2024 Reunion Schedule

Programs will be posted and updated as they are confirmed throughout the spring. Note that private class programs, including class dinners, do not appear on the public schedule; they will be included in the schedule attendees will receive upon check-in. 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, 2024
2:00 - 8:00pm 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, 75 Churchill Street

4:00 - 4:45pm Guided Tour of the Homestead at the Emily Dickinson Museum

Explore the home where Amherst’s greatest poet penned her near 1,800 poems. A knowledgeable tour guide shares Dickinson’s journey as a poet and the daily life that was a wellspring of inspiration. Advance sign-up is required for all participants, including guests of alumni. Space is limited to 12 participants.

Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street

Thursday, May 30, 2024
8:00am - 10:00pm 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, 75 Churchill Street

9:00am - 5:00pm Making Art at the Mead! (All Ages Welcome)

Get inspired by the current exhibitions and collections in the Mead! Family-friendly activities will be available throughout Reunion to tap into visitors’ creativity. Decorate a postcard to send to friends or family, or add some color to objects from the Mead’s permanent collection with coloring sheets created by Charissa Doer ’20 and Samuel Nkengla ’26. Finally, feel free to show off your photography skills and share your masterpiece by tagging the Mead (@MeadArtMuseum) on social media. All materials provided; children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Museum visitation hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rotherwas Room, Mead Art Museum

10:30 - 11:30am Tour of the Amherst Bunker, Holyoke Range

Tour the former U.S. Strategic Air Command (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 online or by phone at 413-542-2313. If space is available, you may sign up on-site at the Alumni House Reception Center (75 Churchill Street). 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 - 2:00pm Book Discussion: Letters, Kinship, and Social Mobility in Nigeria

Join Olufemi Vaughan, the Alfred Sargent Lee ’41 and Mary Farley Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies and Chair of Black Studies, for a talk based on his new book, Letters, Kinship, and Social Mobility in Nigeria, published by University of Wisconsin Press last fall. The book is based on a trove of more than 3,000 letters written by four generations of his family in Ibadan, Nigeria, from 1926 to 1994. The men and women who wrote these letters emerged from the religious, social and educational institutions established by the Church Missionary Society, the preeminent Anglican mission in the Atlantic Nigerian region following the imposition of British colonial rule in the late 19th century. Drawing on major themes from these letters, Professor Vaughan will discuss how these unique sources illuminate everyday life for an important segment of Nigeria’s emergent society during a transformative period in African history. His talk will discuss how intimate stories constructed from the letters provide important insight into dominant themes in modern Nigerian society: kinship, social mobility, mission Christianity, Western education and modernity.

Stirn Auditorium

1:00 - 2:00pm Beneski Museum “Bones and Stones” Tour

Join Museum Educator Fred Venne and Student Docents for a walk through the Beneski Museum of Natural History, which houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected locally and from around the world since 1825. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection. Bring your cameras. 

Beneski Museum of Natural History

2:30 - 3:30pm Columbo, Curiosity, and the Dogged Detective

In an episode of the 1970s series entitled “Negative Reaction,” Lt. Columbo enters a camera shop for a brief lesson about printing photographs from negatives. “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” the lifelong learner tells the clerk. “You learn something every day!” Amelie Hastie, the Nancy and Douglas D. Abbey ’71 Professor of English in Film and Media Studies, will discuss what led her to write Columbo: Make Me a Perfect Murder and how the series taught her about film and television. Her talk will develop the premise of her book through an attention to the details of Columbo itself and the research methods she employed while writing her volume. Seeing television as an intertextual system, she considers the series through the plentitude of the medium and the complex mode of viewing that it demands. She will also explore how the interpretive methods she applied to her study of the series can both serve as an introduction to the discipline of film and media studies and illustrate her own work in the field as a scholar and a teacher.

Stirn Auditorium

2:30 - 3:30pm Tour of The Juncture: Ukrainian Artists in Search of Modernity and Identity

Join a Mead curator on a tour of The Juncture: Ukrainian Artists in Search of Modernity and Identity. Organized by Konstantin Akinsha, a leading scholar and curator of Ukrainian art, The Juncture focuses on the lives and careers of Alexander Archipenko, Vasyl Yermilov and Oleksandr Bohomazov, three of Ukraine’s most prominent Modernist artists, as well as how the complex socio-political dynamics of their time and burgeoning global art movements shaped their work. Frequently understood within the canon of Russian art history, this exhibition is a fascinating step towards reading these key artists within the framework of the Ukrainian struggle for independence.

Mead Art Museum

4:00 - 5:00pm How Much of the World Are We Consciously Aware Of?

Have you ever struggled to find your keys, only to eventually see that they have been sitting on the counter the entire time? Run over a pothole in your car and wondered how you could have missed it? Failed to hear someone shouting your name from just a few yards away? Over the last few decades, neuroscientists and psychologists have spent considerable time studying why we often have these mental lapses and fail to notice so much of the world around us. This talk will review key findings in this vibrant area of research and highlight some of the many ways students at Amherst have worked to shed light on and overcome these limitations of perception and cognition. Presented by Assistant Professor of Psychology and faculty in the Amherst College Neuroscience Program, Michael Cohen. The Neuroscience Program celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Stirn Auditorium

4:30 - 5:00pm Guided Tour of The Evergreens at the Emily Dickinson Museum

With a knowledgeable guide, explore the home of the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. The lives of the Dickinson families at the Homestead and The Evergreens were closely linked, both in their daily conduct and in the private lives that unfolded in the houses. These connections had a profound impact on Emily Dickinson’s poetry and, later, on the posthumous publication of her verse and the preservation of her legacy. Advance sign-up is required for all participants, including guests of alumni. Advance sign-up is required. Space is limited to 10 participants.

Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street

7:00 - 9:00pm Screening of American Fiction

Join us for a screening of American Fiction, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and featuring Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright ’87, H’04. Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. American Fiction is directed by Cord Jefferson and based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett.

Stirn Auditorium

Friday, May 31, 2024
8:00am - 11:59pm 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, 75 Churchill Street

9:00am - 5:00pm Making Art at the Mead! (All Ages Welcome)

Get inspired by the current exhibitions and collections in the Mead! Family-friendly activities will be available throughout Reunion to tap into visitors’ creativity. Decorate a postcard to send to friends or family, or add some color to objects from the Mead’s permanent collection with coloring sheets created by Charissa Doer ’20 and Samuel Nkengla ’26. Finally, feel free to show off your photography skills and share your masterpiece by tagging the Mead (@MeadArtMuseum) on social media. All materials provided; children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Museum visitation hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rotherwas Room, Mead Art Museum

9:00 - 9:40am Director's Tour: Preserving The Evergreens at the Emily Dickinson Museum with Jane Wald

Join Jane Wald, the Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, for a walking exploration of the newly reopened Evergreens, home to Austin and Susan Dickinson. The Evergreens reopened in March 2024 after major preservation and stabilization efforts. The Italianate house and the family there were part of the poet’s daily life and inspiration, and today the house remains a fly in the amber—virtually untouched since the family’s last redecorating campaign in the 1890s. Advance sign-up is required for all participants, including guests of alumni. Space is limited to 10 participants per tour.

Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street

9:00 - 10:00am Curator's Talk: Art in Doubt, Part 2

Please join us for a talk by Maria Timina on the second part of the Amherst College Russian Center exhibition: Art in Doubt: A Critical Examination of the Thomas P. Whitney '37 Collection. This is an exhibition about suspected fakes and possible forgeries, about works that cause us to doubt history, experts and art itself. It is about doubt as an essential part of art attribution, while it is also about how knowledge can transform skepticism into assurance.

Amherst Center for Russian Culture, Room 202, Webster Hall

9:00 - 11:00am Tour and Flower Planting at Book & Plow Farm

Amherst owns and runs a working farm, Book & Plow Farm. It grows all manner of produce and supplies Valentine Dining Hall. And the produce is local: the farm is just a 15-minute walk from campus. There we’ll meet Interim Director of Farm Operations Kaylee Brow for a tour of the Core Site and a (kid-friendly) farm activity, from 9 to 11 a.m. We’ll go rain or shine, but cancel for thunder and lightning. Maps to the farm will be available at the Alumni House Reception Center, and parking is available for people who prefer to drive. You are also welcome to visit the farm at any point during the weekend to enjoy the view!

Book & Plow Farm Greenhouse on Tuttle Hill, 425 South East Street, Amherst

10:30 - 11:30am Bocce Ball Bash!

Crack that back, and let’s pretend it’s the early aughts. We have the bocce balls; you bring the brawn (and the Bengay). This friendly competition is open to alumni of all years and skill levels. Presented by the Class of 2004.

Main Quad

10:30 - 11:30am To Decolonize Museums or to Integrate the Past?: Navigating the Crisis of Art Museums Today

Siddhartha V. Shah, the John Wieland 1958 Director of the Mead Art Museum, joined Amherst College in 2022 with training as a gallery director, dealer, curator and director of an education department at a leading art museum. This range of experience in various facets of the art ecosystem, paired with his personal journey across different disciplines, countries and cultures, has given him a unique perspective on the crisis that art museums around the world are facing today, as well as insights into what an art museum can be to a college campus, town and region. Siddhartha will discuss how his transcultural upbringing shaped his relationship to art, the role that museums play as both a resource and a respite to those they serve, and his goal to make the Mead an essential bridge between Amherst College and its local and global communities.

Stirn Auditorium

10:30am - 12:30pm Explore the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Lyceum

Drop in to explore this stunning new addition to campus, home to the Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the History Department. The College’s new Lyceum showcases innovative and sustainable design, and is dedicated to creative intellectual exploration and exchange in the humanities. Enjoy the indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, and get a closer look at this new cornerstone of academic life at Amherst.

Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Lyceum, 197 South Pleasant Street

10:30 - 11:10am Director's Tour: Preserving The Evergreens at the Emily Dickinson Museum with Jane Wald

Join Jane Wald, the Jane and Robert Keiter Family Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, for a walking exploration of the newly reopened Evergreens, home to Austin and Susan Dickinson. The Evergreens reopened in March 2024 after major preservation and stabilization efforts. The Italianate house and the family there were part of the poet’s daily life and inspiration, and today the house remains a fly in the amber—virtually untouched since the family’s last redecorating campaign in the 1890s. Advance sign-up is required for all participants, including guests of alumni. Space is limited to 10 participants per tour.

 

Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street

1:00 - 2:00pm Freedom of Expression in the Academy: Exploring the Balance Between Maintaining a Robust Exchange of Ideas and Concerns About Conduct

We will discuss important principles and challenges educational institutions face in promoting expressive freedom, disciplined nonpartisanship and intellectual diversity. Participants include John Gulla ’79, Executive Director of The Edward E. Ford Foundation and former Head of School at The Blake School, and Michael Gorra ’79, the Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English at Smith College. Moderated by James Brigagliano ’79, Retired Partner at Sidley Austin. Presented by the Class of 1979.

Stirn Auditorium

1:00 - 2:00pm Beneski Museum “Bones and Stones" Tour

Join Museum Educator Fred Venne and Student Docents for a walk through the Beneski Museum of Natural History, which houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected locally and from around the world since 1825. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection. Bring your cameras. 

Beneski Museum of Natural History

1:00 - 2:00pm Sustainability at Amherst

This session will take a look at Amherst’s sustainability efforts and path forward. The College recently relaunched an Office of Sustainability to help infuse sustainability across its curriculum, co-curriculum and operations. Concurrently, it has begun a massive effort to decarbonize the campus’s energy system, transitioning from a fossil-fuel-based steam distribution system to a new low-temperature hot water system that will be paired with a geothermal well field and run on renewable electricity. Join Wes Dripps ’92, Director of Sustainability, to learn more about these exciting new initiatives.

Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center

1:00 - 2:00pm The Road Less Traveled

Amherst graduates make their way in the world in a wide variety of traditional and nontraditional ways. Herewith a spotlight on four graduates who have defined their own unique pathways: David Blistein ’74, documentary scriptwriter (homelessness, mental health, Thoreau); Mike Kahn ’74, P’03, moderator, attorney and author of the Rachel Gold mystery novels; Harvey Rosenfield ’74, H’10, consumer advocate and political activist; and Bill Watts ’74, Christian ministry, on stage and off. Presented by the Class of 1974.

Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

1:00 - 5:00pm Wellbeing Makerspace Open Hours

The Wellbeing Makerspace is a new space where students can explore their creativity, connect and de-stress. It is an initiative of Student Affairs and is managed by Residential Engagement & Wellbeing. Participants can use a variety of art and craft supplies to experiment with various mediums and projects, learn from and collaborate with peers, and access healthy outlets to manage stress and adversity. Alumni and guests are invited to explore the various materials and resources, and learn more about how this space helps students to center their wellbeing through creative expression and exploration. Open hours end at 5 p.m.

First Floor, Keefe Campus Center

1:00 - 2:00pm The Sophomore Summit and the Future of Career Exploration and Planning at Amherst College

For more than a decade, the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning has been a case study in growth and innovation at Amherst. From establishing an industry-leading “career community” advising model, to investing in robust internship support through the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program, to collaborating with faculty on the Arts and Humanities in Action program for first-year students, the Loeb Center is persistently focused on aligning its work with both the mission of a liberal arts education and the evolving nature of work in the 21st century. 

In 2024, the Loeb piloted the Sophomore Summit, a three-day program that immerses sophomores in career exploration and relationship-building with peers and alumni. With over 160 students in attendance and more than 150 alumni engaging both in person and virtually, the pilot event was a great success and a meaningful learning opportunity for Loeb staff. Emily Griffen, the Lewis-Sebring Executive Director of the Loeb Center, and Whitney Jorns Kuhnlenz, the Loeb’s Associate Director of Employer Relations and Alumni Engagement, will discuss the highlights of the pilot year and how this program will grow in future years to transform career preparation for a new generation of Amherst students.
 

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

2:00 - 4:00pm Office of Identity and Cultural Resources (OICR) Drop-In

Learn more about the Multicultural Resource Center, Queer Resource Center, Women’s & Gender Center, Center for International Student Engagement, Class & Access Resource Center and Center for Religious & Spiritual Life and connect with some of the OICR staff. Drop-in session ends at 4 p.m.

Atrium, Keefe Campus Center

2:30 - 3:30pm A.I., Amherst and American Education

Journalist Jim Warren ’74, who chronicles the rise of misinformation, talks with Lee Spector, the Class of 1993 Professor of Computer Science, who has spearheaded A.I. efforts at the College, and Brian House, Assistant Professor of Art, about realities and myths of the A.I. revolution. Presented by the Class of 1974.

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

2:30 - 3:30pm Poetry’s Balm: Healing and Inspiration in Challenging Times

On October 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech at Amherst for the groundbreaking of the Robert Frost Library. A commemoration on the life and legacy of poet Robert Frost, who had died in January of that year, it was also a call to public service for students of the College. It would be among the last of Kennedy’s major public speeches, as he was killed a mere 27 days later. Kennedy spoke of the role of the artist in society, and the power that poetry can hold within it: “When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. … When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” As a testament to the power of art and its humbling strength during troubling times, alumni and friends are invited to bring some of their favorite selections of poetry to read and share with the community. For those who wish to read, a sign-up list will be available one hour before the event starts, outside the event entrance. All are welcome to listen and share. Presented by the Class of 1999.

Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center

2:30 - 3:30pm Love and Intimacy: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac of Life

What do you want most during your short stay here on Earth? When we first come into this world, all we desire is to be touched, held and loved. Then life happens! We are told who we should be, how we should be, how to act and even what to feel. We are applauded for accomplishing tasks that often necessitate stifling our needs, wants and emotions. And then, after attaining all those achievements, awards, diplomas and possessions, we’re left wondering if that’s all there is. 

Hell no—there is so much MORE!

More love, more intimacy, more connection and more fulfillment!

Join Dr. Daniel Javit ’84, P’16, C.H.W.C., and Ester Cambronero to experience the extraordinary journey from doing to being, from trying to living, and from striving to loving. As love and intimacy spiritual guides and mentors, they have experienced it all on their own personal journeys from co-dependence to love, intimacy and soulful union—the exact same haven awaiting us all! Presented by the Class of 1984.
 

Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

2:30 - 3:30pm A Guided Sustainability Walking Tour of Campus

At Amherst, sustainability is a core value. The campus is home to many sustainable features that foster academic experiences, have earned national and regional recognition, reduce our campus footprint, and support and inspire the campus community. From buildings and grounds, to academics, to campus wellbeing, we aspire to integrate sustainability into every part of campus life. Join Wes Dripps ’92, Director of Sustainability, for a guided walking tour of the College’s sustainability features, programs and plans.

Meet in Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center

2:30 - 3:30pm Tour of the Amherst Bunker, Holyoke Range

Tour the former U.S. Strategic Air Command (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 online or by phone at 413-542-2313. If space is available, you may sign up on-site at the Alumni House Reception Center (75 Churchill Street). 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

3:00 - 4:30pm LGBTQ+ Alumni Reception

This informal gathering will be a chance for LGBTQ+ alumni and their families to come together in community and celebration. Join us to share and uplift the experiences of Amherst’s queer and trans alumni. All are welcome! 

Queer Resource Center, Keefe Campus Center

4:00 - 5:00pm A New Campus Crossroads: Introducing Amherst’s New, Multi-Use Student Center & Dining Commons

Curious about this once-in-a-century campus project? Join Tom Davies, Amherst’s Executive Director of Planning, Design and Construction, for a presentation about the thinking behind the new Student Center & Dining Commons, its sustainable design, and the features that will help to transform student life at the College. Enjoy this sneak peek before the building’s scheduled opening in fall 2026.

Johnson Chapel

4:00 - 5:00pm A Life In Music: Hollywood, Symphony Orchestras, Opera and the Classroom

This panel will feature Dan Foliart ’74, Hollywood composer (Roseanne, Home Improvement) and Vice Chair of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Michael MacLeod ’74, former Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera and City of London Festival; and Dalton Winslow ’74, longtime teacher and music director at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire. Moderated by former New York Times and Bloomberg editor (and lapsed cellist) Jon Landman ’74. Presented by the Class of 1974.

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

4:00 - 5:00pm Geology Department Reception

Room 100, Beneski Building

4:00 - 5:00pm What Can Art Do?: The Mead Art Museum, on Campus and Beyond

The Mead Art Museum has been infusing Amherst College with renewed excitement, an engaging exhibition program and enterprising opportunities for campus and communities to connect. Join Siddhartha V. Shah, the John Wieland 1958 Director of the Mead, and Brooke Kamin Rapaport ’84, H’22, P’16, Mead Art Museum Advisory Board member and Artistic Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator of Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York, for a discussion about how the Mead is adapting to meet the evolving needs of students, aligning with campus priorities and enriching the surrounding region through thoughtful engagement. Siddhartha will also speak about the museum’s groundbreaking new exhibition The Juncture: Ukrainian Artists in Search of Modernity and Identity, which showcases the work of three leading modernists from Ukraine—Alexander Archipenko (1887–1964), Oleksandr Bohomazov (1880–1930) and Vasyl Yermilov (1894–1968). The Juncture is the first showcase of modern Ukrainian art in the U.S. since the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, and brings together important works of art from across the U.S. and Europe to tackle issues of Ukrainian cultural and national identity in the early 20th century. Refreshments will be provided. Presented by the Class of 1984.
 

Mead Art Museum

4:00 - 5:00pm From D3 to the NBA

Over the past several seasons, nearly half of all NBA teams have had a head coach and/or general manager who played Division III college basketball. How did so many former small-college athletes reach such prominent positions? Join Ben Kaplan ’09, author of Pipeline to the Pros: How D3, Small-College Nobodies Rose to Rule the NBA, as he shares stories and data behind the networks and macro trends that lifted D3 athletes (including a handful of Amherst alums) into basketball’s most influential jobs. Presented by the Class of 2009.

Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

4:00 - 5:00pm Perspectives on the Future of Higher Education: Liberal Arts, Workforce Preparation, and the ROI of a College Degree

Join three members of the Class of 1989 who have devoted their careers to higher education and have witnessed great changes in the value placed on the liberal arts in a college education. They will lead an interactive discussion about the role of the liberal arts in the 21st century and the call for universities to align their degree programs with specialized workforce preparation. What are opportunities to integrate liberal arts into professional programs? How might a liberal arts education begin to look different, given the various pressures facing colleges and universities? What are places of advocacy for the liberal arts? How can we more effectively articulate and champion the value of the liberal arts in today’s divided society? There will be opportunities for you to share your own reflections on how your Amherst liberal arts education has prepared you professionally and how you might advocate for the importance of sustaining strong liberal arts learning in a wide variety of institutions and degree programs. Featuring Emily Todd ’89, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Connecticut State University; Francesca B. Purcell ’89, Faculty Co-Chair of the Higher Education Concentration, Faculty Co-Chair of the Online Master’s in Education and Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Karin Chang ’89, Associate Director and Associate Research Professor of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Presented by the Class of 1989.
 

Stirn Auditorium

4:00 - 5:00pm Thinking Democratically

Neil Bicknell ’64 and Vince Simmon ’64 will introduce the speakers: Jyl Gentzler P’23, the Samuel Williston Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Philosophy; Susan Daniels, Associate in Public Speaking; and Martha Umphrey, the Bertrand H. Snell 1894 Professor in American Government in the Department of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought and incoming Provost and Dean of the Faculty. These faculty members will provide their insights on issues related to democracy on the Amherst campus. Jyl has taught two courses, “Education for Democracy” and “Good Speech” (co-taught with Susan), that have contributed to the “Thinking Democratically” initiative of Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Chair of Political Science. Jyl and Susan will talk about these courses, as well as the ways in which Susan’s other efforts to support our students to be effective public speakers have also contributed to this initiative. Martha teaches “Law, Speech and the Politics of Freedom” and will discuss initiatives to encourage productive ways of discussing controversial issues on (and beyond) campus. Presented by the Class of 1964.

Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center

5:00 - 6:30pm Reception with President Michael A. Elliott '92

Join the President and others from the College for conversation and celebration. All are welcome. Reception ends at 6:30 p.m.

Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center

Saturday, June 1, 2024
8:00am - 8:00pm 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, 75 Churchill Street

9:00 - 10:00am Rugby Touch Game

Gather at the rugby pitch for a casual game of rugby touch. Open to all classes and guests, especially alumni of the men’s and women’s rugby teams. Wear athletic clothes and shoes; balls and cones will be provided. Longtime Amherst Rugby Coach Bob Hopley is expected to be in attendance. No need to sign up in advance, but organizer Evan Wollen ’94, Head Rugby Coach at The Claremont Colleges, would appreciate an email to get a sense of who is coming: ehwollen@yahoo.com. Presented by the Class of 1994.

Hitchcock Field

9:00am - 5:00pm Making Art at the Mead! (All Ages Welcome)

Get inspired by the current exhibitions and collections in the Mead! Family-friendly activities will be available throughout Reunion to tap into visitors’ creativity. Decorate a postcard to send to friends or family, or add some color to objects from the Mead’s permanent collection with coloring sheets created by Charissa Doer ’20 and Samuel Nkengla ’26. Finally, feel free to show off your photography skills and share your masterpiece by tagging the Mead (@MeadArtMuseum) on social media. All materials provided; children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Museum visitation hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rotherwas Room, Mead Art Museum

9:00 - 10:00am Talking OutLOUD: Teens & Suicide Loss, A Conversation

Join us for a screening and talk-back of Talking OutLOUD: Teens & Suicide Loss, A  Conversation, from award-winning director Geoffrey Cantor ’84 and executive producer Joanne Lelewer Harpel ’85, P’20, C.T., M.Phil., J.D., one of the world’s leading experts on suicide bereavement. Addressing a subject historically burdened by stigma, misinformation and lack of understanding, the landmark film features five remarkable teens who open up and share things that even their parents had never heard. Until now, there has been nothing for teens who’ve lost a parent or sibling to suicide that spoke to them in the voices of their peers. Talking OutLOUD has changed that. The honesty, vulnerability and resilience of these teens will take your breath away. Talking OutLOUD was created by the nonprofit organization Rethink The Conversation in collaboration with Coping After Suicide. Geoffrey and Joanne will be joined in conversation by pediatrician Douglas Barlow ’84, M.D., and neuropsychologist Joseph Struckus ’83, Ph.D. Presented by the Class of 1984.

Stirn Auditorium

9:00 - 10:00am Explore the Beauty of the Valley

Take in the surroundings as Lia Raz ’09, who works as an agriculture conservationist in the Valley, leads a nature walk down the Norwottuck Rail Trail. She’ll bring some dichotomous keys for plant identification and throw in some natural history facts as we make our leisurely way. The valley around us has an incredibly rich history (volcanoes! dinosaurs! glaciers!) that has resulted in a fascinating and unique landscape. We’ll touch on all of it. Please bring appropriate footwear and water! We will be walking about 1.5 miles. Presented by the Class of 2009.

Meet in the South Parking Lot (Behind the Tennis Courts)

9:00 - 10:00am Fifty Years Later: A Campus Tragedy and Its Legacy

Gerald Penny ’77, a young Black man from New Orleans, newly arrived at Amherst, drowned in Pratt Pool in September 1973 during the course of a swimming test. The Black Cultural Center, in the Octagon, is named for him. Penny’s death was a profound shock to his classmates and to the entire community—a searing moment for people as individuals and also an event of institutional importance. It led to changes in specific policies, and it held longstanding assumptions and realities up to light. Panelists include Penny’s classmate Robert Bellinger ’77; Allen Hart ’82, the Manwell Family Professor of Life Sciences (Psychology) and Special Assistant to the President; and Mark London ’74, P’10, former Amherst Student reporter. Moderated by Richard Ammons ’74, dorm advisor to the Class of 1977. Footage from oral-history reminiscences may be shown. Presented by the Class of 1974.

Johnson Chapel

9:00 - 11:00am Joe Rachiele ’05E Inaugural Basketball Game

Joe Rachiele ’05E, beloved to many in the Class of ’04, passed away last year. As many of you know, Joe loved to spend his free time at Amherst (and, in fact, his whole Watson year!) on the basketball court. In Joe’s honor, join us for some friendly pickup basketball, where we will reminisce about our friend and try to emulate his sweet, sweet jump shot. All levels welcome! Presented by the Class of 2004.

LeFrak Gymnasium

10:15 - 11:15am Ed Popielarczyk: Comedy and Magic

Join us for an entertaining and fun magic show with the amazing Ed Popielarczyk, a professional magician, balloon sculptor, flea circus ringmaster and storyteller. Ed will keep kids enthralled and adults smiling during this comedy magic show with lots of audience participation.

Main Quad

10:15 - 11:15am Understanding Lebanon and Hezbollah

How do the Middle East’s smallest country and its most powerful non-state militia factor into U.S. interests and prospects for regional stability, particularly in the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict? Join us for an examination of the dimensions that drive and constrain the postures of a uniquely diverse country’s competing constituencies, including Hezbollah as a dominant Lebanese political party and as Iran’s most effective regional proxy. Discussion will touch on regional dynamics and a consideration of perils and opportunities ahead. Featuring Win Dayton ’79, a retired career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Among other assignments during a 32-year diplomatic career, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon; Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Basra, Iraq; and Director of the State Department’s Office for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Presented by the Class of 1979.

Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

10:15 - 11:15am Everything You Wanted to Know about the Birds and the Bees

Join Allan Keith ’59, author and renowned bird-watcher, and Gary Shilling ’59, P’89,’93, G’21, economist and avid beekeeper, as they share what they have learned from watching our friends, the birds and the bees. Presented by the Class of 1959.

Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

10:15 - 11:15am Reunion Soccer 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 Alex Ortega (aortega@amherst.edu) so we have a headcount and spread the word to your classmates and teammates! Plan to go right to Gooding Field to get your shirt and socks prior to the match!

Gooding Turf Field

10:15 - 11:15am What Is the Fate of Education?

Colleges may no longer factor race into admissions. In the wake of COVID, an emphasis on social-emotional learning over skills creates heated debate about student needs. States are divided about how Black history ought to be taught. There is a widening gap between high- and low-income students, with challenges to race-based scholarships, foundations and nonprofits becoming routine. Join panelists for discussion and engagement around the continually evolving landscape of education. Panelists include Paula Castner ’94, Campus Director for the Art of Problem Solving Academy Lexington; Jean-Luc Charles ’94, Community Pastor and parent of two school-aged girls; Brian Harrigan ’94, Head of School at Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School; Doug Norry ’94, P’25, Head of School for Triangle Day School; and Seth Reynolds ’94, Managing Director with EY-Parthenon. Presented by the Class of 1994.

Stirn Auditorium

10:15 - 11:15am What Can I Do? Setting Personal Priorities for Promoting Environmental Sustainability

Individuals can act in many roles and venues to advance sustainability objectives: in households, communities, private and nonprofit organizations, governments at all levels, educational and scientific contexts and more. Given limited time and resources, well-intentioned people often make their choices without careful thought. This program will suggest a framework for prioritizing personal actions, considering the venues for action, the theoretical potential of possible actions, the capability to actually take those actions and design them for effectiveness, and the plasticity or resistance of the entities one hopes to change. Panelists will present the framework and report on how they set their priorities in several of these venues. Featuring Lee Bluemel ’89, Bobby Shogren ’19, Paul Stern ’64 and Joseph Wilson ’64. Presented by the Classes of 1964, 1989 and 2019.

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

10:15 - 11:15am Raising Readers in Perilous Times: The Challenges and the Opportunities

This panel will feature Pam Allyn ’84, P’12, award-winning literacy advocate for parents and children; Pamela Rotner Sakamoto ’84, dedicated civics advocate/teacher on the ground; and Phoebe Yeh ’84, renowned publisher of children’s books. This will be a lively and informative presentation on how to raise children and teens as readers during this historic moment when library funds are being cut, books are being banned, and children are spending hours on social media and other screens. Panelists will share thought-provoking remarks and provide a hopeful way forward. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, board member, community member or just a person interested in the future of the written word, this session will leave you inspired! Presented by the Class of 1984.

Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center

11:30am - 12:30pm A Conversation with President Michael A. Elliott '92 and the Annual Meeting of the Society of the Alumni and the Alumni Council

Join President Michael A. Elliott ’92 in conversation with Amherst College Trustee Chantal Kordula ’94. The program will be preceded by a brief annual meeting of the Society of the Alumni and the Alumni Council.

Johnson Chapel

11:30am - 1:30pm Balloon Sculpting with Ed Popielarczyk

Hats, animals, airplanes, cartoon characters, flowers, motorcycles—Ed can sculpt hundreds of things with balloons! Stop by until 1:30 p.m. and make a request!

Main Quad

12:00 - 1:30pm 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

1:45 - 2:45pm The Good Life: Lessons From the Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

Please join a conversation on the “good life” with Dr. Marc Schulz ’84, P’19,’22, award-winning Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College, co-author of the New York Times bestselling book The Good Life: Lessons from the Longest Scientific Study of Happiness and Associate Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Marc will highlight research findings from the 86-year-old Harvard study, which has closely followed individuals from over 700 families from adolescence all the way to the end of their lives and now follows more than 1,300 children of the original participants. Building on his book, Marc will talk about why relationships are a key foundation of the “good life,” emphasizing steps that individuals can take throughout their lives to improve their relationship health and happiness. Presented by the Class of 1984.

Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center

1:45 - 2:45pm Sustainability: Stories from the Field

From the local, to the regional, to the global, climate change is the major throughline of our times. It begins with the science, but its effects are exacerbated through disparities in financing, food systems, energy systems and our responses to ever more intense storms. And as those problems amplify each other, climate change also impacts our spirituality, as each of us wrestles with our relationship to a world in flux. Hear a collection of stories from alumni who have been grappling with the interconnected influences of climate change in disparate fields of work. Panelists include Juli Berwald ’89, ocean scientist and science writer; Abbey Gardner ’89, Co-Director of the Science of Implementation Initiative; Amy Klippenstein ’89 and Paul Lacinski ’89 from Sidehill Farm; Deb Pasternak ’89, former Chief Field Officer at Sierra Club; and Emery Sorvino ’19, Senior Manager for Strategy a Sustainability at Indigo Ag. Presented by the Classes of 1989 and 2019.

Stirn Auditorium

1:45 - 2:45pm Amherst Music Interlude with Mel Springer ’59

Please join the Class of 1959 for a piano interlude with Mr. Mel Springer ’59. Presented by the Class of 1959.

Room 3, Arms Music Center

1:45 - 2:45pm White Elephant Technology: An Entertaining Look at Unusual Inventions That Failed in the Marketplace and What We Can Learn From Them

From Jeeps that flew to tanks that shouldn’t; from a wave-powered boat that took forever to reach its destination to a jet-powered train that shook itself apart, look at inventions that showcased an inventor’s talent for building something nobody asked for. Importantly, none of these inventions is speculative; each one was built and worked more or less as planned—except when it killed its inventor. This fun 60-minute talk will be lavishly illustrated with photographs and film clips demonstrating that failure is not just entertaining but has something important to teach us. Featuring John Geoghegan ’79. Presented by the Class of 1979.

Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall

1:45 - 2:45pm Amherst and the Veteran Experience

The College in recent years has seen an increase in the number of students who are military veterans. These individuals, older than most undergraduates, bring their own special perspectives to campus and have a unique vantage point on an Amherst education. Hear from Zabrina Adorno ’26, U.S. Navy, current American studies major at Amherst; David Anasky ’21, U.S. Army, Columbia Law School ’24, history major at Amherst; Jeremy Anderson ’26, U.S. Navy, current sociology and art major at Amherst; Frederick T. Griffiths, Class of 1880 Professor in Greek (Classics) and longtime participant in the Warrior-Scholar Project, hosted by Amherst College; and Stephen D. Wrage ’74, Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Naval Academy. Moderated by Cullen Murphy ’74, H’19, Editor at Large for The Atlantic and former trustee at Amherst College. Presented by the Class of 1974.
 

Johnson Chapel

1:45 - 2:45pm What Is the Role of Humanities in a World of Technology and STEM?

Universities across the U.S. are cutting funding to humanities and arts courses. There has been a surge in the number of STEM graduates from U.S. colleges and universities at all degree levels, according to a Pew Research Center. Further research indicates that STEM majors have a smoother transition to careers. In a world increasingly driven by AI, online content and other manifestations of “big tech,” how can we ensure the continued vitality of free inquiry, critical thinking, human dignity and other values which are at the heart of the humanities and the arts? Panelists include Brian Bean ’94, P’26, Senior Director of Intellectual Property at E Ink Corp.; Vaughn Cooper ’94, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Russell Hanser ’94, Deputy Chief Legal Officer at NCTA—The Internet and Television Association; Linda J. Lee ’94, Technical Director of Instructional Design at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and Ramya Swaminathan ’94, CEO for Malta Inc. Presented by the Class of 1994.
 

Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center

2:00 - 4:00pm Amherst Reunion Crew 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 at our annual Reunion gathering at the boathouse. Coach Bill Stekl will also give an update on the progress and success of the students on 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 - 4:00pm Predicting Our Futures, Post-Pandemic

It has now been nearly four years since the pandemic disrupted our lives. The health care industry, real estate, data and law were only some of the many industries that were impacted during this time. Join alumni as they look back at how their practices evolved and look forward to the changes yet to come. Participants include Katayun Adhami ’04, Faraz Ahmad ’04, Daniel Altschuler ’04, Daniel Morash ’04, Renata Robinson ’04 and Joe Tringali ’04. Moderated by Dipayan Gupta. Presented by the Class of 2004. 

Stirn Auditorium

3:00 - 4:30pm Celebrating 50 Years of Neuroscience at Amherst College

Join the Neuroscience Program for a special reception honoring its 50th anniversary of becoming one of the first such programs in the country, just five years after the establishment of the Society for Neuroscience in 1969. All are welcome to mark this occasion in community with alumni, their families and friends, students, staff, faculty and administrators.

Living Room, Science Center

3:00 - 4:00pm Amherst Christian Fellowship Reunion

Come visit old friends and hear about what is going on in ACF. Drop by anytime between 3 and 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. Hosted by Anthony Spina ’17, ACF Advisor and InterVarsity Affiliate.

Pemberton Lounge (formerly Chapin Lounge), Chapin Hall

3:00 - 4:00pm A Nationwide Program to Break the Illiteracy Cycle

Already proven in Charlotte, N.C., and now being implemented in Oakland, Calif., the effort is spearheaded by the highly respected Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B., who is known for selflessly giving back to the community and is supported by, among others, the Golden State Warriors NBA team and Jesse Brill ’64, P’02,’04. The NBA has said that once it is proven in Oakland, they will bring the campaign to every NBA city. Head Start is now launching the program in their Dallas locations. At this Reunion event, get simple tools you can bring back to implement the program in your community. The program will be introduced by Robert Siudzinski, Director of the Careers in Education Professions Program at the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning. In-person and remote participants include Jesse Brill ’64, P’02,’04; Mistah F.A.B.; Joe Moran ’64; Spencer C. Russell ’12 and other special guests. Presented by the Class of 1964.

Johnson Chapel

3:00 - 4:00pm Why Not?

Enjoy a screening of Why Not?, a short film documenting the genesis and production of David Hollister ’84’s musical album, The Wolf Is Always at the Door. David took up singing in 2023, a full year after his ALS diagnosis. Jeff Thompson ’84 encouraged David to cut the album, assembled the musicians and accompanied on the drums. Presented by the Class of 1984.

Lipton Lecture Hall (E110), Science Center

3:00 - 5:00pm Casual Kickball!

Kick it old-school at the Alumni Reunion Kickball Game! Join us for a fun-filled two hours of kickball, where you can show off your skills, reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Whether you were a kickball champion back in the day or just enjoy a good game, this event is for you! Don’t miss out on this chance to kick back, have fun and create new memories. See you on the field! Presented by the Class of 2019.

Hitchcock Field

3:00 - 4:00pm The Art of Pivoting

Many people leave college and enter adulthood with a fairly certain idea of how their life will look—what job or postgraduate education they need, what relationships are important to them. However, as they enter their 30s, many realize they need or want to do something else with their lives. We have been taught how to learn and solve problems, but how to pivot is something that may not come naturally, and the question remains: Should we pivot? This panel features speakers who have successfully pivoted in their lives or are in the process of pivoting, and they will share their experiences, what they have learned, and how to decide if one should pivot and pursue something else. Featuring Michael Chernicoff ’09, Merle Smith ’09 and Clay Williams ’99. Moderated by Patrice Peck ’09. Presented by the Classes of 1999 and 2009.

Kirby Memorial Theater

3:00 - 4:30pm Who Are We Now?: Finding Meaning and Purpose After the Pandemic

The pandemic experience brought us out of our routines and social relationships, making us aware of our inner worlds and their fragility, our need for human connection, and our need for a sense of purpose. In the two years since a return to more normalcy, questions still remain about how to find purpose and meaning in life. Join Yutaka Tamura ’94, Executive Director of nXu, for a workshop to “Cultivate and (Re)Claim Your Purpose.” During this 90-minute interactive workshop, participants will engage in conversation, independent reflection and collaborative activities that promote purpose development. Presented by the Class of 1994.

Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center

3:30 - 5:00pm Latine/o/a/x Alumni Reception

Latine/o/a/x alumni are invited to a gather for conversation and connection. Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.

Multicultural Resource Center, Keefe Campus Center

4:00 - 6:00pm Physics and Astronomy Alumni Reception

All are welcome. Reception ends at 6 p.m.

Lower Commons, Science Center (Outside of C025)

4:15 - 5:45pm Amherst Asian Alumni Reception

Please join ShoYoung Shin ’19 and the Amherst Asian Alumni Network (AAAN) to celebrate and be in community with Asian alumni across the years. Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome.

Eighmy Powerhouse

7:00 - 9:00pm Eternity: The 24th Apocalypse Party

Apocalypse is a party for people who don’t like parties, hosted by Planworld. Come and meet a diverse group of interesting people who all read the program and decided to sneak away for a few minutes. The conversation will be fueled by Black Sheep cake, among other delights. We will continue until everyone stops talking.

Second-Floor Lounge, Nicholls Biondi Hall, Greenway Residence Halls

9:00 - 10:00pm The Zumbyes' Reunion Show

The Zumbyes welcome all Zum-alums, Amherst alums, friends, fans and anyone else to celebrate the 74th 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, 2024
8:00am - 12:00pm Alumni House Reception Center Open

Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street

9:00 - 10:00am Service of Remembrance and Community

Please join us for a service to remember the lives of those alumni we have lost this year.

War Memorial, Memorial Hill

10:00 - 11:00am Black Alumni Reunion Breakfast

Black alumni are invited to a continental breakfast for conversation and connection.

Eighmy Powerhouse