Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Visit Campus this Fall

October 5, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Ruth Bader Ginsbur: Photo credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States I am delighted to announce that we will welcome U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to campus this fall. On Thursday, October 3, Justice Ginsburg and I will hold an onstage conversation at 5:00 p.m. in Johnson Chapel. Justice Ginsburg has also generously offered to meet with students in Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at 3:30 p.m. for a review of cases from the last term. The second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969, Justice Ginsburg is well known for her clear voice in support of the constitutional rights of all members of our society.  Her early career as a pathbreaking lawyer in defense of fundamental rights, as well as her nearly forty years as an appellate judge and Supreme Court Justice, have been well-documented in many media, including opera, late-night television, and two feature-length films.

This will be Justice Ginsburg’s second visit to Amherst. In 1991, two years prior to her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Amherst College president Peter Pouncey awarded Ginsburg an honorary degree, citing her “lifelong insistence that inequality for some unbalances a society and makes it precarious for all.” Her unwavering dedication to righting that imbalance over the course of her lengthy and principled career as a jurist has made Ginsburg not only a pioneer for gender equality but an inspiration to all who seek to address systematic injustice.

170 Works of Contemporary Art Gifted to Mead Art Museum


Exterior of the Mead Art Museum (AMHERST, Mass., August 8, 2019)
— The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College announced today that it has received a gift of more than 170 works of contemporary art from an anonymous donor, significantly expanding the Mead’s holdings of recent work. To celebrate this donation, as well as the range of other contemporary artworks that have either been given to or purchased by the Mead in the last several years, the Museum will present the exhibition Starting Something New: Recent Contemporary Art Acquisitions and Gifts, opening September 10, 2019, and running through July 26, 2020.

Amherst College Names Letitia Johnson its New Chief Investment Officer

Letitia Johnson, Chief Investment Officer, Amherst College (AMHERST, Mass., August 1, 2019) — Amherst College today named Letitia Johnson its new chief investment officer, responsible for the management and oversight of the College’s $2.9 billion long-term investment pool (LTIP), composed of the endowments of Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts; the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.; and several long-term College reserves. Johnson joins the College from global investment firm Cambridge Associates. At Amherst, she will report to Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Kevin Weinman. Her appointment is effective Sept. 9, 2019. She succeeds current CIO Mauricia Geissler, who has served in the role since 2003.

Emily Dickinson Museum Receives a $22 Million Gift From the Late William McC. Vickery ’57


William Vickery The endowed gift, the largest ever received by the Museum, is to be used for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. The remainder will fund the maintenance of pianos for the College’s Music Department

(AMHERST, Mass., June 5, 2019) — Amherst College today announced a gift of approximately $25 million from the late William McC. Vickery ’57 to the College’s endowment, approximately $22 million of which is designated for use by the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass. The transformative gift, the largest ever received by the museum, will be known as the “William McCall Vickery ’57 Emily Dickinson Fund” and is specifically earmarked for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. Vickery, who was a devoted Amherst alumnus, volunteer, employee and supporter, also was a founding member of the Dickinson Museum’s board of governors.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz Among Seven to be Honored at Amherst College’s Commencement May 26

Student toss their graduation caps at Commencement at Amherst College (AMHERST, Mass., April 16, 2019) — Seven influential leaders in neuroscience, photography, religion, writing, astrophysics and social justice philanthropy will receive honorary degrees from Amherst College during its 198th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 26, at 10 a.m. on the school’s main quad. Amherst President Biddy Martin will deliver the traditional Commencement address during the ceremony, and each of the honorees will speak in a series of conversations that are free and open to the public on Saturday, May 25. The schedule for the weekend is available on the Commencement website.

The Common Magazine Receives $8,000 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant

Front cover the The Common literary magazine Amherst, MA-- The Common magazine, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has been selected for a 2019 Amazon Literary Partnership grant. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and diverse authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.

Since 2009, the Amazon Literary Partnership program has awarded more than $12 million in grants to more than 150 organizations, including the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and Poets & Writers amongst others. Through these grants, the Literary Partnership program helps to uplift and amplify marginalized voices in order to promote a more diverse literary community. In 2019, the Amazon Literary Partnership worked with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses to establish a new Literary Magazine Fund, and The Common is one of only 15 magazines awarded a grant from the Fund in its inaugural year.

Betsy Cannon Smith ’84 is Named Amherst College's Chief Advancement Officer


A portrait of Betsy Cannon Smith (AMHERST, Mass., May 23, 2019)
— Betsy Cannon Smith ’84, P’15 was named Amherst College’s Chief Advancement Officer today by President Biddy Martin. Cannon Smith, who has been alumni secretary since 1993, has served the College in a number of key leadership positions within the Advancement division since joining that group in 1986, including with alumni and parent programs, the annual fund, and the leadership gifts component of the College’s comprehensive campaigns. The appointment is effective immediately.

“I am delighted that Betsy will lead our talented advancement team and the Promise campaign efforts,” said Martin. “She has earned the respect and trust of generations of alumni, as well as colleagues and leaders on campus and off. Her comprehensive and deep familiarity with alumni, staff, and faculty is extraordinary, as is her devotion to the College and its mission. I feel fortunate to have her as a partner in our efforts to ensure Amherst realizes its promise."

Mead Art Museum Names Curator Dr. Galina Mardilovich Curator of Russian and European Art

The Mead Art Museum entrance (AMHERST, Mass., May 15, 2019)The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College announced today that it has appointed Dr. Galina Mardilovich to the position of curator of Russian and European art, effective July 1, 2019. Mardilovich, who has served as the acting curator at the Mead since August 2018, will oversee the museum’s program for Russian and European art, including researching the collection, developing exhibitions, and proposing new acquisitions. In addition, Mardilovich will collaborate with the Amherst Center for Russian Culture on the use of the Thomas P. Whitney ’37 Collection of Russian Art, a unique art and rare book collection that includes more than 600 paintings, drawings, and sculptures produced by artists both in Russia and in exile beginning in the late 19th century.

Renowned Neuroradiologist Nadia Biassou is Named 2019-21 Wade Fellow at Amherst College

Class of 1988 Alumna Will Share Her Experiences with Students to Inform and Inspire Their Career Exploration through Reinvigorated Program

Nadia Biassou (AMHERST, Mass., March 14, 2019) — Renowned diagnostic neuroradiologist Nadia Biassou, a member of Amherst College’s class of 1988, has been named a Wade Fellow at the school for the 2019-21 academic years. The appointment will bring Biassou to campus during the academic year with the goal of sharing her extensive experiences with students to help them learn how identity informs career exploration and to collaborate on programming that teaches them skills for navigating a complex professional world before and after graduation. Her term begins in fall 2019, and the Wade Fellowship programming is open to all Amherst students.