Amherst College Graduates 430 at Commencement May 28

May 28, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Under sparkling blue skies, Amherst College celebrated its 185th Commencement Exercises today. The college granted bachelor of arts degrees to 430 members of the Class of 2006 at Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m. in the Main Quadrangle. Amherst President Anthony W. Marx in his traditional address told the class, “when private pursuits become detached from public needs, everyone suffers,” and called on them to pursue “endless questioning,” despite “the immense suffering, of terrorism, tsunami and flood” they had known in their college years. Graduating senior Kit Wallach of Providence, R.I., chosen by her classmates to speak, expressed her belief, that education, “in the Quaker tradition, is a part of holding us in the light,” and called on her class to “assure access to that kind of education for everyone.”

Honorary degrees were also awarded at the ceremony today to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams (in absentia), anti-smoking activist Alan M. Blum ’69, poet and translator David Ferry ’46, cable pioneer and former chair of the Amherst College Board of Trustees Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. ’58, Samantha Power, educational activist Wendy D. Puriefoy, physicist Myriam P. Sarachik and W. Richard West Jr., founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

The college also honored retiring professors: Mavis Campbell, professor of history; David Reck, professor of music and Asian languages and civilizations; and Lew Spratlan, the Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music.

The college honored Henry B. Pearsall ’56 of Bellwood, Ill., with the Medal for Eminent Service. The honorary marshal was John E. Beerbower ’70.

In an outspokenly political address at Class Day ceremonies yesterday, Samantha Power, professor in practice of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, told the Class of 2006 that “At a time when politics deals in distortions and half truths, truth is to be found in the liberal arts. There’s something afoot in this country and you are very much a part of it.”

Four graduating seniors also addressed their class Saturday. Issa Abdulcadir of Washington, D.C., urged his classmates, “regardless of where you end up, enjoy the ride.” Andre Kobayashi Deckrow of Kent, Wash., said that “the definition of Amherst College is not in the topography of the campus, but in the hearts of each of us.” Sarah K. Rothbard of Livingston, N.J., recalling that former college president Tom Gerety spoke about King Lear at her class’s first convocation at Amherst in 2002, said that, “like Cordelia, words today are inadequate to express my gratitude.” Aidan Sleeper of Mamaroneck, N.Y., roared the college motto, “Terras Irradient,” or “let them give light to the world.”

The Association of Amherst Students gave the Distinguished Teaching Award to Stephen George, the Manwell Family Professor in Life Sciences (Biology and Neuroscience), who has taught at Amherst since 1965.

The college also awarded student prizes. The Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal was established by Wyman’s classmates and family to commemorate his remarkable life achievements and philanthropy to his beloved Amherst. A leadership gift to the annual fund was made in the name Rania Arja of Fountain Valley, Calif.
The Howard Hill Mossman Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the senior class, who has brought, during his or her four years at Amherst, the greatest honor in athletics to his or her alma mater, the word “honor” to be interpreted as relating both to achievement and to sportsmanship, was given to John F. Bedford Jr. of Ridgewood, N.J.

The Psi Upsilon Prize was established by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon in 1941 on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Chapter. The prize was awarded to Adam Lewkowitz of Phoenix, Ariz., the member of the graduating class considered preeminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character.

The Obed Finch Slingerland Memorial Prize, given by the trustees of the college to members of the senior class, who have shown by their own determination and accomplishment the greatest appreciation of and desire for a college education, was awarded to Raul Altreche of Amherst, Mass.

The Woods-Travis Prize, an annual gift in memory of Josiah B. Woods of Enfield and Charles B. Travis of the Class of 1864, is awarded for outstanding excellence in culture and faithfulness to duty as a scholar. It went to Gordon Arlen of Evanston, Ill., and Sarang Gopalakrishnan of Mumbai, India.

The college presented Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Awards on behalf of graduating seniors to four secondary school teachers: John Benson, a math teacher from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill., nominated separately by three different students: Rachel Gilbert, Hilary Levinson and Christian McClellan, all of Evanston, Ill.; David Ely, a biology teacher from Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vt., nominated by Carolyn Koulouris of Shelburne, Vt.; Elissa Jury, a science teacher from Rondout Valley High School in Accord, N.Y., nominated by graduating senior Jon Vosper of Kingston, N.Y.; and Robert Wilmoth, a history teacher from Elkins High School in Elkins, W.V., nominated by Aaron Hall of Montrose, W.V.

Ten people, including current and retiring employees of Amherst College were named honorary members of the Class of 2006: Anthony “Tone” Esposito (Shelburne, Mass.), a server at Schwemm’s Gourmet Coffee House); Marie Fowler (Belchertown, Mass.), an assistant in the registrar’s office; Zudo Jusufovich (Amherst, Mass.), a custodian; Donald Kells (Montague, Mass.), the college postmaster; Doris Mason (Florence, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining hall; Onawumi Jean Moss (Amherst, Mass.), retiring as associate dean of students; Greg Murphy, a Tulane University student who was a visiting student at Amherst last fall; Zaweeda Sahabdeen (Amherst, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining Hall; The Rev. Paul Sorrentino (South Deerfield, Mass.), the coordinator for religious life; and Lew Spratlan (Amherst, Mass.), retiring as the Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music.

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Find photos, audio and text of speeches of the commencement 2006.

Amherst College Class of 2006 Celebrates Class Day May 27

May 27, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—In an outspokenly political address, Samantha Power, professor in practice of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, told the Class of 2006 at Amherst College that “At a time when politics deals in distortions and half truths, truth is to be found in the liberal arts. There’s something afoot in this country and you are very much a part of it” Chosen by the graduates to speak, Power will be among seven recipients of honorary degrees at Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 28 at 10 a.m.

Four graduating seniors also addressed their class Saturday. Issa Abdulcadir of Washington, D.C., urged his classmates, “regardless of where you end up, enjoy the ride.” Andre Kobayashi Deckrow of Kent, Wash., said that “the definition of Amherst College is not in the topography of the campus, but in the hearts of each of us.” Sarah K. Rothbard of Livingston, N.J., recalling that former college president Tom Gerety spoke about King Lear at her class’s first convocation at Amherst in 2002, said that, “like Cordelia, words today are inadequate to express my gratitude.” Aidan Sleeper of Mamaroneck, N.Y., roared the college motto, “Terras Irradient,” or “let them give light to the world.”

The Association of Amherst Students gave the Distinguished Teaching Award to Stephen George, the Manwell Family Professor in Life Sciences (Biology and Neuroscience), who has taught at Amherst since 1965.

The college also awarded student prizes. The Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal was established by Wyman’s classmates and family to commemorate his remarkable life achievements and philanthropy to his beloved Amherst. A leadership gift to the annual fund was made in the name Rania Arja of Fountain Valley, Calif.

The Howard Hill Mossman Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the senior class, who has brought, during his or her four years at Amherst, the greatest honor in athletics to his or her alma mater, the word “honor” to be interpreted as relating both to achievement and to sportsmanship, was given to John F. Bedford Jr. of Ridgewood, N.J.

The Psi Upsilon Prize was established by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon in 1941 on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Chapter. The prize was awarded to Adam Lewkowitz of Phoenix, Ariz., the member of the graduating class considered preeminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character.

The Obed Finch Slingerland Memorial Prize, given by the trustees of the college to members of the senior class, who have shown by their own determination and accomplishment the greatest appreciation of and desire for a college education, was awarded to Raul Altreche of Amherst, Mass.

The Woods-Travis Prize, an annual gift in memory of Josiah B. Woods of Enfield and Charles B. Travis of the Class of 1864, is awarded for outstanding excellence in culture and faithfulness to duty as a scholar. It went to Gordon Arlen of Evanston, Ill. and Sarang Gopalakrishnan of Mumbai, India.

The college presented Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Awards on behalf of graduating seniors to four secondary school teachers: John Benson, a math teacher from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill., nominated separately by three different students: Rachel Gilbert, Hilary Levinson and Christian McClellan, all of Evanston, Ill.; David Ely, a biology teacher from Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vt., nominated by Carolyn Koulouris of Shelburne, Vt.; Elissa Jury, a science teacher from Rondout Valley High School in Accord, N.Y., nominated by graduating senior Jon Vosper of Kingston, N.Y.; and Robert Wilmoth, a history teacher from Elkins High School in Elkins, W.V., nominated by Aaron Hall of Montrose, W.V.

Ten people, including current and retiring employees of Amherst College were named honorary members of the Class of 2006: Anthony “Tony” Esposito (Shelburne, Mass.), a server at Schwemm’s Gourmet Coffee House); Marie Fowler (Belchertown, Mass.), an assistant in the registrar’s office; Zudo Jusufovich (Amherst, Mass.), a custodian; Donald Kells (Montague, Mass.), the college postmaster; Doris Mason (Florence, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining hall; Onawumi Jean Moss (Amherst, Mass.), retiring as associate dean of students; Greg Murphy, a Tulane University student who was a visiting student at Amherst last fall; Zaweeda Sahabdeen (Amherst, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining Hall; The Rev. Paul Sorrentino (South Deerfield, Mass.), the coordinator for religious life; and Lew Spratlan (Amherst, Mass.), retiring as the Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music.

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Amherst College Senior Ellen Leffler To Study at Cambridge Unversity on Churchill Scholarship

May 27, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—In an outspokenly political address, Samantha Power, professor in practice of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, told the Class of 2006 at Amherst College that “At a time when politics deals in distortions and half truths, truth is to be found in the liberal arts. There’s something afoot in this country and you are very much a part of it” Chosen by the graduates to speak, Power will be among seven recipients of honorary degrees at Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 28 at 10 a.m.

Four graduating seniors also addressed their class Saturday. Issa Abdulcadir of Washington, D.C., urged his classmates, “regardless of where you end up, enjoy the ride.” Andre Kobayashi Deckrow of Kent, Wash., said that “the definition of Amherst College is not in the topography of the campus, but in the hearts of each of us.” Sarah K. Rothbard of Livingston, N.J., recalling that former college president Tom Gerety spoke about King Lear at her class’s first convocation at Amherst in 2002, said that, “like Cordelia, words today are inadequate to express my gratitude.” Aidan Sleeper of Mamaroneck, N.Y., roared the college motto, “Terras Irradient,” or “let them give light to the world.”

The Association of Amherst Students gave the Distinguished Teaching Award to Stephen George, the Manwell Family Professor in Life Sciences (Biology and Neuroscience), who has taught at Amherst since 1965.

The college also awarded student prizes. The Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal was established by Wyman’s classmates and family to commemorate his remarkable life achievements and philanthropy to his beloved Amherst. A leadership gift to the annual fund was made in the name Rania Arja of Fountain Valley, Calif.

The Howard Hill Mossman Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the senior class, who has brought, during his or her four years at Amherst, the greatest honor in athletics to his or her alma mater, the word “honor” to be interpreted as relating both to achievement and to sportsmanship, was given to John F. Bedford Jr. of Ridgewood, N.J.

The Psi Upsilon Prize was established by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon in 1941 on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Chapter. The prize was awarded to Adam Lewkowitz of Phoenix, Ariz., the member of the graduating class considered preeminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character.

The Obed Finch Slingerland Memorial Prize, given by the trustees of the college to members of the senior class, who have shown by their own determination and accomplishment the greatest appreciation of and desire for a college education, was awarded to Raul Altreche of Amherst, Mass.

The Woods-Travis Prize, an annual gift in memory of Josiah B. Woods of Enfield and Charles B. Travis of the Class of 1864, is awarded for outstanding excellence in culture and faithfulness to duty as a scholar. It went to and Sarang Gopalakrishnan of Mumbai, India .

The college presented Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Awards on behalf of graduating seniors to four secondary school teachers: John Benson, a math teacher from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill., nominated separately by three different students: Rachel Gilbert, Hilary Levinson and Christian McClellan, all of Evanston, Ill.; David Ely, a biology teacher from Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vt., nominated by Carolyn Koulouris of Shelburne, Vt.; Elissa Jury, a science teacher from Rondout Valley High School in Accord, N.Y., nominated by graduating senior Jon Vosper of Kingston, N.Y.; and Robert Wilmoth, a history teacher from Elkins High School in Elkins, W.V., nominated by Aaron Hall of Montrose, W.V.

Eleven people, including current and retiring employees of Amherst College were named honorary members of the Class of 2006: Anthony “Tone” Esposito (Shelburne, Mass.), a server at Schwemm’s Gourmet Coffee House); Marie Fowler (Belchertown, Mass.), an assistant in the registrar’s office; Zudo Jusufovich (Amherst, Mass.), a custodian; Donald Kells (Montague, Mass.), the college postmaster; Doris Mason (Florence, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining hall; Onawumi Jean Moss (Amherst, Mass.), retiring as associate dean of students; Greg Murphy, a Tulane University student who was a visiting student at Amherst last fall; Zaweeda Sahabdeen (Amherst, Mass.), a checker at Valentine Dining Hall; The Rev. Paul Sorrentino (South Deerfield, Mass.), the coordinator for religious life; and Lew Spratlan (Amherst, Mass.), a retiring as the Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music.

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Amherst College To Hold 185th Commencement Weekend May 27 and 28

May 25, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College will celebrate its 185th Commencement Exercises this weekend, Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28. The college will grant bachelor of arts degrees to 430 members of the Class of 2006 at Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, in the Main Quadrangle. (Exercises will be held in LeFrak Gymnasium in the event of rain.) Amherst President Anthony W. Marx will give an address, and graduating senior Kit Wallach of Providence, R.I., has been chosen by her classmates to speak.

Honorary degrees will also be awarded at the ceremony Sunday to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, anti-smoking activist Alan M. Blum ’69, poet and translator David Ferry ’46, cable pioneer and former chair of the Amherst College Board of Trustees Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. ’58, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Samantha Power, educational activist Wendy D. Puriefoy, physicist Myriam P. Sarachik and W. Richard West Jr., founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian.

The college will honor Henry B. Pearsall ’56 of Bellwood, Ill., with the Medal for Eminent Service. The honorary marshal will be John E. Beerbower ’70.

At 1:30 p.m., on Saturday, May 27, Samantha Power will address the Senior Class Exercises. Power is a professor in practice of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general non-fiction and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy. Powers’ 2005 New Yorker article on the horrors in Darfur, Sudan won the National Magazine Award for best reporting. After covering the wars in the former Yugoslavia for several national news magazines, Power was named founding executive director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, which she led from 1998 to 2002. In addition to her current teaching, Power is writing and working as a foreign policy fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama.

The Class of 2006 also has asked graduating seniors Issa Abdulcadir of Washington, D.C., Andre Kobayashi Deckrow of Kent, Wash., Sarah K. Rothbard of Livingston, N.J. and Aidan Sleeper of Mamaroneck, N.Y. to offer remarks at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Senior Class Exercises.

The college also will award prizes at Senior Class Exercises on Saturday, and present Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Awards to secondary school teachers John Benson, a math teacher from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill., nominated separately by three different students: Rachel Gilbert, Hilary Levinson and Christian McClellan, all of Evanston, Ill.; David Ely, a biology teacher from Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vt., nominated by Carolyn Koulouris of Shelburne, Vt.; Elissa Jury, a science teacher from Rondout Valley High School in Accord, N.Y., nominated by graduating senior Jon Vosper of Kingston, N.Y.; and Robert Wilmoth, a history teacher from Elkins High School in Elkins, W.V., nominated by Aaron Hall of Montrose, W.V.

Amherst’s honorary degree recipients will give talks Saturday afternoon.

At 3 p.m. Alan M. Blum ’69 M.D. will discuss “Medicine vs. Madison Avenue: Fighting Smoke with Fire” in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. Blum has dedicated his career to preventing tobacco-caused illness, most notably through science, marketing and education. For the fearless way that he has battled against the tobacco industry, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has called him an “unsung hero of the world of public health.” Blum has served as editor or on the editorial board of nine medical journals, written widely in scholarly and popular journals, and travels frequently as a public speaker. Blum holds the Gerald Leon Wallace Endowed Chair in Family Medicine in the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he also directs the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society.

At 3 p.m. David R. Ferry ’46 will talk about “Learning to Read” in Stirn Auditorium. Ferry is a poet, critic, teacher and, most recently, a translator of classical texts. The Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English Emeritus at Wellesley College, he is the author of Of No Country I Know, which received the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress. In 1992, he published his first important "verse rendering” of the Babylonian epic Gilgamesh; he since has translated the Odes and Epistles of Horace and the Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil. Ferry is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

At 3 p.m. Amos B. Hostetter Jr. ’58 will recall “Amherst 1985-2005: A Trustee’s Perspective” in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115.) A member of Amherst’s Board of Trustees since 1989, Hostetter chaired the Board from 1998 to 2005. During his tenure, Amherst’s endowment doubled, and the college successfully completed The Amherst College Campaign. In 1999, Amherst implemented a new financial aid initiative that eliminated loans for a broad range of low- and middle-income families. Most academic and athletic buildings on campus were renovated during Hostetter’s chairmanship, and the college began a comprehensive renewal of its dormitories through the Residential Master Plan. Hostetter also chaired the search committee that brought President Anthony W. Marx to Amherst in 2003. Professionally, Hostetter is known as a visionary business leader and a technological innovator. In 1963 he co-founded Continental Cablevision, ushering in a new era of technology that has transformed news, entertainment and information services. Hostetter served as Continental Cablevision’s chairman and CEO from 1967 to 1997. From 1999 to 2003 he was non-executive chairman of AT&T Broadband and Internet Services and a member of the AT&T board. He currently serves as chairman of Pilot House Associated, a family investment office.

At 3 p.m. Myriam P. Sarachik will speak on “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: What Is It? Why Is It Interesting? What Is It Good For?” in the Paino Lecture Hall in the new Earth Sciences and Museum of Natural History Building. Sarachik chairs the Physics Department at the City University of New York, where she serves as Distinguished Professor of Physics. The author of nearly 150 professional articles, she has made important contributions to such diverse fields as superconductivity, the metal-insulator transition in two- and three-dimensional systems, and resonant tunneling of magnetization. Last year, she received both the L’Oreal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science and the Oliver Buckley Prize for Condensed-Matter Physics awarded by the American Physical Society. Sarachik is also a well known advocate for scientists’ rights: She is a national board member of the Committee of Concerned Scientists and former chair of the American Physical Society’s Committee on the International Freedom of Scientists.

Due to illness composer John Adams will not be here for Commencement Weekend.

At 4 p.m. Wendy Puriefoy will speak on “Public Education: A Promise Worth Keeping” in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115.) Puriefoy is a nationally recognized expert on issues of school reform and civil society. Her activism in this area began in the 1970s, when she served as a special monitor of the court-ordered desegregation plan for Boston’s public schools. In 1991, she was named the founding president of the Public Education Network. Under her leadership, PEN has become the nation’s largest network of community-based school reform organizations and a leading force behind systemic reform initiatives in school finance, governance, curriculum, parent involvement, libraries and student health. A frequent author and speaker on topics related to education, she also serves on a number of national committees and boards.

At 4 p.m. W. Richard West Jr. will lecture on “Native America in the 21st Century: Beyond Myth” in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. West, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne, has devoted his professional life and much of his personal life to working with American Indians on cultural, educational, legal and governmental issues. As founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, West has been responsible for guiding the successful opening of the three facilities (in Maryland, New York, and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.) that comprise the NMAI. Trained as a lawyer, West is a member of several boards, including those at Stanford University, the Ford Foundation and the National Parks and Conservation Association. West chaired the American Association of Museums from 1998 to 2000.

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Find more information, plus photos and audio, on the Commencement pages.

Henry “Hank” Pearsall ’56 To Receive Medal for Service at Amherst College May 28

May 25, 2006
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413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Henry “Hank” Pearsall ’56 of Oak Park, Ill., will receive Amherst College’s Medal for Eminent Service at the college’s commencement exercises on Sunday, May 28. The Medal for Eminent Service is presented to an Amherst alumnus who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to his alma mater. Pearsall is president of Amherst’s Society of the Alumni and one of the colleges’s most committed volunteers, particularly through the Annual Fund and through class reunion efforts. He has led his class to an unprecedented 100 percent participation in annual giving.

Pearsall has spent most of his career with Sanford Corporation, the Bellwood, Ill., maker of writing instruments and art supplies, including Sharpie, Paper Mate, Parker, Grumbacher and Waterman. Pearsall joined Sanford in 1969 and over the years assumed positions of increasing responsibility, serving as president from 1979 until 1984, and then as president and CEO, then chairman and chief executive officer. Pearsall retired in 1994.

Before joining Sanford Corp., Pearsall was an attorney at the firm of Hopkins and Sutter. For two years, he was secretary and counsel for The Wander Company in Chicago, and from 1965 to 1969 he was president of Ovaltine Products in the Philippines.

Pearsall is a director and chairman of the board of Oak Park River Forest Bankshares, a one-bank holding company. He also is principal and director of Pearsall et Pere, a real estate development company in Chicago, director of Ariel Capital Management and a trustee of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill.

Pearsall earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the law review and Order of the Coif.

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Amherst College To Sing National Anthem Before Red Sox-Yankees Game May 24

May 22, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Choral Society will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at Fenway Park before the game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Mallorie Chernin, director, and Rachel Dunham ’05, assistant director, will conduct more than 50 members of the Concert Choir, Men’s Glee Club and Women’s Chorus. The student leader of the Glee Club is Michael Bernstein ’08 of New York City. Julia Fox ’07 of Houston, Texas, leads the Concert Choir and Tara Kulkarni ’07 of Forest Hills, N.Y., the Women’s Chorus.

The Boston Red Sox have been inviting choral groups from Massachusetts colleges and universities to perform at Fenway Park throughout the month of May. The Amherst College Choral Society got the call unexpectedly last Friday morning, May 19, the final day of final exams at the college. Chernin says her student singers, as might be expected at the end of exams, had begun to scatter, but by Friday evening she was able to pull together 50. Many are from the Boston area and are “excited beyond belief” by the chance to perform at Fenway Park, Chernin says.

Amherst Choral Society at Red Sox game

Photo: Samuel Masinter '04

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Amherst College French Professor Paul Rockwell is Editor and Translator of French Romance The Knight with the Two Swords

May 12, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Paul V. Rockwell, professor of French at Amherst College, is the editor of Le Chevalier as deus espees: A Critical Edition and Translation ($90, Boydell & Brewer Ltd., Suffolk U.K. 2006).

Le Chevalier as deus espees, “The knight with the two swords” in English, is the hero of an anonymous Arthurian romance that belongs to a cluster of French verse works composed in England during the first decades of the 13th century; its author and audience were presumably among the baronial immigrants from the western regions of France who had lost their continental holdings to Philip Augustus. It presents an inter-textual response to various problems raised in Chrétien de Troyes’s Roman de Perceval, with its interlaced adventures containing some of the most subtle rewriting of Arthurian material known from this period.

Rockwell’s volume, offering a text and facing translation, represents the only dual-language edition of the romance and the first critical edition to be published since the 19thcentury; it also includes an introduction, notes and bibliography.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 1988, Rockwell has a B.A. in comparative literature and French, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His book Rewriting Resemblance in Medieval French Romance: Ceci n’est pas un graal was published in 1995.

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Amherst College Math Professor Daniel Velleman To Edit American Mathematical Monthly

May 12, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Daniel J. Velleman, professor of mathematics at Amherst College, has been selected to become the next editor of the American Mathematical Monthly. His term will begin with the January 2007 issue. The American Mathematical Monthly publishes articles, as well as notes and other features, about mathematics and the profession for readers with a broad range of mathematical interests, from professional mathematicians to undergraduate students of mathematics. The American Mathematical Monthly is written to be read, enjoyed and discussed.

Velleman came to Amherst in 1983, having earned a B.A. at Dartmouth College, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of How to Prove It: A Structured Approach (1994), and co-author of Which Way Did the Bicycle Go? And Other Intriguing Mathematical Mysteries (with Joseph Konhauser and Stan Wagon, 1996) and Philosophies of Mathematics (with Alexander George, 2002).

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Amherst College Professor Lawrence Douglas Is Author of a New Novel, The Catastrophist

May 12, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Lawrence Douglas, professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College, has published a new novel, The Catastrophist ($24.95, 276 pp., The Other Press, New York, 2006). The Catastrophist is Douglas’s first novel.

An intellectual comedy in the tradition of Michael Frayn and David Lodge, The Catastrophist is also a satire of both the erotic and the academic life of Daniel Ben Wellington, a respected art historian and respectable husband—and yet a “futurephobe,” that is, a man “afraid of tomorrow.” Daniel has known nothing but success, but knows the future promises nothing but disaster. His reaction to impending fatherhood is to run: straight into a full-blown if comical existential crisis. Soon the young professor is plotting bigamy, lying about his past, imagining his pregnant wife in the arms of an androgynous graduate student and explaining to the dean why he e-mailed an obscene suggestion to the naked lead in a student production of Miss Julie. This deranged behavior provokes the very catastrophes he fears most.

From an idyllic New England campus to the art world of Berlin and London, The Catastrophist charts the rise and fall and partial rebound of an ambivalent but endearing Everyman. It is “mercilessly witty… surprising and original” according to William H. Pritchard ’53, the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English at Amherst College. Before publication, Kirkus Reviews wrote in a starred review, “At its best, this is very nearly an American Lucky Jim: an acerbic comedy of manners with serious issues (responsibility and veracity in both marital and global relationships) at its solid core.” Booklist called it a “sublime comic creation.”

A member of the faculty at Amherst since 1990, Douglas received an A.B. degree from Brown University, an M.A. from Columbia and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He is the author of the acclaimed book The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (2003). He is the co-author, with his Amherst College colleague Alexander George, of Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Language and Literature (2004), a collection of satires of literary criticism, the educational establishment and American culture. His current book project, Reflections on the Glass Booth, on perpetrator trials, will be published by Princeton University Press. His essays and commentary have appeared in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe Magazine, The TLS and the Los Angeles Times, and his fiction and humor have appeared in Tikkun, The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review, among many others.

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Amherst College Artist-in-Residence Wendy Ewald and Collaborative Art Class Present Show At Nacul Center in Amherst May 7-26

May 5, 2006
Director of Media Relations
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AMHERST, Mass.—Wendy Ewald, artist-in-residence at Amherst College, and the students in her Collaborative Art class will exhibit their semester-long projects from Sunday, May 7, through Saturday, May 27, at the gallery at the Nacul Center for Ecological Architecture (592 Main St., Amherst, Mass.). An opening reception will be held from 12 noon until 2 p.m., on Sunday, May 7, at the Nacul Center. Sponsored by the Office of the President and Office of the Dean of Faculty at Amherst College, this exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

Titled “COLLABOR8,” the exhibition is rooted in the communal activism movement in contemporary art that has been the focus of Ewald’s teaching and artistic career. Throughout this semester, Ewald’s students have considered various community-based artists and studied contemporary art theory. They also carried out their own collaborative pursuits, where process and concept proved crucial to understanding their final projects. COLLABOR8 features the eight projects carried out by Ewald’s students and their many collaborative partners, including:

  • “The Fuzzy Folder Project,” by Christianna Bonin (Amherst College ’07) and women from the West Street Program in Northampton;
  • photography installation by Alexandra Boyle (Amherst College ’07) and Eric Silva;
  • portraiture installation by Carly Ries (Hampshire College ’09) and a local student named Kai;
  • collection of self-portrait books by Audrey Shields (Hampshire ’07) and grade school students at the local Capacidad after-school program;
  • photography installation by Kita Lantman (Amherst College ’08E) and Rachel Simon (Amherst College ’07) with 4th and 5th grade students from Capacidad;
  • mixed media installation by Lindsey Lyons (Mount Holyoke ’06) and kindergarten through 7th grade students at Holyoke Community Charter School;
  • experiment in portraiture by Scott Niichel (Amherst ’06) and local artist Oriole Feshbach; and
  • past collaborations by local artist and art therapist Deborah Golub.


The Nacul Center for Ecological Architecture is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Nacul Website.

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