Exterior of the Davis Center with Pride flag on display

The Davis Center Initiative—a $20 million fundraising effort to support the people, programs and significant physical revitalization of the Davis Center—received a boost following a recent vote by Williams’ Board of Trustees to approve a plan to expand and renovate the center.

The college has secured three major gifts totaling $7 million toward the project. Two are anonymous, among them a $5 million matching grant for gifts designated to the full renovation of Jenness House, the reconstruction and expansion of Rice House, and the creation of an outdoor greenspace.

Ray Whiteman ’81 committed $1 million to the project. Having experienced racism as a student in the late 1970s, he says he hopes his gift will support community building and inspire activism among the next generation of students. A living room in the renovated Rice House will be named for him.

An additional $1 million has been raised through the Alumni Fund and Parents Fund, new endowment and spendable funds. Each gift supports student, academic and co-curricular opportunities such as racial and social justice internships, the Summer Science and the Summer Humanities and Social Sciences Programs, and Allison Davis Research Fellowships.

“The Davis Center is central to the college’s mission to help students, faculty and staff of all identities thrive and find the spaces, communities and resources to help them do so,” says Leticia S.E. Haynes ’99, Williams’ vice president for institutional diversity, equity and inclusion. “Investing in these new spaces for our students, particularly those from groups historically underrepresented or often marginalized, is a significant step toward ensuring that our campus is fully inclusive.”