A New York Times article on Lord Jeff brought to a wider audience a conversation that has been underway in the Amherst College community for a long time. There are understandably mixed views about a change to the mascot. Among students, 89% (1,606 students) took part in a November 2015 one-day online poll sponsored by the Association of Amherst Students that asked: Do you think Lord Jeffery Amherst should be removed as our unofficial mascot? 83% voted yes and 17% voted no.
The Alumni Executive Committee completed a 10-day poll of alumni on December 1, 2015. Alumni were asked: How do you feel about Lord Jeffery Amherst as the unofficial mascot of Amherst College?
- No opinion/Not sure
5,974 alumni voted. The results are as follows:
- Favorably: 2,245 votes, 37.58%
- Unfavorably: 3,128 votes, 52.36%
- No opinion/Not sure: 601 votes, 10.06%
Earlier this fall, President Martin asked the Alumni Executive Committee to foster a discussion among alumni through an online forum. Login is required and comments will be gathered through December 11, 2015. Additionally, the student government is continuing to promote conversation among students. Both groups will report to the president what has been shared with them. There will be a discussion by our Board of Trustees at its January meeting. Regardless of what emerges from those discussions, Amherst remains Amherst, and its educational excellence does not, and will never, depend on the choice of a mascot.
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