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Submitted by Charles A. Tritschler on Wednesday, 4/14/2010, at 4:30 PM

rylan burnsIn a letter to Everett Clark '51, Director of Donor Relations for the College, Diana Scriver, reported that the Thomas H. Wyman '51 Medal was awarded last May to Rylan Kyle Burns of the Class of 2009.  She stated that "Rylan is majoring in economics and sociology, and hails from
 Mill Bay, British Columbia, Canada. As a star defenseman on Amherst's hockey team he earned all-academic honors in NESCAC this year, finishing his collegiate career with 10 goals and 40 assists. Last summer he helped organize a Grassroots Soccer tournament and clinic for girls under 13. He's a great example of a young man who exemplifies the standards that Tom held dear."
 In an email to the class of 1951, Rylan  Burns replied to the question of how he came from British Columbia to Amherst as follows.

"Thank you to the class of 1951 for this prestigious honor.  I would have to imagine my path to Amherst was fairly unique. After playing junior hockey in the BCHL for four years, I was considering attending a few division 1 schools in the US. However, aware that I was likely not going to play in the NHL, I thought it would be worthwhile to look into some more academically challenging schools.

I Googled top colleges in the United States and picked the top 5 or so schools that had a hockey team. I emailed Coach Arena and Rheume at Amherst who came to watch me play and encouraged me to apply. After assuring me that I would likely be accepted, I chose to attend Amherst. Considering I never heard of the school three weeks earlier, had no idea what a "liberal arts" education entailed, and never visited the campus, it was the luckiest and best decision I have ever made.

Amherst changed my life in more ways than I can count. Hockey had been my primary focus for the first 20 years of my life and Amherst allowed me to recognize passions and interests that I never knew I possessed. Although I am excited to open a new chapter in my life, I would give just about anything to go back for one more year."

NESCAC Academic Honors for 12 of 13 eligible at Amherst compared to 4 of 13 at Williams is startling. Coach Arena is a big reason our team has been so successful both on and off the ice. He not only demands excellence on the ice, but has high expectations of his players away from the rink and in the classroom. Darren Rheume, our assistant coach, has done much of the recruiting and puts together our media guide and is another reason our team has been so successful recently.

Although I cannot imagine what an adjustment Amherst must have been after World War II, I also had a difficult time adjusting to college life after 3 years of junior hockey. I was used to evenings of poker and hanging out with friends, certainly not the library and homework. Fortunately, I had a great group of professors, tutors and friends that helped me readjust to school life and discover a passion for learning I never knew I possessed.
Not to sound like the college website or President Marx, but I really grew to appreciate the diverse student body over my four years. Having students from all over the world with different backgrounds taught me how to interact with a variety of people and, more importantly, gave me insight into different ways of thinking about school, politics, society, etc.

I start work at Fidelity in a few weeks as a "Business Associate". It is a rotational position that will have me splitting time between trading and equity research. I am hoping the job will take to Europe or Asia in the next few years as I still have a lot of places I need to visit.



Recent Loss of Classmates

Sam_Wat.pngSamuel M. Watson '51 MBA (1929-2015) was instrumental in the remarkable fundraising record of the class of 1951 as class agent. Bearing credentials as a naval officer, a Wharton degree and CPA, Sam became a partner in Arthur Young, now branded as EY. Adding to his global stature, Watson retired as chief financial officer of Matshushita. The class extends its condolences to his beloved wife Connie and to his family. The same concern applies to our other classmates remembered below:
W. Brooks Keffer '51 LLB (1929-2015)  The memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 3:00PM in the Chapel of St. David’s Church 763 South Valley Forge Road, Wayne, PA.
Richard B. Duncan '51 ( -2015) was editor for Armstrong World Industries publications.
James D. Hobbs '51 LLB (1927-2014) Jim was a lawyer in San Francisco, CA and active with Amherst alumni and California conservationists.
Richard A. Hopkins '51 MBA (1929-2014) Dick was longtime executive of the Ford Foundation and brother of John '58. 
Eric B. Outwater '51 (1929-2014)
Peter K. Nichols '51 MBA (1929-2014) Pete has passed away having performed nearly all dimensions of Amerst liberal arts. Pete is survived by his wife Nancy Nichols of San Francisco, daughters Julia Nichols Andres of Novato, Karen Mercury (Dan) of Vallejo, Claudia Heikhaus-Morfit (Fred) of San Anselmo, Jonathan Nichols (Carla) of San Francisco, and Matthew Nichols of New York City.
John M. Woodbridge '51 MFA (1929-2014) imageJohn died suddenly while traveling in the south of France. A prominent architect, he designed Pennsylvania Ave in DC. John was nephew, cousin, grandson, son and father of Amherst grads.  He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer prize poet, his children Pamela and Lawrence '80.
Leonard S. Kolsky '51 LLB LLM (1929-14)  Len was a pioneer in the legal dimensions of the Internet revolution.  He was an indispensable advisor to the Federal Communications Commission and to Motorola. Len is survived by Liz Sachs, his beloved wife of 25 years, as well as two adoring daughters, Meredith (Kent) Lewis and Reese (Rob) Rowe, from his first marriage to Michele Gordon Kolsky,
                                                                                             George A. Grover '51(1929-2014)  
George became an accomplished computer programmer with IBM. George Grover was also a passionate reader, poet and surfer.  He married Mary Elizabeth Grover with whom he raised five children; Eric '79, Gavin, Wendy, Chris and Margot.  
Class of 1951 grieves for dick snodgrass who  lost his wife arlanne. our class secretaries are closest to us by keeping in touch by phone and writing up our news.
 click on each name below to reach the college's "In Memory" portal.These include available public obits and/or extracts from the cherished 50th Reunion book of Bill Maloney whose own links & photo appears at the close of this column.  

John H. Baker '51 MBA (1930-2014) Raymond R. Machlett '51 (1929-1987)
Robert Cornish '51 MA (1929-2013)
Thomas H. Bloor '51 (1930-2013)
Julian D. (Jack) Conover '51 MBA (1929-2013) See his last words >>  Jack Conover writes “in keeping up with our country’s fast moving cultural changes, I married my partner of over 49 years, Bob Hickok, on July15, 2013.
Robert B. Campbell '51 LLB (1929-2012)
Charles M. Marshall '51 (1927-2013)
Benjamin N. Kightlinger '51 MD (1929-2013)
Ben has especially generous in his donations to Amherst College.after a distinguished medical career.

2013 Wyman Medal Winner

Risalat Khan '13 is a geology and environment major from Dacca, Bangladesh.  There follows his own words and his response for the 1951 campaign for the Singing College.
"I am honored to receive the Wyman Medal. It came as a very nice surprise in the same week following my birthday! I am sorry for the late reply - I was in the Berkshires with some friends for the last few days for a senior week trip and had no internet access.

To satisfy a bit of your curiosity about my background:

I went to a normal private high school in Bangladesh. It isn't especially distinguished by any means. When I graduated from high school, I considered my college options, and coming to the US on scholarship seemed like a good idea. So I went online, searched for rankings, and applied to the top few colleges and universities. Amherst happened to be the only place I got in (besides being wait-listed in a few other places), and while I did not know much about liberal arts colleges at the time, I liked it the more I read about it, and ended up coming here. Some of my school mates are in colleges in the US and Canada, but very few are in Oxford or Cambridge (or more generally, in the UK - even though there are some). Did you ask because Bangladesh used to be a British colony?

My plans for the immediate future involves a social entrepreneurship program in Boulder, CO for which I got selected. It is a start-up called Watson University, founded by a young Amherst alum (Eric Glustrom '07). I am excited to be part of the inaugural class (comprising 18 Watson scholars) and look forward to being in Boulder. Over the summer, I hope to do some research with a professor on the recent political turmoil in Bangladesh, take a road trip across the US, and go back home for a bit.

By the senior song, I understand you mean the song with lyrics "Strangers once, we came to dwell together..."? I did not know the song until quite recently, but a good friend of mine arranged to have the entire senior class sing the senior song together at Senior Assembly, and forwarded us a video of the song so we could learn the lyrics. I enjoyed singing it, and think it is a good song.

Regarding the Lord Jeffery Amherst song, however, I take some issue. From your google search, you may have come across my name relating to conversations on the "Lord Jeff" mascot. The song embeds in its lyrics a power dynamics that is inappropriate in a world where native americans are still so oppressed. Whether or not it was designed to be satirical does not really matter. Even very recently in our college's history, and definitely during the time that you were a student (please correct me if I'm mistaken), the issue of genocide of native americans was thrown around very lightly, even displayed as decoration in Val china. I organized an event on campus during this past semester where Michael Kelly, the Head of Archives and Special Collections at Frost Library, made an excellent presentation about the history of our mascot. I firmly believe that even though this has been an important tradition, it is time for us to move beyond this and choose a mascot that is inclusive for all our community members but can still energize our sports teams.

Again, I thank you for your email and for the recognition. Is there anything that follows this? You shared the list of previous award receivers, and I was impressed upon looking up the past awardees. Perhaps there can be a group where these individuals can share ideas about how best to use the Amherst education and experience to service humanity?
Best regards,
Risalat Khan 



Thomas Gibbs '51
Charles Longsworth '51