Amherst Magazine

Tom Gerety's New Book

By Emily Gold Boutilier

Tom Gerety spent 14 years as a college president, first at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and then at Amherst, where he served from 1994 to 2003. During this time, he gave regular addresses to students through public speeches on topics of personal, institutional and national interest. Amherst College Press has now published a book that collects nearly three dozen of his speeches—on topics ranging from teaching to residential life, from Shakespeare to the liberal arts, from war to love and loss.

The book, The Freshman Who Hated Socrates: A College President Reflects on Life in the Liberal Arts, was published in October.

Gerety serves as collegiate professor at New York University, where he formerly led the Brennan Center for Justice at the School of Law. Before arriving at Amherst, he was president of Trinity College from 1989 to 1994. Earlier, he was the Dean and Nippert Professor at the College of Law of the University of Cincinnati. He served as a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a visiting professor of constitutional law and jurisprudence at Stanford Law School. As a law professor, he taught and wrote on constitutional law and political philosophy with a special emphasis on First Amendment freedoms, including speech, privacy and religious freedom. With Judy Woodruff, he wrote and narrated the PBS series Visions of the Constitution.

Gerety taught philosophy courses, including a First-Year Seminar, during his tenure as the 17th president of Amherst. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale, where he also earned a master’s and Ph.D., both in philosophy, as well as a J.D.

Gerety lives in New York City with his wife, Adelia. The Freshman Who Hated Socrates is available for $25. To place an order, call (413) 542-2321 or e-mail press@amherst.edu.