the joseph's coat award

Williams College
he Joseph’s Coat is bestowed annually upon a member of a post-50th Reunion class
who is held in high esteem by the College and fellow alumni. Inspired by an eyecatching specimen worn by alumni secretary Charles B. Hall of the Class of 1915, and
first presented in 1952, the coat is the loudest, liveliest, flashiest available, in reference
to the biblical Coat of Many Colors.
his year’s recipient of this signature honor is the product of a family with strong
New England roots, which served the King in the 1600s and fought the King in the
1700s. He and many others in the Class of 1943 came to Williams ready to take on the
world. And in short order, they did. Of the 248 original members of his class, only a
handful were present to receive diplomas, as they went on to become founding members
of the Greatest Generation.
s a Williams undergraduate, he was a singer and cheerleader – no surprise to
anyone who has spent more than five minutes in his company. This Williams
training served him well during a long career as a sales, marketing and communications
lways seeming to have an unending supply of energy and enthusiasm, he carried on
a parallel career of devotion to Williams.
e has served in major roles for his class, including President, Secretary, Agent and
Reunion Chair, and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Society
of Alumni. But perhaps his most lasting contribution to the College was to lead the
effort to restore to prominence the memorial tablet honoring Col. Ephraim Williams in
the Thompson Memorial Chapel. In the late 1980s, the tablet had been covered by a
wooden floor. Our honoree noted that “this threatened to make Colonel Williams the
unknown soldier of Williams College.”
o ensure that he will never be an unknown soldier….or, more accurately, Marine,
illiams is proud to present the Joseph’s Coat — a symbol of her deep regard for
this exceptional Eph — with gratitude and affection to her devoted son:
Malcolm MacGruer