Trivia Question Archive
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Trivia Question Archive
Question -- Which classmate
participated in the CEO Ironman Challenge (a
combination 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race,
and 26.2-mile run)
at Lake Placid, NY in 2004? (Hint: he was on the baseball and swim
teams in college.)
Answer -- Chuck Chokel. Chuck completed the grueling race in
12:01. While an
hour and a half behind the under-40 winner, Chuck beat 9 of his 18 competitors.
Not bad, considering that 16 were younger than him, and 9 more than ten years
younger. On the CEO Challenges
Web site you can see a picture of Chuck in
racing spandex and
at dinner with his wife.
Question -- Which classmate is
President of the Tennessee Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF)?
Answer -- Michael Doochin, who in his day job works at
Interstate Packaging. The American Chestnut
Foundation (TACF) is a not-for-profit organization
focused on restoring the American chestnut tree to its native forests, via a
scientific research and breeding program.
Question -- Which
classmate runs a coffee-roasting company, sells his coffee beans to Williams and
Amherst Colleges, and was covered in the April 2004 issue of Inc. Magazine
because he took on Paul Newman over the purchase price of coffee beans?
Answer -- Dean Cycon. Dean runs
Dean's Beans Organic Coffee Company out
of Orange, MA, with all of its coffee beans purchased at the "Fair Trade" price
as a way to ensure that third-world coffee growers get a living wage. His
ad asking why Newman's Own Organics' Fair Trade line contained a much lower
percentage of Fair Trade coffee touched off a firestorm within the industry and
led to the article,
"The Joys and
Perils of Attack Marketing" in Inc. Magazine.
Question -- Which
classmate helped represent Rosie O'Donnell in her Rosie Magazine legal
battle against Gruner and Jahr USA in November 2003?
a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City. Matt was the lawyer
who grilled G&J USA about an internal memo recommending that the Rosie
Magazine financials be managed to avoid a trigger point that would allow
Rosie O'Donnell to walk away from the venture with no financial penalty.
Before Matt joined Debevoise & Plimpton, he was a federal prosecutor in New
York. He received his J.D. from New York University Law School in 1979.
Question -- When
you subscribe to Netflix, the world's
largest online DVD rental service, which classmate is
gleefully counting the money?
Barry McCarthy. Barry is Chief Financial Officer at
Netflix, responsible for
its financial and legal affairs. He guided the company (Nasdaq: NFLX)
through its initial public offering (IPO) in May 2002, one of the few IPOs made
that year. Barry joined Netflix in 1999; previously he was at Music Choice
(1993 to 1999), his own consulting firm (1991 to 1993), and Credit Suisse First
Boston (1983 to 1990).
Question -- Which two classmates have
served in the U.S. House of Representatives?
Answer -- Jack Hiler and
Jack represented Indiana's Third Congressional District for a decade, from 1981 to
1991. Ed is currently representing Hawaii's Second Congressional District. Ed
(cousin to Steve Case '80) served in Hawaii's House of Representatives from 1994 to 2002.
Question -- Which prep school has as
trustees a classmate and a classmate's wife?
Answer -- The King and Low-Heywood Thomas
School. The trustees are Peter Zaccagnino '75 and Pamela Davis, the wife of Gary
Question -- Which classmate wrote a book
that came out in May 2002 entitled, Raising a Team Player? (Hint: the
book deals with athletics, as evidenced by the fact that the introduction is written by
Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees.)
Answer -- Harry Sheehy,
Director of Athletics at Williams and the husband of Connie Durrell Sheehy '75, Associate
Director of Admission Operations. You can check out the book details on Amazon.com.
Question -- Which classmate belongs to a
sailing club called the Seattle
Answer -- Gordon Sata. He owns boat 2749.
Question -- Which freshman entry invited
President Sawyer to the lighting of its Christmas tree?
Answer -- The first floor of East College. President Sawyer said a
few words and then lighted the Christmas tree, which was located in the entry's one
communal area -- the bathroom.
Question -- On Ephnet, how many of our classmates
list themselves as physicians? (Hint: it's more than twenty.)
Answer -- Twenty five. Their specialties are:
- Dermatologist -- Rob Lund.
- Family Practioner -- Anne Wright Campbell, John Cordes.
- Gastroenterologist -- David Clarke.
- Nephrologist -- Andy Howard, Paul Pontier.
- Neurosurgeon -- Ed Mazdzer.
- Obstetrics/Gynecology -- Jane Laeger.
- Ophthalmologist -- Jean Tibbets.
- Pediatrician -- Bob Beck, Mike Snyder.
- Physician -- Jon Appelbaum, Lucy Singer Beck, Joe Bonn, Chris
Burrow, Larry Choy, Tom Getz, Rich Huntley, E. Walker, Fred Williams.
- Plastic Surgeon -- Brad Roberg.
- Public Health -- Frank Richards.
- Surgeon -- Bruce Ferguson, David Jacobs, Paul Skudder.
Question --Which classmate won the National Press
Foundation's Clifford K. Berryman & James T. Berryman Cartoonist of the Year Award in
Answer -- Channing Lowe. The award highlights the
power of political cartoons to change public opinion. He won a John S. Knight
Fellowship from Stanford University in 1993. "Chan Lowe is the editorial
cartoonist for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and his work is syndicated nationwide by
Tribune Media Service. His Cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The
Washington Post, ABC 20/20, etc. He is a winner of the Society of Professional
Journalists' Green Eyeshade Award, was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, and is a
1996 recipient of the Williams Bicentennial Medal."
Question -- When you do a Google search for one of our
classmates, most of the entries are road race finishing times. Who is the classmate?
(Hints: he was on the cross country team in college and currently runs for
the Annapolis Striders running club.)
Answer -- Scott Lutrey. Scott placed 59th (time of 22:13) in the 2001 Washington's
Birthday 5K in Arnold, MD; was 8th (time of 5:10) in a 1500 meter
run in August 1999; and was 39th (time of 22:12) in the 1998 Dundalk Heritage 6K.
Question -- Which two of our classmates have appeared
on the covers of national magazines? Hint: one was on the cover of Newsweek,
the other was on the cover of Forbes.
Answer -- Sam Bronfman made the cover of Newsweek (August 25,
1975) when he was kidnapped in the summer of 1975. Jimmy Lee appeared on the cover
of Forbes (April 17, 2000) for the story, "The New Power on Wall
Question -- Which of our classmates is the alphabet
soup king? He has worked at WCBS, WCAU, WBBM, KDKA, WOWO, WBZ, and WMNB.
Answer -- Chris Witting. Chris started out in broadcasting at
college: he was DJ Bob Sark on WCFM and worked at WMNB in North Adams. After
graduation he went on to executive positions at WBZ Boston; WOWO Fort Wayne, IN; KDKA
Pittsburgh; WBBM Chicago; WCAU Philadelphia, and WCBS New York. Chris now runs the Success Journal Corporation and hosts "The
Success Journal," a syndicated radio program that profiles entrepreneurs.
Broadcasting runs in the family -- Chris's father was President of the DuMont Television
Network (the network that hired Jackie Gleason and created "The Honeymooners")
and later was Vice President of Westinghouse Broadcasting.
Question -- Two of our classmates were contestants on
the TV gameshow "Jackpot." Who are they? Hint: they were
suitemates in Mission Park.
Answer -- In the summer of 1975, Chip Foster and Steve
"Bingo" Albelda were
contestants on "Jackpot." Chip won $800, Steve won $75. Not
surprisingly, they decided not to become professional gameshow contestants. Chip
Foster is now a Budget Analyst at the New York State
Department of Budget, while
Steve Albelda is
Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Question -- Given that we aren't getting any younger,
which classmate would be a good one to know since he is an expert on geriatrics?
Answer -- Jon Appelbaum. Jon, a physician, is a member of the American Geriatrics Society and Medical
Director at Fenway Community Health in Boston,
where he specializes in geriatrics and issues with aging. At Fenway he launched a
new program for seniors called "HouseCalls," which makes house calls to
homebound patients over the age of 55.
Question -- Which one of our classmates works at the World Bank?
Answer -- Olga Jonas is a Principal Economist at the World Bank.
She recently served as Assistant Executive Secretary on the Joint Commonwealth
Secretariat/World Bank Task Force on Small States. The task force issued its final
States: Meeting Challenges in the Global Economy, in April 2000. In
the words of the World Bank, the report "contains a comprehensive analysis of the particular
problems faced by small states in taking full advantage of global economic
Question -- Which classmate participated in the
1972 Olympics -- and what event did he compete in?
Answer -- Angus Morrison; he placed 10th in canoeing. Angus now
works at Nantahala Outdoor Center in
North Carolina, a whitewater rafting and kayaking organizer and outfitter.
Question -- If you're looking for a
relatively up-to-date picture of Class Co-President Bill Oberndorf and his family, where
would you find it? (Hint: not in the 25th Reunion Class Book.)
Answer -- In the Save the Children
1998 Annual Report.
Question -- Immediately after graduating
from Williams, two classmates became managers of The Log on Spring Street. Who were
they, and what do they do now?
Answer -- Gene Falk and Peter McChesney. Gene worked as Manager of
The Log, while Peter served as Assistant Manager and also spent time getting the Hopkins
Forest Farm Museum up and running. It turns out that managing a bar can lead to a
career in the entertainment or utility industries. Gene is now Senior Vice
President, New Media and New Business Development for Showtime
Networks. Peter is Director of Business Development at PSEG Global, a company that develops,
owns and operates independent power generation and distribution facilities throughout the
Question -- Two of our classmates are
Chiefs of their respective specialties at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, ME.
Who are they? (Hint: they are both women, and both got their medical
degrees at Tufts University.)
Answer -- Jane Laeger
is Chief of St. Joseph Hospital's Gynecology Service and Jean
Tibbetts is Chief of St. Joseph Hospital's Opthamology Service. Jane served her
internship and residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (where Joe
Bonn is now a radiologist); Jean served her internship at Rhode Island Hospital and
residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center.
Question -- Three of our classmates are
now judges. Who are they?
Answer -- Helen Butcher Bennet, Bruce Cowden, and Marshall Murray.
Helen is Judge of Probate for the District of Saybrook in Connecticut; Bruce is an
Administrative Case Judge for the Department of Worker's Claims in Lexington, KY; and
Marshall Murray is on the Judicial Court Commission of the Milwaukee County Courts.
Question -- A classmate was quoted in the
August 1, 2000 New York Times as saying, "This is the first opportunity for
Six-Pack Joe in the heartland who has diabetes to participate in a study." Who
Answer -- Hugh Rienhoff, Jr. The article entitled, "Company Seeking
Donors of DNA for a 'Gene Trust,'" described DNA Sciences' new Web site, DNA.com, and its request for people to donate their DNA to
help discover disease-causing genes. Hugh, a physician and former venture
capitalist, is founder, chairman, and CEO of DNA Sciences (formerly Kiva Genetics).
[Note: in July 2002, Hugh became a General Partner at
Question -- On July 12, 2000, UBS stated it would purchase PaineWebber for $10.8 billion dollars. If
you're looking for a PaineWebber employee's view of the transaction, how many classmates
can give you that view?
Answer -- Three. All are Managing Directors: David Jarvis,
Brad Hearsh, and Paul Ladd.
Question -- Which major had the highest
percentage of possible attendees at our 25th Reunion?
Answer -- Religion. Six out of seven, or 86%, attended. Eight
classmates graduated with a major in Religion: Chris Alberti, Virginia Drewry,
Stephen Gardner, Jane Laeger, Jan McClure, Melissa McGuire, Elaine Miller, and Betsy Maier
Stiles. Elaine Miller died recently; of the remaining seven, only Jane Laeger did
not attend the reunion. Other majors were not far behind in percentage attendance:
American Civilization (82%), Environmental Studies (80%), Art (78%), and Geology
Question -- Which classmates will directly
or indirectly be affected by Vivendi's acquisition of
Seagram? (Announced June 20, 2000, the deal is
valued at $34 billion, and will create a media powerhouse, Vivendi Universal, second only
to AOL/Time Warner.)
Answer -- Sam
Bronfman and Joe LaPaglia. Sam will be directly affected in several ways.
The Bronfman family owns 24% of Seagram, so the acquisition ends the family's 84-year
control of the company. In addition, Sam is President of the Seagram Chateau &
Estate Wines Company and Chairman of the Seagram Beverage Company. Vivendi has stated they
plan to sell the liquor portion of Seagram, so in the long run Sam may work for another
company. The other involved classmate, Joe LaPaglia, is Director of Internal Audit
at Universal Studios Escape in Florida, a
division that Vivendi will keep. [Note: As
of 2004, Joe is now at CNL Shared Services.]
Question -- At least three of our
classmates work within the publishing industry. Who are they?
Answer -- Tracy Brown, Nancy Gallt, and Jane Rosenman. Tracy Brown
is an Executive Editor at Henry Holt & Co.
Nancy Gallt, after stints at Harper & Row and William Morrow, is now self-employed as
a literary agent. Jane Rosenman is an Executive Editor at Scribner Publishing.
Question -- Given that we graduated 6
years before the introduction of the IBM PC and 18 years before the Mosaic Web browser was
released, how "wired" (in a technological sense) is the Class of 1975? Are
we Luddites, or have we embraced computer technology? To take two datapoints (as
they say in the technology biz), how many classmates have e-mail addresses, and how many
classmates accessed this Web site during the week of May 28?
Answer -- Over 240 classmates -- well over half of the class -- have
e-mail addresses. During Memorial Day week, 70 classmates, or approximately 15% of
the class, looked at the Williams '75 Web site at least once; several visited it two or
three times. The average visitor looked at 5 pages; the most popular pages were who is attending the Reunion, the Reunion calendar, and classmate e-mail addresses and URLs. (The site served up
523 page views during the week, an average of 73 page views a day.)
Question -- Which classmate is president
of a mail order company that specializes in outdoor sporting gear and clothing?
(Hint: both his father and his wife attended Williams.)
Answer -- Perk Perkins. Perk became President and CEO of Orvis in 1992, taking over from his father, Leigh H.
Perkins '50. Perk is married to Randall Rives Perkins '74.
Question -- What famous screenwriter and
film director wrote and directed our Freshman Revue?
Answer -- My Piece of the Pie was written and directed by John Sayles '72. Sayles has since
gone on to write and direct films such as Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan,
Eight Men Out, Lone Star, and Limbo. In 1975, his short story "I-80 Nebraska, m490-m.205" won the O.
Henry Award, while in 1983 he won a MacArthur Foundation grant.
Question -- On Ephnet, how many of our classmates
list themselves as lawyers? (Hint: it's more than twenty.)
Answer -- Twenty four. They are Jon Abbott, Corinne Ball, David
Barradale, Ed Case, Tom Cummings, K.K. DuVivier, Charles Einsiedler, Eileen Epstein, Peter
Erly, Suzanne Fluhr, Peter Hillman, Joe Hutcheson, Jeff Jacobs, Chip Juan, Doug MacBain,
Martin McGowan, Regan Miller, Stephen Murphy, Michael Pucillo, David Reimann, Mark
Sinclair, Bill Southard, Theresa Sternberg, and Amanda Van Dusen.
Question -- At least five of our
classmates work at newspapers or magazines. Who are they?
Answer -- Kathy Bogan is a graphics designer for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver,
CO. David Grogan is an editor at Discovery Magazine. Channing Lowe
is an editorial cartoonist at the Fort
Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel in Florida. Chris Satullo is Deputy Editor of the
editorial page at The
Philadelphia Inquirer. Kirk Victor is Staff Correspondent for the National Journal.
Question -- Which classmate was the
subject of a Fortune magazine article on February 7, 2000)?
(Hint: the article contained a full-page picture of him resplendent in (as Fortune
puts it), "power Wall Street suspenders, French cuffs, and slicked-back hair.")
Jimmy Lee. The article, entitled,
Banks on Tech," describes Chase's purchase of Hambrecht & Quist, a Silicon
Valley-based technology investment bank. Jimmy -- described by Fortune as
Chase's "pedal-to-the-metal capital markets chief" -- spearheaded the purchase
of H&Q. And yes, there are multiple Williams connections in this story.
Jimmy is married to Beth Brownell Lee '75, while the head of H&Q, Dan Case, is the
brother of Steve Case '80 (former head of AOL) as well as the cousin of Ed Case '75.
Question -- Which classmate's bio appears
on at least four separate Web sites? (Hint: he has two jobs and is also
running for the U.S. Senate.)
Answer -- Minnesota State Senator Steve Kelley. An attorney at
Mackall, Crounse & Moore, Steve is listed at that firm's
Web site as well as at the
Minnesota State Senate's Web
site. He is fielding a campaign Web site called www.kelley2000.org, and is profiled on the Minnesota
Public Radio Web site.
[Note: as of 2004, Steve is the Senate Majority Whip.]
Question -- Which classmate has been in
the thick of the oftentimes headline-grabbing merger of Qwest Communications and US West?
Answer -- Drake Tempest, who is Executive Vice President, General
Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Denver-based Qwest Communications. Although
Drake entered with the Class of 1975, he graduated in three years and went on to study at
Oxford, and then got his law degree at Yale. [Note: As
Drake is now at
O'Melveny & Myers.]
Question -- Four of our classmates
couldn't bear to leave the Purple Valley, and work at Williams College. Who are
they? (Hint: two of them are married to each other.)
Answer -- Michael Glier, Felicia Pharr, Connie Durrell Sheehy, and Harry
Sheehy. Michael Glier is a Lecturer in Art. Felicia Pharr is Coordinator of
the 1914 Library. Connie Sheehy is Associate Director of Admissions and head of
Operations for the Admissions Office, while Harry Sheehy is the Chair and Director of
Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation.
Question -- Two of our classmates now live
in Australia. Who are they?
Answer -- Bonnie Harris and Ben Strout both live in New South Wales (the
state that contains Sydney), Australia. Bonnie works for a motion picture company
called Coming Attractions. Ben works for the Australia
Council, the Australian government's principal arts funding and advisory body.
Ben is the Senior Manager responsible for funding performing arts (theatre and dance)
Question -- Which Florida-based classmate
is charged with ensuring that Woody Woodpecker, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and other cartoon
characters don't make off with the loot?
Answer -- Joe LaPaglia.
Joe is Director of Internal Audit for Universal
Studios Escape. [Note: As
of 2004, Joe is now at CNL Shared Services.]
Question -- Which classmate won the
Pulitzer Prize in History? (Two hints: He is now officially considered a
member of the Class of 1974 since he graduated in three years, and he took a course from
James MacGregor Burns, who also won the Pulitzer Prize.)
Larson. He won the 1998
Pulitzer Prize in History for Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and
America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Ed received his Ph.D. in
the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin and his law degree from Harvard
Law School; he currently teaches at the University of
Georgia. When interviewed on C-SPAN for Booknotes, Ed mentioned that taking one of Prof. Burns' courses gave him the confidence to
Question -- Six of our classmates have
followed religious pursuits. Who are they?
Answer -- Gregory Formey is Pastor at the Fellowship of Faith in
Columbia, SC. Marty LaFreniere Harris is Director of Religious Education at St. Mary
of the Assumption Parish in Milford, MA. Martha Hedgpeth is Associate Rector at
Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, NC. David Hughes is Pastor at the Faith United
Church in Springfield, MA. Harry Jackson is President and Senior Pastor at Christian
Hope Ministries in College Park, MD. Christopher Tower belongs to the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives at Shasta Abbey, Mt.
Question -- There were two German majors
in our class. Who were they, and what do they do now? (Hint: their last
names both begin with "M.")
Answer -- The two German majors were Doug Marston and David McCune.
Doug works for Coutts Group in Zurich, Switzerland. Coutts
Group, the private banking arm of NatWest, offers
personalized banking services to wealthy clients. David works for Sage Publications, a California company founded in 1965
that publishes scholarly journals and books.
Question -- One of our classmates manages
a hotel in Naples, FL. Who is it?
Answer -- Mike Watkins. Mike received an advanced degree from the
Cornell University Hotel School, and is now President of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, a hotel
that his grandfather started over 50 years ago.
Question -- Which classmate is now
chairman of the History Department at the University of Washington? (Hint: he
graduated summa cum laude, with Highest Honors in English and Highest Honors in History).
Robert Stacey. Bob received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1983,
and specializes in medieval history, teaching courses such as "The Medieval
World," and "Medieval England, 1042-1485."
Question -- Which two classmates have
appeared on the PBS TV program, This Old House?
Answer -- Bill Flynt and
Bill appeared on the show in the mid-1990s, leading a tour around Old Deerfield and discussing historically
correct exterior paint colors. Pam, a principal at Ann
Beha Associates, specializes in refurbishing and updating old buildings. On This
Old House, she designed a garage for a Federal-style house in Salem, MA.
Question -- As Teaching Assistants in
Astronomy, two classmates used to give the college planetarium shows. What were
their names, and what do they do now?
Answer -- Don Cooke and
Guy Creese. Don majored in Astronomy, and serves as Vice President of Institutional
Advancement at the Field Musuem
of Natural History in Chicago. A History major, Guy is
Managing Principal at
a high-tech industry analyst firm
located in Andover, MA.
Question -- Which classmate won the
Conant-Harrington Prize in Biology, and what does he do now?
Steve is putting his expertise to good use as Chairman and CEO of Corixa Corporation, a biotechnology firm that specializes
in discovering and optimizing vaccines.
Question -- In 1971, over half of the
Class of 1975 came from four states: New York (99), Massachusetts (75), Connecticut
(38), and Pennsylvania (32). In which four states do the most classmates live today?
Answer -- Massachusetts (74), New York (60), California (45), and
Question -- Which classmate is a principal
in the architectural firm that designed the Greylock Quad and Bronfman Science Center?
Answer -- Hank Haff. Hank is a principal at BTA Architects, the successor firm to Benjamin
Thompson and Associates. (As Art 101 students know, Benjamin Thompson and Associates
designed Greylock Quad and Bronfman Science Center).
Question -- Two classmates won the Willis
I. Milham Prize in Astronomy. One of the winners teaches astronomy -- what does the
other one do?
Answer -- Stuart Vogel and Dan Muzyka won the Milham Prize.
Stuart received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Berkeley. He is now is Professor
of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, as well
as the Maryland director for the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland array of millimeter-wave
telescopes. Dan got his MBA from Wharton and DBA from Harvard Business School, and
is now Dean of the Sauder
School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Question -- What were the five most popular majors in
Answer -- English was the largest major with 53 students, followed by
History (52), Psychology (44), Biology (41), and Economics (38).
Question -- Although only one entered Williams as a
freshman, two brothers graduated together in our class. What were their names, and
how did they do that? (Hint: we used their father's textbook in Econ 101).
Answer -- Bob and Paul Samuelson. Bob entered Williams as a
freshman, while Paul transfered from Yale to Williams our Junior year. Originally
from Belmont, MA, they've both remained in the Boston area. Bob is currently Chief
Financial Officer of the Monitor
Company in Cambridge; Paul is at Upstream Technologies in Boston.
Question -- In 1988, Bunker Hunt, Herbert Hunt, and
Lamar Hunt were found guilty of manipulating the silver market during 1979 and 1980.
Which classmate served as an expert witness in the Hunt brothers' trial, and then wrote a
book about the legal and economic issues raised by the case?
Answer -- Jeffrey Williams. Formerly an Economics professor at
Brandeis and Stanford, Jeff now teaches at the University of California at Davis. An
expert in commodities markets (his book Storage and Commodity Markets won the
American Agricultural Economic Association's Quality of Research Discovery
award), he testified at the trial and then published a book about it -- Manipulation
on Trial: Economic Analysis and the Hunt Silver Case, Cambridge University
Press, 1995. You can learn about his current research at his