- Khari Stephenson 2004, Kansas City Wizards (MLS).
- Fay Vincent 1960, former major league baseball commissioner.
(A list of Williams' Olympians is available at the Williams Sports Info
Writing and Journalism
- Stephen Birmingham
- Sterling Brown 1922,
- William Cullen Bryant 1814, poet.
- Dominick Dunne 1949,
- Gary Fisketjon 1976,
- Ed Larson 1974, 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing
Debate Over Science and Religion.
- Tim Layden 1978, Sports Illustrated writer.
- David Marash 1964, Nightline
- Jay McInerney 1976, author of Bright Lights, Big City.
- Bethany McLean 1992,
author of The Smartest Guys in the Room, on the collapse of Enron.
- Hedrick Smith 1955, 1974
Pulitzer Prize winner in international reporting.
- John Toland 1936, writer.
- Charles Webb 1961, author of
the book upon which The Graduate was based. (Supposedly, Williams College
is the alma mater of Dustin Hoffman's character.)