During this holiday season we have almost more reasons to be grateful than we can count. As we sit down over dinners with our families, in Val, or with President Martin, we wanted to particularly note a few of the top reasons why the College community continues to be a source of #AmherstPride in so many ways.

1. Standout Students

Students are the strong heart of the College—their creativity and intellectualism is what makes the Amherst so vibrant. Whether they’re discussing the election and the related issues during panels and mini-talks with faculty, or working through complicated climate problems as their part of their first introduction to the campus, students’ dedication and engagement shines through. 

2. International Insights

Whether it was an image of an great aunt’s hands in the Virgin Islands, or a camel looking toward a thick haze of coal soot in Ulaanbaatar, the student submissions to the annual International Photo Contest show how an eye for the visual and a keen interest in the world result can result in a picture that’s more than the sum of its parts.

3. Stimulating Speakers

From the conservative columnist Ross Douthat to the social practice and video artist Adam Vine to National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates, Amherst has hosted a variety of viewpoints and opinions this fall. As President Biddy Martin noted in her fall letter to the community, such diversity of thought is essential as the “breadth and depth of knowledge, rigorous analytical ability, and the capacity for creative problem solving” are the true values of the liberal arts.

4. Amazing Alumni

The journey that an Amherst grad goes on from a degree in English or European Studies to a career in organic dairy farming or cookbook editing is a fascinating one. It’s a privilege to be able to hear about such career paths, as we did during an alumni panel on rewarding careers in the food world during Family Weekend, and then again when we had the chance to visit Sidehill Farm. The College has recently begun reimagining career preparation through new initiatives at the Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning. Those efforts should mean even more interesting alumni career stories are yet to come.

5. Makeover for Mead

The Mead Art Museum was revamped this year with a singular purpose: to create a space that was as creative as it was inspiring. By rethinking the collections and how they were displayed, museum curators said they were able to come up with a new way to showcase the museums holdings—as well as making the galleries brighter and more engaging. “Discussion on a Bench Platform Red” was just one of the innovative programs museum staff plan to offer this year. The stunning photos in our magazine tell the tale. 

6. Fascinating Faculty

The work of our faculty continued to be as outstanding as it was creative this fall, with professors consistently recognized for their innovative research, whether it was the power of the sun or the equally potent power of failure. Cross-listed courses such as “Digital Africas” also taught how collaboration can result in some facinatinge discussions. 

7.  On-Point Performances

From the Sabrina’s Homecoming Spectacular to the Hip-Hop Club’s festival and the many performances during the fall, the Amherst music groups on campus brought a special energy and enthusiasm to every College event. After all, who can resist the fun of the Zumbyes banana? See photos from the Fall Festival performance. 


Johnson Chapel in Fall
Johnson Chapel highlighted against the blue fall sky.