Tell Us What You Think

We welcome letter submissions that respond to our magazine articles. Letters should be 300 words or fewer. Please send them to or Box 5000, Amherst, MA, 01002.

The People in the Photos

On page 63 of the Summer 2023 issue, the gentleman in the middle is me, looking deep in thought because, on that glorious day, after successfully completing four years of diligent academic effort, I was going to be married and launch a career in Washington, D.C., both in the following two weeks. Spoiler alert: Still a great marriage, and happily retired after three careers!

David Hulick ’77   
New Boston, N.H.

A black and white photo of commencement graduates walking in a line.

Why does the graduate in the middle look deep in thought? He was about to get married and launch a career.


I fondly recall my senior year working with Professor Oscar Schotte (page 53, Spring 2023). Following his retirement as a full-time faculty member in the 1960s, he took on one senior student each year to mentor in their research/honors biology project. I was very fortunate to be selected to study with him, and I treasured his tutelage not only on amphibian limb and tail regeneration but also on life in Geneva in the 1920s, Prussian history, politics, social norms of the time, accomplishments of his earlier Amherst students and other related (or unrelated) topics… all while he was (sometimes) inviting me to join him in imbibing refreshments from his under-counter shelves or refrigerator or at his home on Lincoln Avenue in Amherst.

His time and teachings meant so much to me that I invited him and his wife to New York City for my medical school graduation and my family’s post-graduation dinner celebration. 

I was (and remain) very interested in photography. Late in my senior year at Amherst, he was kind enough to allow me to photograph him in his lab. I was thankful that he inscribed the picture, which I later framed and which remained on my office wall throughout my surgical career.

Stephen Ettinghausen ’74, M.D.  
Panton, Vt.

Studying Soccer

A woman standing in front of the Holyoke Range

Melanie Schwimmer ’23

The Summer 2023 magazine featured 10 young alumni who received 2023 Fulbright scholarships. Since then, Melanie Schwimmer ’23 was bumped up from alternate to winner status for a Fulbright research grant. An American studies major at Amherst, she will pursue a master’s degree in sport, exercise and health at the University of Otago in New Zealand, with a project she’s titled “Investigating Legacies for LGBTQ+ Women from FIFA World Cup 2023 in New Zealand.” 

“When I arrived at Amherst College, I paired my sports activism and academic interests in history and sociology,” Schwimmer wrote in her Fulbright application. “The only openly gay player on our field hockey team, I advocated for and secured a Pride night where we celebrated queer athletes before our game. I joined our school newspaper, wrote articles about female athletes and pushed the editors to dedicate space to underrepresented stories in sports. … I had developed a driving curiosity for exploring how sport creates inequalities just as it solves them.” 

Library Surprise

The Summer 2023 contest, “Long Story Short,” asked participants to summarize in a single sentence one project they completed at Amherst. Composing my entry brought back memories of the late Professor James Maraniss’ class on poetic translation, which I took during my senior spring.

Maraniss insisted that we attempt something meaningful in his class. For me, that meant spending the entire semester with the Spanish Civil War-era poet Jorge Guillén. I still remember finding a small, hand-bound volume of Guillén’s work in some dusty basement level of Frost. It was an odd size, with a rough and fibrous cover, like one of those custom wedding invites mushed together from recycled bits and dried flowers. I checked it out for the semester.

Soon after, I made another discovery: On a blank page near the back, Guilllén had signed the book himself. I wondered if anyone else even knew.

I translated at least 10 of Guillen’s poems that semester, working carefully through the signed volume, making sure not to tear or wrinkle it. I built a relationship with the poet, but also with the book as a physical object. Many nights, I wondered whether anyone would care if I simply failed to return it, keeping it as one final Amherst memory, or maybe even selling it for an apartment deposit after graduation.

Of course, in the end, I couldn’t do that. I returned the book on schedule and even made sure to flag it for a librarian, who assured me she would remove it to Special Collections.

I have no idea what happened from there. I assume the librarian kept her word, but you never know: Maybe she held onto the book for the summer and fell in love with Guillén, as I did.

Jake Maguire ’07 
Los Angeles

Lots of Praise for Hixon and Harper

On LinkedIn this quarter, readers responded to our story about the historic induction of longtime Amherst men’s coach David Hixon ’75 into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame—a first for a Division III coach. Readers also commented on our story about a performance by jazz clarinetist Darryl Harper ’90 at the Drake, the recently reincarnated live music venue in downtown Amherst. Harper is Amherst’s John William Ward Professor of Music.

A man in a shirt and tie cutting down a basketball net

Adam Slocum ’94: Well-deserved, Coach! Is the soccer hall of fame next?

Timothy Luehrman ’79: I remember and am still proud of the week or so that you substitute-coached our freshman basketball team in 1975.

Chris Teare ’80: Congratulations, Hix. What a great commitment to the College and so many guys through the decades.

Rod Langevin ’80: I am proud of you and Amherst. You are as great a guy today as when I met you 47 years ago as a student. I take that back. Even greater!

Eric Walton Clemons ’90: That’s my guy, Darryl! Spittin’ bars on clarinets from Amherst to Philly, Milan to Sydney—jazz, classical, blues. Does it all. Definition of genius.

Correction: The Summer 2023 In Memory section incorrectly listed Richard Benner ’64 as deceased, due to an error in a College database. He is very much alive. We sincerely regret this mistake.