October 26, 2003
Anthony W. Marx, your scholarship and profound commitment to education — at Amherst, and beyond the walls of this campus — have made you our unanimous and enthusiastic choice to serve as the 18th President of Amherst College.
On stage this morning are representatives of the many groups that make up the larger Amherst College community. I’ll ask them each to rise now as I introduce them, and I’ll ask the audience to hold your applause until the end.
Representing the faculty, Dean Gregory S. Call and Faculty Marshal Rose Olver. Representing the alumni, Bruce Angiolillo, Class of ’74. For the students, Ryan Park, Class of 2005. For the staff, Carol Aldrich. Representing the Five Colleges, Hampshire College President Gregory S. Prince. For our “sister” institution in Japan, Doshisha President Eiji Hatta. Representing our colleagues in the Little Three, President Douglas Bennet of Wesleyan and President Morton Schapiro of Williams. And representing the Amherst-Pelham school system is Superintendent Jere Hochman.
Joining us in the audience, of course, are generations of Amherst College trustees, our talented faculty, and delegates from 46 other colleges and universities, who bring us great honor by being here today. We are also joined — here in the Main Quadrangle and electronically on the Web — by students, family, alumni, friends and members of the public.
Tony, on behalf of everyone assembled here today, I want to express our great enthusiasm for your presidency, now nearly four months old. We hail your record as a scholar, as an educational innovator, and as an advocate for learning — not only at the college and university level, but also in South Africa, the inner city, and in America’s increasingly beleaguered public schools. It’s a foundation built on ieals, and an ideal foundation on which to build your presidency.
Forty years ago today, when President John F. Kennedy visited Amherst for the groundbreaking of the Frost Library, he spoke of the promise of education, noting, “The problems which this country now faces are staggering, both at home and abroad. We need the service of every educated man or woman to govern our relations with other countries, to govern those relations with success, to make it possible for Americans of all different races and creeds to live together in harmony, to make it possible for a world to exist in diversity and freedom.” These words are nearly as true today as they were 40 years ago.
Like President Kennedy, Amherst’s founders saw clearly the promise of education in a troubled world. Tony, you see this too. May your clear vision and energetic leadership allow Amherst’s light to shine brightly in the coming years.
Tony, I place in your hands the Charter, the Seal, and the Keys of Amherst College. By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I pronounce you, Anthony W. Marx, the 18th president of Amherst College, with all the rights and privileges pertaining to this office.