To celebrate 50 years of coeducation at Kenyon, we’re profiling three dozen of Kenyon alumnae during the 2019-20 academic year. These women, merely a small sample of the thousands of female graduates who have earned Kenyon degrees since 1969, will discuss their undergraduate experiences and how their education in Gambier prepared them for their lives and careers.
The 10th alumna in our series is Rachel DeLoache Williams ’10. A studio art and English major at Kenyon, Williams was profiled in the Alumni Bulletin in 2017 as one of 10 young alumni to watch due to her work as a photography editor at Vanity Fair. Williams’ account of her friendship with socialite con artist Anna “Delvey” Sorokin went viral, and she has since embarked on a career as an author. Her first book, “My Friend Anna,” was released in July.
How do you prioritize your life and get things done?
I make lists. Writing down what needs to get done helps me to prioritize and stay organized. Trying to remember things takes up a lot of energy. Once it’s on paper, I can relax my brain and tackle one thing (or one round of things!) at a time.
Where did you first discover your power?
My power comes through connections with others, which is something I’ve discovered over time. I’m interested in power with, not power over. (But I haven’t discovered all of my powers just yet ... )
Who at Kenyon inspired you?
My professors — [Professor Emerita of Art] Karen Snouffer, [Professor Emerita of English] Judy Smith, and [Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus] Lewis Hyde, to name a few — were remarkable teachers and wonderful listeners. They inspired me to be curious and sincere in my effort to understand and appreciate different ideas, people and creations (from literature to works of art and beyond).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Brevity is the soul of wit. Also, be a fountain — not a drain.
How has your worldview evolved since leaving Kenyon?
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Read about the previous woman in our series: Geri Coleman Tucker ’74
Read about the next woman in our series: Susan Chong ’89