150 Years Ago: Amherst Established Nation’s First College Health Program

Submitted on Wednesday, 1/6/2016, at 6:09 PM
Dr. Edward Hitchcock, Jr.
Dr. Edward Hitchcock Jr., Class of 1849

By William Sweet

The usual injuries and illnesses that accompany life at Amherst College—an ankle twisted on the squash court, a flu brought from home—can come upon students quickly, and the response can be quick and easy, too: a trip to the Keefe Health Center.

But students didn’t always have such a place to go. This fall marks the 150th anniversary of the hiring of Dr. Edward Hitchcock Jr., who pioneered on-campus health programming at Amherst College. Amherst’s was the first structured college health program in the United States.

Hitchcock, nicknamed “Old Doc” by Amherst students decades before he’d warranted being called old, attended the birth of college health programs, which over the next century and half would evolve into both physical education as an academic study and on-campus health care centers. “Old Doc” would attend to this labor for the last half-century of his life.

The American College Health Association is currently conducting a fundraising campaign in honor of the pioneering doctor and has paid tribute to him every year since 1961 by presenting the Edward Hitchcock Award for Outstanding Contributions in College Health.

“He was way ahead of his time and a real visionary,” said Dr. J. Robert Wirag, the recently retired director of health services for the University of Central Florida and a recipient of the award.

“Dr. Hitchcock in our mind is very alive and well for people in college health today,” he added.

Introducing... This Year’s New Students

Submitted on Wednesday, 8/31/2011, at 6:01 PM

They include two former presidents of their high schools’ Young Republicans clubs, two licensed pilots, a grand champion pig raiser, a Carnegie Hall performer, a national ballroom dancing champion and the manager of a rap artist.

They are adoptees, immigrants and orphans; Muslims, Quakers and atheists; vegans and vegetarians, among many, many other things.

Their names include Joy, Courage, Destiny and Liberty.

And they are all now, officially, Amherst College undergraduates.

Mead Art Museum Receives $148,000 Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to Fund Collection Digitization Project

Submitted on Monday, 8/15/2011, at 4:38 PM
Photographer David Dashiell arranges a print for digitization at the Mead Art Museum.

AMHERST, Mass. — The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College has received a $148,256 Museums for America Program Grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to create digital images of more than 10,000 objects in its collection, including prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture, furniture, ceramics and silver.