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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.