“Forcefully Ejected from Our Amherst Cocoon”


Three great moments from the student commencement address by Elias Johansson-Miller ’12, who graduated summa cum laude and with distinction:

Best joke: “Sophomore year wasn’t all fun and games; Amherst went through some financial troubles and health scares. Yes, you all remember what I’m talking about: The endowment got swine flu, and each student lost $100 million.”

Elias Johansson-Miller ’12 gave the student address.


Best thank-you: “By joining Mr. Gad’s House of Improv, I learned to take things less seriously. By taking two classes with Professor Hilary Moss, one of my favorite professors, I learned how to write clearly and actively and how to read with purpose. By taking two classes with Professor Anston Bosman, another one of my favorite professors, I learned that I know very little.”

Earned a big laugh from President Biddy Martin: “I was abroad when I learned that President [Anthony W.] Marx would step down as Amherst president. After developing a rather substantial crush on President Marx, I decided to wear black in mourning and become celibate. I then went on goodcrush.com and realized I was way more compatible with Biddy.”

Most true: “While being forcefully ejected from our Amherst cocoon can be frightening—and I’ll be the first to admit it can be terrifying at times—it is, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty incredible position to be in.”



Class of ’12 Marshals Nathan Nash, Jackie Watson and Ezra Van Negri

Photos by Rob Mattson