The Gaudino Fund

Welcome to The Gaudino Fund of Williams College!

The goal of the Gaudino Fund is to perpetuate Robert Gaudino’s emphasis on reflection, confronting our own biases through immersive engagement with otherness and, through that experience, learning to know ourselves more deeply and differently.

Check out Our Summer 2015 Gaudino Newsletter!


Upcoming Events

Microsoft PowerPoint - Cultural Appropriation 2015 poster 2.pptx

Watch for information on Gaudino Dinners and Conversations on Cultural Appropriation, Campus Climate, “What are you willing to give up for success at Williams?” and “What are the costs of our collective and individual quest for excellence?”

Photo: Cheryl Himmelstein

April 20 in Griffin 3, 7:30 PM, open to the public, with book signing afterwards.

Environmental writer/activist Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams is an American author, conservationist and activist. Williams’ writing is rooted in the American West and has been significantly influenced by the arid landscape of her native Utah in which she was raised. Her work ranges from issues...


April 4-17 at the Thompson Memorial Chapel

REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape & Testimony draws from testimonies collected by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) after the end of apartheid. Set to music and illuminated by projected text and images, the work captures the communal and individual experiences of both transgressors and victims of the atrocities of apartheid.

The work...

Past Programming

Image courtesy of WAM Theatre.

On November 2, 18 students, faculty and staff members will travel together to Lenox, MA to see and reflect upon the New England premier of In Darfur, the “provocative tale of three lives that intersect in the most challenging of circumstances: a camp for internally displaced persons. The story follows an aid worker’s mission to protect lives, a Darfuri woman’s...

Image courtesy of Why Liberal Arts?

In partnership with CEP on the “Why Liberal Arts? Challenging, Transforming, Connecting” initiative, the Gaudino program is sponsoring two wine-and-cheese brainstorming discussions in the Faculty House, on Tuesday November 18 from 5-7 PM and again in December, as well as an ice cream social/open conversation in Paresky on Sunday Nov. 9 from 4-8 PM.  The focus of these events will...

Photo by Eric Jenks

In conjunction with the “Book Unbound” initiative, we will have an evening performance and afternoon “Telling Our Stories” workshop on January 9, 2015 by Joe and Jesse Bruchac, prolific Native American storytellers and authors of Abenaki ancestry who have dedicated their careers to ensuring that the traditional stories, the language, and the recent experiences of the Abenaki are not lost.


“Williams Unbound” is a part of Claiming Williams, Thursday Feb. 5

What would Williams be if you could design it from scratch?  What would the student body look like?  Would we charge tuition?  Have a very different curriculum?  Drop by the Director’s Studio at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance any time between 1:15 and 3:15 PM, have some fun, and...

roads not taken poster-2

“Roads (Not) Taken and Missteps Along the Way” is an informal conversation with faculty about unexpected paths, setbacks, failures, and how to deal with uncertainty and differing definitions of success. “Roads (Not) Taken” will take place Sunday February 22, 4:00 – 5:30 PM in the Henze Lounge, 2nd floor of Paresky.

Cultural Appropriation: A Discussion with Faculty
Tuesday, April 21 from 6-8pm in Dodd.
Catered by Spice Root

How does it become hurtful?  Is it a valid concern today?  (Where do we draw the line?)

Not sure how to talk about cultural appropriation? Have questions you’ve been afraid to ask? The goal of this dinner is to create a...

RuthFaden 2

As the final event in our year-long series on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Dr. Ruth Faden will visit campus as the Public Health Class of 1960s Scholar speaker on Thursday, April 23rd.  Dr. Faden’s 7:30pm talk, titled Henrietta Lacks: “Ethics at the Intersection of Health Care and Biomedical Science” will be in Griffin 3 and preceded by tea with...

Claiming Williams 2015 - RAWDance

Performance by RAWDance and the student members of CoDa on April 24-25 at 8 PM in the Adams Memorial Theater in the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance.

This year, the dance department has enjoyed a series of short residencies with the professional dance company RAWDance.  This project, supported in part by the Gaudino Fund, has provided pedagogical and artistic...

Image courtesy of WAM Theatre.

In the spring, there will be a month-long series of events centered on career choices and work-life balance, including a story-time event featuring faculty members reflecting for a student audience on professional risks taken, failures, and the costs of choices made and not made.  The first event in this series is a staged reading of the play “Emilie: La Marquise...


Saturday Sept. 19: Reception and Discussion after matinee performance of Satori Group’s “Returning to Albert Joseph” by Spike Friedman ‘07 (2 PM, ’62 Center for Theater and Dance).  Ticket reservations: ’62 Center Box Office (413 597-2425) or

The Gaudino Fund hosts a reception and discussion following the performance  of the Seattle-based Satori Group’s play “Returning to Albert Joseph.”  Immediately...


Sunday Oct. 18: Kirsten Johnson, Oscar-winning cinematographer and film-maker (“Citizen Four,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” many more) in conversation with Penny Lane (“Our Nixon” and “Abortion Diaries”) on filmmaking ethics (10:30 Brunch, 11:30 Conversation, Goodrich Hall).  Longtime documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson (CitizenFour, The Oath, This Film is Not Yet Rated, Pray the Devil Back to Hell) and director...


Sunday, Oct. 18:  Screening of “Of Men and War” followed by conversation between director Laurent Becue-Renard and Kirsten Johnson (1-4 PM, ’62 Center MainStage) (In collaboration with Williamstown Film Festival).  Of Men and War situates us in the middle of a Napa Valley–based retreat center for PTSD-afflicted veterans of the Iraq war. Some rage and rail against the world’s indignities,...


As part of the Williams College Gaudino Program’s “At What Cost?” initiative, Kirsten Johnson returns to Williamstown for a special screening of her film Cameraperson, which premiered at Sundance 2016. Q&A with Johnson to follow. Free and open to the public.

Kirsten Johnson has worked as a cinematographer on Citizenfour, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Derrida, Lioness, Pray the Devil Back to Hell and The Invisible...

Singing revolution image

Documenting Stories of Escape and Survival

Between 1940 and 1945, the Baltic nation of Estonia lost 25% of its population to execution, deportation to Siberian labor camps, imprisonment and conscription into the occupying German and Soviet armies. An additional 70,000 people fled the country in desperation to save their lives, and some of those are still alive and living on...

Image courtesy of Williams Reads.

This year, the Fund is co-sponsoring much of the programming around the Williams Reads book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, including a visit to campus by two Lacks family members on Feb. 11-12 and a campus visit by the distinguished bioethicist Ruth Faden in the spring.

The public event and Q&A will be held Wednesday, February 11 at 8:00 PM...

human library recruitment flyer

Williams will be hosting its Annual Human Library event from February 27 to February 28 this year from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

The Gaudino Fund has partnered with the Human Library Committee, comprised of Williams staff, students and faculty members, to convert the Paresky Center into a “Human Library.”  During this event, students and other attendees can “check out” human...


Tuesday, Oct. 20: Michael Pollan (Author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Botany of Desire and Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual) in conversation with Prof. Hank Art-“What are the costs of the food choices we make?” (8 PM, ’62 Center)

For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places...


Wednesday, Sept. 30: Sonia Nazario ‘82, author of Enrique’s Journey (7:30 PM, ’62 Center)

Sonia Nazario ’82 has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about large social issues in the U.S. – hunger, drug addiction and immigration – most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times.  She has won numerous national journalism and book awards....

At What Cost?

Over the next three years, the programming supported by the Gaudino endowment will carry on the Gaudino legacy by considering the question “At What Cost?”  At the personal level, the notion of “effortless perfection” has entered our college discourse, but underlying that fallacy are other questions: What are you willing to give up for success at Williams?  Why do we work so hard at what we do (whether academics or athletics, teaching the perfect class or service to the college), and what might we learn if we took more time to reflect on the choices we make?  Does our emphasis on individual, collective, and institutional achievement and excellence come at the cost of communal responsibility?  At a societal and global level, many issues including health care and climate change lend themselves well to extended consideration of costs and trade-offs.  We will also explore the less grandiose theme of individual experience during times of crisis or cultural upheaval.  Every one of us fortunate enough to be sheltered by our “Purple Bubble” can discuss and critique global events, societal challenges, or “different” cultures in the abstract, and yet have little idea of the experiences of the individuals who live those realities.

One facet of the “At What Cost?” initiative will center on not only witnessing the stories of those whose experiences reflect costs borne, but also bringing those stories back to Williams.  This programming will, among other things, include short residencies by authors, documentary film makers, or artists whose professional work embodies witnessing.   The goal of these residencies is to provide enhanced opportunities for students, but also faculty and staff, to hear and experience lives very different from their own, and to share the stories that captured their hearts and minds, as well as our own stories, with others on campus.