Amherst College Senior Tatiana Grigorenko Awarded Watson Fellowship

March 27, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Tatiana Grigorenko, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and will travel next year to Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Armenia and Kazakhastan next year to pursue a project she calls "Emerging from Ashes: Photography and Memory in the Former Soviet Republics." A graduate of The Brearley School in New York, Grigorenko is the daughter of Mary Velihan Grigorenko and Andrew Grigorenko of Astoria, N.Y.

A fine arts and French major at Amherst, Grigorenko wants to explore "issues of rebirth, regeneration, transformation, neglect and decay" in the former Soviet Union. Writing in her project proposal, she asked, "What does it mean to emerge from the ashes of a dead superpower? How does one deal with a past that simultaneously inspires terror, but also, in light of the areas' current economic situations, nostalgia? What does the youth hope for? Or has it ceased to hope?"

Grigorenko plans to attend art school, earn a master's degree in fine arts, and pursue a career as a photographer, photojournalist or college professor.

Grigorenko is one of two Amherst seniors to receive a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship this year. The fellowships provide as many as 60 exceptional college graduates, from 50 of America's leading liberal arts colleges, with the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad. The program was begun in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, to honor their parents' interest in education and world affairs. More than 2,200 Watson Fellows have studied all over the world with the support of Watson Fellowships.

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Amherst College Senior Zachary Yorke Awarded Watson Fellowship

March 27, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Zachary Yorke, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and will travel next year to South Africa and Australia to conduct an artistic and anthropological investigation of racial reconciliation. A graduate of Topeka High School, Yorke is the son of Mary Powell and Craig Yorke, Jr. of Topeka, Kan.

An anthropology major at Amherst, Yorke plans to explore the politics of art and racial reconciliation through a series of interviews and paintings. In Cape Town and Johannesburg, he writes in his project proposal, "I hope to engage in and sketch and paint multiple stories about South Africa's past, present and future-to convey in my art competing narratives about the possibility of racial reconciliation." He also plans to investigate the indigenous art of South Africa. In Sydney and Canberra, Yorke will make contact with Australian Aboriginal artists.

Yorke plans graduate study, working toward a doctorate in cultural anthropology or a Master of Fine Arts.

Yorke is one of two Amherst seniors to receive a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship this year. The fellowships provide as many as 60 exceptional college graduates, from 50 of America's leading liberal arts colleges, with the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad. The program was begun in 1968 by the family of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, to honor their parents' interest in education and world affairs. More than 2,200 Watson Fellows have studied all over the world with the support of Watson Fellowships.

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Amherst College Trustees Approve Comprehensive Fee Increase

March 27, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-The Amherst College Board of Trustees has established $36,910 as the college's comprehensive fee for 2003-04. This figure represents a 4.9 percent increase over this year's comprehensive fee, which includes tuition, room and board.

Amherst maintains a need-blind admission policy that ensures that a student's admission to the college is not influenced by financial need. In addition, Amherst ensures that any student admitted to the college will receive financial aid equal to determined need. Amherst also has a longstanding commitment to providing only need-based aid, rather than merit scholarships.

Consistently ranked among the nation's best liberal arts colleges, Amherst also has been ranked as a "Best Value" by U.S. News & World Report, which noted that the Amherst Class of 2000 graduated with an average debt of $12,241, 24th among national liberal arts colleges. US News ranked Amherst first in financial aid among its peers (2002).

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Senator Gary Hart To Address National Security at Amherst College March 29

March 26, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Former presidential candidate Gary Hart will give a talk and discuss the war and terrorism, Saturday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. The event, sponsored by the Five College Program in Peace and World Securities Studies, the Amherst College Democrats, the department of political science and the Foreign Policy Forum at Amherst College, is free and open to the public.

As late as September 5, 2001, Hart had predicted that terrorists could attack America with weapons of mass destruction. He then was co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, which issued three public reports forecasting the age of terrorism and outlined a new, post-Cold War national security policy. He is also on the Council on Foreign Relations task force on homeland security, which recently released its report "America-Still Unprepared, Still in Danger." Recently Hart has been speaking across the country, arguing that the US is not prepared for the likely consequences of attacking Iraq.

The former Democratic senator from Colorado ran for president in 1984 and 1988, and may seek the presidential nomination in 2004.

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Author Rikki Ducornet To Read at Amherst College April 14

March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass -- Poet and novelist Rikki Ducornet will read from her forthcoming novel, Gazelle, at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 14, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. The event, sponsored by the Amherst College English Department, the Creative Writing Center and the F. Scott Turow Fund, is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.

Ducornet's writing alludes to influences as various as the Kabala, Kafka, the wonder cabinets of Peter the Great, Lewis Carroll and Angela Carter; of each new book, her fans might expect nothing except a liberated imagination. The London Times, for example, called her 1995 novel, Phosphor in Dreamland, "both incoherent and astonishing, a complex fantasia redolent of Swift and Borges, but stranger than both." And Robert Chatain observed, in The Chicago Tribune, "It's startling and refreshing to encounter a writer whose work insists so relentlessly upon the magic of making tales." Ducornet's other novels include The Stain (1984), The Fountains of Neptune (1997), The Jade Cabinet (1997) and Entering Fire (1999).

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center puts on a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See the Center's Website, www.amherst.edu/~cwc, for more information.

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Concertante To Present Music at Amherst April 11

March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- In the final concert in this season's Music at Amherst series, the Concertante Chamber Players will perform the Sextet from "Capriccio" by Richard Strauss, "Verklärte Nacht" by Schoenberg, and the Sextet in B-flat, Op. 18 by Brahms, on Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College.

A repertory ensemble dedicated to performing chamber music for five or more players, Concertante was founded in 1995 by a group of Julliard School graduates intent on pursuing their musical interest in a wide array of repertoire, ranging from quintets by established masters to less commonly performed nonets and other varied combinations of instrumentalists. In the 2000-01 season, Concertante performed at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., and held a series of five concerts at Merkin Hall in New York, among its 20 concerts throughout the United States. Concertante is resident chamber music ensemble of the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

A New York Times reviewer wrote of a Concertante interpretation, "They gave a sweet-toned, beautifully shaped performance." According to the Washington Post, "Concertante's energetic reading of Brahms's String Sextet No. 2 made the composer's thick harmonic textures seem almost ethereal."

Admission to the concert is $21, senior citizens $18, and students $5. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 on weekday mornings. The Amherst College Concert Office has a Website at http://www.amherst.edu/~concerts/. Concertante has a Website at http://www.concertante.com.

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Free Speech Activist Alan Kors To Speak at Amherst College April 14

March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Alan Kors, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, co-author of The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses (1998) and the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, will speak about free speech in American colleges, on Monday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Amherst College Republicans.

Kors has taught European intellectual history since 1968, publishing widely on the European Enlightenment. He is the editor-in-chief of the new Oxford Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (2002). In 1993, Kors defended a Penn student in the infamous "water buffalo case." As president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Kors argues for free speech, individual liberty, religious freedom, rights of conscience, legal equality, due process and academic freedom on American campuses.He has written and lectured widely on liberty and dignity in academic life.

The New York Times, reviewing The Shadow University, wrote, "Kors and Silverglate are old-fashioned civil libertarians who support everyone's right to sound off. While most victims of speech codes these days seem to be on the right, the authors also deplore attempts by Emerson College to censor the rap music played on the campus radio station. And they criticize the City College of New York for ejecting Leonard Jeffries, a professor of African-American Studies, from his departmental chairmanship because of his inflammatory opinions about Jews and the slave trade."

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Hate Crimes Activist Judy Shepard To Speak At Amherst College April 11

March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard and the co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, will speak at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 11, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College, as the keynote speaker at the college's fifth annual Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Alumni/Student Mentoring Weekend. Her talk will be free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Matthew Shepard was just 21 years old when he was murdered in 1998-killed by strangers because he was gay. His parents, Judy and Dennis, founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation so that their grief might make a difference. Judy, a reluctant activist, has made the prevention of hate crimes the focus of her work. She has testified in Congress in support of hate crimes legislation, appeared in public service advertisements that denounced hate, and contuinues to work to help schools and communities across the nation to become safer for everyone, regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.

"We just hope we're doing what Matthew would want us to do," Shepard says. "We realize that we must use the voice his death has given us. I realize that what I can try and accomplish is to make people aware. We get so complacent in our lives that we forget not everyone is safe, and frequently, it is our children who aren't safe."

The Matthew Shepard Foundation has a Website at http://www.matthewshepard.org/.

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Writer Jason Berry To Speak on "The Crisis in the Catholic Church" at Amherst College April 9

March 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.-Investigative reporter Jason Berry will discuss "The Vatican and the Crisis in the Catholic Church" on Wednesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Berry will consider the international dimensions of the church's sexual crisis and its impact on the legacy of Pope John Paul II. His talk, sponsored by the Willis D. Wood and Schwemm Funds, will be free and open to the public.

A 1971 graduate of Georgetown University, Berry came to national prominence with his first book, Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi (1973). He has contributed to such national publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Nation and The New Republic. His books include The Spirit of Black Hawk: A Mystery of Africans and Indians (1995) and Louisiana Faces: Images from a Renaissance, with photographs by Philip Gould (2002). Of his 1992 work, Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, a USA Today reviewer wrote: "Berry is the rare investigative reporter whose scholarship, compassion and ability to write with the poetic power of Robert Penn Warren are in perfect balance."

Berry has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities's 2002 Humanist of the Year award. Berry is at work on Vows of Silence, with Gerald Renner, which examines the Vatican's handling of the sexual crisis through the lives of two priests and will be published early next year by the Free Press.

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Philosopher Simon Blackburn To Speak at Amherst College March 27

March 13, 2003
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.- Simon Blackburn, professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge, will speak on "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Be Cheerful," on Thursday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. This talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Objectivity in Science and Ethics," will be free and open to the public.

Blackburn was a fellow and tutor at Pembroke College, Oxford from 1969 to 1990. His books include Spreading the Word (1984), Essays in Quasi-Realism (1993), The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (1994), Ruling Passions (1998) and Truth (co-edited with Keith Simmons, 1999). He edited Mind, the leading journal of philosophy in Britain, from 1984 to 1990.

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