You could say the campus of Hamilton College has always had a slight presidential feel to it. Maybe that’s because it’s namesake, Alexander Hamilton, was called to the White House countless times during his lifetime.

Hundreds of years later, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is still calling. This time for a very different person.

When Arthur Williams spent six weeks in Cuba this summer studying the impact of micro finance on Cuban entrepreneurship, he never expected his work would be used to help the President.

“It was kind of unbelievable, actually,” Williams, a senior at Hamilton, said. 

Just a few months after he left Cuba for the first time, Williams received a call from the President’s speech writing team.

“The representative from the White House did mention to me there’s not a lot of scholarship in Cuba and what’s going on there,” Williams said. “Once they saw my article and research, they decided to speak to me.”

Williams said he watched some of the President’s speeches in Cuba, and seeing his research play even a small role in his trip has been an honor.

“It has encouraged me to keep doing this research on Cuba,” Williams said. “[As] an international student from Jamaica, we look forward to this normalization [with Cuba].” 

As for Arthur’s next steps after college, he’s now planning to pursue a career in international development and affairs. A career that’s destined to be bright for a student who can say his words were a part of Presidential history.