Laurie Heatherington

Your students think of you not just as one of the best professors ever, but as one of the best people. A scholar, teacher and mentor of immense integrity and compassion. One alum says, “Yours was the only class I never cut.”

You arrived in 1984 as the first clinical psychologist on the Williams faculty and one of the few at any liberal arts college. You pioneered community placements in undergraduate clinical psych courses. You changed pedagogy nationwide and laid a foundation for Williams’ focus on experiential learning.

Your research interests include previously underexplored questions about family therapy. The measures and methodologies you developed transformed the specialty from theory to empirical science. Faculty across departments respect you as a leader, recalling, among many contributions, your management of a college-wide curriculum review.

There are also the stories students share: About your work as a master quilter. About how you sewed masks for them early in the pandemic, when masks were hard to come by. About legendary meals at your home, and how you once calmly left in the middle of class because it was time to have a baby. Many of them credit you not just for their careers, but their values and the ways they aspire to live.

As devoted as you are, you’re equally committed to Gould Farm, another important Berkshire County institution. Nearly three decades as board member and collaborator have led staff there to think of you as, simply, the “real deal” and someone who “embodies what it means to be human.”

We enthusiastically agree.

I hereby declare you Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of Psychology, Emerita, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

June 5, 2022