Lisa Biggs ’93

Lisa Biggs quote

“Make art that recovers our fragmented, misrepresented and distorted pasts through ordinary people's stories.” Actor, playwright and performance scholar Lisa Biggs ’93 reflects on her time at Amherst and the importance of making theater, then and now.’93

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Carolyn Sufrin ’97

Carolyn Sufrin Quote

“My form of teenage rebellion was contemplating getting a Ph.D. instead of an M.D.” Carolyn Sufrin ’97, From an Amherst magazine profile: “When Med School is Not Enough

Edward Hitchcock

Edward Hitchcock

“Why may we not add Geology to the list of poetical sciences?” Geologist Edward Hitchcock, Amherst’s third president. Amherst’s Beneski Museum of Natural History houses Hitchcock’s collection of fossil dinosaur tracks</a>, which continue to be among the largest and most studied in the world.

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President John F. Kennedy

"When power corrupts, poetry cleanses." President John F. Kennedy

“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” President John F. Kennedy, speaking at Amherst on Oct. 26, 1963. The College will honor the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth at an Oct. 28 symposium. U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will give the keynote address.

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Richard Wilbur ’42

"Outside the open window/The morning air is all awash with angels." Richard Wilbur ’42

“Outside the open window/The morning air is all awash with angels.” Richard Wilbur ’42 in his poem “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.”Wilbur, an elder statesman of American poetry, died on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at age 96.

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Ha Ram Hwang ’17

Ha Ram Hwang: People not only shared vocabulary with us, but emotions, sensations and stories."

People not only shared vocabulary with us, but emotions, sensations and stories. Ha Ram Hwang ’17. For a culminating project in English 490, she teamed up with a fellow student to collect hard-to-translate phrases from people around campus. 

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Katerina Von Campe ’17

"No writing is ever wasted." Katerina Von Campe

“No writing is ever wasted.” Katerina Von Campe ’17, giving pointers on thesis writing to current students.students.

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Vanessa Fong ’96

Quote by Vanessa Fong '96

“If parents favored the sons over the daughters, what happens to the families with only a daughter? This is a burning question, and could change everything about what we know about gender in China.” Vanessa Fong ’96, associate professor of anthropology at the College, on why she began her longitudinal study of China’s one-child policy.

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Melvil Dewey, Class of 1874

"Reading is a mighty engine, beside which steam and electricity sink into insignificance." Melvil Dewey, Class of 1874

“Reading is a mighty engine, beside which steam and electricity sink into insignificance.” Melvil Dewey, Class of 1874, Dewey was an Amherst student when he devised the decimal classification system that bears his name. 

NOTE: In 2014, a turn-of-the-century building on the Amherst College campus that once provided power to the campus was repurposed to provide space on campus for student activities including live performances, rehearsals, pub nights, panel discussions, art exhibits, food truck nights, cookouts and more. Photo by David Lamb Photography, courtesy of Bruner/Cott.

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Emily Dickinson

"The brain is wider than the sky." Emily Dickinson

“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickison, poet. The fifth annual Amherst Poetry Festival and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon takes place Sept. 14-17. On Friday, poets will read in Bassett Planetarium as the starscapes of the evening of Emily Dickinson’s birth and death are projected. On Saturday, fans will read all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

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Amherst Remembers

Today, Amherst remembers those lost on 9/11, including the three alumni.

Today, Amherst remembers those lost on 9/11, including the three alumni victims: Frederick C. Rimmele III ’90, Brock Safronoff ’97 and Maurita Tam ’01. [Learn more]

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Gavin Grimm

“Bad news is bad news, but it was like I didn’t even feel it, because I heard how hard it was for him to tell me.”  Gavin Grimm

“Bad news is bad news, but it was like I didn’t even feel it, because I heard how hard it was for him to tell me.” Gavin Grimm, speaking about his lawyer Josh Block ‘01, in an Amherst magazine interview.

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Christopher Lewis '19

“If you sit down and talk to someone you thought you have nothing in common with, in two minutes you’ll find a similarity.”

“If you sit down and talk to someone you thought you have nothing in common with, in two minutes you’ll find a similarity.” Christopher Lewis ’19, one of the students featured in #AmherstIBelong, an exhibit sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. All are invited to the opening reception on Sept. 5 from 4-6 p.m. in the Keefe Campus Center atrium.

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Amherst Fact

The class of 2021 is known as the bicentennial class, because it will graduate in the College’s bicentennial year.

The class of 2021 is known as the bicentennial class, because it will graduate in the College’s bicentennial year. Its 473 members were chosen from a record 9,285 applicants.

Read more about the incoming class: Welcome, New Students

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Jim Steinman ’69

"Nothing I can say/ A total eclipse of the heart" by Jim Steinman '69

“Nothing I can say/A total eclipse of the heart.” Jim Steinman ’69 Steinman wrote and produced the 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Find it on the playlist that NASA interns put together for today’s total solar eclipse. 

Note: Read about David Peck Todd, class of 1875, in the latest issue of Amherst magazine: “The Star-Crossed Astronomer” by Julie Dobrow.

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Nelson Mandela

"All institutions of higher education have the obligation to open the door more widely." Nelson Mandela

“All institutions of higher education have the obligation to open the door more widely.” Nelson Mandela in his 2005 address to Amherst College, when he was awarded an honorary degree

NOTE: Mandela would have turned 99 this summer.

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Richard Wilbur ’42

Quote by Richard Wilbur

“If a stranger said in sport / ‘I see you're prepared for snow,’/ Our shovel might retort / ‘Out here, you never know.’ ” Richard Wilbur ’42, in a poem about a snow shovel still leaning against a house in July. 

NOTE: Wilbur is the subject of a new biography by Robert Bagg ‘57 and Mary Bagg that is this month’s Amherst Reads featured book

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Jeffrey Hoffman ’66

"You're surrounded by the universe." Jeffrey Hoffman '66

“You′re surrounded by the universe.” Jeffrey Hoffman ’66 on his 1985 spacewalk.

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Amherst Fact

Give to the Amherst Annual Fund

This year, 1,097 alumni volunteered their time on behalf of the Amherst Annual Fund. Choose Amherst. Make a gift by June 30. Thank you!

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James Bates ’86

Quote by James Bates

“There will always be people who are stronger, faster and smarter, but in college I learned that you can excel by learning how to think well, make good decisions and understand your limitations. ” Surgeon James E. Bates ‘86 in the newest Amherst magazine.

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President John F. Kennedy

JFK Quote

“I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens.” President John F. Kennedy, speaking at Amherst on Oct. 26, 1963. He would have been 100 on May 29, 1917.

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President Biddy Martin

Quote from Biddy Martin's Commencement Address

“Liberal arts education is the form of education best suited to uncertainty and change.” From President Biddy Martin's 2017 Commencement Address.

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Dylan Driscoll ’14

Quote by Dylan Driscoll ’14: A book, a good book, a book worth dusting off, is a challenge. It's a full workout for your mi

“A book, a good book, a book worth dusting off, is a challenge. It’s a full workout for your mind and soul.” Dylan Driscoll ’14, pro baseball player in Sweden and Belgium, and startup marketing director, on the value of having a little dust on your bookshelf.

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Steven Chu

Steven Chu quote

“In the scientific world, people are judged by the content of their ideas. Advances are made with new insights, but the final arbitrator of any point of view are experiments that seek the unbiased truth.” Steven Chu, former secretary of energy and one of six people who will receive an honorary doctorate at Amherst’s Commencement

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Brooke Kamin Rapaport ’84

Brooke Kamin Rapaport quote

“Public art is shown in the context of complete democracy. There is full access, and that can be very liberating.” Brooke Kamin Rapaport ’84 oversees the selection, production and realization of installations in New York’s Madison Square Park.

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Julius Hawley Seelye

Julius Hawley Seelye

“The first question asked by the human mind, and which also marks the mind’s progress in all its stages, is the question, ‘Why.’” Julius Hawley Seelye, Amherst President, 1876-1890.

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Rick Griffith

Quote by Rick Giriffith

“We’re lean and mean and Pleistocene!” Professor Rick Griffiths, a classicist who shares an office building with the mammoth skeleton, on Amherst's new mascot.

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Geroge Mitchell

George Mitchell Quote

“There's no such thing as a conflict that cannot be ended. Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings.” George Mitchell, former U.S. Senate majority leader will discuss “Trump’s First 100 Days—Challenges and Opportunities” on Monday, April 3.

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Cornell Brooks

Cornell Brooks Quote

“To those who simply want to tweet the revolution, we appreciate that, but we are challenging people to go beyond that.” Cornell William Brooks. Speaking in Johnson Chapel, NAACP president Cornell William Brooks urged students to choose causes that will resonate in the long-term, not just in the moment.

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Kelvin Chen ’16

Kelvin Chen ’16

“There are still some places that have escaped the direct touch of man, and those are the areas that are of interest to people like me.” Kelvin Chen ’16 traveled to remote Kasatochi Island to study biogeography.

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Isadora Duncan

Quote by Isadora Duncan

“And how shall one name that movement which is in accord with the most beautiful human form? ... I would name it the Dance.” Isadora Duncan, dancer. Sarah Olsen, visiting assistant professor of classics, will discuss dance in ancient Greek tragedies and the work of Isadora Duncan as part of “Reimagining the Greeks,” a Theater & Dance conference March 23-25.

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Conductor George Mathew ’91

George Mathew Quote

“We are called to listen to the music, to listen to each other, to listen from the other&rsquo;s perspective.” George Mathew is determined that his concerts be not simply of our time but an influence for good within itPhoto credit: Chris Lee.

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Jennifer Acker ’00

Jennifer Acker quote

“Even though I didn’t know it, the idea for The Common started when I was a student at Amherst.” Jennifer Acker ’00. Acker founded The Common and its literary internship program, which mentors Amherst students in all aspects of publishing, from the first reads to the printed volume and related public programming.

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Martha Umphrey

Matha Umphrey Quote

“Now more than ever we need the voices of artists, in fiction and nonfiction, poetry on the page and in spoken word, and other expressive forms.” Martha Umphrey, professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought and director of the Center for Humanistic Inquiry.  Professor Martha Umphrey during opening remarks of Amherst’s second annual literary festival.

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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin Quote

“Once a president gets to the White House, the only audience that is left that really matters is history.” Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak at Amherst on March 4 at 10 a.m. in Johnson Chapel as part of the College’s annual literary festival.

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Dr. Charles Drew ’26

Dr. Charles Drew ’26

“On the battlefields nobody is very interested in where the plasma comes from when they are hurt.” Dr. Charles Drew ’26 discovered the chemical method for preserving blood and went on to direct the first American Blood Bank. A surgeon, he fought against policies that refused or segregated blood donated by African Americans. 

NOTE: A residence hall at Amherst, the Charles Drew Memorial Culture House, is named in his honor.

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Charles Hamilton Houston, Class of 1915

Test

“Without education, there is no hope for our people and without hope, our future is lost.” Charles Hamilton Houston. Class of 1915, was the legal architect of Brown v. Board of Education 

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Professor Mary Hicks

Hicks quote

“Rejecting notions of speech as politics, and ideals as action, Martin Luther King Jr. argued that all Americans—both white and black—were required to do much more than declare our values.” Mary Hicks, assistant professor of black studies and history, on Martin Luther King Jr. 

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Edward Hitchcock

Edward Hitchcock quote

“What sunrises and sunsets do we here witness; and what a multitude of permutations and combinations pass before us during the day, as we watch from hour to hour, one of the loveliest landscapes of New England.”  Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864) was the first state geologist of Massachusetts and the third President of Amherst College.

Note: The Edward and Orra White Hitchcock Papers contain correspondence, drawings, legal documents, sermons, drafts of published and unpublished works, printed articles, autographs, artwork, and images relating to the professional activities and some of the personal life of Edward Hitchcock, Orra White Hitchcock, and their family. 

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Valentine Dining Hall Fact

Dinging Hall Fact

Serving 4,000 meals daily, Valentine Dining Hall’s 28-day food cycle includes more than 600 recipes involving roughly 2,000 ingredients, many of which come from local farms.

Note: Valentine Hall is officially going trayless! Motivated by the need to save water during the drought, student group - Green Amherst Project (GAP) collected over 650 student signatures requesting that Val become a trayless dining facility. The Offices of Environmental Sustainability and Dining Services then collected both written and in person feedback on the issue from over 600 community members and the decision was made to make the move to trayless. Starting the second week of interterm, Valentine Hall became a trayless dining facility. Learn more.

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Anthony Jack ’07

Anthony Jack Quote

“To overlook the rich diversity of experiences within first-generation college students is to base policy on only a partial picture.” Sociologist Anthony Jack ’07, the newest Wade Fellow at Amherst, spoke about the factors that influence undergraduates’ sense of belonging at elite colleges and their acquisition of cultural and social capital. [Read more]

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Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King

“Peace is not just the goal; it’s the answer.” Coretta Scott King, speaking at Amherst on Feb. 25, 2003, as quoted in the Amherst Student.

Note: To celebrate Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Amherst will host a panel on Jan. 28 called “Moving Toward Collective Liberation.”

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The Amherst Student

The Amherst Student Fact

The Amherst Student newspaper was founded in 1868, making it the oldest independent weekly college publication in the country.

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Christopher Tamasi ’15

Quote by Chris Tamasi

“When the history of English settlement is discussed, the Native perspective is often left out of the picture.” Christopher Tamasi ’15. Tamasi, in an article about the American Studies course “Global Valley,” in which students study local history from multiple perspectives.

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David Little

David Little Quote

“In the spirit of the liberal arts, we want to create a museum that sparks the imagination and inspires debate.” David Little, Director of Amherst’s Mead Art Museum.

Footnote: After two months of renovations, the museum unveiled six new exhibitions and installations.

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Clyde L. Nash ’55

Clyde Nash Quote

“When the smoke cleared from my career as an orthopedic spine surgeon, my long, lingering liberal arts education bubbled up, providing me with interests in classical music, poetry and community service.” Clyde L. Nash, ’55, orthopedic surgeon; majored in economics at Amherst, on the impact of a liberal arts education.

Footnote: Learn more about a liberal arts education at Amherst College.

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Tony Andrews ’13

Tony Andrews Quote

“There’s a cruel irony to be found here: Surfing at once engenders a deep love of the seaside and a lustful resentment for it.” Tony Andrews ’13, won a Film and Media Studies award for his senior thesis documentary film about surfing subculture in Newport, R.I.

Footnote: Andrews recently published an essay about surfing in The Inertia.

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Mark Silver ’93

Quote by Mark Silver ’93

“Our influence on others happens in fleeting moments and at unexpected times.Our influence on others happens in fleeting moments and at unexpected times.” Mark Silver ’93 writing in Amherst magazine about the late Professor Hugh Hawkins.

Footnote: In his own handwriting, Professor Hawkins describes a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, highlighted in a 2012 blog post titled "A Civil Rights Summer in the South," by Colleen O'Connor ’11.

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Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat quote

“The only way you will advance and make progress on an intellectual level is by testing your perspectives against the strongest alternative viewpoints.” Ross Dothat, New York Times columnist, on civil discourse in an exclusive interview for Amherst. Douthat gave a talk on campus called “American Conservatism and Donald Trump.”

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Biddy Martin

We can set an example of community characterized by openness and respect, freedom with responsibility, and politics inflected by

“We can set an example of community characterized by openness and respect, freedom with responsibility, and politics inflected by poetry. ” Amherst College President Biddy Martin, speaking to the community about Amherst’s enduring values.

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W. Ralph Eubanks

W. Ralph Eubanks Quote

“We are all more than our inheritance and appearance.” W. Ralph Eubanks, in an essay for the new issue of Amherst’s literary magazine, The Common

Footnote: W. Ralph Eubanks: American author, journalist, professor, public speaker, and business executive. From 1995 until May 2013 he was the Director of Publishing of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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Aaron Carroll ’94

Aaron Carroll

“Some doctors know how to say, ‘I don’t know.’ But their ranks are too small.” Aaron ’94, American pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. 

Footnote: In his career as a pediatrician and writer, he makes frequent use of an Amherst course in law, jurisprudence and social thought.

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Javier Corvales, professor of political science

Corvales quote

“We like to say that the liberal arts gives students the freedom to retool themselves, to change paths. The same goes for faculty members.” Javier Corvales, professor of political science, speaking about LGBT Rights in Latin America.

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Sophie Currin ’17

Quote by Sophie Currin

“Everyone must honestly admit to and understand the extent to which something is wrong before we can begin to repair.” Sophie Currin ’17, English and economics major. Currin's response to the ongoing “locker room" dialogue was recently published on the Huffington Post website.

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David Lander ’17

David Lander Quote

“As a sports team, we have found success by valuing the ideal of doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” David Lander ’17, writing in the Huffington Post about “locker room talk.”

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Romen Borsellino ’12

Romen Borsellino

“With Bob Dylan’s music playing softly, my dad faded away.” Romen Borsellino  ’12. In his college admission essay, published by Amherst Magazine in 2008, Romen Borsellino ’12 wrote about the death of his father and their shared love for Bob Dylan.

Footnote: On Thursday, October 13, 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature. 

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Inger Damon ’84

Inger Damon Quote

“Ebola was a huge wake-up call in terms of how globally prepared we are to handle an epidemic, and how interconnected our world is.” Inger Damon ’84,  Director of the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Damon led the 2014 Ebola response in West Africa for the Centers for Disease Control.

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Catherine Newman ’90

Catherine Newman

I’m this kind of mother, I think happily, and then immediately flush with shame over my own vanity and falseness.”  Catherine Newman ’90, from her new memoir, Catastrophic Happiness.

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Andrew Blum ’99

Andrew Blum quote

“The underwater cables are perhaps the most poetic part of the Internet.” Andrew Blum ’99, English major. An interview with author and journalist Andrew Blum about his book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, the first book-length look at the physical heart of the Internet itself.

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Chris Coons ’85

Chris Coons '85

“Access to higher education is one of the surest ways to provide students from all backgrounds a ladder to success.” Chris Coons ‘85 is a U.S. Senator from Delaware and was a chemistry major at Amherst. 

Footnote: Amherst magazine sent a reporter to spend a day with Coons in 2011 when he was a freshman senator in Joe Biden’s old seat.

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Kellie Jones ’81

Kellie Jones Quote

“Art is not only part of history—even a living history—it is part of and makes community, it is part of and makes family.” Kellie Jones ’81, art historian and curator, one of 23 new recipients of a MacArthur “genius grant,” from her 2011 book, Energy / Experimentation: Black Art and Abstraction, 1964-1980.

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The Beneski Museum of Natural History

Beneski Museum Fact

The Beneski Museum of Natural History is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, with three floors of exhibits and more than 1,700 specimens on display.

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Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Quote

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” Emily Dickinson, poet. As part of the Amherst Poetry Festival Sept. 15-17, fans will read all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems in the home and landscape where she wrote them. Dickinson’s home, now the Emily Dickinson Museum, was built in 1813 by her grandfather Samuel Fowler Dickinson, a founder of Amherst College. 

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Brittanie Lewis ’17

Brittanie Lewis '17

“You are now part of a conversation that would be lacking without your voice.” Brittanie Lewis '17 in The New York Times, offering her advice to new college students.

 

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Alex Vasquez

Alex Vasquez quote
“Ideas are not here to harm you; ideas are here to challenge you.” Dean of Students Alex Vasquez speaking last week to the new first-year class. Learn more about the Class of 2020.

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The Frost Library

Frost Library Collections Fact

Frost Library, named after poet Robert Frost, who taught at Amherst for many years,  holds more than 1.5 million volumes and nearly 600,000 other media materials, including 330,400 e-books.

FOOTNOTE: On Oct. 26, 1963, in one of his last public appearances before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy visited campus to receive an honorary degree and to speak at the groundbreaking of the library.

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Dan Cluchey ’08

Dan Cluchey quote

“My process was to work backward from that thousand-word fever-dream ending.” Dan Cluchey ’08. In this interview, a former Obama administration speechwriter discusses the inspiration and creative process that went into writing a novel.

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Mark R. Rigg ’89

Mark Rigg quote

“When Bob told me about the day he was injured, he called it his second birthday.” Mark R. Rigg ’89. In the new Amherst magazine, Rigg shares his point of view about how a Amherst experience forged an unusual friendship in “A College in Common."

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The Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife Sanctuary Fact

The Amherst College Wildlife Sanctuary includes approximately 500 acres in a diverse collection of open fields (both actively maintained and unmanaged), wetlands, flood plain woods, river, upland woods, plantation pines, and ponds—and is an important place for both recreation and research.

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Helen Wan ’95

Helen Wan Quote

“I wonder what could be more practical than doing something that makes you happy and fulfilled.” Helen Wan ’95, lawyer-turned-novelist writes about “Letting in Uncertainty” in Amherst magazine.

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Sarah Sander ’06

Sarah Sander Quote

“Turn out all your lights, go out on your porch and watch. ” Firefly researcher Sarah Sander ’06 in the new Amherst magazine.

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Christopher Lim ’12

Christopher Lim ’12

“HIV tricks our cells into being little virus factories.” Christopher ’12. Ph.D. candidate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale; majored in biochemistry at Amherst. In the lab, Lim studies how HIV evades the defenses of the human body. Outside, he's making STEM a bigger tent.

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Eleanor Ray ’09

Eleanor Ray ’09

“Its past is still alive and shifting in relation to the new.” Eleanor Ray ’09. Ray’s tiny paintings “suggest a reverse hubris,  a pride in how much she can do with so little,” wrote one critic.

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Andrew Hacker ’51

Andrew Hacker Quote

“I kept asking that why question. I've always thought that the center of the liberal arts is that three-letter word.” Andrew Hacker ’51, professor emeritus in the department of political science at Queens College in New York. Hacker—whose political science research relies heavily on the use of numbers—went to the math department at Queens College a few years ago and asked if he could teach, experimentally, one of the introductory courses. He went on to write a book about math education.

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David Foster Wallace ’85

David Foster Wallace Quote

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” David Foster Wallace ’85, from his novel Infinite Jest. Novelist, short story writer, and essayist, as well as a professor of English and creative writing, Wallace majored in English and Philosophy at Amherst. Wallace was a towering figure in modern literature. In 1999, three years after Infinite Jest was published, he did an interview-by-mail with Amherst magazine.

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Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez Quote

“A people without a thorough knowledge of roots and history cannot move into the future, cannot rest in the proper chair of life.” Sonia Sanchez, Poet, activist and scholar who taught at Amherst from 1972 to 1975 and was the first chair of the Black Studies department. 

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Lynettra Artis ’05

Always Amherst

“My favorite place on campus was Charles Drew Memorial African American Theme House. While we lived there, we were family.” Lynettra Artis ’05. #AlwaysAmherst. The Annual Fund closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, June 30th. Help us hit our goal.

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Professor Rose Olver

Rose Olver Quote

“The addition of gender opened up practically every known psychological principle to question.” Professor Rose Olver was the L. Stanton Williams ‘41 Professor of Psychology and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies, Emerita. The late Professor Olver was the first woman hired into a tenure-track position at Amherst.

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Tess Taylor ’00

Tess Taylor quote The pastoralthe seemingly idyllic spacehas always been defined by its own conflicted edges.” Tess Taylor ’00, author of The Forage House and Work & Days. In Amherst magazine, Taylor told the story behind her new book of poems.

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Lauren Groff ’01

Lauren Groff Quote “Storytelling is a landscape, and tragedy is comedy is drama. It simply depends on how you frame what you're seeing.” Lauren Groff, ′01. This is a line from Groff’s novel Fates and Furies, a 2015 National Book Award finalist. Read the book review in Amherst magazine.

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Kirun Kapur ’97

Kirun Kapur Quote “He was arming me / with shoes to wear, with fury, feathers, flight.” Kirun Kapur ’97 from her book of poetry, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist. Tess Taylor ’00, the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered, reviewed Kapur’s debut book of poetry in the Fall 2015 Amherst magazine.

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Henry Ward Beecher, Class of 1834

Henry Ward Beecher quote “The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.” Henry Ward Beecher, Class of 1834. American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, speaker and younger brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Beecher was once as well-known as Oprah Winfrey is today. Debby Applegate ’89 won a Pulitzer Prize for her biography of the famous minister

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Christine Bader ’93

Christine Bader quote  “I have seen the best and worst of what companies can do–and still believe that business can be a force for good.” Christine Bader ’93, Director of Social Responsibility at Amazon. Bader wrote The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, which was a featured book in the Amherst Reads book club

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John Abele ’59

Quote by John Abele “We knew our dad’s ship was somewhere way up in the North Pacific, but where do you start?” John Abele ’59. American businessman and the co-founder and a director of Boston Scientific, a medical device company. Abele last saw his father in 1942, just before Lt. Cmdr. Mannert L. Abele and the crew of the USS Grunion headed for war duty in the North Pacific. It took six decades to clear up the mystery of what happened to the crew.

 

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President Biddy Martin

Quote by President Biddy Martin
“If there has ever been a time when we need to recognize the value of our own lives and the lives of others as of our own ... this is the time. ”
Amherst President Biddy Martin, speaking to the Class of 2016 during her annual Commencement address. For videos, audio, speeches and photos from Amherst's 195th Commencement, please visit our Commencement web pages.

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Gregory Campeau ’11

Quote by Gregory Campeau
“How could any of us have changed our mindsreally changed our minds–had we not lived amongst one another and eaten meals together?” Gregory Campeau ’11, History major; English teacher.  Every year the seniors elect a classmate to deliver an address at Commencement. Campeau gave the address in 2011

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Emily Jordan Folger

Emily Folger Quote

“The poet is one of our best sources, one of the wells from which we Americans draw our national thought, our faith and our hope.” Emily Jordan Folger, ’32 Honorary doctorate; Co-founder of the Folger Shakespeare Library. Folger made this comment in a speech about her late husband, Henry Clay Folger, Class of 1879. The couple founded Amherst’s Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.. This month the Folger brings Shakespeare’s First Folio to Amherst as part of a national touring exhibition celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare.

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Kirk Johnson ’82

Kirk Johnson quote

“It was the culmination of all my childhood dreams to lead a shovel army into the mountains and extract literally thousands of gigantic bones.” Kirk Johnson ’82, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and honorary degree recipient. Read “Out of the Shadow” from Amherst Magazine, which traces Johnson's path from Amherst College's geology department, to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Photo credit: @Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

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Tracy Jarrett ’11

Quote by Tracy Jarrett ’11

“It is important for me to tell the story that my mother cannot tell for herself.” Tracey Jarrett ’11, of NBC news, on her reporting on HIV and AIDS. Julie Keith Jarrett ’81 died from AIDS in 1994. To imagine the person her mother might have become, Tracy Jarrett ’11 traveled from East Harlem to Cape Town to Chicago.

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Sam Rosenblum ’16

Sam Rosenblum quote

“Witnessing a musical, having that experience, is in some ways like being in a liberal arts classroom at its best.” Sam Rosenblum, '16, political science,  Jayson Paul ’16, physics and philosophy, and visiting director A. Scott Parry, sat down with President Biddy Martin to discuss the upcoming musical “Into the Woods.

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Katharine Sims

Katharine Sims quote

“Environmental protection doesn’t always turn out to be incompatible with development goals...” Katharine Sims, assistant professor of economics. Sims, and colleague Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, were recently awarded esteemed Carnegie Fellowships to further their research.

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Chris Bohjalian ’82

Chris Bohjalian ’82

“We are hungry for novels that tell our story, that tell the world what our ancestors endured a century ago.”  Chris Bohjalian ’82, author of such books as The Sandcastle Girls, an award-winning novel about the Armenian Genocide. He is one of six who will receive honorary degrees at Amherst’s Commencement on May 22.

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Catherine Epstein

Catherine Epstein quote

“Students need arguments that they can then amplify or argue against.” Catherine Epstein, Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty on her textbook about Nazi  Germany. Epstein structured her 2014 textbook, Nazi Germany: Confronting the Myths, by setting up and then debunking various myths.

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Jonatha Brooke ’85

Jonatha Brooke

“From the first minute, it was clear that survival was in finding a creative way through it.” 
Singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke ’85  referring to her mother’s dementia. Brooke put her career on hold to care for her mother, who had dementia. Then she wrote a musical about it, My Mother Has Four Noses. It ran off-Broadway to critical acclaim.

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Michael Harmon ’16

Michael Harmon quote

“We’re not in a history-less vacuum but instead are rooted in a tradition of discussion.”
Michal Harmon ’16. Harmon spearheaded a faculty lecture series on Amherst’s history and defining characteristics inquiry, and progress.

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William H. Hastie

William H. Hastie Quote

“Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat.” William Hastie ’25: lawyer, judge, educator, public official and advocate for the civil rights of African Americans. Hastie was the first African-American to serve as Govenor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a Federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, and as a Federal appellate judge. 

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850+ Courses

Five College Consortium

Students have access to 850+ courses offered on the Amherst College campus as well as 6,000 more via the Five College Consortium. Learn more about the Five College Consortium. All of the Five College campuses are connected via a free bus service, so students are never more than a half hour from arriving at another campus to take a class, join an intramural club or socialize.

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Aleksandra Burshteyn ’16

Burshteyn Quote

“How do people grapple with memories and experiences of a world, of institutions and cultural values that suddenly no longer exist?” Aleksandra Burshteyn ’16: excerpt from Burshteyn's 2016 Thomas J. Watson Fellows application. Burshteyn is one of two Amherst College seniors who will embark on a global journey to learn their stories, as the College’s 2016 Thomas J. Watson Fellows.

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Judith Frank

Judy Frank Quote

“I want students to reach for the stuff that they're scared to write, the stuff that has really shaped their lives—and that’s harder than you would think.” Judith Frank: fiction writer; Eliza J. Clark Folger Professor of English. Frank, a two-time novelist, is professor of English, director of studies in the English department and Elizabeth W. Bruss Reader. She has taught the College’s Fiction Writing I course for many semesters.

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Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith Quote

“Friendship is a wildly underrated medication.” Anna Deavere Smith: playwright and actor; campus speaker: April 13. Amherst will welcome Smith to campus on April 13 for a program titled “Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition.” The event is free and open to the public.

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David Suzuki ’58

David Suzuki Quote

“An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.” David Suzuki, ’58: science educator, environmental activist, and host of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. This is one of the most well-known quotes by Suzuki, who has hosted Canada’s most popular nature program for many decades. For more about Suzuki, see this Amherst magazine profile.

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James Merrill ’47

James Merrill Quote

“Everything will remind me of something now.” James Merrill ’47: Pulitzer prize-winning American poet. He became one of the greatest poets of his generation, but first, Merrill was an Amherst student, where he developed an obsession with memory and a transformative interest in Proust

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Mary Catherine Bateson

Mary Catherine Bateson

“To me, the starting place is the sense of wonder. And that can take you into science. It can take you into art. Other human beings are amazing and beautiful.” Mary Catherine Bateson: Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Anthropology, 1980-1987. On the Oct. 1, 2015 episode of “On Being,” Krista Tippett interviewed Mary Catherine Bateson (daughter of anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson).

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