Deceased March 19, 2023
Although few people realized it, Kate Anne Herrod was a California girl. Born and raised in San Francisco, where her father practiced medicine, Kate attended Tufts University before transferring to Amherst her sophomore year. There she joined the first class of pioneering women after the College became coed.
Kate had a beautiful head of thick, honey-colored hair that she wore long, favoring turtlenecks, ankle-length skirts and a smart jacket she matched with a pair of Frye boots.
Kate also had a lively mind. She was quick, smart and funny, with a strong interest in literature. Famously, she was one of three Amherst women (the other two being Dara Altman Lennon ’80 and Robbi Vander Hyden Battey ’79) who graced the walls of the bathroom in Johnson Chapel with Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from Joyce’s Ulysses.
After graduating from Amherst in 1979, Kate studied at la Sorbonne and l’Institut de Touraine in France and la Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico. Kate embarked on a career in finance and real estate before enrolling in the executive MBA program at the Wharton School in 1990. In 1992, Kate forsook the world of commercial banking to join the Nature Conservancy as director of planned giving. She met her future husband, Richard Alper, there, and they were wed in 2004 before moving to Fort Collins, Colo., in 2011.
A lifelong seeker of knowledge and spirituality, Kate passed on March 19, 2023, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. A couple of days before dying, she remarked about the passage into the afterlife, “I think it will be beautiful.”
Kate is survived by her husband, Richard Alper; her stepdaughter, Alex Alper; her sister, Kim Emig; and her mother, Ski Herrod. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
John J. Geoghegan ’79