Office of Student Affairs

Alumni and Parent Programs

Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P ’15, Alumni Secretary, Executive Director 

Pontypool, 22 Snell Street
(413) 542-2313

As part of Advancement, Alumni and Parent Programs (APP) supports and enhances the relationship between the college and its alumni, parents, students and friends; it also facilitates the interaction of members of these groups with one another. APP supports alumni and family programming and works closely with departments across the college, including the Career Center, Admission, Athletics, the Center for Community Engagement, academic departments and others to foster productive alumni engagement with the college, its faculty and its students. Amherst Connects, an initiative to strengthen alumni ties to the college, among the alumni and to students through events, volunteering, travel, networking and giving, guides the work of the Society of the Alumni. Approximately 70 percent of alumni have engaged with the college in each of the last two years.

Amherst Associations

More than 50 regional Amherst Associations are located in cities across the United States and around the world. Annual activities include a wide range of cultural, educational and social events organized by the Associations in coordination with APP. The primary function of the Associations is to provide alumni, families, students and friends with opportunities to keep informed about the college and to connect with other members of the Amherst community. 


Alumni and families return to the college for Reunion on the weekend following each year’s Commencement. Each class elects a Reunion Chair who plans activities with support from APP, the class officers and other classmates. Planning begins two years prior to Reunion and focuses on class gatherings, programs and panels organized and presented by classmates on a wide range of topics, as well as many other activities. Reunion programs are sponsored by the college and feature talks by faculty and alumni. View schedules and programs online.

On-Campus Weekends

APP sponsors a number of on-campus programs for alumni and families. Reunion, Homecoming, Family Weekend, Amherst Today and various affinity/interest gatherings are just a few of the events that give families and alumni opportunities to visit campus and attend special programs.

Student Programs

APP engages undergraduates about life at the college and their future role as alumni. APP sponsors many events and programs that allow students to learn more about the college and its alumni; to connect with alumni for mentoring, interning and career advice; and to become informed alumni. These include alumni/student networking receptions held in major cities during Interterm and the summer and the Pioneer Valley Hosting program, in which local alumni invite students into their homes for meals away from Valentine, and the newly launched online mentoring program Pathways. APP also partners with leaders of student organizations to encourage students to connect with alumni who share similar interests.


In conjunction with the Office of Communications, APP sponsors publication of the college magazine four times a year. A major portion of each magazine is devoted to Class Notes written by each Class Secretary about the activities of his or her classmates. Class Secretaries strive to report on each member of the class at least once before every Reunion and to encourage classmates to write with their latest news. View the magazine online.

Senior Class Elections

Before Commencement, APP works with the Senior Class to hold elections for the officers who will serve the class until its five-year Reunion. The class officers include President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reunion Chair and Web Editor.

Students who are interested in the activities listed above are encouraged to visit the Alumni and Parent Programs office or contact us at

Join Us Online!

APP has several online programs for alumni and students, including Amherst Reads, the Amherst Alumni Artists’ NetworkAlumni Blogroll and Pathways. Students can also join Amherst alumni on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Contacting Alumni for Career Networking

Students can search more than 22,000 alumni using the online Alumni Directory. For tips on using the directory, see the Career Center’s resource page.