Anthony W. Marx was inaugurated as Amherst’s 18th president on Sunday, Oct. 26, in an installation ceremony that was the centerpiece of an understated but festive weekend designed to prompt discussion about Amherst’s role—and the role of the liberal arts—in the world today.
On the steps of the Frost Library—where exactly 40 years earlier, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy had addressed an audience gathered for the building’s ground breaking—Marx urged students, faculty, staff, alumni and delegates from 46 other institutions to remember, in Kennedy’s words, the privilege that goes with responsibility. Read Marx’s speech or watch archived video.
Richard Wilbur ’42 read two poems at the ceremony, which also featured remarks by Board Chair Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. ’58.
Inauguration events began Saturday night, when more than 400 students welcomed Marx and his wife, Karen Barkey, with an Inaugural Fête at the Keefe Campus Center.
To conclude the weekend, President Marx assembled a distinguished panel of educational leaders to discuss "The Liberal Arts: Privilege and Responsibility." Panelists included Sheldon Hackney, a University of Pennsylvania professor who previously served as president of the University, then headed the National Endowment for the Humanities; Catharine Stimpson, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU and the second director (from 1994 to 1997) of the MacArthur "genius" grant program; Wellesley College President Diana Chapman Walsh; former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford, a JFK aide who helped found the Peace Corps; and urban sociologist William Julius Wilson, a University Professor at Harvard. Listen to audio excerpts from the panel.
See complete inauguration coverage—including video, audio, text and photos of the weekend’s eventsn.
The presentation of the symbols of
the college (charter, seal and keys)
Anthony W. Marx delivers
the inaugural address
The Inaugural Fête at the
Keefe Campus Center
Photos: Frank Ward; bottom left photo ("The presentation of the symbols...") by Graham Dumas '04