A close of two people shaking hands while exchanging a diplioma in a purple tube.

Fun fact: Every continent but one will be represented by at least one graduate during the College’s Commencement exercises on May 26. (So far, we’ve been iced out of Antarctica.)

Students hailing from Canada, Gibraltar, New Zealand, Rwanda, Uruguay and Vietnam will receive their degrees from Amherst that day, in addition to graduates from 45 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. 

During their time at their alma mater, they together took nearly 12,600 classes, produced more than 200 theses and won 50 athletics competitions against Amherst’s archrival, Williams College. (The Mammoths were victorious eight more times than the Ephs in matchups, but who’s counting?)

Here are some more numbers related to Amherst’s 2024 Commencement Weekend and, most importantly, the students themselves.

The Graduates

  • Number of students receiving degrees during this year’s ceremony: 464 
  • Number of transfer students: 24
  • Number of students who are the first in their families to graduate from college: 80
  • Nations represented: 32. In addition to the ones already mentioned, this latest batch of graduates came to the College from Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, South Korea and Mexico, among other countries.
  • Most-declared majors: Computer science, English, economics, math and statistics, and psychology
  • Number of graduating seniors with more than one major: 237. Of those, 224 are double majors, 10 are triple majors and three are quadruple majors (yes, you read that right).
  • Number of students who wrote senior theses: 221. Five of them wrote two!
  • National fellowship winners: 13. Six received Fulbright research/study grants, six won Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grants, and one was named a Watson Fellow. 
  • Total number of college courses taken by members of the class over four years, including those taken at UMass and Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire Colleges: 12,549; of these, 12,267 were taken at Amherst.
  • Students who studied off campus: 154. Destinations included Austria, Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, Iceland, Kenya, South Africa, and Turks and Caicos, to name a few.
  • Number of times Amherst teams or individuals qualified for NCAA Division III or squash postseason contests: 36 
  • New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) team titles won by members of the class of 2024: 6
  • Individual NESCAC titles: 7, one of which was won by a 4x800 relay team. 
  • Cumulative win-loss-tie record for the graduating student-athletes over their college careers: 718–324–32
  • Record against Williams College: 50–45–2
Class of 2024 group portrait

Click image to enlarge

Commencement Weekend and Exercises

  • 2024 Commencement speakers: Two. The ceremony will include addresses by College President Michael A. Elliott and Taha Zafar Ahmad ’24, who was voted the student speaker by his classmates.
  • Honorary degrees awarded during the ceremony: Six. They will go to: 
  • Conway Canes awarded during the weekend: 474. Each one of the 464 graduates receives a walking stick at Commencement, as do the six aforementioned honorands, the three winners of the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award and the recipient of the Medal for Eminent Service. The canes themselves are a 19th-century College tradition that was revived and reshaped by the class of 2003 to celebrate class unity and spirit. Now known as the Conway Canes in honor of a gift from Brian J. Conway ’80 and Kevin J. Conway ’80 to endow the Fund for College Canes, they are presented to all Amherst seniors to mark their graduation and to serve as an enduring symbol of their connection to their class, to this unique tradition and to their alma mater. 
  • Size of the (Mammoth) tent on Valentine Quad that is used for Commencement Weekend meals: 100 by 200 feet 
  • Sandwiches prepared for the festivities: 1,400. The College's Dining Services team also whipped up 800 pounds of potato salad, sliced up and served more than 400 watermelons, tossed 450 Caesar salads and baked 10,000 cookies and pastries, among other things.
  • Programs printed: 5,300 
  • Acres mowed the week of Commencement: 120. The work is done with large ride-on mowers, five remote-controlled mowers and three string trimmers.
  • Donations of furniture, clothing and other items from students that will be repurposed or given to local organizations: An estimated 40,000 pounds. Items that are in good condition are then made available to the College community at a Move-In Yard Sale and free clothing events in August and September.
  • Residence halls cleaned from top to bottom to house families of the graduates during Commencement Weekend: Five. A team of 20 custodial staffers and 40 non-graduating student workers spend approximately a combined 1,600 hours getting the buildings ready for guests.