May 2, 2013
AMHERST, Mass.—The trustees of Amherst College have voted unanimously to award Alan S. Bernstein and Kent W. Faerber, both members of the college’s Class of 1963, the Medal for Eminent Service during commencement exercises on Sunday, May 26. The medal is presented to members of the Amherst community who have demonstrated exceptional devotion to the college.
“I am thrilled to be able to honor these two outstanding men with Amherst’s top recognition for alumni,” said President Biddy Martin. “Both Alan and Kent have assumed leadership roles within and outside of their alma mater, and their collective commitment and service to the college have been nothing short of extraordinary. They are wonderful citizens of Amherst and more than deserving of this tribute.”
Alan S. Bernstein
Bernstein is co-founder and president of Stratigraphic Asset Management, Inc., a family-owned investment advisory firm launched in 1993. From 1977 to 1993, he was president of Stratigraphic Petroleum, a privately held petroleum exploration and production company that he co-founded with his wife, Jayusia. He has been a devoted supporter of Amherst since graduating cum laude with a degree in economics in 1963. Over five decades, he has held numerous volunteer roles, including president of the Amherst Association of Dallas, class president, alumni trustee, Southeast Region volunteer for the Lives of Consequence Campaign, associate agent for the Alumni Fund and co-chair of the 50th Reunion Gift Committee. He has established or been the primary supporter of several key funds that benefit Amherst’s students, including the Bernstein Family Scholarship Fund, Hugh B. Price 1963 Internship Fund and William Montague Cobb ’25 Scholarship Fund. Additionally, since 1982, the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust, for which Bernstein is a trustee, has funded the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst, which brings distinguished speakers to campus to discuss topics relating to countries other than the U.S. A passionate ambassador for Amherst, Bernstein has conducted important outreach efforts in Miami’s secondary schools. In addition to advocating for improved technology at the college, he has successfully encouraged his alma mater to re-envision and redefine alumni engagement. He received Amherst’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002.
As an undergraduate, Bernstein played football and belonged to the Phi Delta Sigma fraternity. After earning his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966, he began his career with the ADELA Investment Company in Lima, Peru. Before co-founding Stratigraphic Petroleum, Bernstein was a senior petroleum analyst at Loeb, Rhoades & Co. and a vice president of Hanover Petroleum.
Kent W. Faerber
Faerber is the former president of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, which has grant-making responsibilities for $110 million in assets that support the people and programs of the Connecticut River Valley. From 1977 through 1994, he served as alumni secretary at Amherst and is credited both with modernizing alumni relations and with creating the college’s first permanent professional development operation, thereby setting the course for major fundraising and alumni engagement successes in ensuing years. In that position, he creatively restructured Amherst’s Reunion program into the intellectually and socially vibrant event the college enjoys each year and was successful in pushing alumni participation in the Annual Fund back up over 60 percent after several turbulent years in the late 1960s and 1970s. He also established the infrastructure for Amherst’s current major gifts program and played a central role in securing Amherst’s first $25 million gift, which was, up until 1994, the largest single gift the college had ever received. In 1988, he was honored with the college’s Distinguished Service Award. Before returning to work at his alma mater, he served as the president of the Alumni Association of St. Louis, his hometown. He is currently president of the Class of 1963, a member of his 50th Reunion Gift Committee and an associate agent for the Alumni Fund. .
As an undergraduate, Faerber double-majored in philosophy and religion. He was a member of the outdoor track team, sailing club and Phi Alpha Psi fraternity. After graduating from Amherst, he went on to Harvard Law School, where he earned his LLB in 1966. In recent years, he has been a guiding force at a number of local and national civic and charitable organizations, especially the Emily Dickinson Museum, which he helped to establish in 2003 and whose board of governors he chaired from 2006 to 2012. Renowned in college circles as a wealth of institutional knowledge, Faerber will celebrate his 50th Reunion this May.
Each year, the Amherst College Board of Trustees, in consultation with the secretary of the Society of the Alumni, selects a recipient of the Medal for Eminent Service, which is awarded at Amherst’s commencement ceremony. The medal was established in 1934 as a means of recognizing exceptional and distinguished service to the college for a great period of time, often in a variety of areas.