Amherst Facts

Indigenous Peoples Day

Amherst College stands on Nonotuck land. The Nonotuck are one of the many Indigenous groups from Kwinitekw, the Connecticut River Valley. Nearby Indigenous nations include the Nipmuc and the Wampanoag to the East, the Mohegan and Pequot to the South, the Mohican to the West and the Abenaki to the North. 

Related Link: Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies

Note: Amherst College is home to an extraordinary collection of books by Native American authors.

President Biddy Martin

If we, as a country, are to live up to our fiercely held ideals of equality, freedom, and opportunity for all, our government agencies need to work with us and not against us.

“If we, as a country, are to live up to our fiercely held ideals of equality, freedom, and opportunity for all, our government agencies need to work with us and not against us.” Letter by Presidents Martin and Roth (Wesleyan) and signed by 80+ higher ed leaders urging the DOE to abandon its investigation of Princeton for, it claims, failing to adhere to federal non-discrimination law. 


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020). From a 2015 talk given at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Justice Ginsburg visited Amherst on October 3, 2019.

Amherst Remembers

Amherst honors and mourns the victims of 9/11.

We honor and mourn the victims of 9/11/01, including the three Amherst alumni who died in the attacks. Amherst remembers.

Arthur C. Brooks

Quote by Arthur C. Brooks, Covid Conversations

“While you’re in the stillness of your apartment, your house, think about these big issues in your life. Think about the things that you actually want to improve.” Social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, speaking with the Rev. Philip Jackson ’85 in “COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic,” one of the College’s online speaker series.

Note: Learn more about the College's Virtual Events Series.

Robyn Bahr ’10

Quote by Robyn Bahr

“The moral imperative of women’s suffrage is so palpable to me that I have rarely considered the precarious stakes of the 19th amendment’s ratification.” Robyn Bahr ’10 reviewing By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South, produced, directed and written by Mary Makley ’88 to mark the ratification, on Aug. 18, 1920, of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Alexandre White ’10

Quote by Alexandre White

“My biggest fear now is that we’ll go back to ‘normal’ in 18 months and operate as though nothing has changed, nothing has happened. My biggest fear is that we’ll learn nothing.”  Alexandre White ’10 works at the intersection of the two most important stories in the world today: pandemics and racism.

Leslie Sanchez-Goettler ’93

Quote by Leslie Sanchez-Goettler

“People have asked me over the years, ‘Why did you go to seminary, then study philosophy, and then go to med school’ I feel like there was a reason. It actually all fits together.” Leslie Sanchez-Goettler ’93 is one of 26 alumni featured in our special coverage of COVID-19

Mike Woodruff ’91

Quote by Mike Woodruff

“One lesson we will learn from this is that there are new, better ways to provide care.” Mike Woodruff ’91 is one of 26 alumni featured in our special coverage of COVID-19.

Dr. Ingrid Katz ’93

Quote by Ingrid Katz

“I don’t know what our new normal will look like yet. There’s going to be a constant reinvention in terms of how we’re living our lives.” Ingrid Katz ’93 is one of 26 alumni featured in our special coverage of COVID-19.

Nayah Mullings ’17

Quote by Nayah Mullings

“ It’s vital that we as the queer and trans people know our history and have access to that, both in the grand scheme of the world, and here at Amherst.” Nayah Mullings ’17 in “Invisible No More: A Queer and Trans History at Amherst College,” a documentary by Saren Deardorff ’17.

Did You Know?

LGBTQ Digital Book Collection

In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which concludes on June 30, the Amherst College Library put together an e-book display of relevant titles. Start reading today.

President Biddy Martin

A quote by President Biddy Martin about LGBTQ Rights

“Sexual orientation and gender identity are complex and fundamental aspects of our being that deserve recognition in civil rights protections. They also deserve many other forms of protection and embrace.” President Biddy Martin, from her communication to the campus about recent Supreme Court decisions related to DACA and LGBTQ rights.


Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Learn more »

students protesting on the Amherst College quad

“What I know is that this generation and future generations of Amherst students will push leaders to confront the ugliness of racism and demand change.” — Norm Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, on the June 19 holiday celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.

artwork display of a confederate flag unravelling

“We’re not tearing the flag, we’re unraveling it.” — Art Professor Sonya Clark describing her 2018 performance piece Unraveling, in which she and audience members would pull apart a Confederate flag thread by thread. 

Note: The title of the work was very specific choice of hers, she told Vice at the time: “‘Unraveling’ to me is about an investigation about the history of the Confederacy, the history of slavery, and the history of the oppression of people of African descent that is so deeply embedded in the fabric of our nation. The goal isn't to destroy the flag, but to investigate what it means to take it apart.” 

old photo of Amherst Class of 1915

“The individual college youth cannot wait forever until the problem of his education is decided.” — Charles Hamilton Houston, class of 1915, the trailblazing civil rights attorney who created and led the legal strategy that would ultimately end racial segregation in American schools. (Houston: back row, 5th from right)

President Biddy Martin

Quote by President Biddy Martin

“What a truly great country this could be if the privileges enjoyed by those who happen to be white were instead opportunities available to everyone.” From President Martin's May 31 letter to campus about Racism, Truth, and Responsibility.

Amherst Fact: Class of 2020

Number of national award winners in the class of 2020: 13

The number of national award winners in the class of 2020: 12, including 11 Fulbrights, and one Saint Andrew’s Scholar. More facts about the class of 2020.

Joseph Stiglitz ’64 H’74

Quote by Joseph Stiglitz

“You need science, you need public health, but you also need a broader perspective. [In the wake of COVID-19] the value of higher education will be enhanced.”  Joseph Stiglitz ’64 H’74the Nobel prize-winning economist speaking in the College's online speaker series, “COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic.

Memo Rodriguez ’22

Quote by an Amherst student about what he misses about being on campus during covid quarantining

“The international student community, singing with the Zumbyes, and going for walks on the bike trail.” Memo Rodriguez ’22 on what he misses most about Amherst. Here's what other students miss most

Marcela Sabino ’02

  "Your career should always answer a question." Marcela Sabino

“Your career should always answer a question.” Marcela Sabino is director of the Laboratory of Activities of Tomorrow at the Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) in Rio de Janeiro.

Laura Moser ’99

Quote by Laura Moser

“It’s very useful if you can tell your own story.” Laura Moser ’99 Moser on running for office.

David Little

David Little Quote

“We want work that speaks to the students of their generation.” David Little, the director and chief curator of the Mead Art Museum, on the museum’s push to acquire more contemporary art

Emilie Flamme ’20

Quote by Emilie Flamme about community.

“As we spread apart, it’s going to be imperative that we stay connected in ways that we’ve never tried before and think about community in a way that’s different.” Emilie Flamme ’20 collaborated with Professor Mona Oraby on a new, boundary-breaking project for religious studies scholars.

Amrita Basu

Quote by Professor Amrita Basu

“We make progress and then we face setbacks. But that progress, those struggles, are not going to stop.” Amrita Basu, professor of political science, and chair of sexuality, women's and gender studies, in an Amherst magazine Q&A.

Breaking News

Video announcement by President Martin about moving to remote learning

In this video, President Biddy Martin announces the College's plan to move entirely to remote learning following spring break.

Eva Gladek ’05

Quote by Eva Gladek

“I think striving for a utopia is a really great thing to do with your life.” Eva Gladek ’05 is the founder of Metabolic, which promotes building projects that are waste-free and regenerative by design.

Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward Quote

“I swallow. I breathe. All delicious and damned. ”  Jesmyn Ward, in Sing, Unburied, Sing. Ward and other acclaimed writers will be on campus this week for LitFest 2020, a free event that is open to the public. (Bonus: Hear 5 students read from 5 LitFest authors.)

NOTE: The College’s literary festival turns 5 this month, and to celebrate, we asked Jennifer Acker ’00, editor-in-chief of The Common and the festival’s lead organizer, to pick her favorite moments from prior years of LitFest.

Amherst Facts

Amherst Fact: There's no better time to note that our dining hall is named Valentine Dining Hall.

There’s no better time to note that our dining hall is named Valentine Dining Hall. The Feb. 14 dinner menu features heart-shaped ravioli. Dining Services at Amherst College

Note: Download the “Mammoth Meals” dining app today from your preferred app store.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Quote by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“Professor McFeely’s riveting lectures brought to life in the most vivid way a world about which most of us had been unaware, a world of black achievement, sacrifice, resistance and attainment.” Henry Louis Gates Jr., acclaimed historian and former student of the late William S. McFeely ’52, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Frederick Douglass and Ulysses S. Grant, and a co-founder of the nation's first black studies department.

NOTE: McFeely wrote an article for Amherst magazine about the experience of Amherst students, including his own father, in World War I. 

Jim Rooney ’60

Jim Rooney '60

“I'm looking for energy. I.m not looking for perfection. Perfection is highly overrated.” Jim Rooney ’60, a Grammy-winning music producer specializing in the Americana genre, has worked with John Prine, Iris DeMent and Nanci Griffith. Rooney won a Grammy for production of Griffith’s Other Voices, Other Rooms. This year’s Grammy Award ceremony airs Jan. 26.

Deborah “D.J.” Williams ’20

Quote by Deborah Williams '20

“I knew from day one that we would be able to effect good and needed change.” Deborah “D.J.” Williams ’20, on serving on the Massachusetts Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes.

Note: Baker-Polito Administration Re-Establishes Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes.

Susannah Grant ’84

Quote by Susannah Grant

“My comfort with discomfort is the most important ingredient in my work.” Susannah Grant ’84 is the screenwriter and showrunner of the Netflix series Unbelievable. It was nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Television Limited Series. The awards ceremony airs Jan. 5. (Photo credit: Netflix)

Peter Zheutlin ’75

Quote by Peter Zheutlin

“I could have been reading him Robert Frost, or a section of the Internal Revenue Code—it didn’t matter.” Peter Zheutlin ’75 on taking a cross-country road trip with his dog, inspired by John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

Rosanne Haggerty ’82

Quote by Roseanne Haggerty “I think these projects need to become obsessions. Nothing happens unless someone is obsessed with making it happen.” Rosanne Haggerty ’82 is a housing advocate for the homeless. Dec. 7 marks the event known as “The World’s Big Sleep Out,” which brings attention to issues of homelessness. 

NOTE: Photo of the Times Square Hotel lobby by Gregory Goode. Creative Commons Licence). The image has been cropped slightly on the sides.

Tracy Jarrett ’11

Quote by Tracy Jarret '11

“ It is important for me to tell the story that my mother cannot tell for herself. ” Tracy Jarrett ’11, a producer at Vice Media, writing about her mother Julie Keith Jarrett ’81, who died from AIDS in 1994. Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day.

Cullen Murphy ’74

Quote by Cullen Murphy

“The first time I came into the chapel, I had a sense of someone missing. And that someone was Emily Dickinson.” Cullen Murphy ’74, chairman emeritus of Amherst's board of trustees. Johnson Chapel now features two new portraits of the poet, painted by Robert Sweeney, the William R. Mead Professor of Art. 

Thayer Greene ’50

Veteran's Day Quote

“He staggered up and fell to his knees before me, uttering, ‘Freiheit. Freiheit.’—Freedom. Freedom. Thayer Greene ’50. For Veterans Day, we honor Amherst College military veterans, including Green, an infantryman in World War II who helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp

NOTE: Photo by Jens Meyer, from “Nazi ‘V-2 rocket’ concentration camp liberation remembered.”

Thomas Boswell ’69

Quote by Thomas Boswell '69 about the Washington Nationals winning the world series

“For decades and into future generations, when the doings of this team are recalled, hearts will dance and race and scream in joy.” Thomas Boswell ’69, Washington Post sports columnist, on the Washington Nationals World Series win.

The Amherst Student

Quote from The Amherst Student about Ralph Ellison

“We are victims in the present of a false portrayal of the past.”  From an editorial in The Amherst Student. In 1969, novelist and scholar Ralph Ellison spoke on campus during one of two campus moratoriums featured recently in Amherst magazine.

President Biddy Martin

Quote by President Biddy Martin

“Our society depends for its well being on the identification and development of talent wherever it exists. It exists in every community and group.” President Biddy Martin.

Amherst welcomes and applauds the decision in the Harvard University admissions lawsuit, which affirms the importance and constitutionality of race-conscious admissions as part of a holistic review of applicants to our colleges and universities.