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). This annual series of performances and lectures is funded by a donation from alumnus Richard Williams ’63 and his wife, Marlene.

Past Events

Walk Off the Earth

January 19, 2013

walk off the earth

Best know for their 5 person 1 guitar cover of Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used to Know," Walk Off the Earth brought a high-energy pop performance to the historic King Chapel. Billed as "The Big Event", the performance was co-sponsored by the Williams Fund and Cornell's Student Senate. 

Capitol Steps

February 18, 2012

capitol steps

Capitol Steps kept the audience rolling with laughter with their version of putting the 'Mock in Democracy"


January 15, 2011


A sold-out crowd of 650 attended the unforgettable performance by Rockapella. This a cappella group, best known for the theme song for the hit show "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" proved that they are still at the top of their craft.


Paperclips Documentary and Lecture by Linda Hooper

October 29, 2009

Linda Hooper, the principal of Whitewell Middle School, featured in the Paperclips Documentary, along with two of her students visited Cornell College. 

Capitol Steps

October 1, 2008

Capitol Steps  Capitol Steps 2

The Capitol Steps performed to a full house in King Chapel.  They are an American political satire group. The group has been performing since 1981, and has released approximately thirty albums consisting primarily of song parodies. Originally consisting exclusively of Congressional staffers performing around Washington, D.C., the troupe has also performed on PBS, public radio and through concert tours around the United States.

Opening Convocation Speaker

Debra Marquart

September 18, 2008

Debra Marquart

Professor Debra Marquart, author of "Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere," was the featured speaker at Opening Convocation. Horizontal World was the inaugural selection for Cole Library’s “One Book, One Campus, One Community” program. Professor Marquart also met with classes and read from her work during a open workshop. Professor Marquart teaches English at Iowa State University.


Second City Touring Company

January 26, 2008

picture picture

The first event in this series was The Second City Touring Company on Saturday, January 26, 2008 in King Chapel. The performance was attended by over 500 students, faculty, staff, and community members. The actors from The Second City also provided a workshop on improvisation to 16 students the following morning.