2004-2005 Executive Committee of the Alumni Council



Committee Members: Renee Baron-Donatich ’86; Daniel L. Bernstein ’59; Brian E. Boyle ’69; Drew Casertano ’78; Robert W. Kitchell ’77; Thai-Hi Lee ’80, President of the Society of the Alumni; Molly Lyons ’97;  Gordon Montgomery ’88; David L. Moore ’78, Annual Fund Co-Chair; Christine Noyer Seaver ’81; John C. Ransmeier ’65; Samuel I. Rosenberg ’72, Chair; Jacqueline Sherman ’91; Betsy Cannon Smith '84, Alumni Secretary; Laura J. Yerkovich ’80, Annual Fund Co-Chair


  • Michael C. Kiefer, Chief Advancement Officer (September 23, 2004)
  • C. Rhonda Cobham-Sander, Professor of English and Black Studies (September 23, 2004)
  • Sherre Harrington, Librarian of the College (January 5, 2006)
  • H. Axel Schupf '57 – host (September 23, 2004 and January 5, 2005)
  •  William McC. Vickery ’57, Director of Special Projects
September Meeting
January Meeting
June Meeting

At its September 23, 2004 meeting in New York:

  • Mr. Moore and Ms. Yerkovich reported on the final results of the 2003-04 Annual Fund
  • The Secretary discussed Homecoming plans and presented candidates for the Distinguished Service Award.  The committee voted to present the award to:
    • Samuel Potsubay ‘36
    • Anthony Chan ’72 (deferred to 2005)
    • John McGrath ’51 (deferred to 2005)
    • Greg Kiernan ’79
    • Marissa Watley Horne ’00 and Justus Morris ’00 (Young Alumni Award)
    • The Class of 1959 (Group Service Award)
  • The Secretary reported that Alan S. Bernstein ’63, a write in candidate, was elected Alumni Trustee.  The Secretary shared Reunion highlights and the report of the Nominating Committee of the Society of the Alumni.  News of the relocation of the Annual Fund to the Office of Development and the imminent move of the staff to new quarters was shared.  The Secretary reported on the work of the committees of the Society of the Alumni and shared news from campus.   
  • Mr. Kiefer, Chief Advancement Officer, led the Committee in a discussion of the College’s financial health, discussed fundraising priorities including the extensive building projects and the early campaign discussions. Mr. Schupf joined in the conversation and spoke about the strength of the College’s endowment.  He then addressed President Marx’s vision for Amherst, the potential for curricular reform and the support of the Board for the President’s vision.   
  • Professor Cobham-Sander covered a wide range of topics.  As Professor of English & Black Studies and Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, she is engaged in a range of important discussions at the College.  She highlighted faculty involvement in administration through committee service, focusing in particular on the CAP (Committee on Academic Priorities), the SCAE (Special Committee on an Amherst Education) and the Committee of Six.  Professor Cobham-Sander described her work as Special Assistant to the President around efforts of recruitment, retention, and the question of what defines a truly diverse community. In response to a question about a core curriculum, she noted that even with an open curriculum, the values of a core curriculum are still present and encouraged through the guidance a student receives.  She reflected on faculty morale, and on the balance between research and teaching.

At its January 5, 2005 meeting:

  • Mr. Moore reported on the results of the Annual fund and described the ambitious goals for the current year.
  • The Secretary reviewed recent work of other committees of the Society of the Alumni and reported on the success of the Amherst Today program.
  • The Chair led a discussion concerning the question that the Alumni Trustee candidates will answer.  The candidates are:  Edwin M. Truman ’63, Frederick J. Sievert ’70 and Hope Eighmy Pascucci ’90.
  • Ms. Harrington spoke about her observations of the Robert Frost Library and its integration into the College community.  She talked about challenges facing modern libraries and the Frost in particular and shared news of the work of the Friends of the Library.
  • Mr. Schupf commented on current issues before the Board of Trustees including recommendations from the Committee on Academic Priorities, facilities planning, financial aid and planning for the next campaign.

 At its June 13, 2005 meeting:

  • The Committee elected John C. Ransmeier ’65 as the new Chair and the Committee thanked the outgoing Chair Samuel I. Rosenberg ’72 for his service to the Committee.
  • Mr. Moore reported on the status of the Annual Fund.
  • The Secretary gave her report:
    • Hope Eighmy Pascucci ’90 was the successful candidate in the Alumni Trustee Election.
    • The report of the Nominating Committee of the Society of the Alumni was reviewed.
    • The Committee was provided with a list of potential candidates for the Distinguished Service Award.  The Committee voted to  present the Distinguished Service Awards to:
      • Elizabeth Potter W’40
      • Richard S. Banfield, Jr. ‘46
      • Thomas Hickey ‘74
      • Kristen Spargo ’95 – Young Alumni Award
      • Allison T. Lee ’00 – Young Alumni Award
      • Class of 1980 – Group Service Award