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Williams Uses Switchboard to Unify Its Alumni

ABOUT WILLIAMS

Williams is a private, residential liberal arts college with around 2,000 students in Williamstown, Mass., 135 miles from Boston and 165 miles from New York City. Williams has the oldest alumni association in the country and continuously tops the list of schools with the highest alumni giving rates.

We asked Williams's Assistant Editor & Social Media Specialist Francesca Shanks about Williams's success.

WHY SWITCHBOARD?

"The Williams community is passionate, supportive and respectful; Switchboard helps set that tone online and helps us get the word out about interesting community events, ask for and offer advice about careers and internships, and connect with one another in a useful, meaningful way."

WHAT WERE YOU USING AND DOING BEFORE SWITCHBOARD? HOW DOES SWITCHBOARD HELP NOW?

"Before Switchboard, there was no inclusive online way to seek apartment rentals, ask for ride shares and sell your stuff—we had a bulletin board that was mostly student-oriented, but it hadn’t been very active in recent years. 

We have an active career center (career counselors regularly meet one-on-one with students) and a place for student job listings, but it’s great to have Switchboard as another, sometimes more open-ended option."

SO FAR, HOW HAS YOUR COMMUNITY RESPONDED? DO YOU HAVE SOME FAVORITE POSTS OR SUCCESS STORIES?

"The community has responded positively—we have over 2,000 people signed up, mostly alumni and staff members, with a few hundred students. You can see from our success stories that having Switchboard emphasizes the best things about our community—we’re a group of people with diverse interests and experience, and we all use those interests and experiences to help others when possible."