In one of your many highly regarded works of speculative fiction, a certain quiet Massachusetts college town turns out to be … something else entirely. You, too, are really something else.
When you returned to this quiet college town, you were already a highly accomplished and globally admired author. You were also no stranger.
Son of two legends of the faculty, brother of an equally beloved member of staff, you had grown up here.
If, however, Williams has been a part of who you are, you are also a significant part of what Williams has become. You’ve taught so many students to appreciate the art and craft of inventing alternative worlds; you’ve helped so many over the years to imagine their own.
That would have been success enough. But when the college perceived a need for intensive courses in expository writing, it was to a master of literary writing that we turned. You devised an altogether ingenious approach that made students not only successful writers, but also successful students.
Your former undergraduate and graduate students say they use what you taught them every day. Thanks to you, they write creatively, effectively and with confidence. Thanks to you, they have found and believe in their voices. They admire your passion, appreciate your humor and commend your humanity. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they apply your ideas, your techniques and, even more important, your example of diligence and kindness.
I hereby declare you Senior Lecturer in English, Emeritus, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 5, 2022