A delight to read

My compliments to the entire editorial staff of Amherst for the Winter 2014 issue. I always look forward to receiving the magazine and have enjoyed it for the 57 years since leaving the college. But with this Winter 2014 issue, you have surpassed previous issues. The new (to me) format is a delight and catches the reader’s attention. The articles are well crafted and the subjects especially interesting, particularly “Mandela’s Legacy at Amherst,” “Honored and Proud,” “Busy January” and “The Return of the College Republicans.” Thank you for keeping me better informed about Amherst’s impressive admissions policy and the plans to make the college experience even better. Well done!

Jonathan “Jack” Barrington ’57
Chadds Ford, Pa.

Learning to Lead

Re. “Learning to Lead” (Sports, Winter 2014): While I think that promoting leadership skills and training is a very laudable goal, I am concerned that this program is only available to athletes. As a non-athlete alumna and the parent of a non-athlete current student, I know that there is interest in this sort of program for a variety of students who hope to become leaders in their future careers. I think many of the lessons taught and learned are relevant to anyone who wants to develop these skills. Additionally, this sort of exclusive program for athletes promotes a split between the athletes and other students on campus. I think it would improve the social atmosphere if there were more ways to integrate students of all interests and backgrounds and to reduce polarization between different sectors at Amherst.

Karen Wood ’81
Newton, Mass.

Clarification: The article about Amherst LEADS did not cover other leadership development opportunities open to Amherst students, including, to name three, Resident Counselor training, Center for Community Engagement training and Student Health Educator training. Also, Amherst LEADS held three spring-semester events that were open to all students, as well as an event for club sport athletes.—Editor

Calling all songwriters

The Glee Club invites alumni and students to enter a song competition with cash prizes in honor of the singing group’s 150th anniversary in 2014–15.

The winning composition will be premiered at the Glee Club’s Senior Concert on Saturday, April 18, 2015.  The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15, 2014. Here are the rules and regulations: Songs may be for any combination of voices, but not more than four parts. Songs may be a cappella or with piano accompaniment. Songs may be no more than four minutes in length.

Entries will be judged in a blind competition by a panel of judges. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three winning entries in amounts of $500, $300 and $200.

Texts may be chosen by the composer, but usage rights must be obtained from the text owner. Winning songs become the property of Amherst College.
For more information, write to mchernin@amherst.edu.

Mallorie Chernin
Director of Choral Music

Update: Last year we reported that Forbes had named four Amherst alumni to its 30 Under 30 list. This year Amherst has three names on the list, all from the Class of 2007: Eric Glustrom and Boris Bulayev, repeat winners from last year, in the social entrepreneurs category, and Adam Rodman, who founded Segra Capital Management, in the finance category. Glustrom and Bulayev cofounded a nonprofit, Educate!, that teaches leadership skills to young people in Uganda.

 “What if more colleges were like Amherst?”

The National Journal asked this question in a January article that highlighted Amherst’s success in increasing access to a college education. The article was about a White House summit on higher education access and affordability—an event in which President Biddy Martin took part (“Biddy Martin Goes to Washington,” Winter 2014). Here’s what other news outlets had to say about Amherst after the summit.

The Atlantic
“Amherst’s experience shows that recruiting students from all walks of life is, in and of itself, expensive. To meet its diversity commitments, Amherst has expanded its admissions staff, introduced a scholarship fund for veterans, set money aside to support community-college transfers, and essentially given the admissions office an unlimited budget to fly in prospective low-income students for campus visits.”

Bloomberg News
“Amherst … is making four new commitments: recruit and graduate larger numbers of Native American students; help create a pipeline to college for low-income students in the communities around Amherst; encourage more of its low-income students to major in science, technology, engineering and math fields; and help low-income students take part in experiences such as study abroad and internships.”
The Washington Post
“Most of the nation’s elite colleges and universities fall short of a benchmark that Amherst College surpassed five years ago: More than one-fifth of its students come from families poor enough to qualify for federal Pell grants. … ‘You have to have top-to-bottom support and enthusiasm for access and opportunity,’ Amherst President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin told The Post in a recent visit to Washington. ‘It has to be faculty and students as well as administration, trustees and alumni—and obviously donors.’ ”

 We Want to Hear From You

Amherst welcomes letters from its readers. Please send them to magazine@amherst.edu or Amherst Magazine, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002. Letters must be 300 words or fewer and should address the content in the magazine.