Ice sculpture of the Amherst Mammoth

Tthe word inspire comes from the Latin root inspirare, meaning "to breathe or blow into." With that metaphor in mind, we've rounded up these stories from 2019 that we hope will animate, enliven and ignite a spark of creativity and momentum into your day.

  1. Fifty Years of Learning Through Travel
    For half a century and counting, the Watson Fellowship has given new Amherst graduates the chance to test their expectations and indulge their curiosity all over the globe.
  2. Will This Make You Happy?
    Psychology Professor Catherine Sanderson’s new book examines the body of research on well-being and offers scientifically proven tips for finding happiness.
  3. Change Is in the Air
    The Loeb Center trekked students to Boston to learn about climate action jobs: they left with a thousand ideas for their future—and the world’s.
  4. An Officer in the Battle Against Hate
    In response to a surge in anti-Semitic incidents in New England, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker revived a state task force to address hate crimes. Deborah “D.J.” Williams ’20 was tapped to join the fight.
  5. The 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
    Thirty-two professors. Ten weeks of summer. One shiny new Science Center filled with a record number of Amherst College students participating in SURF, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
  6. Commencement 2019: Relationships Worth Having
    Under the venerable oaks and maples on the Amherst College Quad, President Biddy Martin urged 471 new graduates to learn from the trees “what gives our lives their source and beauty—our interdependence and our belonging in embodied networks.”
  7. Building Peace Through Remembrance
    Amherst students have won Davis Projects for Peace grants each year since the program’s inception in 2007. The two newest recipients are helping people to process wartime traumas.
  8. Momentous Facts about Amherst’s Newest Mammoths
    The number of military veterans, the percentage of students who are the first in their families to go to college, the importance of Nov. 15 and other critical information about this year’s new students.
  9. I Have to Honor it All
    Thayer Greene ’50, who witnessed firsthand a Nazi concentration camp and went on to become an Amherst College chaplain and then a therapist, reflects on humanity’s shared evil—and hope.
  10. Climate Action Plan
    Amherst College aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 through transformative modernization of our energy system from fossil fuels to renewable electricity.
  11. Men's Soccer Closes out Record-Breaking Year as NCAA Division III Runner-Up
    A record-breaking season ended with men's soccer claiming National runner-up honors.
  12. Family Weekend 2019 Highlights
    During this annual event, happy families reunited with their Amherst students. 
  13. Disadvantaged Times Two
    Sociologist Tony Jack ’07 came out with a timely, buzzworthy book about race and class in higher ed. 
  14. The Power of Listening: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Addresses Campus
    Before a rapt crowd of 1,600, the justice--in conversation with President Biddy Martin--discussed legal decisions, discrimination, opera and her famous nickname.
  15. Emily Dickinson Museum Receives a $22 Million Gift From the Late William McC. Vickery ’57
    The transformative gift, the largest ever received by the museum, will be used for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. 
  16. The Return of WinterFest
    After a two-year hiatus, Amherst’s winter festival returned with a blizzard of events and treats. 
  17. First Words by Peter Zheutlin ’75 from Amherst Magazine
    Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley inspired Zheutlin's travels with Albie.
  18. Case Closed: Recovered Set of Dinosaur Footprints Finds New Home A 190-million-year-old stolen slab of rock with theropod dinosaur tracks is now in the protective custody of the College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History, thanks to the state Environmental Police.
  19. Amherst Voices
    And finally, an archive of the homepage quotes from 2019 by Amherst students, faculty, staff and alumni.