May 24, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. - Four hundred and fifty-five men and women will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees at the 180th Commencement Exercises at Amherst College, to be held Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. in the college quadrangle. Speakers at the ceremonies will be President Tom Gerety and Daniel R. Johnson, a religion major from Summit, N.J., and a member of the Class of 2001. Folksinger Emily Greene, a graduating sociology major from San Antonio, Tex., will dedicate a song to the Class of 2001 from her recently released recording.

At the Commencement ceremony, Amherst College will award honorary degrees to Ken Bacon '66, chief executive officer of Refugees International and former Pentagon spokesman; Curt I. Civin '70, the director of the Division of Pediatric Oncology at The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center and inventor of a biomedical process for stem cell transplants; Ted Conover '80, author of Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (2000) and several other works of narrative non-fiction; Hiroaki Fujii '58, president of the Japan Foundation and former Japanese ambassador to Thailand and Great Britian; Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, past president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Peter Nadosy, trustee and banker; Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, professor of English at CUNY Graduate Center, critic, poet and former professor at Amherst, where she helped establish the Women's and Gender Studies Department in 1987; and Morton Own Schapiro, the president of Williams College. The college also will honor R. Thomas Green '59 with the Medal for Eminent Service. Green is chairman emeritus of Oglebay Norton Company of Cleveland and Zanesville, Ohio.

On Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m. in the quadrangle, Senior Class Day Exercises will be held. Prizes will be awarded, and two members of the Class of 2001, John M. Abodeely, a biology and fine arts major from Upper Saddle River, N.J., and David C. Breslin, an English major from St. Louis, will offer brief remarks.

Morton Owen Schapiro has been chosen by the seniors to deliver the main address on Class Day. Schapiro has been the president since July 2000 of Williams College, where he is also a professor of economics. A scholar whose research in the economics of higher education has earned praise and attention, Schapiro has written or co-written more than 50 articles and five books, including The Student Aid Game (1998), Paying the Piper (1993) and Keeping College Affordable (1991).

Before coming to Williams, Schapiro taught at the University of Southern California, where he served as chair of the department of economics, and as dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He studied economics at Hofstra University (B.A.) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.).

At this event, Amherst will also honor four exemplary secondary school teachers from across the country, chosen by members of the senior class to receive the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Awards. The awards this year will go to Oliver Edel, a viola teacher at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C., nominated by Steve Ruckman; Ken Neff, a physics teacher and swim coach at Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, N.Y., nominated by Ben Samelson-Jones; Phyllis Spadafora, a Spanish teacher at North Hollywood High School in California, nominated by Cathleen Sullivan; and Jane Pepperdene, an English teacher at the Paideia School in Atlanta, nominated by Laura Marshall.

A Baccalaureate service will be held on Saturday, May 26, at 10 a.m. in Johnson Chapel. This year's baccalaureate speaker will be the Rev. Jacquelyn Harris, associate minister at Saint Stephen's African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago.

In case of rain, Saturday afternoon's Senior Class Day Exercises and Sunday's Commencement ceremony will be held in LeFrak Gymnasium.