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In its November 25 Business Section, the New York Times printed a story on the appeal of college towns to retirees. Williamsburg resident and Christopher Wren Association President Bill Riffer was profiled in the lead paragraph, and featured in the accompanying photograph.

Donning his green and gold College of William & Mary muffler, and standing in front of the Severinus Durfey Shop on the Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg, Riffer shared the story of how he and his wife, Cecelia, chose to retire here.

Shortly after they finished unpacking their moving boxes, Bill registered to take classes through the Christopher Wren Association for Lifelong Learning. Not only did he enjoy the courses he took, but he also volunteered to teach classes on military history. His next step was to join the Program Committee, and he now finds himself as head of the organization of 1,500 members.

How did it happen that Bill was selected to represent Williamsburg's "come heres?" It started when the Times decided to put together an article on where people move when they retire. Their reporter, Amy Zipkin, zeroed in on Williamsburg, and did phone interviews with four residents. During their conversations, every one of them mentioned the Christopher Wren Association, and how it enhances their quality of life. With that, the reporter called the CWA office for information, and they referred Zipkin to Riffer.

When asked how he felt about his profile in "The Gray Lady", with his typical humility and humor Bill replied, "Oh, they just needed filler!" In fact, as a board member, instructor, and student at CWA, along with his other volunteer activities which include a leadership position with the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, he is the perfect representative for all retirees who have moved to Williamsburg and ask, "How did I ever find time to work?"

Read the New York Times article at

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