'Let Williams happen to you.': 552 incoming freshmen ready to kick off newest chapter in their lives


WILLIAMSTOWN — With the frenzy of moving-in day surrounding him, Williams College junior adviser Nick Dehn offered words of wisdom to the incoming members of the Class of 2020.

"My best advice is let it happen; let Williams happen to you," said the English and sociology major from Wilton, Conn. "Sometimes you have to sacrifice who you think you are to be who you could be."

First-year student Anna Nicholson of Greenwich, Conn., is among the 552 students arriving on campus for the freshmen year and a week-long orientation marked by placement exams, a mandatory swimming test and participation in the college's EphVentures program. EphVentures offers several opportunities for students to become better acquainted with the Berkshire region.

"Moving in was exciting, welcoming, and easy," Nicholson said. "Everyone was so friendly. The minute we pulled up, there were about seven students ready to help."

This year's incoming freshmen class is made up of 267 men, 251 women, two students identified as transgender and one student identified as non-binary, while 31 students did not respond to an optional question about gender identity, according to information made available by the college.

The college also reported that 37 percent of the class are students of color from the United States while 7 percent are international students. About half of the students receive some financial assistance and the average aid package is $53,194, according to college information.

Jenny Jeon and Julie Busher were assisting first-year student Rebecca Kim, of South Carolina, move into to the freshmen dormitories. The women carried multiple items down Park Street, and said they has just a little time to talk. Kim stuck her head out a window, urging the ladies to keep moving.

"We have to hurry, they already closed the dorm," said Jeon.

Track and cross-country athlete Anna Passannante of Chapel Hill, N.C., lost her hold a few items as she walked and the objects tumbled to the sidewalk. Moving in is hectic but the academic payoff will be worth the effort, she said.

"Moving in, it's a lot but it's exciting," she said. "I wanted a small school and I wanted to run, and I think the academics here are unbeatable."

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Dan Aramini, of Glastonbury, Conn., and Michael Chambers, of Terre Haute, Ind., assisted their sons Andrew Aramini, who is a second-year student, and Harry Chambers, a first-year student, with moving in duties.

"It's a parent thing," Michael Chambers said.

"One of the cheaper parent things," Dan Aramini added.

The two friends, both members of Williams Class of 1984, hoped that their sons do well at college and after graduation.

Chambers said that his son selected the school based on several factors.

"He liked the strength of the school spirit, the education and the variety of things that can be done here," he said.

Andrew Aramini is one of the students assisting with freshmen orientation, he said. He is hoping to earn bachelor's degrees in math and music, he noted.

"Moving isn't too bad because we've got an extra hand," he said, "but we have been hauling refrigerators and stuff."

He is very glad to back on campus, Aramini said, and he had words of advice for freshmen as well.

"Don't feel as though you have to do too much right off the bat," he said. "A lot of us are overachievers right out of high school so it's hard, but don't do too much right away."


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