Hampshire College

Hampshire College Our students design their own program of study and recruit faculty to advise them using written evals instead of grades. Like a grad school for undergrads.

Hampshire, in Amherst, Mass., is among the most innovative colleges in the country, challenging students to design their own programs of study and recruit a faculty committee to advise them using narrative evaluations rather than grades. Like a graduate school model for undergraduates, the success of the College can be measured by the mainstreaming of many of its innovations in education and the achievements of its alums: Academy Award and Emmy Award winners, best-selling authors, scientists, historians, Peabody winners, MacArthur Foundation awardees, Fulbright scholars, and more. The College is ranked 40th in the US for percentage of alumni who earn doctorate degrees according to the National Science Foundation. More than a quarter of its grads have started their own venture or organization, landing the college on Forbes’s 2015 list of top-ten most-entrepreneurial colleges. Hampshire is part of the Five Colleges consortium, through which our students share classes, activities, and resources with the students of Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst.

Mission: The mission of Hampshire College is to foster a lifelong passion for learning, inquiry, and ethical citizenship that inspires students to contribute to knowledge, justice, and positive change in the world and, by doing so, to transform higher education.

Operating as usual

Many on Biden’s team have extensive government experience and served in high-level national security posts under the Oba...
11/25/2020
'A study in contrasts': Unlike Biden, Trump had a 'fast and furious' transition 4 years ago

Many on Biden’s team have extensive government experience and served in high-level national security posts under the Obama administration, “but a lot can change in four years. So there [could be] a known threat for which mitigation – starting on Day 1 – requires read-ins and knowledge of sensitive material, [but] the transition team can’t get access.” — Alum and Trustee Jordan Strauss 96F, a former Justice Department and White House official who helped compile national security-related materials for the coming transition four years ago, weighs in on the political moment.
#HampshireChangemakers

Hundreds of Border Patrol emails obtained by ABC News offer a rare glimpse into just how far government agencies usually go to prepare for a new administration.

“I am a second-year, Div II student at Hampshire College. I was never a ‘traditional’ learner, and I always felt like th...
11/24/2020

“I am a second-year, Div II student at Hampshire College. I was never a ‘traditional’ learner, and I always felt like the strict barriers of education were holding me from reaching my full potential. At Hampshire, I can design an interdisciplinary study that encompasses all of my academic interests. The faculty and advisors have guided me every step of the way—their involvement and genuine interest in my studies have inspired me to create my own path and further the development of my Div work. I study language acquisition and history, with a focus on reforming the way we teach critical historical thinking in elementary through high school. One of my proudest achievements in my time at Hampshire has been working alongside Professor Daniel Altshuler as a teaching assistant for his class, ‘Language, Space and the Absurd.’ In my free time, I love to take strolls through the Hampshire farm or visit the pick-your-own garden.” — Lilly Hershey-Webb 18F

Hampshire College is announcing its second multimillion-dollar donation in less than a month. Dr. Lucy McFadden 70F cont...
11/23/2020
Alum Makes $2 Million Donation, Second Seven-Figure Contribution This Month

Hampshire College is announcing its second multimillion-dollar donation in less than a month. Dr. Lucy McFadden 70F contributed $2 million to partner with Paula H. and James S. Crown 71F on the Crown Founders Challenge, which aims to raise significant support from the College’s first five entering classes, 1970–1975, in honor of Hampshire’s 50th Anniversary year.

Hampshire College is announcing its second multimillion-dollar donation in less than a month. Dr. Lucy McFadden 70F contributed $2 million to partner with Paula H. and James S. Crown 71F on the Crown Founders Challenge, which aims to raise significant support from the College’s first five entering...

Hampshire alum Natalia Vigil 99F, a queer Chicana artist who was born and raised in San Francisco, was named executive d...
11/21/2020
Queer Chicana artist is QCC ED

Hampshire alum Natalia Vigil 99F, a queer Chicana artist who was born and raised in San Francisco, was named executive director of the Queer Cultural Center of San Francisco earlier this year. Founded in 1983, QCC promotes social justice and the artistic and financial development of queer artists, art, and culture.
#HampshireChangemakers

Natalia Vigil, a queer Chicana artist who was born and raised in San Francisco, was named executive director of the Queer Cultural Center of San Francisco earlier this year.

The spring semester will include even more Covid-19 testing as well as additional opportunities for safe, in-person inst...
11/20/2020
Letter from the President on Plans for Spring 2021

The spring semester will include even more Covid-19 testing as well as additional opportunities for safe, in-person instruction and meaningful ways to connect.

As we come to the end of a successful, although very different, fall semester, I’m eager to share more information about Hampshire’s spring semester. I am impressed by how diligently our community has cared for one another and grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to spend time together. We ...

Hampshire College is announcing a $5,000,000 investment in its Change in the Making campaign by Paula H. and James S. Cr...
11/18/2020
Hampshire College Receives Largest Single Donation Since Founding

Hampshire College is announcing a $5,000,000 investment in its Change in the Making campaign by Paula H. and James S. Crown 71F. Mr. and Mrs. Crown will match donations from fellow alums through a Founders Challenge that aims to raise significant support from the College’s first five entering classes of 1970–1975 in honor of Hampshire’s 50th Anniversary year. Change in the Making: A Campaign for Hampshire has raised $19,456,747 of its $60 million goal since launching in January 2019.

Hampshire College is announcing a $5,000,000 investment in its Change in the Making campaign by Paula H. and James S. Crown 71F. Mr. and Mrs. Crown will match donations from fellow alums through a Founders Challenge that aims to raise significant support from the College’s first five entering clas...

Sunset over campus captured by Armon Walker 17F.
11/17/2020

Sunset over campus captured by Armon Walker 17F.

This cleareyed documentary by alum Shalini Kantayya 94F explores how machine-learning algorithms can perpetuate society’...
11/16/2020
‘Coded Bias’ Review: When the Bots Are Racist

This cleareyed documentary by alum Shalini Kantayya 94F explores how machine-learning algorithms can perpetuate society’s existing class-, race- and gender-based inequities.
#HampshireChangemakers

This cleareyed documentary explores how machine-learning algorithms can perpetuate society’s existing class-, race- and gender-based inequities.

Alum Lisa Selin Davis’s 93F new book, named one of the top 20 nonfiction books of the year by Publishers Weekly, “entert...
11/15/2020
‘Tomboy’ Looks at Gender Roles, and Role-Playing, Through the Ages

Alum Lisa Selin Davis’s 93F new book, named one of the top 20 nonfiction books of the year by Publishers Weekly, “entertainingly explores the history of tomboyism from the Victorian era up until today with painstaking attention to detail and healthy doses of humor. She sheds new light on a fascinating subject and brings fresh insight to the discussion of gender nonconformity. This one-of-a-kind narrative is both innovative in subject and breathtaking in scope.”
#HampshireChangemakers

Lisa Selin Davis’s book asks what it means, really, to “act like a girl,” or not.

Alum Max Reim 06F, Pie Time’s owner, spent nearly two years overseeing the transformation of a corner grocery into his p...
11/14/2020
Pie Time is a welcome addition to Patterson Park’s neighborhood scene, with plenty of old-school touches

Alum Max Reim 06F, Pie Time’s owner, spent nearly two years overseeing the transformation of a corner grocery into his palace of pies. He gutted the place, changed the level of the floors, raised the ceiling levels and created more space for his basement baking laboratory. There’s a dumbwaiter to hoist his baked goods to the sales floor. His countertop is repurposed Douglas fir from the Melvale Distillery’s rye whiskey tanks.

#HampshireChangemakers

This Baltimore neighborhood’s latest enterprise pays homage to the bakeries of the 1930s.

“I am a Div III student studying creative writing. My Div concerns the editing process of a book I wrote in the last two...
11/13/2020

“I am a Div III student studying creative writing. My Div concerns the editing process of a book I wrote in the last two years. It’s a queer fantasy new adult novel, intended to be the first in a trilogy, and, for my Div, I will be working with my committee doing close edits of the first one hundred pages. The book deals with issues of ableism, religious influence in government, queer identities and relationships, and history being told by the winners. My hope is that I continue to work on it after Hampshire and eventually submit it to agents for publishing.” — Nora Hammen 17F

Alum Fariba Nawa 92F, host of the On Spec podcast, journalist, speaker and author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lo...
11/12/2020
An American murder in Istanbul: Justice for Halla | Reveal

Alum Fariba Nawa 92F, host of the On Spec podcast, journalist, speaker and author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman's Journey through Afghanistan, just published a two-year investigation into the murder of an American journalist and her mom in Istanbul. You can listen to a reported piece about it here.

Nawa writes: “On Spec is an independently produced long-form documentary storytelling podcast based in Istanbul. We’re a team of freelance journalists from diverse backgrounds, living across the globe, who pursue stories because we care about them and know that they deserve a wider audience. On Spec’s like an audio news magazine. It transports you to the places we report through our reporters in the field, who are also characters in their own stories. The listener gets an intimate, reportage by journalists who often speak the local languages and have in-depth knowledge of the region they are covering. The reporters bring an emotional connection and a balanced, insider perspective. You should listen if you care about the news beyond those in power shaping it and want to hear the people it affects, and not just in the West.” Check it out: https://medium.com/onspec

#HampshireChangemakers

An American journalist and her mom are found murdered in Istanbul. Friends and family say the police did not solve the crime.

To all who have served our country — including our alumni, campus community, and across the nation, as well as their fam...
11/11/2020

To all who have served our country — including our alumni, campus community, and across the nation, as well as their families — we salute you, today and every day. #VeteransDay

“It’s October 22nd in Western Massachusetts, temperatures in the mid-70s, and delightfully sunny. I suppose it will get ...
11/10/2020
Pit Stop #10: Hampshire College

“It’s October 22nd in Western Massachusetts, temperatures in the mid-70s, and delightfully sunny. I suppose it will get colder soon, but the glorious day allowed me to sit outside at a cafe off Route 9 with the President of Hampshire College, Ed Wingenbach. We were talking about his rather extraordinarily challenging first fifteen months on the job.... Ed’s energy and belief in Hampshire is contagious, and he is indefatigable. Listen to my conversation with an optimist and true believer.” —Dr. Larry Schall of the New England Commission on Higher Education

It’s October 22nd in Western Massachusetts, temperatures in the mid-70s, and delightfully sunny. I suppose it will get colder soon, but the glorious day allowed me to sit outside at a cafe off Rout…

“I hope this record can help shed light on [former Hampshire professor James Baldwin's] work and inspire others to disco...
11/09/2020
Sharam Debuts "Exodus" Mix Feat. James Baldwin

“I hope this record can help shed light on [former Hampshire professor James Baldwin's] work and inspire others to discover his important work. I will donate all proceeds from this song to Hampshire College's James Baldwin Scholars Program, a fund which supports students who have great potential but who, because they have attended under-resourced and underperforming schools, might otherwise lose the opportunity to attend college.” — Thank you, Sharam!

Listen to the powerful new track and hear from the GRAMMY-winning DJ himself on the power of house music in the fight for racial equality.

The campaign recruited alum Heather Boushey 88F, the president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a ...
11/08/2020
The pandemic forced Joe Biden to think bigger. Meet the economists who got him there.

The campaign recruited alum Heather Boushey 88F, the president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a left-leaning economic think tank spun off from the Center for American Progress.
#HampshireChangemakers

Fixing the economy might be his biggest challenge if he wins, and the wonks shaping that agenda offer clues for how he'll do it.

Hampshire Professor of Music Dan Warner presented a live broadcast of his digital chamber opera "An Exercise in Analysis...
11/06/2020
Radio Free Stein presents RADIO FREE RADIO : An Exercise in Analysis with Dan Warner

Hampshire Professor of Music Dan Warner presented a live broadcast of his digital chamber opera "An Exercise in Analysis," based on Gertrude Stein's play of the same name. The play was part of "Radio Free Stein," a project that presents Stein's plays in the medium of recorded sound. Before presenting the piece, the host, Adam Frank, interviewed Dan about his work and the piece; after the piece, there was a Q&A with the audience. Listen here!

Go here to read the play while listening,https://radiofreestein.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/exercise-in-analysis-rotated.pdf A live audio broadcast that ...

Congratulations to alum Luna Goldberg 12S, winner of an Ellies Award for “At Memory’s Edge,” an exhibition and symposium...
11/05/2020
Luna Goldberg - Oolite Arts

Congratulations to alum Luna Goldberg 12S, winner of an Ellies Award for “At Memory’s Edge,” an exhibition and symposium on contested monuments in Miami and abroad, dedicated to creating a public platform for conversation around the function of monuments, their relationship to systems of power and the ability of artists to recast national histories.

#HampshireChangemakers

2020 Creator Award Winner

11/03/2020
“We want to build a cognitive engine that will allow people to set up robots faster and have more faith in their reliabi...
11/02/2020
Startup Founded By Cognitive Scientist Gary Marcus And Roboticist Rodney Brooks Raises $15 Million To Make Building Smarter Robots Easier

“We want to build a cognitive engine that will allow people to set up robots faster and have more faith in their reliability,” says Hampshire alum cognitive scientist Gary Marcus 86F about his start-up Robust.AI in Forbes.
#HampshireChangemakers

Robust.AI raised $15 million led by Jazz Ventures to build a cognitive engine for robotics. The goal: To allow people to build robots faster, cheaper and with more reliability.

“I studied literature and creative writing at Hampshire. My Div III was an essay about my family's experience waiting fo...
11/01/2020

“I studied literature and creative writing at Hampshire. My Div III was an essay about my family's experience waiting for the 9/11 trial to begin.

“Without the help of my advisors, I would have been completely lost. I had a class with Norman Holland my first year, and we ended up working together until he retired. He helped put me in touch with other professors, like thúy lê and Polina Barskova, who helped me with my Div III. The three of them helped me in more ways than I have time to list.

“Hampshire got me out of the mold of literal, traditional types of work. My experience helped me understand how to execute on my ideas as a writer, and to help give criticism to my friends when they ask for it.

“Hampshire can be a big change for a lot of people, but it's also a place that helped me learn to embrace change. The community it fosters is very strong, and I grew so much because of everyone around me.

“The thing I learned at Hampshire above all else is to be adaptive. Despite the massive shift and upheaval happening now, I feel as though I am prepared for what the world has to offer for me in the coming years.” — Isaac Coltrane Aronow 15F

“I would be very surprised if we didn’t see a bunch of coronavirus-themed costumes this year,” says Greene, a critical h...
10/31/2020
Even Dark Humor Scholars Say COVID-19 Costumes May Be A Bad Idea

“I would be very surprised if we didn’t see a bunch of coronavirus-themed costumes this year,” says Greene, a critical humor scholar and associate professor of media studies at Hampshire College. “People want to do something timely. Although making light of something topical might seem funny, at the same time it really would be gravely insensitive to [the families of] more than 225,000 people in this country who’ve died of COVID-19," Greene cautions.

"Although making light of something topical might seem funny, at the same time it really would be gravely insensitive to [the families of] more than 225,000 people in this country who’ve died of COVID-19."

First snow on campus, just before Halloween! #seasonscollide ❄️🎃
10/30/2020

First snow on campus, just before Halloween! #seasonscollide ❄️🎃

Today is Hampshire Halloween, an event that has seen a great deal of evolution over our 50 year history. What’s your fav...
10/30/2020

Today is Hampshire Halloween, an event that has seen a great deal of evolution over our 50 year history. What’s your favorite Hampshire Halloween memory? Submit your memories at hamp.it/hamp50 !
#hamp50

During the pandemic, we are commemorating Hampshire's semicentennial with numerous online offerings. Reknowned author al...
10/29/2020
A Year of Events Celebrating 50 Years

During the pandemic, we are commemorating Hampshire's semicentennial with numerous online offerings. Reknowned author alums Alex Vitale 84F and Jeff Sharlet 90F kicked off the events this month.
#HampshireChangemakers

This year marks an important milestone for Hampshire College — its 50th anniversary. Sadly, for the safety and well-being of our students and guests, we had to postpone the in-person portion of our celebration to October 15–17, 2021, but we’ve been honoring the impact Hampshire continues to ha...

On October 7, Hampshire held its fourth-annual ENGAGE! Conference, a day when classes are canceled so that students, sta...
10/28/2020
Fourth-Annual ENGAGE! Conference Addressed Dismantling Violence

On October 7, Hampshire held its fourth-annual ENGAGE! Conference, a day when classes are canceled so that students, staff, and faculty may participate in interactive community education activities. The event doubled as Hampshire’s second day of Community Education, part of the new academic curriculum; the first was held on September 17. Sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Community Commons, the event featured keynote speaker Ignacio Rivera and a number of workshops and panels on antiracism, particularly regarding dismantling anti-Blackness and offering survivor supports.

On October 7, Hampshire held its fourth-annual ENGAGE! Conference, a day when classes are canceled so that students, staff, and faculty may participate in interactive community education activities. The event doubled as Hampshire’s second day of Community Education, part of the new academic curric...

Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Christoph Cox discusses the new academic program and new student...
10/27/2020
In Conversation with Christoph Cox, Part 1

Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Christoph Cox discusses the new academic program and new student model in a Q & A.

Can you talk about how the new academic program and student experience model was developed?

Alum Matt Kaminsky 12F AKA Gnarly Pippins — apple forager, cider maker, and author of The Wild Apple Foragers’ Guide, wh...
10/26/2020
Climbing apple trees with the man called Gnarly Pippins - The Boston Globe

Alum Matt Kaminsky 12F AKA Gnarly Pippins — apple forager, cider maker, and author of The Wild Apple Foragers’ Guide, who dabbled in the campus orchard and played drums in punk bands at Hampshire — talks about the fruit he's most passionate about in the Boston Globe.
#HampshireChangemakers

Gnarly Pippins knows a lot about apples. He’s published two books on the subject, despite the fact that he’s only 26. But he began his apple scholarship early in life, when he was just a teenager, and for the purest of juvenile motivations: He wanted to get drunk.

Professor of Hydrology Chris Cianfrani's class recently took a trip to the Hampshire College Farm, one of our on-campus ...
10/25/2020

Professor of Hydrology Chris Cianfrani's class recently took a trip to the Hampshire College Farm, one of our on-campus labs. Farm Director Nancy Hanson and Assistant Manage April Nugent 15F gave students a tour of this amazing place.

Did you know?

Begun in the late 1970s for on-campus research purposes, the farm expanded its scope in 1992 when a small group of students began a 30-member organic vegetable CSA as a Division III project. The Hampshire College Farm now produces over 75,000 pounds of organic produce on 15 acres of land, with an additional 65 acres in pasture and livestock production.

The farm, however, still maintains its academic roots. Whether exploring sustainable agriculture, animal behavior, or local food systems, Hampshire College students and faculty use the farm as a hub for investigating the intellectual, political, and scientific issues surrounding food production. Of course, they eat well while doing so!

Photos by student Molly MacLaughlin 17F

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Amherst, MA
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Our students design their own path of study and recruit faculty to advise them and assess their work using written evaluations. “A grad school for undergrads.”

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