Promise: The Campaign for Amherst’s Third Century

What Your Gifts Have Done So Far

A large group of students on a hill holding a class of 2022 sign

Supervivors and chairs may give a Spot Award to a staff member for an exceptional accomplishment.

A woman speaking at a podium with a blackboard to the left

Any Amherst staff member can send a Staff Shout-Out to another staff member for a job well done.

A dormitory and  connecting walkway at dusk

The Mammoth Milestone is given for every five years of service, recognizing staff for their longevity and loyalty.

A group of students on computers surrounding a teacher in a lab

The 1821 Award is given annually to staff who have made substantial achievements or done exceptional work throughout the year.


Amherst is blessed with alumni, parents, families and friends who are devoted to the College and the exceptional liberal arts education it provides. Nowhere is this more evident than in the swift progress of Promise: The Campaign for Amherst’s Third Century. We are grateful to every one of you who has gotten us to this point.

As momentum continues to build, we are honored to partner with new Chief Advancement Officer Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15, and her team to ensure the success of the Promise campaign. Together, we will sustain the promise of Amherst and the transformative power of intellectual rigor, critical thinking and community that it offers.

Thank you for investing in our students, our faculty and our campus. Your loyalty and support make Amherst the enduring institution it is. We look forward to sharing additional exciting news in the months to come.

Ted Beneski ’78, P’08
Doug Grissom ’89, P’22
Chris Noyer Seaver ’81, P’11, ’14
Campaign co-chairs


A Familiar Face Leads the Campaign

Meet the Chief Advancement Officer

A studio photo of Betsy Cannon Smith

Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15, an English
major at Amherst, “has earned the
respect and trust of generations of alumni,”
President Biddy Martin says.

Before assuming the role of chief advancement officer in May, Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15, served the College in a number of key leadership positions within the Advancement division since joining that group in 1986, including with Alumni and Parent Programs, the annual fund, and leadership gifts.

“She has earned the respect and trust of generations of alumni, as well as colleagues and leaders on campus and off,” said President Biddy Martin in announcing the appointment. “Her comprehensive and deep familiarity with alumni, staff and faculty is extraordinary, as is her devotion to the College and its mission. I feel fortunate to have her as a partner in our efforts to ensure Amherst realizes its promise.”

In addition to leading the Promise campaign, Cannon Smith’s job entails:

  • advising the board of trustees and Martin on advancement issues and serving on the College’s senior leadership team
  • enhancing and executing the strategic plan for advancement by capitalizing on Amherst’s existing philanthropic strengths and identifying new opportunities
  • promoting and cultivating alumni and
  • parent engagement with creative programming and collaborating with departments and colleagues across the College.

Cannon Smith was an English major at Amherst. She has served as the liaison with the board of trustees in areas including trusteeships, honorary degrees and Medals for Eminent Service. She also was a member of the 2003 search committee for the College’s president.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the College in this role,” says Cannon Smith. “I love this College and working closely with alumni, parents, and friends, as well as the campus community, to make possible the Amherst experience for successive generations of students. I’m thrilled to lead our committed and talented Advancement team as we work with those who care so deeply for Amherst.”

The Amherst Fund is an essential priority of the Promise campaign.

The Amherst Fund has been key to the College’s excellence over time, allowing Amherst to apply resources as needed across campus. The Amherst Fund will continue to play a vital role in the College’s philanthropic health throughout the Promise campaign. The fund welcomes gifts of any amount, unrestricted and given annually, and o ers leadership opportunities to join the 1821 Society.

Each year, the Amherst Fund raises more than $10 million from 12,000 alumni, parents and friends to support the College’s highest priorities and 5 percent of the total operating budget.


A photo of Amherst College President Biddy Martin with her hands folded on a table I can’t think of any educational form better suited to uncertain times than a liberal arts education.”
— BIDDY MARTIN, President of Amherst College

100$

The gift most commonly made to the campaign

3,532

Alumni, parents and friends who have attended campaign events

15,564

Alumni who’ve made at least one gift to the campaign