Medal for Eminent Service

Awarded by the Board of Trustees, the Medal for Eminent Service was established in 1934 to recognize exceptional service to the College over a great period of time, often in a variety of areas. 

Kenneth Rosenthal 1960 receiving Medal Eminent Service

May 29, 2022

Ken Rosenthal ’60 has served Amherst with generosity and expertise in numerous capacities over the course of six decades. His multifaceted record of distinguished service to the College as an alumnus, administrator, leader, and volunteer is emblematic of the extraordinary leadership and commitment to community that has characterized all of his endeavors, including his pivotal role in the thriving of the Five College community and his many contributions to the vitality of the Town of Amherst.

Rosenthal’s dedication to Amherst was apparent early on. After graduating from Yale Law, he heeded the call back to campus to raise funds for Amherst’s capital campaign. Over the intervening years, he has been a member and secretary of the Mead Art Museum Advisory Committee, an Amherst Fund associate agent, a mascot delegate, and a member of the Reunion Gift Committee and the Frost Library Fellow Advisory Committee. He is an honorary member of the Board of Governors of the Emily Dickinson Museum, where he previously served as trustee and chairman.

Rosenthal’s initial period of employment at Amherst led, in 1966, to membership on the team that established Hampshire College as an experiment in alternative education in association with Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rosenthal served the new college for 10 years as an administrator, treasurer, secretary and instructor; he subsequently served on the Hampshire College Board of Trustees from 2008 until 2016. In 2019, he performed a tremendous service to Hampshire and the Five College community as a whole by stepping up as Hampshire’s interim president during a challenging time.

In the Town of Amherst, Rosenthal has served on the boards of the non­ profit Amherst Cinema Arts Center, the Town­Gown Steering Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, he has worked with the Coalition of Amherst Neighborhoods and was a founding member of the Amherst Community Land Trust, a group dedicated to promoting affordable homeownership.

Amidst all of this, Rosenthal has had a robust career in law, business and nonprofit service, ultimately retiring as president of The Seeing Eye, the world’s premier guide dog school for the blind.