With three weeks remaining, there are still plans being made, details being tweaked, games being scheduled, weather gods being prayed to ... but for now, here's what we've got to share ...

Since if you're reading this, you're already logged into the Amherst website, I'm just going to first share the link that will take you to the official page that has EVERYTHING listed in terms of presentations, discussions, social events, athletic events, etc. for ALL of the Reunion attendees ...

As far as "social events" for our class, you can be pretty sure that there will always be friends to "socialize" with from Wednesday afternoon through Sunday morning at our headquarters, aka home-away-from-home, Hitchcock House (fka AD).

Thursday evening we'll have cocktails and appetizers available, with both Friday and Saturday nights featuring more expansive plans (details below) such as dinner, drinks, entertainment and dancing.  

But in the meantime, here is a look at some of the scheduled events that are either being sponsored by the Class of '81 or might feature some of our illustrious alumni, as well as a few other dates/times/events of note! (This is by no means a comprehensive list of events ... that's linked right above ... but rather a few of note that feature or alumni and/or are open events/receptions).


2-9 p.m. ... Game on! On-site REGISTRATION and move-in begins! Stop by the Alumni House Reception Center at 75 Churchill Street to pick up your housing information, room key and the full official schedule of activities and information.  There will be light refreshments available as well.  For more info, you can call 413-542-2065.

5:30-7 p.m.  REUNION WELCOME RECEPTION -- Mead Art Museum ... Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. The reception will feature a performance by the Bluestockings, one of the Amherst a capella groups!

NOTE: Since there is no headquarters-based sustenance planned for Wednesday, those of us who are going to be there are on our own! I seem to recall that Amherst had a whole lot of great places to go and I'm sure they've added more since then.  You will probably find your Humble Class Scribe at Judie's stuffing popovers into my pockets, or having a cold one at the Drake (do NOT tell me that's not there anymore) or maybe in my room at HQ ordering a hot roast beef and cheese grinder from Pizzarama.  Unless Bell's Pizza still comes to the houses and dorms and delivers mini-pizzas from room to room.  I miss the mellifluous tones of the beautiful Calvin Malone singing "Bell's Pizza! Hot Bell's Pizza!" in the stairwells of South.


8 a.m.-10 p.m. On-site REGISTRATION at Alumni House Reception Center.

5:30-9 p.m. ... Light appetizers and cocktails available at our HQ.  At least I think there are cocktails.  I know there are appetizers.  This would be another good night to check out the fine dining options in Amherst and neighboring areas!


8 a.m.-midnight On-site REGISTRATION at Alumni House Reception Center.

2:30 p.m.  A BABY BOOMER'S GUIDE TO INVESTING FOR -- AND DURING -- RETIREMENT. Johnson Chapel.  Featuring a panel of four investment experts, including BILL PEATTIE '81.

"It's difficult enough to know how to invest one's hard-earned assets in today's volatile economic environment, with stocks and bonds fluctuating along with interest rates, commodity prices and real estate values.  It's especially difficult as baby boomers enter retirement and actually have to start making use of the income generated from their investments.  What is the best way to maximize the assets that you have built up over a lifetime?  What's the right balance between growth and income during your retirement years?  How do you know whether you have 'enough' and what do you do if you think you might not?"  Presented jointly by the classes of 1976, 1981 and 1991. 

4 p.m.  WHAT GOOD IS A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION ANYWAY?  50 THINGS YOU CAN (OR CAN'T) DO WITH A HISTORY MAJOR.  Presented by the Class of 1981.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall.

"It's a war of words and wonks.  With politicians and think tanks on one side questioning the value of a liberal arts major (not practical enough!) and corporate execs and think tanks on the other calling for us to double down (we need people who can help us think our way around problems we don't yet know are problems!), what's a history, philosophy, American studies or French major to do?  We'll hear from Les Boney, Jerome de Bontin, Candace Damon and Miggy Yarlott Brown about the unexpected directions their Amherst educations took them in, and what they think the value of a liberal arts education still is -- and isn't."


Join President Biddy Martin and others from the College for conversation and celebration.   All are welcome.

6:30-9 p.m. DINNER AT HEADQUARTERS. No dress code other than festive, fun and dancing shoes required as Steve Jackson '81 has volunteered to DJ and is taking requests (within reason). 

SATURDAY, MAY 28: (Note from your humble scribe:  Be prepared to clone yourself into about six people this afternoon.  Doesn't Orphan Black do that?  Or do I completely misunderstand the plot of that show?)

7-9 a.m. BREAKFAST AT HEADQUARTERS.  Make sure you get your sustenance and caffeine for a HUGE day of events.

8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. On-site REGISTRATION at Alumni House Reception Center.

9 a.m. AMHERST PIONEERS IN CO-EDUCATION:  REFLECTING ON THE PAST AND THE JOURNEY FORWARD.  Presented by the Class of 1981.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall.

"Amidst the turmoil of the first years of co-education, we embarked together as students, teachers, coaches and administrators to transform not only ourselves but also the College, in the spirit of "Terras Irradient."  Sabrina, the feminine muse, welcomed us to campus in 1977.  In the spring of '78, we celebrated AmHERst Women's Week.  The following year, the administration began its push to end the all-male Greek fraternity system.  During our junior year, Mary Catherine Bateson was appointed Dean of the Faculty.  An anthropologist and linguist, daughter of renowned anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, she was professionally trained to understand the pressures wrought during this time of integration.  How does our experience as groundbreakers in co-education, women and men who came of age in the 70s, help us refine our current roles as wisdom-bearers nearing our 60th year?  Join Dr.Bateson, whose most recent books focus on these very topics, and Becky Ballard DiLoreto '81 in considering how we can view the years ahead as ones of immense opportunity."

9 a.m. SQUASH REUNION ROUND ROBIN.  Davenport Squash Courts. 

Bring your racque and squash shoes and head to the courts!  Players of all ages and levels welcome.  Questions?  Contact Coach Peter Robson at


The President's remarks will be preceded by the annual meeting of the Society of the Alumni, presided over by Annette Sanderson '82, Chair of the Executive Committee.

12:15 p.m. REUNION LUNCHEON.  Valentine Quad.

Join us for a complimentary luncheon on the Quad.  Look for your classmates under the decade signs!

1-5 p.m. CARNIVAL FUN AND GAMES.  Main Quadrangle.

Presented by the fun-loving Class of 1991, if you're bringing your little ones to Reunion Weekend, this will be a great outlet for them (and you!) to blow off steam.  All are welcome to the carnival for face painting, balloon twisting, lawn games, cotton candy, spin art and bubbles. Great for photo opps (this write-up is absolutely the view of your humble class scribe, who wants to get her face painted and make spin art but has no kids or grandkids she can drag along as an excuse).


Join us to honor legendary Amherst baseball coach Bill Thurston's legacy with the unveiling of a plaque and his retired number 5 at Memorial Field.  All alumni are welcome to participate in an alumni game to follow the celebration.  Uniforms will be provided.  Questions?  Contact Brian Hamm, Head Coach, at"

1:30 p.m. FAMILY CIRCUS EVENT.  LeFrak Gymnasium.

Join in a circus event for kids and families with performers from SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton.  See juggling and contortion and try out some tricks yourself!  All kids must have parents or guardians with them at the program to sign a release form for participation.

1:30 p.m. AMHERST ALUMS IN THE ARTS MIXER.  Mead Art Museum.

Join in an Arts Mixer for returning alumni who have pursued careers in and supporting the arts.  Come by to connect with fellow alums in the arts and to find out what people have been working on in visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, arts institutions, and more.  Presented by the Class of 1996.

1:30 p.m. WHAT'S NEXT?  LIFE IN THE EMPTY NEST AND BEYOND.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall.  Presented by the Class of 1981.

"With children nearly grown and either in college or out in the working world, how are we adjusting to this new life stage?  This panel will explore later-in-life career changes, new or rediscovered passions/hobbies/interests and bucket-list items, and discuss how our priorities have changed as we have aged.   Michele Crames Zenkel '81, empty-nest blogger and marketing consultant, will moderate the discussion, which will feature panelists Liz Hartzell DeSimone '81, a progressive-school administrator longing to continue caregiving; Kevin Ellis '81, a longtime PR executive who recently launched his own firm, serves on several nonprofit boards and leads an "urban renewal" movement; Cam Hutchins '81, a former Madison Avenue copywriter who now uses his marketing expertise at a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged youth; and Erica Martin '81, a 30-year environmental prosecutor who recently retired from her legal practice and has rediscovered her photography passion.  This promises to be an illuminating conversation for anyone at or nearing a crossroads or transition and pondering "What's next for me?"

2 p.m. AMHERST CREW REUNION ROW.  Amherst College Boathouse (Sportsman's Marina, Route 9 at Coolidge Bridge)

If you peered between the trees along the riverbank and were startled to see a rowing shell gliding across the face of the water, the urge to jump into the boat would be difficult to extinguish.  How satisfying would it be to lean on the rudder again and holler at individuals who are not your children, or press weight against the foot-stretcher to leverage the shell forward?  The experience would fill the hollowness that has ensued since the last time you sat in a boat.  Please join us for an afternoon on the river for our annual Reunion gathering at the boathouse.  Coach Bill Stekl will also give an update on the progress and success of the young men and women of the Amherst College rowing team who move boats faster than any of us.

2 p.m. MEN'S SOCCER REUNION GAME.  Gooding Turf Field.

The Men's Soccer Alumni Group and Coach Justin Serpone will sponsor a game between odd-and-even-class soccer alumni.  Bring your black shorts, cleats and shing guards;  we'll supply shirts and socks.  RSVP to Assistant Coach Eric Bracy at so we have a head count, and spread the word to your classmates and teammates.  Plan to come to the men's locker room at 1:15 p.m. to pick up your uniform.

2:30 p.m. FAMILY SWIM.  Pratt Pool, Alumni Gym.

Have children with lots of energy (who apparently did get to let off enough steam at the carnival and circus, your HCS notes)?  Come to Pratt Pool and have an afternoon swim! Each child must have a parent or guardian with them at the pool.

2:45 p.m. AMHERST THANKS:  YOU'VE GOT 60 SECONDS.  Sponsored by the Class of 1981.  Johnson Chapel.

What aspect of your Amherst experience are you most thankful for?  Was it a class, a professor, an assignment, a roommate, a sport, a performance, Casino Night, a walk through the woods, a pizza, a late-night discussion, an opportunity?  Did you recognize at the time how valuable that moment was?  Alums from all classes are invited to step up to the microphone and give their thanks in 60 seconds or less.  We're looking for a symphonic experience but will accept a cacophony.  Moderated by Cam Hutchins '81, Class Secretary, and Katie Fretwell '81, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Amherst.

4 p.m. CORPORATE VALUES:  LIP SERVICE OR STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE?  Presented by the Class of 1981.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall.

"Globalization, rapid technological change and disruptive business models increasingly threaten for-profit corporations, even entre industries.  In places like Silicon Valley, the highest-performing employees routinely receive multiple job offers before lunch every day.  And shareholder activism has become mainstream.  As corporate leaders navigate this "flat world" environment to satisfy all stake-holders -- investors, customers, employees and communities in which they operate -- how important are corporate values and culture?  How can companies establish and maintain enduring values, and what are the broader implications for society?  Charles Brewer '81, Founder of the internet company MindSpring (which later merged with EarthLink); Sam DeSimone '81, EVP and General Counsel of MindSpring/EarthLink; Jim Kennedy '81, CEO of IT services company Network Support; and Barry Volpert '81, Co-Founder and CEO of private equity firm Crestview Partners will share their stories and perspectives.

5:30 p.m.  GALA Reception.  Queer Resource Center, basement of Morrow Residence Hall (enter from Valentine Quad).  All alumni and guests are welcome.  Refreshments will be served.  Sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association and Alumni and Parent Programs.

THE BIG CLASS NIGHT OF FUN, FOOD, FROLIC AND FESTIVITIES!!! Headquarters and Powerhouse.  Dress code: None other than comfort, fun, and shoes you can kick off to dance if you so choose but can also get you a short distance (and back). 

5:30-6:30 p.m. COCKTAILS.

6:30-7:15 p.m. PRE-DINNER ACTIVITIES, including a special guest speaker and other class business.

7:15-9 p.m. DINNER. Including special secret surprise entertainment.  As a wise class president once told me, "an element of surprise is good." 

9 p.m.-1 a.m. DANCE PARTY!!! At the Powerhouse (yeah, it's new, but it's not far and it's awesome). We'll be doing this in conjunction with the Class of 1986 (so, yes, they are younger than we are but also of the 50+ variety so it's all good). Live music from two fantastic bands (I checked out their YouTubes and am already packing extra Aleve because your Humble Class Scribe is going to be dancing her a$$ off).  I'm not 100% sure if the bands are supposed to be a surprise or not.  If I get the okay to share, I'll add the links here!

9 p.m.  ZUMBYES REUNION SHOW.  Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center.

The Zumbyes welcome all Zum-alums, Amherst alums, friends, fans and anyone else to Buckley Recital Hall to celebrate the 66th year of the group with a free concert of new songs, classic songs, and, of course, our beloved College songs.


8-11 a.m. BREAKFAST AT HEADQUARTERS.  Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine and some light sustenance to soak up the caffeine and tears as we hug it out and promise to be back for our 40th!

8 a.m.-noon.  CHECK OUT ... Alumn House Reception Center open to drop off your keys and/or ask last-minute questions before you head home ... questions like: What are the dates for our 40th Reunion???

9 a.m. SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE AND COMMUNITY.  War Memorial, Memorial Hill (Rain site:  Chapin Chapel).

Please join us for an ecumenical service to remember the lives of those alumni we have lost this year with the Rev. Kenneth Sawyer '66, Minister Emeritus at First Parish in Wayland, Mass., and Rabbi Ilana Foss '01, of Temple Beth Emunah, Brockton, Mass.  The Amherst College Gospel Choir from the early 1990s will share their voices with us for this service.