ast September, Jamie Nicholls ’88 returned to the Amherst campus for the first time in 30 years with her daughter. Within minutes of arriving, she encountered two very familiar faces: a college roommate and dear friend of her late father, Richard Nicholls ’60; and a favorite professor (Pritchard), still teaching after 60 years at the College, a tenure spanning both Jamie and her father’s days as students. This instance of small-world serendipity reflects the sense of community and connection across generations that is a hallmark of the Amherst experience.

This spring, in another affirmation of community at Amherst, Greenway Residence Hall D was named Nicholls Biondi Hall in honor of Jamie and her husband, Fran Biondi.  

two photos showing the exterior of Nicholls Biondi Hall
Nicholls Biondi Hall is the second named Greenway Residence.

The Greenway Projects are more than new buildings; they are shaping the way the Amherst community lives and learns. In spring 2015, the College broke ground on four new residence halls, the first in a series of developments collectively called the Greenway Projects, which also include the new state-of-the-art science center and connecting landscape. The project reflects the College’s commitment to cultivating a vibrant, diverse and intellectual community.

Nicholls, an English major and member of the women’s lacrosse and cross-country teams, has dedicated the last 10 years to applying her private equity and finance experience to support scientific and clinical research. A former General Partner of Forstmann Little & Co. who began her career at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey, Nicholls just completed her second term as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and was elected the institution’s first Life Trustee. CSHL is a preeminent biomedical research and education institute, with programs in cancer, neuroscience, genomics and quantitative biology. She was also recently named Vice Chair of the Board of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Chair of Memorial Hospital. Nicholls graduated from Amherst in 1988 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992.

In addition to supporting the Greenway Projects, Nicholls established the Nicholls Biondi Fund at Amherst in honor of her father who passed away in 2009, providing unrestricted support to the College on an annual basis to help meet the College’s greatest needs.