Williams College Massachusetts
Did you ever wonder where the tradition of wearing caps and gowns on the Convocation Day started? Yes, it is none other than Williams College, ranked consistently as the top Liberal Arts College in USA by different evaluations including the widely accepted US News and World Report's latest rankings.
Williams College, a private coeducational Liberal Arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts was established on 22nd June 1793 by the trustees of Williamstown Free School. The school and the town are both named after Colonel Ephraim Williams who was an officer in the Massachusetts militia and a member of a prominent landowning family having left a huge amount of money for the free school on the condition that both the school and the town be named after him.
Williams College currently has around 2000 undergraduate and 60 post graduate level students. There are three academic curricular divisions (Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences), 24 departments, 33 majors, and two small master's-degree programs in Art history and Development Economics. With 286 faculty members, Williams maintains an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. The academic year follows a 4-1-4 schedule of two four-course semesters plus a one-course "winter study" term in January.
Williams College maintains excellent athletics facilities and its sports teams rank among the top in the country. It received unprecedented Dual #1 rankings (Number 1 in both academics and athletics among Liberal Arts colleges) in 2004, 2005 and 2006 by the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
All these features make Williams College one of the most sought after institutions in North America. The 7% international students studying there further enhance the diverse multicultural student population. The college had an acceptance rate of only 18% in Fall, 2006.
This is what Tanvir Manzoor Hussain, a Bangladeshi undergraduate student at Williams College has expressed his view about the institution:
The distinguished faculty of Williams College is renowned for the quality of their undergraduate teaching. Most of the faculties are involved in active research activities here, and this strongly complements the students' education since they often get the opportunity to participate in such research.
Students get a very personal education here because of the excellent student-faculty ratio. All students are required to study a minimum number of courses from all three divisions (Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences), which ensures students are exposed to a very broad curriculum.
The academic environment is quite rigorous and challenging but is rewarding at the same time, and is designed to help develop each individual as a better student and a more informed person during their 4 years of study. Extensive library, computer and lab facilities combined with the highly qualified staff and faculty provide a strong platform for the students to achieve their goals.
Students have numerous other activities on campus to get involved in as well. The college encourages students to participate in various sports, social and cultural activities, and special-interest clubs which are present in campus. There is something to cater everyone's interests, whether one wants to take up something completely new or improve on a particular talent one possesses.
The students admitted are chosen from a very competitive pool of applicants and come from a variety of backgrounds, making the Williams campus a very multicultural and multi-talented place indeed.
(The writer is a student of ECE major at BRAC University)
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