“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.
“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.
Each new graduate receives a Conway Cane. This 19th-century Amherst tradition was revived and reshaped by the class of 2003 to celebrate class unity and spirit. Sunday, May 21: Amherst’s 196th Commencement.
NOTE: Learn more about how the tradition of the Conway Canes during Commencement returned to Amherst College in 2003.
“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.
“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.
“My comfort with the gnarly wreckage of life, my comfort with discomfort, is the most important ingredient in my work and in the work of people I admire.” Screenwriter and Producer Susannah Grant ’84, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, recently described her journey from Amherst to Hollywood, and the real job of any artist.
“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.
“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.
“I am a political scientist who, in effect, ends up doing history in the form of biography.” William Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Emeritus. Taubman’s highly anticipated biography of Mikhail Gorbachev will be published this year.
NOTE 1: Taubman won a 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Nikita Khrushchev.
NOTE 2: 10 books on leadership to read in 2017 —The Washington Post.
“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.
“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.
“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.