Bon Voyage, Peggy!

Peggy R. Williams is feted on campus and off as she retires after 11 years as IC president.

The Ithaca Times featured her on its cover under the heading “Goodbye, Peggy!” The campus threw an official farewell celebration. And she was given an honorary doctor of letters degree and named president emerita. But what perhaps meant most to the president known for her commitment to inclusion and service was the establishment of an endowed symposium in her honor.

Forty-one current and past members of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees contributed more than $100,000 to create the Peggy R. Williams Difficult Dialogues Symposium exploring intellectual diversity and academic freedom. Difficult Dialogues will bring to campus global leaders who will present opposing viewpoints on important topics, such as fundamentalism and secularism, racial and ethnic relations, the Middle East conflict, religion and the university, and academic freedom. Additional alumni donations to the Difficult Dialogues fund are welcomed.

As a gift to the College in perpetuity, Williams and her husband, David, also endowed two funds themselves. Both will benefit students. The David A. and Peggy R. Williams International Study Grant will help students participating in an international academic experience. And the David A. and Peggy R. Williams Endowed Fund for Women Student Leadership will benefit female students with the potential for leadership, supporting a variety of professional development opportunities.