Williams College Welcomes Arrival of Class of 2022 for First Days on August 27

Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., August 17, 2018—The 540 students who make up the Williams College Class of 2022 will arrive on campus on Aug. 27 for First Days, their official orientation to the college.

The tradition of First Days introduces first-year students to the college through meetings with academic advisors and opportunities to learn about academic departments and the campus. Students will also take placement exams and the college’s mandatory swimming test. In between scheduled events students will settle into their dorms and get to know their classmates.

During the second half of the week, first-year students will participate in EphVentures, a program that enhances their orientation experience with opportunities to build lasting friendships and gain an appreciation for the campus community. Participants choose among several programs that will develop their leadership skills, knowledge of the Berkshires, awareness of arts and culture in the region, and understanding of the connections between environmental sustainability, identity, and social justice.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, students will return from EphVentures for a picnic dinner on Paresky Lawn. On Monday, they will participate in Williams Reads, for which each student received over the summer a copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing, the National Book Award-winning novel by Jesmyn Ward. Faculty and staff will facilitate conversations about the book to introduce students to intellectual life at Williams. On October 11, Ward will come to campus to discuss the book with the entire campus community.

“I’m looking forward to the arrival of our first-year students and welcoming the Class of 2022 to the Williams community,” says Marlene Sandstrom, dean of the college and professor of psychology. “This beloved annual tradition not only introduces our newest students to the rich academic and social life they’ll experience at Williams, but it also deeply engages them in the campus and local community right from the start.”

By all standard measures of academic talent, including test scores and academic performance, the Class of 2022 is impressive, selected from among 9,560 applicants. SATs for the cohort averaged 730 on evidence-based reading and writing and 739 on math; the ACT average was 33.

The class is also incredibly diverse. Thirty-seven percent of students in the incoming class are U.S. students of color, and another 8 percent are international students. Of the 540 incoming students, 254 identify as men, 265 as women. Three incoming students identify as trans or transgender, and one as another identity. Seventeen students did not respond to an optional question about gender identity, but did answer a required binary question that appears on the application. The students come from 41 states and represent 53 foreign countries. Seventeen percent of incoming students are first-generation college students. Fifty percent of students will receive financial aid, with an average aid award of $60,055. Four students who are transferring to Williams from another college or university will arrive after the First Days program.

The current schedule of First Days is available at https://new-ephs.williams.edu/first-days/first-days.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.