Amherst College

Amherst College This is the official Amherst College page, authored by the College and linked to from Amherst.edu.

Amherst College educates young people of exceptional potential from all backgrounds so that they may seek, value, and advance knowledge, engage the world around them, and lead principled lives of consequence. Visitor Guidelines: Thank you for your interest! We welcome your comments and messages. While we honor and respect open discussion, we also reserve the right to remove submissions that violate our community standards. Examples of submissions that will be removed include: -personal attacks of any kind; -harassment, intimidation, disparagements or threats to any other person; -promotions of bigotry or discrimination; -vulgar, obscene or sexually explicit language; -posts that are unnecessarily repetitive or copied into multiple threads; -posts that are clearly off topic; -promotions of products, services or political organizations; -solicitations for external fundraising purposes; -those that forge, maliciously disguise or misrepresent the poster’s identity; -fraudulent or deceptive messages, including chain mail; -infringements on copyrights or trademarks; -promotions of illegal or unlawful activities. We will also remove posts that violate any of Amherst College’s existing policies. Please refer to the Social Media Guidelines for more information or email us at [email protected].

Mission: Terras irradient “LET THEM GIVE LIGHT TO THE WORLD.” 1821 Amherst College educates men and women of exceptional potential from all backgrounds so that they may seek, value, and advance knowledge, engage the world around them, and lead principled lives of consequence. Amherst brings together the most promising students, whatever their financial need, in order to promote diversity of experience and ideas within a purposefully small residential community. Working with faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to intellectual freedom and the highest standards of instruction in the liberal arts, Amherst undergraduates assume substantial responsibility for undertaking inquiry and for shaping their education within and beyond the curriculum. Amherst College is committed to learning through close colloquy and to expanding the realm of knowledge through scholarly research and artistic creation at the highest level. Its graduates link learning with leadership—in service to the College, to their communities, and to the world beyond.

How did 190-million-year-old dinosaur tracks come to live at the Beneski Museum of Natural History? It's all thanks to s...
06/20/2019
Case Closed: Recovered Set of Dinosaur Footprints Finds New Home at Amherst

How did 190-million-year-old dinosaur tracks come to live at the Beneski Museum of Natural History?

It's all thanks to some quick action by local officials and the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

A 190-million-year-old stolen slab of rock with theropod dinosaur tracks is now in the protective custody of the College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History, thanks to the state Environmental Police.

In 1999, Amherst took home its first-ever NCAA team championship. Twenty years later, the players and coach reflect on t...
06/19/2019
2019: Summer | They Unleashed the Magic | Amherst College

In 1999, Amherst took home its first-ever NCAA team championship. Twenty years later, the players and coach reflect on that momentous season.

“I think we just all took Amherst by surprise. It was like we unleashed the magic of Amherst athletics.”

06/18/2019
Deborah Newmark '19 on Uncovering the Truth

Armed with information from her sociology classes, Deborah Newmark '19 started to see the cherry harvest in Michigan from a new perspective.

In this award winning speech for Amherst's three-minute thesis contest, Newmark talks about undocumented migrant workers she met there and the challeges they face.

Congrats to ShoYoung Shin ’19, who was recently named one of 14 Immigrant Justice Corps 2019 Community Fellows. The pr...
06/14/2019
Introducing the Class of 2019 Community Fellows!

Congrats to ShoYoung Shin ’19, who was recently named one of 14 Immigrant Justice Corps 2019 Community Fellows. The program is dedicated to meeting immigrants’ need for high-quality legal assistance.

The class of 1878 held an elaborate mock funeral for their math textbooks and then set them on fire—and other weird st...
06/13/2019
6/2019 | Weird Amherst | Amherst College

The class of 1878 held an elaborate mock funeral for their math textbooks and then set them on fire—and other weird stories from Amherst's past.

In a Reunion talk and a forthcoming bicentennial book, Nancy Pick ’83 unearths some offbeat stories from Amherst’s past.

"One of the things you have to think about when you write about yourself is you have to feel that your story actually ma...
06/11/2019
Writer Min Jin Lee On Life As An Immigrant At Elite Colleges — And In America

"One of the things you have to think about when you write about yourself is you have to feel that your story actually matters," author Min Jin Lee tells On Point Radio.

Lee will join the College as a writer-in-residence starting this fall.

Korean American writer Min Jin Lee is thinking about her immigrant experience. She joins us.

In a spelling bee, multiple winners are to be celebrated, argues Professor Pawan Dhingra in this The New York Times op-e...
06/06/2019
Opinion | The Scripps Spelling Bee Is Broken. Please Don’t Fix It.

In a spelling bee, multiple winners are to be celebrated, argues Professor Pawan Dhingra in this The New York Times op-ed.

"We don’t want co-NBA champions, but we should want there to be more spaces for children to strive for excellence and to raise up that trophy alongside — rather than always above — their peers," she writes.

Too many winners is not always a bad thing.

Amazing news today: The Emily Dickinson Museum has received a $22 million gift from the late William McC. Vickery ’57....
06/05/2019
Press Releases | Emily Dickinson Museum Receives a $22 Million Gift From the Late William McC. Vickery ’57 | Amherst College

Amazing news today: The Emily Dickinson Museum has received a $22 million gift from the late William McC. Vickery ’57.

The endowed gift, the largest ever received by the Museum, is to be used for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. The remainder of the $25 million donated by Vickery will fund the maintenance of pianos for the College’s music department.

In an Amherst research seminar, students took hundreds of historic documents in Chinese, Russian and Spanish and convert...
06/03/2019
Tossed in Translation

In an Amherst research seminar, students took hundreds of historic documents in Chinese, Russian and Spanish and converted them into English for the first time.

In this research seminar, students took hundreds of historic documents in Chinese, Russian and Spanish and converted them into English for the first time.

06/01/2019
The Million Dollar Pledge by Jesse Brill ’64

Jesse Brill ’64 was so impressed by Amherst College’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality that he has pledged one million dollars towards the goal and challenged his peers to join him. Watch the video, join the pledge. #AmherstReunion

Video by Maria Stenzel

#AmherstReunion is here! Alumni from the classes of 1949 through 2014 are returning to campus to take part in more than ...
05/31/2019
Giving News | Reunion 2019 | Amherst College

#AmherstReunion is here! Alumni from the classes of 1949 through 2014 are returning to campus to take part in more than 100 programs—a record number for this annual event.

This weekend, more than 2,300 alumni and family members will return to campus for Reunion 2019! In addition to the traditional tent parties for reuniting classes, an address by President Biddy Martin in Johnson Chapel and the kids’ carnival on the Main Quad, Reunion will feature more than 100 othe...

The perspective of farmer Maida Ives—who grows food for the campus dining hall at Book & Plow Farm—brought home the ...
05/31/2019
Better Know a Farmer

The perspective of farmer Maida Ives—who grows food for the campus dining hall at Book & Plow Farm—brought home the realities of a changing climate for one senior seminar class.

Want to understand the impact of climate change? Talk to a farmer. That’s what professors Kate Sims and Ashwin Ravikumar did last semester. They invited Maida Ives (pictured above), manager of farm education and operations at the Book & Plow Farm, to lead a session of their senior seminar. The per...

On Memorial Day, Amherst held an intimate graduation ceremony at the top of Memorial Hill to celebrate the ten lacrosse ...
05/30/2019

On Memorial Day, Amherst held an intimate graduation ceremony at the top of Memorial Hill to celebrate the ten lacrosse players who missed Commencement to compete at the NCAA DIII championship. The event included a presentation of diplomas and remarks by President Biddy Martin.

Read more about the 2019 NCAA Championship Final:
amhrst.is/NCAADivisionIIIRunnerUp

Miss something during the weekend? Want more from Commencement 2019? Videos, audio, photos (and more!) are now up on the...
05/28/2019
Annual Events | Commencement | Amherst College

Miss something during the weekend? Want more from Commencement 2019? Videos, audio, photos (and more!) are now up on the Amherst website.

Commencement 2019 is Sunday, May 26 Questions about the weekend’s events? Contact Conferences and Special Events at (413) 542-7666.

Amherst College's cover photo
05/28/2019

Amherst College's cover photo

Under a canopy of leaves, President Biddy Martin sent 471 new graduates into the world with a message of hope.“You hav...
05/27/2019
Commencement 2019: Go Out and Plant Trees

Under a canopy of leaves, President Biddy Martin sent 471 new graduates into the world with a message of hope.

“You have what you need to do well, also to create more truth, better politics and the relationships worth having,” she said. “Go out and plant trees. Remember they do not stand alone—and neither do you.”

Under a canopy of vibrant green leaves on the Amherst College Quad today, President Biddy Martin sent the members of the class of 2019 off into the world by urging them to do their part to “use disagreement in search of the common good, a good that acknowledges the life we share with trees.” An ...

Commencement 2019, procession. Sunday, May 26, 2019. Photo by Young-Ji Cho
05/26/2019

Commencement 2019, procession. Sunday, May 26, 2019. Photo by Young-Ji Cho

05/26/2019

Hats off to the class of 2019! #Amherst2019

“In difficult times, if we clear out the debris and ignore the noise, we are reminded of what really matters,” says ...
05/26/2019

“In difficult times, if we clear out the debris and ignore the noise, we are reminded of what really matters,” says President Biddy Martin.

Are you ready #Amherst2019? Today’s the day!
05/26/2019

Are you ready #Amherst2019? Today’s the day!

Seven influential leaders in neuroscience, photography, religion, writing, astrophysics and social justice philanthropy ...
05/26/2019

Seven influential leaders in neuroscience, photography, religion, writing, astrophysics and social justice philanthropy spoke to the community on May 25. On Sunday, Harvard neuroscientist David P. Corey ’74; photographer Annie Leibovitz;
Cape Town, South Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba;
author, science writer and scriptwriter Charles C. Mann ’76;
Massachusetts Institute of Technology astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala;
journalist, book author and former Amherst Board of Trustees chair Cullen Murphy ’74; and
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker will all receive honorary degrees.

Commencement 2019, Baccalaureate Celebration in Johnson Chapel. Saturday, May 25, 2019. Photo by Young-Ji Cho.
05/25/2019

Commencement 2019, Baccalaureate Celebration in Johnson Chapel. Saturday, May 25, 2019. Photo by Young-Ji Cho.

Have you found your pennant yet? Make sure to stop by the Quad and grab it! There's one for every graduate (but they'll ...
05/25/2019

Have you found your pennant yet? Make sure to stop by the Quad and grab it! There's one for every graduate (but they'll only be up today). Congrats, grads! #Amherst2019

05/25/2019

2019 Baccalaureate: An Interfaith Celebration at Amherst College

Amherst College's cover photo
05/24/2019

Amherst College's cover photo

What goes into prepping 400 pounds of potatoes, 600 pounds of tortellini salad and 2,800 pieces of chicken? A lot of cho...
05/24/2019
A Slice of Commencement Prep

What goes into prepping 400 pounds of potatoes, 600 pounds of tortellini salad and 2,800 pieces of chicken? A lot of chopping.

As the kitchen staff gear up to feed some 4,000 people this weekend, Executive Chef Stefania Patinella says she's been dreaming about rolls.

Jen Ramirez, a second cook, was scooping fingerling potatoes by the handful from a colander and quickly slicing them. She’d been at this task since 7:30 a.m. and it was now late Wednesday afternoon. Ramirez stood between cartons of Greater Taters brand specialty potatoes on one side, and on the ot...

Congratulations to Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15 who was named Amherst College’s Chief Advancement Officer today. C...
05/23/2019
Press Releases | View | Amherst College

Congratulations to Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15 who was named Amherst College’s Chief Advancement Officer today. Cannon Smith has served the College in a number of key leadership positions since 1986.

In a statement, President Biddy Martin said Cannon Smith's "comprehensive and deep familiarity with alumni, staff, and faculty is extraordinary, as is her devotion to the College and its mission."

Password Required This page is restricted to the Amherst College community or groups within the community. To gain access you must be logged in and have permissions to access this page. Log in. Forgot your password?

As Commencement nears, here's a look back from last year at how the grounds crew prepare campus for the big event.
05/23/2019
5/2018 | Making Campus Beautiful, One Chair at a Time | Amherst College

As Commencement nears, here's a look back from last year at how the grounds crew prepare campus for the big event.

Ed Kozekowski stands back and examines the dogwood tree in front of Hitchcock. His miniature dozer is full of tools—pruning shears, pole pruners and loppers—and he pauses for a few moments, checking the branches for dead limbs and overgrowth. “You want to make sure everything’s symmetrical, ...

05/21/2019
"The Value in our Limitations," by Megan Root '19

An ill-advised comment in a freshman seminar helped Megan Root start thinking about the value of, and limitations of, critical thinking. In this talk for Amherst's speaking contest, she discusses how that relates to our understanding of truth.

A few recent showers helped campus bloom that more brightly!Photos by Maria Stenzel
05/20/2019

A few recent showers helped campus bloom that more brightly!

Photos by Maria Stenzel

Deep in the Mead Art Museum's archives, students gather around samples of raw minerals such as arsenic and malachite, al...
05/14/2019
Chemistry in the Art Studio

Deep in the Mead Art Museum's archives, students gather around samples of raw minerals such as arsenic and malachite, alongside works for which they were used as pigment. Back at their main lab at the Science Center, they pick apart the atomic structures that make red, red.

Welcome to chemistry in the art studio.

Juxtaposing art and science isn’t so much about making either field more palatable to non-majors as it about enriching the studies of both, the chemistry professor said.

To kick off the month of May, the Global Education Office (GEO) partnered with the Center for International Students (CI...
05/13/2019

To kick off the month of May, the Global Education Office (GEO) partnered with the Center for International Students (CISE) on an international festival to celebrate cultural diversity. Held in the Powerhouse, the festival include food from around the globe, as well as students sharing dances from their cultures and a fashion show inviting students to showcase their cultural dress.

Photos by Jiayi Liu

Huge congratulations to all of our senior award winners! We're so #AmherstProud of you and your accomplishments.
05/13/2019
Senior Assembly Awards 2019 | Senior Awards & Prizes 2019 | Amherst College

Huge congratulations to all of our senior award winners! We're so #AmherstProud of you and your accomplishments.

SCHOLARSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP The Addison Brown Scholarship from a fund established by Addison Brown of the Class of 1852, is awarded to that senior who, being already on the scholarship list, has attained the highest standing in the studies of the freshman, sophomore and junior years. Jamie Tucker-Fo...

“When you are stripped down to your foundation, you cannot build yourself back up alone" was among the words of wisdom...
05/13/2019
Speeches & Multimedia | Commencement 2019 | Amherst College

“When you are stripped down to your foundation, you cannot build yourself back up alone" was among the words of wisdom offered by Senior Assembly speakers such as Lindsay Noelle Turner ’19. Listen to their full remarks.

Password Required This page is restricted to the Amherst College community or groups within the community. To gain access you must be logged in and have permissions to access this page. Log in. Forgot your password?

Photos from Senior Assembly are now available (and downloadable) on Flickr. Congrats, seniors!
05/10/2019
Senior Assembly 2019

Photos from Senior Assembly are now available (and downloadable) on Flickr. Congrats, seniors!

Photos by Maria Stenzel and Jiayi Liu

Haunting photos and text inspired by an African American servant from centuries back. Rugged handmade paper ethereally s...
05/03/2019
Art and Soul: Three Graduating Artists Show Their Unique Art at Fayerweather Hall

Haunting photos and text inspired by an African American servant from centuries back. Rugged handmade paper ethereally suspended by a mesh of threads. Evocative woodcut portraits of one artist’s family. Each was on display at this year’s Studio Honors Exhibition, thanks to three student-artists: Jonathan Jackson ’19, Mika Obayashi ’19 and Joanna Booth ’19.

Three graduating artists show their unique art at Fayerweather Hall. Haunting photos and text inspired by an African American servant from centuries back. Rugged handmade paper ethereally suspended by a mesh of threads. Evocative woodcut portraits of one artist’s family. Each was on display at thi...

05/03/2019
Amherst Crew on the River

Jana Barber '19, one of the captains of the women's crew team, has been rowing for four years, but she hadn't set foot in a boat until her freshman year of college. "What I love about crew is that it's the ultimate team sport," she says. "The fastest boats aren't necessarily made up of the fastest people. They're the boats of people who work best together."

Jana, a French and LJST (Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought) major, plans to apply to law school within the next few years, and eventually go into criminal defense, but says she hopes to always keep a boat and a river in her life.

The #AmherstVoices highlights the variety of voices and experiences on our campus.

Video and photos by Maria Stenzel and Matai Curzon '22. Text by Julia Pike ’19.

Prof. Macon Reed's spring-semester class is an in-depth exploration of the imagination—it is also, in part, a class ab...
05/01/2019
To Focus on the Imaginative

Prof. Macon Reed's spring-semester class is an in-depth exploration of the imagination—it is also, in part, a class about how to fail well.

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Amherst, MA
01002-5000

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