Elon Musk

"It's just a wise move to not have Life-As-We-Know-It's eggs all in one basket." Elon Musk

“It's just a wise move to not have Life-As-We-Know-It's eggs all in one basket.” Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, which built the rocket that launched on Feb. 6, on why the Earth can benefit from space exploration, from a talk he gave at Amherst before receiving an honorary degree in 2009.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev quote

“Gorbachev is hard to understand.” Mikhail Gorbachev, speaking about himself to Professor William Taubman, Emeritus. Taubman is the author of Mikhail Gorbachev: His Life and Times, which is reviewed by Paul Statt ’78 in the latest Amherst magazine

Reece Foy ’18

Quote by Reece Foy about attending the Sugar Bowl

“In less than an hour, I would be on a nationally televised broadcast of ESPN where more than 20 million people would see the name ‘Amherst’ written across my chest.” Reece Foy ’18, football player, political science major and local volunteer, on being honored as a member of the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team at the Sugar Bowl 

Ursula K. Le Guin

"Obstinacy. And the fact that, although it's very hard work, I like writing." Quote by Ursula Le Guin

“Obstinacy. And the fact that, although it's very hard work, I like writing.” Ursula K. Le Guin, answering how she kept going after years of rejections from publishers. The interviewer was Nicholas O’Connell ’80, who edited At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers. Le Guin died on Jan. 22 at age 88. Note: Several classes at Amherst have covered works of Le Guin, including “Religion in Contemporary Fiction” (The Telling) and “Utopia/Dystopia” (The Dispossessed).

Waldo Shumway, class of 1911

Quote by Waldo Shumway: "Walked 17 Miles. Climbed 200 feet several times. Patagonia. Upper Cretaceous. Oysters. Shark's teeth. "

“Walked 17 Miles. Climbed 200 feet several times. Patagonia. Upper Cretaceous. Oysters. Shark's teeth.” Diary entry of Waldo Shumway, class of 1911, on a dinosaur-fossil expedition with Professor Frederic Brewster Loomis, who unearthed the mammoth skeleton on display at the Beneski Museum of Natural History.

Jessica Bruder ’00

Quote by Jessica Bruder: It was bewildering, like having a front-row seat to a play performed in a language I didn't understand.

“It was bewildering, like having a front-row seat to a play performed in a language I didn't understand.” Jessica Bruder ’00 , writing in Harper’s about how she helped to break one of the biggest news stories of our time. She talks about that article in Amherst magazine

Alexandra Purdy

Quote by Alexandra Purdy: I feel like I'm revealing to people a world they didn't know was there.

“I feel like I'm revealing to people a world they didn't know was there.” Assistant Professor of Biology Alexandra Purdy, speaking to Amherst magazine about her research into gut bacteria.

Richard Wilbur ’42

"Now winter downs the dying of the year, / And night is all a settlement of snow;" by Richard Wilbur

“Now winter downs the dying of the year, / And night is all a settlement of snow;” from "Year's End" by Richard Wilbur who died on Oct. 14, 2017. Amherst remembers the poet in The Splendor of Mere Being.” 

Mark Vanhoenacker ’96

Quote by Mark Vanhoenacker ’96 in praise of darkness

“Whatever your feelings about the longest night, the winter solstice — transcendent, yet precise; celestial, but very local — is worth pausing to savor. ” 747 Pilot Mark Vanhoenacker ’96, writing in The New York Times in praise of darkness

Leatrice Eiseman

Pantone Color

“It's truly a reflection of what's needed in our world today.” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, on the color purple (obviously). Pantone chose a purple hue as the 2018 color of the year, saying that it “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”

Attila Ujvari ’20E

Atilla Ujvari quote: "It was awesome, it was awful. That's the whole military career, I think."

“It was awesome, it was awful. That’s the whole military career, I think.” Attila Ujvari ’20, who served as a combat medic, in an interview for the latest Amherst magazine cover story

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah

“Our understandings of race and culture have led us astray.” Kwame Anthonly Appiah. Before speaking on campus this fall, Appiah sat for a video interview with Stefan Yong ’18.

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.

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.

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.

Tusks Up!

Amherst Mammoths Mascot

Amherst Mammoths: Est. 2017. Learn more

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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]

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

David Soliday ’74

David Soliday ’74

“The very core of it all has always been the simple thought of giving credit where credit is due.” David Soliday ’74 on his photographs of Southern rice fields.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.