With no major improvements in 50 years, Memorial Field failed to meet the standards of NESCAC peers. The situation would have done on longer if not for alumni generosity.
Benjamin N. Kightlinger ’51’s $7.3 million bequest to Amherst left the classmates who knew him best amazed but not entirely surprised. “Here’s a guy who comes out of the quiet back row of the class with this incredibly generous gesture,” says Fred Luddy ’51, who first met Kightlinger when they were seventh-graders in the Amherst public schools.
In the fall of 2013, they came to campus, traveling from 40 U.S. states and territories and 30 countries. Among them were junior Olympians, Irish fiddle players and calligraphers. In the spring of 2017 they graduated, dispersing around the country and world to chase academic, professional and personal dreams. While their passions are as varied as they were four years ago, the newest alumni created an uncommonly strong bond during their time at Amherst.