William J. Lenhart

Thirty-nine years ago, you joined the Williams faculty as part of the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Some years later, the department split into math and computer science, and though you felt your skills best lent themselves to computer science, you still kept a foot in math. A professor of graph theory, computational geometry and the theory of computation, you took an unusual step when one of your colleagues left the college. Knowing how popular his computer graphics courses were, you learned his specialty—despite the subject being outside your wheelhouse—and taught those classes, too. During a faculty meeting several years ago about increasing the number of tutorials offered to students, someone remarked that it might be hard to teach computer science or math in such an intensive, student-led format. You pointed out that you had taught a math tutorial—and loved the experience. Provost Will Dudley commented next, saying he had been a student in that tutorial—and also loved the experience. Now more tutorials in both disciplines are offered to more Williams students than ever. And computer science has become one of the most popular subjects in the curriculum, demanding incredible effort and teamwork from you and your colleagues. You have served the broader Williams community as department chair multiple times, as acting Dean of the Faculty, as Interim Chief Technology Officer, and as a member of some of the college’s most influential committees. Perhaps most challenging was your tenure as Provost, when you ably led Williams through the 2008 financial crisis. After five years in that post, you were eager to resume your scholarship. You forged new collaborations in France, Italy and Canada and went on to publish multiple conference papers on such topics as 1-Planar Graphs, Partial 2-trees, and 3D Snap Rounding. For these contributions to Williams, to your discipline and to your students, and for so much more, we extend our deepest gratitude.

I hereby declare you the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

May 31, 2021