The Spotlight Series presents recognized and engaging alumni and experts from within and outside the Amherst community discussing and debating important issues of our time. The events are hosted by President Biddy Martin. 

Supported by the Croxton Lecture Fund. Established in 1988 by William M. Croxton ’36 in mem­ory of his parents, Ruth L. and Hugh W. Croxton, to bring to campus well-known guest speakers who focus on topi­cal issues.

Past Events

Ten Lessons for Financial Resiliency

October 26, 2020

President Biddy Martin hosts a conversation between Ron Lieber '93 and Sarah Bloom Raskin '83, P'14, '17 about what they have learned watching Americans respond to the two biggest economic crises of our lifetimes.
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Why Democracy Matters: A Conversation with Danielle Allen H’18

Monday, October 19, 2020

Four photos of three women and a man arranged in a square

Danielle Allen H’18, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, as well as former Amherst College trustee, will engage in a lively conversation with Bella Edo ’21Ryan Kyle ’23 and Jeremy Thomas ’21.

Danielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology and the history of political thought. She is the recipient of the 2020 John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity, an award administered by the Library of Congress that recognizes work in disciplines not covered by the Nobel Prizes.

Bella Edo ’21 is a Black Studies and Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought (LJST) double major from Boxford, MA. Ryan Kyle ’23 is a prospective Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought major from the Washington, D.C. area. Jeremy Thomas ’21 is an English and Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought major from Houston, TX.


Login required. The video for this event will only be available through December 22, 2020.


COVID-19, Civil Unrest, and Communitas: Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being in the Summer of 2020

July 22, 2020

A discussion of coping with stress and anxiety through the COVID-19 pandemic with Kimberlyn Leary '82 and Paula Rauch '77. The discussion is moderated by Associate Professor of Psychology Julia D. McQuade. Read Bios »

1619 and the Legacy that Built America: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

July 9, 2020

Associate Professor Khary Oronde Polk moderates this discussion of the legacy of slavery in our nation’s history and in our understanding of ourselves as a nation with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Read Bios »