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.

Upcoming Events

“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 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.

Looking ahead to the 2015-16 academic year, plans are underway to mark the opening of the new International Center with a series of events around the costs to cultural and national identity of choosing to keep certain narratives alive, or to let them go, particularly if those stories center on memories of collective and individual trauma such as human rights...

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...

We often roll our eyes at those who claim that a favorite work of art or book “speaks to them,” but last week at Williams, that cliché took on a vibrant reality. Students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to participate in the Human Library, which was originally founded in Denmark in 2000 to promote difficult dialog and facilitate social...

On Friday and Saturday the College hosted a Human Library for all students, faculty, staff and surrounding community members.

The event took place for three hours each afternoon in Paresky. The Human Library consisted of 39 members of the community who served as “books” that could be “checked out” for 20-minute conversations with the “readers.”

Members of the Lacks family visited the College as part of the Williams Reads program last Wednesday and Thursday. The book for this year’s Williams Reads program was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a non-fiction piece about Henrietta Lacks and HeLa, the immortal line of cells that came from her cervical cancer cells. David Lacks Jr....

Two Lacks family members visited campus as part of the programming around the Williams Reads book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” In celebrating her legacy, family members give the audience a first-person perspective on the collision between ethics, race and the commercialization of human tissue, and how the experience changed the Lacks family from generation to generation.

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.

human library recruitment flyer

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

For the past three years, 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...

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...

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.