March 15, 2024

William Ambler Headshot

“Of the many things an alumni association can do to help current students, the one that most directly impacts their lives is financial assistance, so I joined the Fundraising Committee to actively contribute to the next generation,” says William Ambler (IFA ’14) (he/him), Co-Chair of the NYU Alumni Association (NYUAA) Fundraising Committee and President of the Alumni Association for NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts (IFA).

A dedicated educator with a unique knowledge about the visual arts, William has a passion for imparting knowledge about the visual arts to diverse audiences. His multifaceted involvement in the world of art spans educational initiatives, curatorial projects, development efforts, and public affairs. William’s extensive experience includes teaching in various settings, including some of the world’s most preeminent museums, universities, and continuing education programs. Rooted in the education he received from IFA, he embraces a profound sense of responsibility and pride in passing on both knowledge and support to future Violets.

As we approach NYU One Day, our annual day of giving taking place on March 27, read on to learn more about why William chooses to serve, why he believes giving back is valuable, some fun facts about this engaged NYU alum, and more. 

How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer? 

I’m currently the President of the Alumni Association for the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA). I’ve remained involved with the Institute since graduating in 2014 and joining the IFA Alumni Association Board around five years ago.

As we approach One Day—a chance for the NYU community to give back—can you share a little bit about how NYU impacted you? What makes you want to give back?

Studying for my PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts honed my skills as an art historian and trained me to think critically, something that affects every aspect of my life. I want to ensure that future IFA students have the access and resources to receive the same rigorous training that I did.

William in cap and gown receiving his diploma

WNA Graduation

Why would you encourage other alumni to get involved with NYU

Not only do we help current and future students through our involvement, but we help ourselves, too. Participating in alumni affairs has put me back in touch with friends and colleagues, which has been both personally fun and professionally productive. 

What’s your proudest (or most fun) moment as an alumni volunteer?

I’m proud of the part I’ve played in invigorating our career counseling at the IFA. We’ve harnessed our impressive alumni network to inform current IFA students about their career options.

What is something your fellow alumni would be surprised to know about you?

I was severely dyslexic as a kid and couldn’t read a word until the very end of second grade.

What is your favorite NYU memory?

Organizing the Institute of Fine Arts Halloween costume party.

Bill and Molly at Morgan Library

Bill and Molly at Morgan Library

Bill, Sally, and Kate together, Bill wearing a costume pirate hat

Bill, Sally, and Kate at Martha's Vineyard Historical Society

What is your favorite:

Food? Paella

Book? Whatever my daughter and I are reading together at the moment.

TV Show and/or Movie? TV: The Wire, Movie: Philadelphia Story

Song and/or Musical Artist? Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House”

Way to spend a day off? Sailing

Place to travel? Place I’ve been to and would like to return: Spain. Place I’d like to go to for the first time: Japan

Place on the NYU campus? Institute of Fine Arts Renaissance/Baroque study room