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

Williams College will host a film screening and discussion about the refugee crisis, contemporary American politics and the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in Paresky Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Past Programming

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...
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...
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
“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.
How does it become hurtful?  Is it a valid concern today?  (Where do we draw the line?)
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
Wednesday, Sept. 30: Sonia Nazario ‘82, author of Enrique’s Journey (7:30 PM, ’62 Center)
April 4-17 at the Thompson Memorial Chapel
April 20 in Griffin 3, 7:30 PM, open to the public, with book signing afterwards.
Sunday, Sept. 27: Ice Cream Social-Why Liberal Arts? Transforming Education/Transformative Education (4-6 PM, Paresky)
Ashley Gilbertson is a deeply thoughtful award-wining photographer and writer known for his images of the Iraq war and the effects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on returning veterans and their families. His current work focuses on the human costs of the refugee crisis.
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?”
In conjunction with the Theater of War, the Gaudino Fund presents a photography exhibit by soldier-turned-photographer Ben Brody. Working primarily for the nonprofit GroundTruth Project, Brody “spent several years embedded in Afghanistan, producing this complex, haunting series, which lays bare the existential folly of America’s decade-long involvement.”
The Theater of War: Soldiers & Citizens Tour presents dramatic readings of Sophocles’ Ajax — an ancient Greek tragedy about the suicide of a great, respected warrior — to diverse military and civilian audiences in order to engage communities in powerful town hall discussions about the visible and invisible wounds of war.
Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay will speak about free speech and safe spaces and their connection to privilege, Black Lives Matter, and her experience “mov[ing] through a world as a woman.”
What is the purpose of the education you've been receiving at Williams? How does it connect, or not connect, to the ideas, goals, and big questions you have about yourself and the rest of your life?
Many of us share a concern about events occurring outside of our immediate communities that have “real world implications” for our work together. What are some of the hotly contested issues occurring outside of the classroom that might affect what’s going on inside of them?
In the face of uncertainty about the future status of undocumented students under the newly elected administration, members of college and university communities across the country have called for “sanctuary campuses” to protect vulnerable students.
Williams will be hosting its Annual Human Library event from February 24 to February 25 this year from 1:00 to 4:00 PM in Paresky Center.
Panel Discussion with documentary filmmakers Lynette Wallworth, and James and Maureen Tusty. Dinner and discussion to follow in Dodd Dining Room at 5:30 PM.
April 10-11, 2017 Program: Monday April 10, 4:15 PM Panel Discussion with Lynette Wallworth and James and Maureen Tusty Location: Dodd Dinner to follow in Dodd Dining Room
Lynette Wallworth is an Australian artist known for her immersive multimedia installations, which focus on the interactivity between humans and the natural world.

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.