The rivalry between Williams and Amherst began on July 17, 1821, when the second president of Williams College, Zepheniah Swift Moore, resigned and headed east to become the first president of Amherst College.
The defection of a respected and popular leader of one institution to begin another institution tends to heighten a rivalry.
Some faculty, staff and students left with Moore and the fate of Williams College was in jeopardy until a call went out to all Eph alums to come and show their support for the school. The Reverend Edward Dorr Griffin became the third president of Williams and his determination to collect much-needed funds for saving the college, led to the establishment of the first college alumni society in the world at Williams in 1821.
Today the Ephs and Amherst compete in 25 sports and if you ask the athletes on both teams they will tell you that is the one contest every year they want to win, for themselves and for their predecessors.
What sets apart this long-standing rivalry is the genuine mutual respect that each institution has for the other. It has been said many times that Williams and Amherst bring out the best in each other.
Williams currently leads the series in 21 of the 25 sports versus Amherst. The Ephs lead in 10 of 12 men's sports and 11 of 13 women's sports.
Read New England Lacrosse Journal piece HERE.