With the new year upon us, we’d like to share some of the favorite, most-read stories about Amherst College from 2016:

quantum knot
Tying Knots in Quantum Matter  

In a breakthrough discovery published in the prestigious journal Nature Physics, a scientific team led by Amherst Physics Professor David S. Hall ’91 and Aalto University (Finland) Professor Mikko Möttönen found a way to create knotted solitary waves in a quantum-mechanical field.

Eleven Fulbright Scholars for 2016

Last year, ten members of the Amherst class of 2016 and a 2015 graduate were offered Fulbright scholarships to teach and study abroad this year.

For the past 10 years, the Fulbright Scholar Program has recognized the College for its unusually high number of grant recipients. The Fulbright Fellowship, founded in 1946 by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, is one of the most prestigious awards in the world, claiming among its alumni 43 Nobel Laureates and 78 Pulitzer Prize winners. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Greenway Dorms
Celebrating the Greenway

The campus community marked the opening of the College’s four new Greenway Residence Halls with tours of the new buildings and a celebration in the Greenway courtyard. The residence halls are the first of three projects that will be the biggest transformation of physical campus since the founding of the College.

Norm Jones
Norm Jones Named Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Norm Jones, former associate chief diversity officer and deputy director at Harvard University, came aboard July 15 as Amherst College’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. Jones reports to President Biddy Martin as a member of her senior staff, contributing to strategic College discussions and planning. He works with the dean of the faculty, academic departments and the chief human resources officer to help identify policies and practices that support the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff, and he works to strengthen opportunities for dialogue and create a more vibrant, inclusive and cohesive campus climate.

Carrie Palmquist
Let Them Lose

Amherst College psychology professor Carrie Palmquist and former student Ashleigh Rutherford ’16 have found that when young kids experience “illusory success” related to a particular task, their ability to formulate and act on judgments they make about their own performance suffers. As a result, the children may become conditioned to ignore valuable information they could use in future decision-making, according to a study coauthored by Palmquist and Rutherford.

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates Speaks

National Book Award winner and MacArthur fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke to 1,400 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members at a special talk on Sept. 14, where he reframed the American dream and said the mission of his life is confronting racism. Coates also met with a small group of students for an informal conversation, question and answer session, and a book-signing.

Amherst seal
Amherst College Awarded $1 Million Cooke Prize

Hailing Amherst College as “a national leader in expanding access to college for low-income students,” the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded Amherst College $1 million to close what President Biddy Martin has called "invisible opportunity gaps."

Krauthammer Speaks at Campus Event
Conservative political pundit Charles Krauthammer’s lecture, titled “Conservatism in the United States Today,” drew nearly 250 listeners. He didn’t doesn’t pull any punches when it came to his assessment of President Barack Obama, but he credited the Commander-in-Chief and his “intellectual and ideological ambitions” with sparking a very beneficial national discussion.

Prince Albert
Environmental Leaders: The Next Generation

In honor of his 35th class reunion this past May, Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81 of Monaco gave $2 million to Amherst to establish the Prince Albert II Foundation (PA2F) Green Revolving Fund. The fund will be used to support environmental initiatives in the College’s operations and facilities.

Inaugural LitFest 2016

The College hosted its premiere literary festival,  celebrating the College’s extraordinary literary life. Distinguished authors and editors shared the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression, from fiction and nonfiction, to poetry and spoken-word performance.