Sawyer Library

Named for John Edward Sawyer, Class of 1939
President of Williams College, 1961-73

40 Chapin Hall Drive
97,250 Sq. Ft.

Sawyer Library, 2009
Sawyer Library, 2009

Built in 1975, Sawyer Library is named for John Edward Sawyer ’39, the 11th President of Williams. He was associate professor of economics at Yale from 1953-1961. A Trustee of Williams while still at Yale, Sawyer was named to the presidency of Williams in 1961. He found time in his 12-year administration to accomplish much for the College, approaching the job as a quiet conservative who was very much aware of the inevitable changes that awaited. Abolishing fraternities, admitting women, and recognizing and accommodating minority students were giant moves which had been gathering momentum since mid-century at Williams. Sawyer faced these issues with disarming cool-headedness and understanding, avoiding the upset which shook many campuses. Sawyer resigned after 12 years, in 1973, leaving behind an appreciative group of Trustees, faculty, students and alumni, and a legacy of outstanding collegiate achievement.

Major Construction History

Date Project Cost
1975 Built
Architect: Harry Weese and Associates
1988 Signage system
Designer: Jonathan Cutler
Fabricator: Soheil Mosun, Inc. (Canada)
1990-91 Design $155,560
Roof $102,465
Renovate lower level
Architect: Ben Weese
1991 Automation $650,000
1993 Renovation
Architect: Weese Langley Weese
1992 Wiring for computerized catalogue system $67,471
1993 Sawyer/Hopkins air conditioning $745,942
1995-96 Sitework – Baxter, Chapin, Sawyer
Architect: Carol R. Johnson Associates, Inc.