History Majors, Past and Present

1962, F.P. Wirth – Neurosurgeon

When I entered Williams College, my primary interest and aptitude was in science and I came very close to going to MIT on the combined 3-2 program. After my first year, however, I found history quite attractive and elected to major in history, which was a great choice. I had a wonderful relationship with the

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1967, Jack Hunt – CEO of King-Ranch, Texas

My decision to major in history at Williams was driven more by the quality of the History Department faculty then (1960s), its open mindedness about how you look at historical events, and the fact that many of my closer friends at Williams were history majors. Importantly, thanks to the near heroic efforts of Professor John

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1968, David Sipress – Cartoonist

I graduated from Williams as a history major in 1968. I went on to the Master’s Program in Soviet Studies at Harvard, but after two years I dropped out to pursue a career as a cartoonist. This may seem like a strange transition, but to me it has always made perfect sense. Since I was

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1975, Barry McCarthy – CFO, Netflix

My name is Barry McCarthy. I’m a graduate of the class of 1975. And while that may seem like a long time ago to you, from where I sit, the time passes more quickly than you might imagine. I live and work near San Francisco. I moved here nine years ago to take the CFO

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1983, Susan Kandel – Author

I am writing this in the middle of putting the finishing touches on the fifth mystery novel, which means, obviously, that I have come a long way from my history major days at Williams. Well, yes and no. After graduating, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but as it turned out, I was

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1983, Jeff Sutton – Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

I had few doubts about majoring in history. History seemed like the perfect fit for a liberal arts student: The subject at some point touches on virtually every other subject, and I thought (or at least I hope I thought) that the major would be helpful in developing critical-thinking, writing and researching skills. Just as

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1987, Alexandra Reid – Development Director, International Justice Network

After graduating from college, I was torn between the publishing world and the academic world. I pursued a Ph.D. in Medieval studies at Harvard, in which I brought my interest in History and in English (I was a double major) to look at the historical context of hagiographies from the late middle ages. However, after

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1988, Pavlos Yeroulanos – Head of Communications, Greek Socialist Party

Williams taught me how to think. History at Williams taught me how to listen. It taught me how to understand people, how to explain the choices they make, and how to identify what forces influence them at any given time. This is a solid foundation for anyone who chooses to influence and lead people or

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1994, Stu McLaughlin – Investor

My name is Stu McLaughlin. I graduated from Williams in 1994 with a degree in history. The history department was a phenomenal part of my wonderful Williams experience. I loved the exercise of trying to imagine what it was like to have been at a specific time and place in the past. And that imaginative

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1995, Michael Seckler – Founder, Euclidean Technologies

My time at Williams, including my double major in History and Geology, somehow set me on a path to become a successful entrepreneur. After graduation and an 18-month stint at a management consulting firm in Boston, I started a company named Employease with another Williams Alum named John Alberg. Employease was a pioneer in software

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