Speeches by President Biddy Martin
Convocation Address 2015
September 7, 2015
Colleges “protect the free pursuit of knowledge for the good of society,” said President Biddy Martin in her welcoming address to the Class of 2015. Watch video and read news story.
Commencement Address 2015
May 24, 2015
President Biddy Martin urged the Class of 2015 to follow the example of famous alumnus and legal activist Charles Hamilton Houston and restore faith in our society’s institutions by remaking them. Watch video.
Conversation with President Martin, Homecoming 2014
November 8, 2014
Introduced by Kerry Brennan ’77, chair of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council, President Martin spoke to alumni and the campus community. Watch video.
Convocation Address 2014
September 1, 2014
President Biddy Martin quoted DeMott’s idea of a good classroom as “one in which collaborators enjoy a stretch of intelligently active, sympathetic engagement with one another,” and extolled the value of both teaching and learning on campus.
Conversation with President Martin, Reunion 2014
May 31, 2014
The president was joined by Cullen Murphy ’74, chair of the Board of Trustees. Their remarks preceded the annual meeting of the Society of the Alumni, presided over by the chair, William H. Woolverton ’73, P’17, ’12. Watch video.
Conversation with President Martin, Family Weekend 2013
November 2, 1013
Biddy Martin addressed parents and answered questions during her annual Family Weekend Conversation. Watch video.
Conversation with President Martin, Homecoming 2013
October 19, 2013
Biddy Martin addresses alumni, families, students and friends at Homecoming, quoting from JFK’s 1963 speech at Amherst. Watch video.
Convocation 2013: President Martin Urges “Bridging” Friendships
September 3, 2013
President Biddy Martin took on those who question the value of a liberal arts education. Watch video.
Conversation with President Biddy Martin, Reunion 2013
June 1, 2013
During the annual meeting of the Society of the Alumni, President Biddy Martin spoke about the state of the college and answered questions from alumni. Watch video.
Commencement Address 2013
May 26, 2013
Quoting the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, President Martin exhorted the graduating members of the Class of 2013 to remain true to their liberal arts educations, and “hold to your desire for thought, hold to your desire for poetry.” Watch video.
Family Weekend 2011
Nov. 5, 2011
President Biddy Martin spoke to parents and families attending Family Weekend, and answered questions. She was introduced by Allen Hart, Dean of Students and professor of psychology. Watch video.
October 22, 2011
During her first Homecoming Weekend, Biddy Martin conversed with alumni and visitors about Amherst’s planned new science center, rising costs of higher education and her own visions for the future of the college. Watch video.
Inauguration of Biddy Martin, 19th President of Amherst College
October 16, 2011
On Sunday, October 16, 2011 Amherst College inaugurated its 19th president, Carolyn “Biddy” Martin. After receiving her honorary degree and symbolic gifts from the college, President Martin spoke. Watch video.
Convocation 2011: Welcome, “Class of Irene”
September 5, 2011
President Biddy Martin, in her first Convocation address, noted similarities between her own recent arrival and that of the Class of 2015, and urged first-years to “treasure what Amherst has and what Amherst is: an unapologetic love of inquiry.” Watch video.
Introducing the 19th President of Amherst College: Biddy Martin
June 16, 2011
On Thursday, June 16, at 11 a.m., an all-college meeting was held in Johnson Chapel to introduce Biddy Martin, the 19th president of Amherst College. Watch video.
Find past presidential speeches and more in the Amherst College Presidential Archive.