Dave Letzler (also known as "David" to his family and significant other, Katherine Bram '08 of Brandeis University) graduated in '06. He hails from Baldwin, NY, a town on Long Island. He was a prominent member of a number of campus organizations, including College Bowl, Williams Trivia, Elizabethans, Chess Club, Bridge, the Literary Review, and at times the Williams Democrats. He was also a member of Deviants from 2003-2006.
College Bowl Career Highlights
Team captain for the three years, Letzler was the dominant player on the team for pop culture throughout his whole career, thus making him their best TRASH player. He was probably the strongest all-around literature player during that time, though David Rosenblum '03 had more depth in many areas at the start of his career, and David Mathias '08 has, at times, demonstrated superior breadth. He was otherwise a solid generalist, excepting the applied sciences.
As a freshman, Letzler played in five tournaments in the 2002-2003 competition year. The first was TRASH Regionals at BU, where he led a small team in scoring and a 4-9 record against the steep and crusty competition, correctly answering questions about the Man Show Juggies, Pussy Galore, Tiffany's appearance in Playboy, and Shaft in Africa. He played a supporting role in Williams's 3rd-place finish in BU's Puppy Chow tournament, behind Harvard and Yale, and during the team's poor performance at Penn Bowl, he managed to get a game-winning tossup on the Mustang Ranch. He, Daniel Klein '06, and Evan Bick '06 each placed in the top ten in scoring at NAQT Sectionals in February, earning a Division II Nationals berth. As Bick was unable to attend that tournament, Klein and Letzler joined captain Rosenblum at Nationals, where they came in 26th of 32 teams.
With the departure of leading scorer Rosenblum, Letzler took over effective control of the team his sophomore year. The team only attended four tournaments, coming in a disappointing 5th at Puppy Chow, with Letzler leading the team in scoring, before having a surprising 10th-place finish in a 50-team field at that year's Penn Bowl with a short-handed team also including Klein and Brian Hirshman '06, defeating MIT and Brandeis University, the latter through a fortuitous sequence of events involving the double-slit experiment and Will Smith. However, the team was steadily beaten at NAQT Regionals that year, and despite high scores from Bick, Letzler, and Klein at CBI Regionals, the team only came in third.
2004-2005 saw an upturn in the team's fortunes. With Letzler returning as captain, the team picked up a number of committed freshmen. Letzler, teamed with Brian Munroe '07 came in fourth at Brandeis's Junior Bird, and led a team including Hirshman, Christopher Paci '08, and Jason Kohn '08 to a second-place finish at Harvard's COTKU Mirror. Letzler won his first neg prize at TRASH Regionals, though he finished second in playoff scoring. Playing with leading scorer Mathias, Munroe, and Hirshman, Letzler captained the team to a sixth-place finish at Yale's Bulldogs Over Broadway, tragically forgetting John Foster Dulles's first name in a loss to Rutgers-Newark, and forgetting the Ottoman Emperor Selim in a loss to Columbia. After captaining the team to a fifth-place finish at that year's Penn Bowl (after having stayed up the previous night to play Williams Trivia as the second-place remote team Penn15), a team composed of Mathias, Klein, Letzler, and Hirshman qualified for NAQT Nationals in Division I and won CBI Regionals, where Letzler placed second in scoring overall, his best individual performance to date. His teams finished 19th of 32 at NAQT Nationals and 7th of 16 at CBI Nationals.
In 2005-2006, Letzler, with Paci and Bick, finished 4th at Brandeis's Heinrich Boll mirror, placing in the top ten in scoring. He also captained a team including Mathias and Zachary Thomas '08 to a victory at Harvard's mirror of WIT, captained a team with Thomas, Hirshman, and Allison Smith '07 to victory at the MLK mirror, and one with Thomas, Paci, and Hirshman to a second-place finish at ACF Fall, in which the team beat Harvard's A team twice (their only losses in the tournament). Most notably, he revived the team's annual TRASH tournament, Lemur Bowl, in late October, which he directed and edited. After leading Williams through Regionals in ACF and NAQT, second only to full Brown and Harvard squads in the Northeast, Letzler took Williams to their first ACF National, placing 11th, and helped capture the Undergradute title at NAQT Nationals, ending his Williams College Bowl career.
As a freshman, Letzler formed the Williams Trivia team "Mortal Kombat Intelligence Skwad," including Laura Effinger-Dean '06, Rachel S. Selinsky '06, Samuel Clapp '06, and Benjamin Cohen '06. This team came in fifth, and won the Frosh team prize, as they did the next semester as "Mortal Kumquat," where they finished third. Merging with remnants of the Part IV and Trotsky victors, they became "Mortal Wombat" and won the contest in January '04, running a well-received contest that May (though it was beset by some techinical problems and the need to write a last-minute Hour Bonus). The next semester, he and the College Bowl team played as Penn15 from a freshman dorm in UPenn, along with a friend of Max Gutman '08 who lived there, taking a surprise second-place finish. The following semester, remnants of Wombat and Penn15 merged to form "Gratuitous Use of the World 'Belgium'", winners of that semester's contest.
In addition to writing roughly a third of the on-air questions used in the Mortal Wombat contest, Letzler was responsible for organizing the mini-audios of "Movie Music" and "Video Game Music" from the Wombat contest, assembled by Effinger-Dean, as well as writing the "Pi" Audio. He was also a prime contributor to that contest's "Animation," "Music," and "76" bonuses.
For the "Belgium" contest, Letzler was the primary writer and assembler of the "Hello/Goodbye" audio and the "Just Say No" video bonus, as well as providing assembly services for a classical audio. He was the main writer and assembler of the "Sheep" bonus as well as the helming the team effort on the "TV" super.
For the "Awesome Sauce" contest, he wrote the guest "Dave" Super Bonus, and somehow ended up on the winning team again while playing with his girlfriend and his senior suite (Brian Hirshman '06, Dan Burns '06, and Johannes Pulst-Korenberg '06 (whose sister also joined in))
Dave is a cuddler extraordinaire. It's one of his nicest qualities, which are many.