Gregory M. Avis, Class of 1980 Doctor of Laws

With the seemingly endless energy of a long-distance road biker, you have somehow managed to combine a successful career in business and a commitment to inner-city teaching with broad engagement in the nonprofit world, most notably here at Williams. As a founding managing director of Summit Partners, you have served on the boards of more than forty growth companies, while teaching mathematics at Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto, and serving on many nonprofit boards, including those of ARTSTOR, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Your deepest engagement, however, has been with the college that you love, where you have been a deeply attentive board chair, investing the time necessary to develop close relationships with faculty and staff, students, and alumni. A democratizer of the boardroom, you have worked to include all voices in the building of consensus. You helped lead the college’s effective response to the Great Recession and the professionalization of its endowment management, both of which will benefit our students in perpetuity. In all of this work you have epitomized our alumni body: devoted, generous of heart, and determined to do whatever it takes for Williams to continue evolving toward an even brighter future.

I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Laws, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto. 

June 8, 2014