Climate change expert William Moomaw, class of 1959, urged Williams students and college to 'lead by example' in environmental change.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College community was called on to forge a path toward a more sustainable future personally, professionally and politically.
Climate change expert William Moomaw, class of 1959, asked the class of 2014 "to create a social and economic momentum to change the destructive path" the world is on. "Be mindful of the implications of how and what we do all affects the planet."
"Do what you can personally, engage in the political process and defend the integrity of science and facts," he said, charging Williams to "lead by example" in instilling new thought processes in the development of policies across a broad range of disciplines. "With all of us working, we can help change the course of climate history."
Moomaw, who shared a Nobel Peace Prize 2007 as a member of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Now in instructor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, which he founded at Tufts University, he was the keynote speaker at Saturday's annual convocation that opens the school year with the graduating class.
Moomaw was also one of six recipients of this year's Bicentennial Awards, which were established to recognize the achievements of college alumni.
The awards were presented by college President Adam Falk and Dennis O'Shea, president of the alumni society, to Moomaw; filmmakers John Sayles and Maggie Renzi, the "godfather and godmother of independent filmmaking"; Michael S. Wiener, a executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association for turning a confrontational bargaining process into a "model of shared purpose"; Douglas Shulman, former IRS commissioner, for tackling the inequities in the tax process to make "fair, efficient and effective"; and Internet entrepreneur Mariam B. Naficy, founding CEO of designer-powered Minted.com, for "harnessing the invisible lines" of the online community.
Falk encouraged the class of 2014 not to slide through their final year. "You didn't come to Williams to be comfortable," he said. "You came with a sense of adventure and an eagerness to embrace the unknown. ...
"Rediscover your inner first-year student ... Williams is still full of extraordinary people you haven't met.
Berkshire Sheriff thomas Bowler opened and closed the convocation and Dean of the college Sarah R. Bolton introduced undergraduate members of Phi Beta Kappa.
College Council co-Presidents Robert Castro and Massimo Heninger urged their classmates to savor every moment of their senior year. Slow down, they said, spend time with friends, have a game of Frisbee. "We have the rest of our lives to focus on our careers."
The Grosvenor Cup was awarded to Lousia Lee for efforts within the college community
Falk sent the class off to a reception on the lawn of the Paretsky Center. "I hope your last year is full of the unexpected," he said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.