Williams & Sage (The Frosh Quad)
Williams Hall, built in 1911, was named for our collegiate benefactor Colonel Ephraim Williams. Williams fell mortally wounded leading his troops near Lake George, New York, in 1755. A month before his death, Williams had completed his last will & testament leaving funds to establish a free school (quick quiz : that became a college in 179_) in his home town to be re-named Williamstown. Did you get it? If not, we hope you applied to Amherst – we hear they’ll take anyone. It may be of interest to future Amherst College enemies that while Lord Jeffrey Amherst also fought the French and Indians in the same lengthy conflict in which Williams lost his life, Lord Jeff did not arrive in North America until 1758 – three years after Williams’ demise. Thus, by historical accident (or fate?), Amherst was not Williams’ superior officer as Amherst’s historically inaccurate students will claim at sporting events.
Sage Hall, built in 1923, is the mirror-image of Williams. Before there was a Sage Hall, there was a nice set of clay tennis courts, but alas, they are no more. And now there is Sage, a beautiful Georgian style building (relax, those of you who have not seen the campus, a few of the buildings may be of a similar style, but it honestly hardly will phase you. Besides, if you are going to have buildings in the same style, Georgian is a good choice). Both Williams & Sage were built by architect Ralph Adams Cram (architect of the giant St. John the Divine church in New York, just one of his many famous buildings).
Williams and Sage form the Frosh Quad (which is great on warm days for Frisbee, studying at one of the picnic tables, or hanging out in the sun). Each room in the Frosh Quad varies by entry, making for a variety of living quarters – from singles to “intimate doubles” (read small, but cozy – very cozy) joined by a common room. Bathrooms are usually single-sex, and are shared by 4-6 people. The Frosh Quad is adjacent to the Paresky Center, which is a great place to hang out. First-year students & their JA’s also have their own dining halls at Mission Park (although all students, including first-year students, can eat in any dining hall).
Williams Hall Floorplans:
Sage Hall Floorplans:
Mission Park is made up of four sections, each of which has horizontal entries. There is also a central dining hall. The central spaces in Mission Park have great lounges with pool tables, a kitchen, and comfortable couches. We’ll be the first to admit that Mission is a funny looking building (winner of an architectural award my foot) – but first-years who live there have no complaints.
Mission Park takes its name from the part of campus where, in 1806, five Williams students gathered in the then-maple grove on a warm summer day to discuss their interest in spreading Christianity. When a sudden lightning storm interrupted their discussion, they took shelter in a nearby haystack (check out the Haystack Monument on your way to the building!), huddling and praying for foreign missionaries. Although not praying, ironically, to be hiding under something less flammable than a stack of hay…
Mills and Pratt make up the east- and west-central sections of Mission Park. Right below Mills and Pratt is the Mission Park Dining Hall, and some of the main common spaces. You might find that you and your entrymates want to take on a game of pool, or stay up late chatting each other up or studying. Both have great views of Mission Park (meaning, the actual park – green grass, lovely trees, and the Haystack Monument) to the south, and the Mountains, the MOUNTAINS! to the North.
Dennett is the eastern-most section of Mission Park. Almost all of the rooms in Mission Park are singles, but are situated along horizontal entries, in funny little zig-zag angled ways. Of course you’re just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from the dining hall, and will be close to Park Street. And don’t forget the beautiful views of the Park and the Mountains!
Armstrong makes up the western-most section of Mission Park, and has the same oddly-angled rooms on horizontal entries as the rest of the building. However not only are you a stones throw from the tennis and outdoor basketball courts (IM Basketball anyone?!), you still can wake up and go to breakfast in your pajamas!