2019 Preliminary Reunion Schedule

Programs will continuously be posted and updated as they are confirmed. Note that private class programs, including class dinners, do not appear on the public schedule. Please check back frequently to see what's new!

All programs are 60 minutes unless otherwise noted. Find locations on our Campus Map.
Use the fields below to search the Reunion Schedule.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
2:00 PM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, schedules of class activities, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Telephone: (413) 542–2065. Alumni House will close at 9 p.m.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street
3:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Museum Director's Tour
Meet Jane Wald, Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, to hear about new projects at the Museum, including restoration of the Homestead and landscape, and preservation of an untouched nineteenth-century interior at The Evergreens. 
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street
5:30 PM
Reunion Welcome Reception at the Beneski Museum of Natural History
Mingle beneath the mammoth, delight in the dryosaurus, enjoy libations and hors d’oeuvres in the shadow of ancient footprints, and renew old friendships amidst Amherst’s extraordinary collection of vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected locally and around the world since 1825. Informal tours will be available. Reception ends at 7 p.m. 
Beneski Museum of Natural History
7:00 PM
"Weird Amherst" Storytelling
Nancy Pick ’83 has spent years collecting stories about Amherst for a forthcoming Bicentennial book. Learn more about her research and hear about some of her weirdest discoveries.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
Thursday, May 30, 2019
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, schedules of class activities, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Telephone: (413) 542–2065. Alumni House will close at 10 p.m.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street
10:30 AM
A Conversation on Thinking Critically with Data Across Campus
The College is buzzing about statistical consulting, the Statistics and Data Science Fellows and the recently established Computer Science and Algorithmic Thinking Fellows programs. What is all this about? In short, there is growing interest across campus in Statistics, Computer Science and Data Science among both students and faculty. The Statistics major is in its fifth year graduating students with about 20 majors this year, and the Computer Science department has grown to having about 50 majors a year graduate. Both programs have recently expanded their numbers of faculty. Together, we are collaborating on what a Data Science program at the College might look like. Amy Wagaman, Associate Professor of Statistics, and Matteo Riondato, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, will share more about these developments.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
10:30 AM
Gallery Talk with acting Curator of Russian and European Art Galina Mardilovich on Constructing Collage and Paste, Stick, Glue: Constructing Collage in Russian

Join Galina Mardilovich, the Mead's acting curator of Russian and European Art, for a tour of two related exhibitions: Constructing Collage at the Mead Art Museum and Paste, Stick, Glue: Constructing Collage in Russian in the Russian Center Art Gallery at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. We'll meet at the Mead Art Museum and then walk over the the Russian Center Art Gallery as a group.

Mead Art Museum
10:30 AM
Tour of the Amherst Bunker, Holyoke Range
Tour the former U.S. Strategic Air Command’s (Northeast Command) nuclear communications bunker and learn of its history, led by Aaron Hayden, the College’s Capital Projects Manager and the unofficial authority on the history of the Bunker. The Bunker has served as the Amherst College Book Depository since its purchase by the College in 1992. Each tour is limited to 30 people. Please sign up in advance. If space is available, you may sign up on-site at the Alumni House Reception Center. Please note: You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the Bunker.
Amherst Bunker, 100 Military Drive, off Route 116 in the Holyoke Range
1:00 PM
Beneski Museum “Dinosaur Tracks and More - Ichnology” Tour
For over 170 years a "Cabinet of Curiosities” has existed on the campus of Amherst College. One of the most significant curiosities has been and continues to be the world-famous dinosaur track collection. Join our museum staff as they help guests learn a bit about the collection's history and the scientific importance of the collection today. We look forward to exploring together Amherst before it was Amherst. Bring your cameras.
Beneski Museum of Natural History
1:00 PM
Lessons from a Study Away Course: "Puerto Rico, Diaspora Nation"
In March 2018, barely six months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Paul Schroeder Rodríguez, Professor of Spanish, traveled with twelve Amherst students to the island to interview relatives of Puerto Ricans who live and work in the Pioneer Valley. In this talk, Professor Schroeder Rodríguez will share a summary of the experience, which culminated in a 20-minute documentary collectively created by the students themselves. He will also discuss how the experience led to the development of two new courses: one to be co-taught with Ashwin Ravikumar, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, titled "Climate Change and Social Justice in Puerto Rico,” and the other to be co-taught with Leah Schmalzbauer, William R. Kenan Professor of American Studies and Sociology, titled "Amherst Latinx Lives."  
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
2:30 PM
Gallery Talk with Curator of American Art Vanja Malloy on Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein

Learn more about Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein at a gallery talk with Vanja Malloy, Curator of American Art. Malloy’s groundbreaking research on the Dimensionist Manifesto is the backbone of this pioneering exhibition. Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein was made possible with support from the Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation of American Art and Arts at Amherst.

Mead Art Museum
2:30 PM
Adversarial Machine Learning
Come learn how to bypass a state-of-the-art security system with sugar cubes and a slingshot. New security vulnerabilities have arisen with the growing use of machine learning in decision-making systems. In this talk, Scott Alfeld, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, will discuss the field of Adversarial Learning—the study of using machine learning techniques when the input data may be corrupted by an attacker. With defense as the ultimate goal, we'll take the role of a hacker aiming to corrupt a marketeer’s forecast of future prices after they've learned a forecasting model. We’ll also get our hands dirty attacking a learner at training time and see what finesse is needed when attacking even the simplest of learners.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
4:00 PM
Amherst College Financial Update
Join Kevin Weinman, Chief Financial Officer, to learn more about Amherst’s financial model and outlook. Our thoughtful approach to investment, combined with the uniquely generous spirit of philanthropy Amherst inspires, has created one of the strongest financial portfolios in higher education.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
8:00 PM
The Dream Engine

Jim Steinman ’69, H’13 (Songwriters’ Hall of Fame) wrote the legendary rock musical The Dream Engine as his senior Independent Study project; it was produced at Amherst College in 1969. Steinman’s later work includes the Grammy Award-winning Meat Loaf/Bat Out of Hell albums, and international chart-topping singles like Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” and Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".

The Class of 1969 will present a 50th anniversary concert of scenes and songs from The Dream Engine. Directed by Tony Award nominee Barry Keating ’69, featuring Larry Dilg ’69, Smith College graduate Mimi Kennedy and Andrew Polec, star of the West End production of Bat Out of Hell The Musical. A live rock band will play Sundance’s original arrangements. The event is free and open to the public. Due to an expected sold-out house, please reserve seats in advance. Content note: This presentation includes adult language and themes. Presented by the Class of 1969.

Kirby Memorial Theater
Friday, May 31, 2019
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, schedules of class activities, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Telephone: (413) 542–2065. Alumni House will close at midnight.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street
9:00 AM
A Short History of Nuclear Weapons and the Attempts to Control Them
At 0500 16 July 1945, the first nuclear explosion occurred in southern New Mexico. On 6 August 1945, Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima; three days later Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. After WWII, Israel, Sweden, and Switzerland started nuclear weapons research programs. Argentina and Brazil had advanced programs that ended in 1990. South Africa built six bombs, later disassembled them, and signed the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In 1985, the world had 65,000 nukes. Today, it has about 15,000; all more powerful than those dropped on Japan. There are nine Nuclear Weapons States: USA, Russia, Israel, France, United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Three have never signed the NPT: India, Israel and Pakistan. In this presentation, T. Douglas Reilly ’64, Ph.D., will discuss the history and status of these issues and the recent disturbing news regarding the USA withdrawing from the Short- and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Reilly is a retired physicist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, EURATOM, DOE and the IAEA with almost 50 years of experience in Nuclear Safeguards, Nonproliferation and Arms Control. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
9:00 AM
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Mead with David E. Little
All are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mead Art Museum with David E. Little, Director and Chief Curator. Join us to explore our art storage facilities, underground classrooms and more!
Mead Art Museum
9:00 AM
Those Who Teach and Those Who Learn: A Conversation with the Dean of the Faculty
Join Catherine Epstein, Dean of the Faculty and Winkley Professor of History, for a wide-ranging conversation about Amherst’s academic landscape. Among other topics, Dean Epstein will discuss academic initiatives, pedagogical innovation, and the changing faculty at the College.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
10:30 AM
Perspectives on Democracy: A Panel Discussion with Audience Participation
Where are we as a society and as a democracy? Where do we need to go for "a more hopeful, civilized and peaceful American future”? Neil Bicknell ’64 will discuss perspectives gained from his experience working on three democracy-related documentaries, including JFK: The Last Speech. Bicknell is vice-chair of ReclaimTheAmericanDream.org, a non-profit which supports the work of the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Hedrick Smith, author of Who Stole the American Dream. Renske Heddema, a Swiss correspondent and widow of Bernie Witholt ’64, will discuss the Swiss political system and whether elements of that system might work elsewhere. Mark Sandler ’64 will share four major conclusions, which color his thinking about the current state of American democracy. For the past decade, Mark has had an ongoing dialogue with a group of executives concerning the state of our democracy and he also chairs a discussion group focused on the current state of American politics and the economy. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
10:30 AM
Stearns Steeple Tour and Chimes Concert
Aaron Hayden, the College’s Capital Projects Manager, will give a short talk on the history of the steeple, its place on campus in the formative years of the College and the Howe Chimes in its belfry. The church to which the steeple was attached was donated by the son of President William Augustus Stearns to be a centerpiece on campus and in campus life. The chimes were donated in honor of the members of the Amherst College community who died in the “Great War Between the States.” Aaron will play tunes on the chimes that might have been played when they were new—as well as some other favorites.
Neuhoff Sculpture Court, in front of the Mead Art Museum
10:30 AM
Modern Medicine Today: Where Does the Patient Fit In?
Medicine has changed radically from the time that we entered Amherst. There has been an explosion in new technologies, new understanding of disease and new ways to treat these disorders. The days when the doctor, well known to the patient and family, would sit and listen to the patient's complaints and learn about their lives have been replaced by the medical team consisting of individuals who are new to the patient, may see them for one or two encounters or deal with one organ. The trade-off is increased lifespan, increased health and diminished chronic disability. In this panel we will explore this progress against the background of increased alienation and lower personal satisfaction. Panelists include Stephen (Steve) Cederbaum ’59, M.D., Raymond (Ray) Hayes ’59, M.S., Ph.D., Steven (Steve) Hirsch ’59, M.D., and Allan (Al) Lipton ’59, P’94,’98, M.D. Presented by the Class of 1959.
Stirn Auditorium
10:30 AM
Jewish Experience at Amherst College
Join Wendy Bergoffen, Lecturer in American Studies, and students from her seminar, "Jews at Amherst," in a conversation about Jewish life at the College. Students will discuss the process of researching College history and invite alumni to share their stories, recollections, and insights.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
10:30 AM
Emily Dickinson Museum Director's Tour
Meet Jane Wald, Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, to hear about new projects at the Museum, including restoration of the Homestead and landscape, and preservation of an untouched nineteenth-century interior at The Evergreens.
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street
1:00 PM
Planetarium Program: We Are Part of This Universe
For over 55 years the Bassett Planetarium has served the College well. This tool has helped countless individuals better understand their place in the universe. Join Fred Venne, planetarium director, as he uses the vintage Spitz A3P Starball to help re-create the night sky over Amherst. In addition, using a classic Orrery, participants will examine the plane of the solar system, the tilt of the Earth, day/night and seasons. The one takeaway from the planetarium visit may be best said by Neil deGrasse Tyson, “We are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.
Bassett Planetarium, Morgan Hall
1:00 PM
Climate Change: Is Education the Solution?
We know that our climate is changing—much faster than we had anticipated. Given that the challenges will last multiple generations, how can we prepare future leaders to address what many scientists agree is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced? Panelists include Paul Stern ’64, former National Academies of Science principal staff officer, Charles Trautmann ’74, Cornell University professor and science museum director, Laura Draucker, Director of Sustainability at Amherst College and Anna Martini, Professor of Environmental Studies. This program is one of a tripartite multi-class collaboration on mitigating climate change, along with “Civic Engagement on Climate Policy” and “Investing with Climate Change in Mind.” Presented by the Classes of 1964 and 1974.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
1:00 PM
What Really Happened in the 1960s? Did it Matter? A Conversation with an Amherst Historian
Robert Fein ’69, P’89, Ph.D. will serve as moderator of this topic on the history of the 1960s. Whether you were a student during that decade or not, there is general agreement that the events of the 1960s at Amherst were “tumultuous” and “significant.” We will test that assumption in a session with Chris Appy ’77, Professor of History at UMass Amherst and author of an essay on the College during that decade (part of a book to be published during the Amherst Bicentennial in 2021). We invite alumni from the 1960s, and others, to attend this panel and respond to Appy’s version of events as well as his assessment of how significant, or insignificant, those events were. Some say that “nothing can change history except historians”—here is your chance to challenge or refine one historian’s views. Presented by the Class of 1969.
Johnson Chapel
1:00 PM
What We Know and Don't Know About Alzheimer's—A Practical Guide for Cognitive Health
We will discuss the best current thinking on how to maintain our abilities to learn, reason and remember as we continue to age. Panelists include Tony Mason ’64, M.D., Affiliate Faculty, Tufts Medical School; David Pearle ’64, P’92,’95, M.D., Professor of Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute; Richard Podell ’64, M.D., Visiting Investigator, Rockefeller University and Clinical Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and Vincent Simmon ’64, Ph.D., COO and co-founder of Spinogenix, Inc, which is developing a new class of therapeutics to help restore brain connections and functions lost in neurodegenerative disease and brain injury. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
1:00 PM
Henry James: The Houses of the Fiction
Henry James famously compared the novel to an enormous, million-windowed house, a building that opened up on to any number of possible scenes. But what about the actual houses that figured in his work—the places where he wrote or the ones he took as models, the originals of the places in which he set his characters? This lecture examines three different houses that figure in James’ The Portrait of a Lady (1881): Hardwick, the country house in the south of England on which he based Gardencourt, in which the novel begins; the Florentine villa that served as the model for that of the novel’s villain, Gilbert Osmond; and James’s own Lamb House, on the English coast, where he revised the novel in the early years of the 20th century. Michael Gorra ’79 is the Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English at Smith College. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
2:30 PM
Exactly What Did Amherst Prepare Me For?
What's the difference between a shank and a shiv? Which police TV shows “get it right?” Is standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier launching F-14s more like Top Gun or Hot Shots? What's it like walking around in the Middle East days before 9/11 occurs? How does it feel to sing the first line of the second act in La Boheme when the orchestra's off-key? All these questions and more will be answered by your fellow alum with the weirdest resume. Ed Ducayet ’89 has been a librarian, attorney, food and film critic, Naval Intelligence Officer, opera singer and police detective-sergeant, currently living in Dallas, TX. Presented by the Class of 1989.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
2:30 PM
Tour of the Amherst Bunker, Holyoke Range
Tour the former U.S. Strategic Air Command’s (Northeast Command) nuclear communications bunker and learn of its history, led by Aaron Hayden, the College’s Capital Projects Manager and the unofficial authority on the history of the Bunker. The Bunker has served as the Amherst College Book Depository since its purchase by the College in 1992. Each tour is limited to 30 people. Please sign up in advance. If space is available, you may sign up on-site at the Alumni House Reception Center. Please note: You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the Bunker.
Amherst Bunker, 100 Military Drive, off Route 116 in the Holyoke Range
2:30 PM
JFK: The Last Speech - Film Presentation

Twenty-seven days before he was assassinated, President Kennedy came to Amherst College to honor the poet Robert Frost. He spoke of the relationship between poetry and power and of a view shared with Frost that power must be exercised, but wisely—tempered by a moral restraint inspired by the arts and a liberal education. And, he spoke of the obligation of those “given a running start in life” to serve the public interest. JFK: The Last Speech communicates the impact of this message through the stories of Amherst alumni and students and reflections by prominent scholars. Produced by an award-winning filmmaker, this film is a call to action to rebuild our civic sphere—infused with broad sympathy, understanding, and compassion, to use Kennedy’s words. Join us for the screening of this film, sure to become a College classic, and for the post-screening audience discussion at 4 p.m. with Neil Bicknell ’64, Executive Producer and Book Co-Editor; Roger Mills ’64, M.D., Associate Producer, Film Commentator, Book Co-Editor and Book Essayist; and Rabbi Peter Rubinstein ’64, H’17, Film Commentator and Book Essayist. Presented by the Class of 1964.

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
2:30 PM
The Democratic Party in the Age of Trump
Author and journalist Laura Moser '99, who ran for Congress in 2018, and Lawrence Douglas, the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and a columnist for The Guardian, will share a candid conversation about politics in the age of Trump, and offer some predictions about the tumultuous 18 months ahead. Presented by the Class of 1999.
Stirn Auditorium
2:30 PM
The Campus Framework Plan: Looking to the Future
The College has recently completed a series of major new projects—the Science Center, four new residence halls, and the Greenway. What lies ahead as Amherst thinks about the urgent need for a new student center and academic spaces, the future of the library, the music building and the art museum? Join Andrew Nussbaum ’85, chair, Board of Trustees, and Jim Brassord, Chief of Campus Operations, for a discussion moderated by Cullen Murphy ’74, former board chair. Presented by the Class of 1974.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
2:30 PM
What is Needed for the World Ahead: Informed Perspectives on Changes in Education
Retired or still consulting educators will have the opportunity to share their life experiences and current perspectives on education. Joining the discussion will be Michael Morris ’00, Superintendent of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools, and Robert Siudzinski, Program Director for Careers in Education Professions, Amherst College. Presented by the Class of 1954.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
2:30 PM
Purpose Then, Purpose Now?
Rob Simpson ’69, DSW, as moderator, will open the discussion with an overview of the role of purpose in our lives. How did we decide in 1969 what we were going to do with our Amherst education and life experiences, did it work, how did we re-evaluate and what are we experiencing now as we enter a period marked by the process of “retirement?” Some of us report happiness in stopping working, some fear stopping, some are mixed. The panelists will present different models of how to think about and “be present” with this perhaps most complex stage of our lives marked by existential questions about the life we have lived and the life that will be lived going forward. We will also discuss the present Amherst students’ perspective on this topic. Panelists include Dick Aronson ’69, M.D., Assistant Dean of Students/Health Professions Advisor at Amherst College, Tim McCaffrey ’69, M.D., UCLA Psychiatry, and Rob Simpson ’69, “retired” hospital CEO and current leadership consultant. Presented by the Class of 1969.
Johnson Chapel
4:00 PM
Introducing the New Science Center
Join Jim Brassord, Chief of Campus Operations, and Jack Cheney, the Samuel A. Hitchcock Professor of Mineralogy and Geology and Associate Dean of the Faculty, for a presentation on the new Science Center and its curricular connections.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
4:00 PM
So You Lost Your Job…
Next to our health and that of family and friends, there are few things more jarring to life—particularly, middle aged life—than losing your job. The stress levels can hit a 10 and it is precisely at this time you are expected to figure out how to act rationally, intelligently and maturely! Come listen to the stories of three panelists who have recently gone through this roller coaster ride and, using a deliberate and active approach, found themselves smiling at the end. Here’s a spoiler: They didn’t just sit around waiting for head hunters to do the work. Panelists include Ed Castillo ’94, Matt Collins ’94 and Linda Lee ’94. Moderated by Rebecca Schlatter Liberty ’94. Presented by the Class of 1994.
Johnson Chapel
4:00 PM
JFK: The Last Speech - Audience Discussion

Join us for an audience discussion, following the 2:30 p.m. screening of JFK: The Last Speech, with Neil Bicknell ’64, Executive Producer and Book Co-Editor; Roger Mills ’64, M.D., Associate Producer, Film Commentator, Book Co-Editor and Book Essayist; and Rabbi Peter Rubinstein ’64, H’17, Film Commentator and Book Essayist. Presented by the Class of 1964.

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
4:00 PM
Democracy Support in the 21st Century—If Not Now, When?
If you were looking for a silver lining to the clouds of concern about the health of U.S. and European democracies, then try looking at the work done to support democratic practice in other countries. Tony Smith ’79, CEO of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, will talk about the work of his and other organizations around the world, and the links to democratic renewal at home. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
4:00 PM
Civic Engagement on Climate Policy
Tackling global warming has become the defining challenge of our time. While taking responsibility for our personal consumption choices is important, individual action does not match the scale of the problem. What governments do, or do not do, matters much more. This program will explore how ordinary citizens can organize, educate themselves and gain the skills to affect policies at the local, state and federal levels. Panelists include Deb Pasternak ’89, director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club, Isuru Seneviratne ’04, a voluntary policy advocate with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and Joseph Wilson ’64, an activist against oil and gas interests. Alex Barron, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Policy at Smith College, will illuminate how policy meets politics with his experience as Congressional staff and an EPA official. Moderated by Katharine Sims, Associate Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies. This program is one of a tripartite multi-class collaboration on mitigating climate change, along with “Climate Change: Is Education the Solution?” and “Investing with Climate Change in Mind.” Presented by the Classes of 1964, 1989 and 2004.
Kirby Memorial Theater
4:00 PM
Saving Species Globally—Bridging Veterinary and Human Health Care
How can wildlife surveillance and research inform and prevent the next major pandemic threat to humans? Hear from Suzan Murray ’84, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer and head of Smithsonian's Global Health Program. Her interdisciplinary team focuses on conservation, research and training programs worldwide—understanding health issues in captive and endangered wildlife in order to combat emerging infectious diseases of global significance. Presented by the Class of 1984.
Stirn Auditorium
5:00 PM
Reception with President Biddy Martin
Join President Biddy Martin and others from the College for conversation and celebration. Tour Amherst's newest building while enjoying a drink and hors d'oeuvres. All are welcome. Reception ends at 6:30 p.m.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
Saturday, June 1, 2019
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, schedules of class activities, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Telephone: (413) 542–2065. Alumni House will close at 9:30 p.m.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street
9:00 AM
Revolutionary Neuroscience Advances in the Treatment of Severe Mental Illnesses
Brain circuitry-based manipulation advances have the ability to revolutionize our treatment of major mental illnesses. These breakthroughs bring great hope but also ethical issues and other societal complications. Stewart Anderson ’84, Professor of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and UPenn School of Medicine, leads a provocative talk on the use of new approaches to correct the misfiring of brain circuitry underlying major psychiatric symptoms. This interactive seminar will summarize the science behind this coming wave of focal circuitry-based treatments for major mental illnesses, and to engage in discussions about our hopes and fears as Star Trek comes to the psychiatrist's office. Presented by the Class of 1984.
Location to be announced
9:00 AM
Phillips Collection Family Creativity Workshop
Experience The Phillips Collection’s award-winning education program! Join the Class of 1999 and let your creativity fly in art-making creativity stations. Each station has a different project with art materials, instructions and artistic inspiration from The Phillips Collection. The Phillips Collection, located in a historic mansion in Washington, D.C., is an extraordinary collection of more than 4,000 works ranging from masterpieces of French impressionism and American modernism to contemporary art. In addition to this impressive collection, the education department serves tens of thousands of visitors, students and teachers each year from the Washington, D.C., area, throughout the United States and around the world. This session is geared towards families with children ages 2 to 8. Workshop materials provided by The Phillips Collection and presented by Sarah (Lukaska) Eastright ’99 and Josh Eastright ’99. Presented by the Class of 1999.
Morris Pratt Circle
9:00 AM
Survival of the News Media: Amid our Digital Device Dependence, is There a Future for Print?
Is our society’s digital media addiction threatening the extinction of traditional newspapers and magazines? Following an introductory overview about just how wired younger generations are to video and image based social media—and the toll this may already be taking on physical, mental and emotional health—Alan Blum ’69, M.D., will moderate a panel discussion by two veteran journalists, David Michelmore ’69, P’98 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) and Andrew Nagorski ’69, P’94,’02 (Newsweek), who will debate the challenges that traditional news media must overcome in order to survive. Presented by the Class of 1969.
Johnson Chapel
9:00 AM
Tour and Planting Seeds at Book & Plow Farm
Farm, you ask? What farm? Book & Plow Farm is the College's student centered farm that grows vegetables and community. Led by Maida Ives, the Farm Operations and Education Manager, student-farmers work together from crop planning to harvest, which in 2018 provided 20,000 pounds of produce delivered to Valentine Dining Hall, 4,000 pounds of produce donated to area hunger relief organizations and 75 community members produce in our 12-week vegetable share program. All of this is a short 15-minute walk from campus! Join us there to meet the student-farmers, take tours of the Core Site and participate in a (kid-friendly) winter squash seeding activity, all of which will continue until 12 p.m. We’ll go rain or shine, as we’ll be meeting at the greenhouse. Maps to the farm will be available at the Alumni House Reception Center, and parking is available for people who prefer to drive.
Book and Plow Farm Greenhouse on Tuttle Hill, 425 South East St., Amherst
9:00 AM
"A battle between robots and humankind": Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Allure of Intelligent Automation
We are now in "a battle between robots and humankind," the head of the World Economic Forum pronounced at this year's Davos conference, a battle that lies at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Robotics and AI have captured our imagination, with headlines proclaiming both the end of work as we know it and a new age of ease and prosperity. Fear of the Machine is nothing new; automation has been disrupting our jobs and improving our lives for decades. What is different now? In this session, Gordie Sands ’79 will explore the nature and allure of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and some of the ways they may be used, and are being used, today. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
9:00 AM
The Road Less Traveled
The path away from Amherst often leads in unexpected directions—sometimes unanticipated even by those who find themselves following one such path. Three classmates share the story of their journeys—how they began and what they have meant. Panelists include Paul Casey ’74, community organizer and peace/justice activist, Rob Rubendall ’74, wilderness/environmental educator and Kevin Scribner ’74, salmon fisherman, educator and activist. Presented by the Class of 1974.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
10:00 AM
Selections from the Richard Soffer ’54 Ornithology Collection
Richard L. Soffer ’54 has formed a remarkable and extensive collection of books about birds, with particular attention to the various methods and techniques that have been used to reproduce illustrations of birds. The books in the collection provide examples of every type of illustrative technique: hand painting, woodcut and wood engraving, etching and engraving, lithography and modern photomechanical methods. Between 2003 and 2018, Richard has donated nearly his entire ornithology collection to Amherst College. In celebration of his gift and his 65th Reunion, a selection of remarkable books from his collection will be on display in the Archives until 3 p.m. Presented by the Class of 1954.
Archives and Special Collections, Frost Library
10:15 AM
Transfer Students’ Colloquium
Studying at Amherst for two years or fewer was different from the traditional four-year experience. After decades of reflection, how was it for you? What did you learn? You’ve already done all the homework; now is the time to compare and contrast. For example: What was it like navigating the established networks when you arrived? How is it today? What did you gain? What did you lose? Please join us to reflect on these questions and any others that pop up—moderated by Tenzin Kunor, Director of Diversity and Student Leadership at Amherst. Refreshments served. Transfers from all classes are encouraged to join to broaden and enrich this graduate-level session. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Pemberton Lounge (formerly Chapin Lounge), Chapin Hall
10:15 AM
Fulfilling Our Promise - Achieving Carbon Neutrality in our Third Century
In January, the Board of Trustees approved the Climate Action Plan, which provides a road map for Amherst to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Come learn more about the plan, which was developed by a task force of faculty, staff and students and calls for the college to make a transition from a traditional fossil-fuel-powered steam system to renewable electrical-powered heat pumps that use geothermal energy sources. The plan also emphasizes student engagement and experiential education, with the goal of preparing our graduates to play leadership roles in the area of climate action—both in their personal and professional lives. During this session, Laura Draucker, Director of Sustainability, and Jim Brassord, Chief of Campus Operations, will present the plan, and there will be an opportunity for questions and feedback.
Johnson Chapel
10:15 AM
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Mead with David E. Little
All are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mead Art Museum with David E. Little, Director and Chief Curator. Join us to explore our art storage facilities, underground classrooms and more!
Mead Art Museum
10:15 AM
Sing-Along with Andrew & Polly
Andrew Barkan ’02 and Polly Hall ’04 are award-winning music makers and the hosts of Ear Snacks, a podcast for young kids. Their seriously catchy earworms and inventive re-imaginings of classic favorites are smart, quirky and full of heart. Join Andrew & Polly to wiggle around and sing about grapes. Presented by the Class of 2004.
Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
10:15 AM
Cultivating Wellness in an Increasingly Unhealthy Society
Western medicine traditionally defines health as the absence of disease. The premise of wellness is that daily lifestyle choices and habits most strongly influence both physical health and mental well-being. Come hear how wellness practices inform the professional and personal lives of three members of the Class of ’84; and learn whether there are new lifestyle choices you can cultivate to improve your own health and wellness. Panelists include Daniel Javit ’84, P’16, M.D., a medical doctor who performed invasive procedures for 30 years who now coaches patients on how to enhance wellness in their lives; Ilene Sussman Rosen ’84, M.Ed., C-IAYT, co-author of Comprehensive Yoga Therapy: Attending to Your Whole Self and Yoga and Mindfulness for Young Children; and Sarah Stackpole ’84, M.D., a surgical ENT now also certified in acupuncture. Moderated by Robin Gottdenker Smith ’84, P’17, M.D., a pediatrician and pediatric practice co-owner, who spends her days encouraging young people to build their wellness skills. Presented by the Class of 1984.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
10:15 AM
"A View from the Trans* Bridge" (with Apologies to Arthur Miller): How the Transgender Experience and Perspective Contributes to the Contemporary Understanding and Discussion of Gender Identity for Everyone
Join Michelle Allison ’64 for a candid, intellectually sophisticated and emotionally adventurous discussion of gender identity as currently reflected at the systemic and structural level: politics and social institutions. As a practicing psychotherapist and transgender woman, Michelle will also help us focus on our personal experience as gendered selves: the psychological dimension of our roles as intimate partners, parents and members of our communities. Contributions from psychotherapeutic, feminist and transgender writings help us respond to vexing questions: To what extent is gender biologically based or a social construction (or perhaps, a performance)? What does it mean to describe someone as a “real” man or a “real” woman? How does the cultural and political reaction to transgenderism reflect on our anxiety about rapidly changing gender roles and norms? As our society grapples with patriarchy, how do we understand “male fragility”? Finally, how are these views impacting how men see themselves, and most importantly, what are the next steps to consider as we move forward to an emotionally and culturally positive gender space? Note: Audience participation is encouraged. This presentation will contain some explicit (but always professional) language describing sexual anatomy and experience. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
10:30 AM
Take Me Out to the (Soft)Ball Game
Relive the glory days by joining the Class of ’99 for a low impact softball game. Although a positive attitude is mandatory, having your own glove is not (but if you have one please, bring it). All classes, skill levels and batting stances welcome! Presented by the Class of 1999.
Softball Field, 220 Northampton Road
11:30 AM
A Conversation with President Biddy Martin and the Annual Meeting of the Society of the Alumni and the Alumni Council
Johnson Chapel
12:00 PM
Annual Reunion Luncheon
Join us for a complimentary luncheon under the tent on the Valentine Quad. Look for your classmates under the decade signs!
Valentine Quad
1:00 PM
Carnival Fun and Games
All are welcome to the carnival for lawn games, a bounce house, cotton candy, popcorn, spin art and bubbles. The carnival will close at 5 p.m. Presented by the Classes of 1999 and 2004.
Main Quadrangle
1:45 PM
#MeToo Movement in Africa, the Middle East and Asia
The #MeToo Movement was popularized in the U.S. in 2017 following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. Since then, #MeToo has grown to an international movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. But for all the early anticipation that things had changed forever, the #MeToo movement on other continents has either fizzled or never took flight. Barbara McKinney Sow ’84 provides a personal perspective on how women’s rights efforts to curb sexual violence are being received outside of the United States. Barbara serves as the Representative of the UN Population Fund in Guinea. Presented by the Class of 1984.
Stirn Auditorium
1:45 PM
Living and Learning with People with Autism
This panel will discuss the panelists’ experiences as parents, employers and/or therapists working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The panel hopes to engender discussion with a view to demystifying life with people with ASD and sharing experiences that may be helpful to others interacting with autistic people. The panelists will include Rebecca Correll, daughter of Ashley Adams ’79, a licensed behavior analyst and executive director of The Language and Behavior Center in Silver Spring, MD; John D. Lobrano ’79, a trustee for Landmark College, a private college exclusively for students with learning disabilities, attention disorders or autism; and Jonah Zimiles ’79, co-owner of [words] bookstore, an award-winning retailer that provides work experience for individuals with autism and member of the board of Spectrum360, a school and adult program for individuals with autism, and LifeTown, a recreational center for individuals with special needs. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
1:45 PM
Wow! Science Today and What the Future Portends
Dave Roberts ’69, Ph.D., as moderator, will set the stage underscoring that science has made enormous and often unexpected strides since our time at Amherst. The panelists will touch briefly on exciting new developments in a variety of areas of science and medicine, and, with suitable trepidation, speculate about the future. Panelists include Bob Brown ’69, D.Phil., M.D., UMass Medical Center Neurology; John Lipscomb ’69, Ph.D., Minnesota Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Dave Roberts ’69, Ph.D., moderator, Brandeis Astrophysics; Bob Sauer ’69, Ph.D., MIT Biology; and Tuffy Simpkins ’69, M.D., trauma surgeon, inventor and entrepreneur. Presented by the Class of 1969.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
1:45 PM
Dramatic Career Center Modernization at Amherst: The Loeb Center
Over the past half dozen years, career support has been revolutionized at the College. The newly named Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning now offers field-specialized advising and an increasing array of paid internships, the latter under the recently-unveiled Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program. Chuck Lewis ’64, H’03, P’93, a life trustee, has been deeply involved in all of these developments and will offer a first-hand account about how and why they came to be. He will be joined by Emily Griffen, Director of the Loeb Center. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Johnson Chapel
1:45 PM
The Warrior Scholar Project
How can we improve higher education? Bring in more veterans! The Warrior Scholar Project, chaired by Mark London ’74, P’10, runs immersive academic boot camps at 18 campuses around the country each summer—helping enlisted men and women make the transition from service to higher education. Amherst hosts one of these programs. Panelists include Josh Buck, a Marine who oversaw the Amherst program in 2017, Nathan Needham ’18, a veteran who has helped mentor WSP students and Cassie Sanchez, a writing instructor at Amherst. Moderated by Mark London ’74, P’10, chair of the Warrior Scholar Project. Presented by the Class of 1974.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
2:00 PM
Men's and Women's Soccer Reunion Game
The Amherst men’s and women’s soccer teams will sponsor a game between odd- and even-class soccer alumni. Bring your black shorts, cleats and shin guards; we’ll supply shirts and socks. RSVP to Coach Bill Schmid (wschmid@amherst.edu) so we have a head count, and spread the word to your classmates and teammates. Plan to come to the Alumni Gym at 1:15 p.m. to pick up your uniform.
Gooding Turf Field
2:00 PM
Amherst Crew Reunion Row
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 your 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.
Amherst College Boathouse (Sportsman's Marina, Route 9 at Coolidge Bridge)
3:00 PM
The Peace Corps: From Inception to Today and its Connections to Amherst
Is the Kennedy call to serve our country, engage the world and bring home a better understanding of others still relevant in this time of walls and withdrawals? Hear from Amherst alums who have served in several capacities in the Peace Corps, from volunteers to country staff. We comprise some of the very first volunteers as well as those currently in service. Learn how volunteers used items from local markets to teach science, and witnessed civil war. Find out what's going on in the largest current program (Ukraine, 400+ volunteers). Hear from many returned volunteers in the audience, and in the reception that follows, what volunteers took from Amherst to the Peace Corps and what both experiences have since meant in their lives, including two alums who were in the film, JFK: The Last Speech, shown on Friday. Panelists include Michael Ketover ’86, Current PC Ukraine Director, RPCV Honduras ’93-95, Guyana ’96, Response Corps Dominican Republic ’98; Rip Sparks ’64, Ph.D., Director of the Illinois Water Resources Center (retired), University of Illinois, RPCV Eastern Region, Nigeria ’64-66; and Liz Fuller-Wright ’99, Science Writer, Office of Communications, Princeton University, RPCV Morocco 2008-2010, who developed curricula for K-12 science teachers. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Stirn Auditorium
3:00 PM
No Future? Public Universities and the Liberal Arts
While institutions like Amherst are thriving, public higher education is under fire, facing decreased funding from the state and increased demands for professional degree programs that align with immediate workforce needs. Under this intense pressure, many state institutions are looking to scale back or shut down longstanding programs in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Join a panel of professors working on the front lines of public higher education and taking on the big questions: Can the liberal arts survive at public universities? How do academic labor issues affect faculty and students in public higher education? What bright spots can we learn from to chart a path forward for the liberal arts in public higher education? This panel brings together members of the Class of '89 who have made their careers in public higher education, joined by Andrew Parker, Professor of French and Chair of Comparative Literature, Rutgers University-New Brunswick and professor of English at Amherst from 1982 to 2012. Panelists will share perspectives from their institutions and engage the audience in a conversation about the future of the liberal arts in the public arena. Panelists include Jonathan Flatley ’89, Professor of English, Wayne State University, Mimi Long ’89, Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, University of California, Irvine, and Emily Todd ’89, Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Westfield State University. Presented by the Class of 1989.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
3:00 PM
Cancer Research: Challenges, Opportunities and Advances
Doug Lowy ’64, P'95 will discuss the cancer research landscape. Recent progress has included a 20% reduction in cancer mortality in the past 15 years, FDA approval of many new drugs for cancer treatment, and important advances in cancer prevention and screening. However, progress against some cancers has been slow, and cancer is still responsible for more than 20% of deaths in the U.S. Doug has been Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 2010 and Acting NCI Director from 2015-2017 and again in 2019. Among many research accomplishments, Doug’s laboratory developed the technology that underlies the three FDA-approved HPV vaccines. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
3:00 PM
Swallowing the Silver Spoon: A Humorous Look at Deafness
A humorous, sometimes horrifying, look at what it's like to suddenly become deaf by award-winning journalist and author John J. Geoghegan ’79. Based on his bestselling memoir, Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow, Mr. Geoghegan will talk about how deafness caused him to lose his job, his house, his family and his mind until he learned not hearing was his greatest blessing. Presented by the Class of 1979.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
4:15 PM
Netflix’s Customer Obsession: How to Delight Inherently Unsatisfiable Customers
Gib Biddle ’84 joined Netflix in 2005 when the company had one million members; today it has 140 million members worldwide. Find out how an English major learned “consumer science” as Gib takes you through three, “What would you do?” case studies to demonstrate how Netflix learned to put customers at the center of everything they do to delight members in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways to invent the future. Hecklers welcome! Presented by the Class of 1984.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
4:15 PM
Entrepreneurism: Don’t Do It!
Be your own boss! Be an entrepreneur!! Be bankrupt and praying you could go back to your 9 to 5!!! No one ever tells you that last one. Join panelists who have been in the small business entrepreneurial game for the last two plus decades for some unfiltered storytelling about their experiences. This is going to get real, so come prepared to hear it all. For those who aren’t scared away, we’ll provide some advice on how to look at entrepreneurial pursuits in a more moderate risk approach. Panelists include Fernanda Bressan ’94, Co-Founder and Business Coach at Foundfully; Elizabeth Doyle ’94, Owner, Doyle & Doyle; and Parke Lutter ’94, Owner, Parke & Ronen. Moderated by Howard Chung ’94. Presented by the Class of 1994.
Kirby Memorial Theater
4:15 PM
Memoirs of Loss, Hope and Healing by Class of 1964 Authors
Steve Downs ’64 will read from his book, A Fruitful Death, which chronicles his wife, Wilhelmina’s struggle with pancreatic cancer. She was a former Dutch Peace Corps volunteer, a hospice volunteer, a collector of spiritual writings and someone deeply involved in the spiritual and physical meaning of death. The title refers to her understanding of death as something natural which can enrich future generations with hope, faith and justice. Tony Mason ’64, M.D., will read from his book, A Physician’s Journey Toward Healing, in which healing is a holistic process that involves the body, mind and spirit; a process that depends on human connection, hope and a sense of meaning. He offers a glimpse into the personal experiences of patients he served over his forty years in family medicine, illustrating both the devastation of loss caused by illness and the marvelous resilience of the spirit. Dave Stringer ’64 will read from his blog dealing with his and his wife Kim’s battle with her breast cancer; and how through love and courage, they transformed that battle into the building of their new lakeside home. Presented by the Class of 1964.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
4:15 PM
Investing with Climate Change in Mind
There are several ways that financial investments might be used to help limit climate change. This program will (a) outline the various environmental and other objectives people and institutions consider when investing; (b) present the pros and cons of the available strategies for using investments to help limit climate change and promote environmental sustainability (divestment, constructive engagement, investment in clean technology and nascent market segments, etc.); and (c) explore differences between individual and institutional investment. Panelists include Paulus Ingram ’95, Managing Partner, Inventiv Capital Management, LLC; Jérôme de Bontin ’81, P’06,’15, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mékar Financial Services; and William Orum ’02, Partner and Managing Director, Capricorn Investment Group, LLC. Moderated by Paul C. Stern ’64, President and Senior Research Scholar, Social and Environmental Institute. This program is one of a tripartite multi-class collaboration on mitigating climate change, along with “Climate Change: Is Education the Solution?” and “Civic Engagement on Climate Policy.” Presented by the Class of 1964.
Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center
4:15 PM
President John William Ward: A Biographer Remembers
A conversation with Kim Townsend, the author of John William Ward: An American Idealist. Ward was a noted historian and the fourteenth president of Amherst College (1971-1979) during a tumultuous era as the College grappled with issues of war, race and civil disobedience. His enduring legacy includes the transformation of Amherst from an all-male institution to a college for men and women. Kim Townsend is Class of 1959 Professor of English, Emeritus. James Warren ’74 will help lead the discussion. Presented by the Class of 1974.
Kirkpatrick Lecture Hall (A011), Science Center
5:15 PM
Alumni in the Arts Reception
All alumni working in or passionate about the arts are invited to connect with each other and Amherst College faculty and staff in the arts. This reception is supported by the Amherst College departments of American Studies, Architectural Studies, Art History, Film and Media Studies, and Music, the Arts at Amherst Initiative, and the Mead Art Museum.
Mead Art Museum
7:00 PM
Regeneration: The 21st Apocalypse Party
Apocalypse is a party for people who don't like parties, hosted by Planworld. Come on by, play intellectual games, have conversations and enjoy a heart-stopping Black Sheep cake and other tasty refreshments. All who enjoy fine company are invited. We will continue until people stop talking.
Second Floor Lounge, Building D, Greenway Dorms
9:00 PM
Saturday Night at the Observatory
The Astronomy Association, in collaboration with Amherst College Science Outreach, invite you to come observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars while they guide you and teach you some astronomy as well. Tom Whitney of the Astronomy Association will be present to operate Amherst College’s own 19-inch Clark refractor telescope. This event is open to all, but it will be cancelled if the weather is uncooperative (Cloudy).
Wilder Observatory, Snell Street
9:00 PM
The Zumbyes' Reunion Show
The Zumbyes welcome all Zum-alums, Amherst alums, friends, fans and anyone else to Buckley Recital Hall to celebrate the 69th year of the group with a free concert of new songs, classic songs and, of course, our beloved College songs.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
Sunday, June 2, 2019
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
We'll be open for you to drop off your keys or ask last-minute questions before you head home. 
Telephone: (413) 542–2065. Alumni House will close at noon.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street
9:00 AM
Service of Remembrance and Community
Please join us for an ecumenical service to remember the lives of those alumni we have lost this year.
War Memorial, Memorial Hill (rain site: Chapin Chapel)
10:30 AM
Tour of the Archaeological Field School at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Join the archaeologists for a guided walk around the field school in historical archaeology at the Museum. Learn what past digs have told us about the Dickinsons and their land, and hear about the plans for this summer's explorations!
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street