October 7, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.-On October 26, 1963, just a month before he was killed, John F. Kennedy spoke at the groundbreaking for the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. "Privilege is here, and with privilege goes responsibility," the president said. Speaking of the recently deceased poet Frost, he said, "When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
On Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003, at 3 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College, a program marking the 40th anniversary of that historic event will bring together people who were there to reminisce after viewing rare images of Kennedy's talk, and hearing it on tape.
Peter Czap, the Henry Winkley Professor of History; Hugh Hawkins, Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies, Emeritus; and Rose Olver, the L. Stanton Williams Professor of Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies, who were all young professors in 1963, will join Douglas C. Wilson, a member of the Amherst College Class of '62 who recently retired as college editor, and Dr. Edward Plimpton, a child psychologist and the son, who was 11 in 1963, of Amherst President Calvin Plimpton and his wife Ruth. Daria D'Arienzo, the head of archives and special collections at Amherst, will introduce the event with brief historical remarks. Susan Snively, associate dean of students and director of the Writing Center, will moderate the discussion. D'Arienzo and Snively put together this program.
Following the program, there will be a reception in the College Archives and Special Collections in Frost Library, where an exhibition about the 1963 visit is on display. The program will coincide with Amherst's inauguration weekend, welcoming new president Anthony W. Marx. Sponsored by the Amherst College Writing Center, the Amherst College Library, the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of the Dean of Students, the talk and reception are free and open to the public.