Deceased March 11, 2018
You’ve probably seen the photograph, which has achieved iconic status in the history of the College. The scene: graduation, June 6, 1976. On the porch of Frost Library, Anita C. Cilderman, by virtue of alphabetical order the first woman graduate of Amherst College, lifts her diploma in triumph after receiving it from a beaming Bill Ward. On Sunday, March 11, 2018, not quite 42 years after that event, Anita passed away at her home in Mint Hill, N.C. She was 64 years old.
Anita was born in the Bronx and graduated from Teaneck High School in Teaneck, N.J. She came to Amherst during the 1974–75 academic year from Mount Holyoke as an exchange student on the 12-College exchange program and was one of nine women in the program who, after Amherst made the decision to go coed, were admitted as transfer students to the class of 1976. Described by a classmate as “feisty and smart,” Anita majored in psychology. After Amherst, she did graduate work in psychology at Montclair State University and trained at the Runden Institute, founded by Montclair professor and pioneering sex educator Charity Runden, which specialized in marital counseling and issues of human sexuality. She is survived by her husband, Russ Kuenzi; her son, Colin; and her daughter, Ariana.
Robert Howard ’76