Kent W. Faerber, 1963

Medal for Eminent Service


Kent W. Faerber is the former president of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, which has grant-making responsibilities for $110 million in assets that support the people and programs of the Connecticut River Valley.

From 1977 through 1994, he served as alumni secretary at Amherst and is credited both with modernizing alumni relations and with creating the College’s first permanent professional development operation, thereby setting the course for major fundraising and alumni engagement successes in ensuing years. In that position, he creatively restructured Amherst’s Reunion program into the intellectually and socially vibrant event the Col- lege enjoys each year and was successful in pushing alumni participation in the Annual Fund back up over 60 percent after several turbulent years in the late 1960s and 1970s. He also established the infrastructure for Amherst’s current major gifts program and played a central role in securing Amherst’s first $25 million gift, which was, up until 1994, the largest single gift the College had ever received. In 1988, he was honored with the College’s Distinguished Service Award.

As an undergraduate at Amherst, Faerber double-majored in philosophy and religion. He was a member of the outdoor track team, sailing club and Phi Alpha Psi fraternity. After graduating, he went on to Harvard Law School, where he earned his LLB in 1966.

Before returning to work at his alma mater in 1977, he served as the president of the Alumni Association of St. Louis, his hometown.

In recent years, he has been a guiding force at a number of local and national civic and charitable organizations, especially the Emily Dickinson Museum, which he helped to establish in 2003 and whose board of governors he chaired from 2006 to 2012.

Renowned in College circles as a wealth of institutional knowledge, Faerber will celebrate his 50th Reunion later this month. He is currently president of the Class of 1963, a member of his 50th Reunion Gift Committee and an associate agent for the Alumni Fund.