The College is marking its 200th anniversary this year with events and projects that spotlight the enduring features and defining qualities of an Amherst education.
“Marking the Bicentennial gives us an occasion to celebrate the critical thinking, intellectual agility, freedom of thought and intense engagement of faculty with students for which Amherst is best known,” says President Biddy Martin. “During this challenging time, we hope the celebration of the Bicentennial will bring us together, in virtual spaces and, eventually, in person.”
Originally slated to kick off last fall, most of the programs were adjusted for a later start because of the pandemic. Three new Bicentennial books are available now. Among the programs planned for fall are a podcast series; an opera by Dana Kaufman ’12 about Emily Dickinson; and the premiere of a 30-minute work by composer Reena Esmail.
Led by Sarah Montoya ’21, the Native and Indigenous Students Association has initiated the design and installation of a formal land acknowledgment plaque on campus, to recognize the Indigenous history of the campus and region. And economics professor Kate Sims has proposed Mammoth Trails, which will renew part of the College’s sanctuary trail system, enhancing the accessibility of the trails and better promoting the use of this local resource.
Illustration by Katherine Streeter