Williams College to Award Bicentennial Medals at Convocation

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., August 30, 2017—Williams College Bicentennial Medals will be presented at Fall Convocation on Saturday, Sept. 16, to Convocation Speaker Wendy Young ’83 and four other accomplished alumni.

President Falk and College Council Co-Presidents Web Farabow ’18 and Allegra Simon ’18 will welcome the Class of 2018 at Convocation, which formally launches the academic year. The event will begin at 11 a.m. in Chapin Hall after a formal procession.

Established in 1993 on the occasion of the college’s 200th anniversary, Bicentennial Medals honor members of the Williams community for distinguished achievement in any field of endeavor.

Wendy Young, the ceremony’s principal speaker, is president of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) and a law and immigration policy expert who works to assist and defend unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the U.S. The title of her talk is “Finding Our Common Humanity and Building a Better World.”

In addition to Young, those receiving medals will be Dr. Richard Besser ’81, a pediatrician and former leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has covered medical news stories from all over the world for ABC News and was recently named CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Mary Dana Hinton ’92, president of the College of Saint Benedict, who works for educational equity by helping underrepresented students gain access to a liberal arts education; Ira Mickenberg ’72, the founder and director of the National Defender Training Project, who works to improve the quality of legal representation given to indigent criminal defendants in the U.S.; and Adam Schlesinger ’89, co-founder of the band Fountains Of Wayne, who also writes and produces songs for television, film, and theater.

The Convocation ceremony will also include the introduction of the newest members of Phi Beta Kappa and the announcement of the winner of the Grosvenor Cup Award, given to the senior who has best demonstrated concern for the college community.

About the Convocation speaker

Before joining KIND, Wendy Young served as Chief Counsel on Immigration Policy in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She held prior immigration policy positions with organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Council of La Raza.

Young earned a joint law degree and master’s degree in international relations from American University. She has received numerous awards and honors, including being named a Keeper of the American Dream by the National Immigration Forum in 2016 and a Women Inspiring Change 2015 Honoree at Harvard Law School’s International Women’s Day Celebration. The American Bar Association honored her work with the Child Advocacy National Certification of Recognition and she received the American Immigration Lawyers Association Human Rights Award.

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