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Executive Whirlwind

Just try to keep up with our president, Peggy R. Williams.

If you dare.

One would be hard pressed to find a college or university chief executive officer who is as involved in academic, administrative, and athletic endeavors as Ithaca College’s president, Peggy R. Williams.

How many presidents swim more than a mile across a lake (Cayuga) to raise funds that benefit Hospicare and Palliative Care Services, or bicycle for 100 miles around that same lake in the AIDS Ride for Life? We know of one.

The president at the AIDS Ride for Life in September with the IC team (including her husband, David Williams, left photo front); Women Swimmin' in August; and in meetings on campus

A champion of equal opportunity for women and girls in sport, Williams puts her muscles where her mouth is. She bikes and swims regularly—not just in marathons—and mentors younger women in higher education. She also represents Ithaca College in higher education circles, in government, at conferences, at many alumni events on campus and afield, and in the community. During this past fall she spent a good deal of time on the road on behalf of Ithaca College, at campaign kickoff events around the country; she’ll keep that up during the first half of the winter.

Being a college president means being a fundraiser, an admissions volunteer, an alumni relations professional, a recruiter, an academic, a financial administrator, a diplomat, a team leader, a team player, a counselor, a spokesperson, a teacher, and a friend and colleague to all who care about IC.

The president works hard, and yet she still finds time to have a rich personal life that includes regular exercise and participation in sports such as tennis, hiking, skiing, golfing, and sailing. She and her husband, attorney David Williams, are wilderness enthusiasts and have taken many outdoor vacations throughout the world.

When President Williams talks about community spirit, she means it. Her own service currently includes seats on the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, the boards of directors of the Canada-U.S. Foundation for Educational Exchange, the Tompkins Trust Company, and the governing board of the Wye Faculty Seminar. She is also a member of the American Council on Education Commission on Women and an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Ithaca.

In all of these roles, Peggy R. Williams has been and continues to be the face and voice of Ithaca College. But you’ve got to be in shape to keep up with her.

As the College continues to work on its first major comprehensive campaign in its 115-year history, with so much at stake, the ICQ would like to share with you scenes from our president’s semester.

Swim photos: Peter Ozolins '01; bike and meeting photos: Sheryl D. Sinkow

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