On Friday, April 6, Greenway Dorm A will be named Ford Hall in honor of William E. Ford III ’83, P’13. The celebration starts at 4 p.m. with remarks from President Biddy Martin and other select speakers, followed by refreshments and a performance by the Zumbyes.
Ford has a four-decade history with the College as a graduate, parent, trustee and member and chair of the investment committee. In these roles, Ford’s service to Amherst has been far-reaching and significant. His contributions have helped lead the College through major transitions, ensuring that it continues to provide the best possible education in the liberal arts. His remarkable generosity of time, intellect and support has positively affected every aspect of the College’s mission.
Amherst is one of many educational, health and cultural institutions guided by and benefiting from Bill’s commitment. Lincoln Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and many other organizations and institutions count Ford among their most thoughtful and generous leaders and benefactors. He was recently named chair of Rockefeller’s board. With a second generation of Fords now calling Amherst home, Ford Hall both honors Bill and creates a family legacy.
Ford’s support for the Greenway Residences demonstrates his sustained investment in the future of the Amherst community as the campus sees one of the biggest transformations of its landscape since its founding. In spring 2015, the College broke ground on four new residence halls, the first in a series of developments collectively called the Greenway Projects that also includes a state-of-the-art science center and landscaping to connect the new buildings to each other and to the broader campus. The project reflects the College’s commitment to cultivating a vibrant, diverse, intellectual community.
The Greenway Projects are more than new buildings; they are shaping the way the Amherst community lives and learns. The new residence halls feature an abundance of social spaces for intimate and larger gatherings, and Ford Hall is unique among the four Greenway Residences in its combination of living spaces, lounges, seminar and club rooms, and a multi-use hall—which can accommodate lectures, performances and banquets. This versatility and its modern kitchen have made Ford Hall a favorite setting for residents and other members of the campus community.
Since its opening in fall 2016, the Ford Hall event space has hosted an impressive range of student-centered events, from lectures and training workshops, to student-organized classes and dance practices, to viewing parties for films and sporting events.
The Amherst campus has always been a place of quiet natural beauty that fosters a thriving intellectual community. Ford Hall and the other Greenway Residences are new additions to this time-honored ideal. Ford Hall is more than a place to live—it is a place for Amherst students to cultivate friendships, and it will inspire and serve many generations to come.
Given the building’s transformative role, it is fitting that it will now be named for Bill Ford, who has been actively involved in the College community since his time as an undergraduate, helping to shape and ensure its success on many fronts. It is no surprise that Ford’s support of Amherst consistently honors the people and the place he loves—his parents and family members, professors and students, and the physical environment that makes it all possible. He has established endowed funds for study abroad, scholarships and the economics department, and he is a member of the College’s Founders Society.
“We are honored by Bill Ford’s extraordinary generosity,” says Martin. “With his deep commitment to Amherst, Ford models the spirit of leadership, community and service on which the College was founded. With this gift, he is not only creating a remarkable resource for our students; he is also helping support the larger project of transforming the eastern portion of our campus.”