We owe a different sort of thanks, one more profound, to the students and faculty friends who helped Bob Gaudino through his final years. We hear from a few in the oral history, but there were others, including the chaplain’s son, Alan Eusden, and Williams-in-India’s Parker Croft, who assisted Gaudino with daily life in his small home on campus and enabled him to teach, to the end, in its cozy living room.

On a more mundane level, the two most avid “Gaudinoites,” the aforementioned Dale Riehl and Jeff Thaler, deserve thanks for obsessively preserving documents and other records from Gaudino’s life and work. Three Gaudino Fund board chairmen provided consistent support for the oral history, Chris Alberti, the judge’s son, followed by Michael Morfit and Michael Pucillo. Rumor has it that Morfit offered odds on whether the expanding project would ever see the light of day. That it has is due to three hard-working undergraduates who spent the summer of 2010 learning advanced computer skills in the Williams Instructional Technology Program (WIT). Calling themselves “L.E.D. Zeppelin,” the team of Hai Zhou, Julie Le and Deonarine Soogrim designed, coded and activated the website you’re on now.

This project has grown since the modest proposal of 2002 in ways we could not have anticipated. But I hope you’ve found there’s a lot here, in more ways than one. We are especially fortunate to receive the recollections of the old-timers whose own lives were coming to a close. The chaplain who presided over Gaudino’s memorial service, John Eusden, died himself, at age 90, in 2013; the year also sadly claimed our main historian of the Gaudino clan, brother Jake, who was 89.

Let’s end by boiling this extensive oral history down to a single paragraph, one I was asked to write back when the college devoted its 1999 convocation to the memory of Robert L. Gaudino:

“For 19 years, Robert Gaudino sat around seminar tables at Williams asking soft-spoken questions that shook students to their core, while inviting them to confront ‘otherness’ in the world, whether in the culture of India, the inner city or Iowa, or in the political philosophy of Plato. Until his untimely death 25 years ago, the slight, modest ‘Mr. Gaudino’ also invited a steady stream of students into his home, imploring them to leave their shoes outside, take a cookie and face yet more unsettling questions – thus carrying on the Williams tradition of Mark Hopkins and the Log, which says that great caring and teaching must forever be the foundation of this institution.”

–Paul Lieberman