Among the events sponsored by the Gaudino Fund in 2017 was a February visit by author and cultural critic Roxane Gay, who gave a public lecture in Chapin for an audience of 300. The daughter of Haitian immigrants and a professor of creative writing, Gay is also a New York Times contributing op-ed writer who covers the intersections of identity and culture. Her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, is widely considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. She recently released a memoir titled Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, and a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women.
The Fund also co-funded a 2017 Winter Study trip to Liberia. Led by Scott Lewis, director of the Williams Outing Club and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ganta, Liberia, the course focused on health care and education, with students working and living at the Ganta leprosy/TB Rehab hospital grounds, participating in daily life, helping out at the health care clinic, and working on the village farm and in the local school. In the process, students explored the close historical ties that exist between Liberia and the U.S. and examined the positive and negative effects of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and USAID on community development.
The entire 2016-17 season of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance CenterSeries was focused on the “At What Cost?” theme. Programming included a one-man show about the legacy of Rodney King and a newly created opera, A Marvelous Order, about the struggle between urban theorist Jane Jacobs and visionary builder Robert Moses over the fate of Washington Square Park and lower Manhattan in the 1960s.
Other programming included co-sponsorship of various campus lectures, including:
Yale Richard C. Levin Professor of History Timothy Snyder on “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning”; University of Washington Professor of Philosophy Stephen Gardiner on “Climate Change and Intergenerational Ethics”; Ruth Faden, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Philip Franklin Wagley professor of biomedical ethics on “Ethics at the Intersection of Health Car and Biomedical Science”; renowned urban farmer and founder of Growing Power Inc. Will Allen on “Growing Power and the Good Food Revolution”; 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 a public conversation with Rosenburg Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology Hank Art titled “What are the costs of the food choices we make?”; and the “Global Attachments: Sexuality and the Changing State” conference at Williams.