The purpose of the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund is to fund visits by speakers and performers to inspire and energize students to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

The Williams Fund has been established in order to bring to campus lectures and special events which will stimulate students and enliven the campus community.  Speakers should be distinguished individuals whose lectures will be appealing to Cornell College students, such as political and social commentators, recognized experts and business leaders.  Special events may include performances, events and exhibits, whether of a cultural, artistic, educational or entertaining nature, provided that they are selected for their appeal to Cornell College students. In addition to a public address, performance, exhibit or other event, such visits shall to the extent possible also include meetings with students in classes and other opportunities for individual interaction with students and faculty.  The fund will support one speaker and one performer each academic year (exceptions may be considered).

Proposal Guidelines

  • Any Cornell student, staff, or faculty member may propose a speaker or performer for funding from the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund.  If consultation is desired, he/she should contact the Director of Student Activities, Tera Kringle.
  • In order to encourage collaborative programming, proposals must have at least two endorsements, from a recognized student organization, and from a campus office or academic department.   An endorsement means that the organization, department or office will support the event with their presence and may be called on to assist with marketing or staffing of the event.
  • The sponsor must compete the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund Proposal form and submit it to the director of Student Activities by early Block 7 for the event to be considered for the following academic year.
  • The sponsor must agree to assist the Director of Student Activities with the planning and execution of the event (particularly with publicity and hosting of the event).
  • Proposals will be reviewed by the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund committee consisting of: theDirector of Student Activities (ex officio), the Dean of Students or his/her designee, the chair of LACE or his/her faculty designee, and an executive member of Student Senate.
  • At the beginning of Block 7 the committee will meet to rank the top 5 proposals and submit them to the President for final review and decision.
  • There must be a mechanism for student impact statements in the form of thank you notes that can be sent to the donor.  For example the endorsing student organization, students who attend a reception, meal, or small workshop.
  • The committee will consider proposals ranging from $3,000  to $7,000 (total cost) and will make decisions based on the merits and availability of funding.  There is to be exclusive funding by the Richard and Marlene Williams Fund, or if other funding is used, it will not be named as a sponsor.

Proposal Criteria

Proposals will be review based on the following critieria

  • Potential for social and/or intellectual impact
  • The speaker or performers' prestige, accomplishments, expertise in their field and appeal to a broad campus audience.
  • Relevant and current topic and uniqueness in that year's programming

Submit the attached proposal form to Tera Kringle, Director of Student Activities, Campus box 2632 or via email to by Monday, March 9, 2009.