Amherst College Bicentennial 1821 2021

As we celebrate our past, we also look ahead.  Amherst’s commitments to broad opportunity and the highest-quality liberal arts education have always depended on clear vision, a diversity of perspectives and a willingness to embrace challenges. 

From new building projects across campus to a climate action plan that aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, the College is in a unique position to advance liberal arts education in the 21st century and beyound.

Promise: The Campaign for Amherst’s Third Century

The Amherst College quad in bright sunlight with the Mount Holyoke Range in the distance

This is our commitment.

Promise: The Campaign for Amherst’s Third Century seeks to promote the enduring values of liberal arts education—critical thinking, freedom of inquiry and expression, reasoned argument, opportunity, equity and friendship. The generosity of generations of Amherst alumni, families and friends laid the foundation for our first 200 years. Your continued support carries us into our third century, equipped to rise to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead

Learn More & Make a Gift

Biddy Martin listens to a student at the Amherst Uprising

Anti-Racism Action Plan

In her letter of August 3, 2020, President Biddy Martin outlined the College’s 17-point anti-racism plan.

A New Hub for Student Life & Community

We have long needed a center on our campus that will support our vibrant student community and offer students the kinds of social spaces that will help them thrive. After several months of soliciting feedback from on-campus constituencies, via town-hall gatherings and smaller group discussions, the College has developed a preliminary brief and selected an architect.

The Architect

Beijing national stadium, a modern building with a web-like exterior
The “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing

Herzog & de Meuron (HdM) is a Swiss firm best known for prominent projects such as the iconic “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing (created in conjunction with artist Ai Weiwei for the 2008 Beijing Olympics), and the transformation of the Bankside power station in London into the Tate Modern art museum.

Merrill and McGuire locations shown on campus map

The Location 

The new center will be situated on the current location of Merrill and McGuire, a spot chosen for the way it mediates between the historic main quad and the new Greenway. The site offers spectacular views and unusual topography that the architect is eager to preserve and feature.

Our Climate Action Commitment

Amherst College aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 through transformative modernization of our energy system from fossil fuels to renewable electricity. By focusing on eliminating fossil fuel combustion, we will not have to rely on carbon offsets to meet our goal. In addition, we aim to go beyond just carbon neutrality on our own campus, inspiring graduates who will lead change on a much larger scale.

The Amherst College quad in bright sunlight with the Mount Holyoke Range in the distance

About Our Plan

As we look forward to our third century, the threat of climate change requires leaders who can effectively act against climate change and adapt to its inevitable environmental and social impacts.

The Science Center: A New Campus Hub

In addition to upgrading our science infrastructure, the Science Center offers flexible classrooms and gathering spaces that are used by faculty and students from all over campus. With its inviting exterior, large and functional main commons, visible research labs, surrounding gardens, and many areas for casual interaction, the Science Center draws together the sciences and the wider College community.

Designed with Sustainability in Mind

Solar Array, Energy Recovery, Rainwater Capture, Green Roof, Efficient Envelope, natural ventilation, Storm-water filtration

Amherst gathered a world-class team of industry leaders to design a new type of science building. Leveraging new technologies, our team of architects, engineers and sustainability experts developed sophisticated solutions, using computational modeling to explore various options and refine the designs.

Their resulting innovations set the stage for the Science Center to perform at an unparalleled level of energy efficiency.

The average science building uses about 370 kiloBTUs per square foot per year. We reduced that by 73 percent or more through a variety of features: highly efficient systems for everything from the building HVAC down to individual lab hoods; a state-of-the-art insulating building envelope; and careful floor plan design so that sensitive and specialized lab systems are grouped together.

Two college dorms made out of stone behind a copse of fall trees

Explore the Greenway

The Greenway dramatically extends the landscape of the campus, opening the quad and unifying the campus to the east as never before.