Amherst College seal, with a sunburst over an open book and the words Terras Irradient
(AMHERST, Mass., September 10, 2018) — Amherst College has received a gift of $50 million by an anonymous donor as part of its comprehensive campaign, Promise: The Campaign for Amherst’s Third Century. This gift, along with a $100 million gift from an anonymous alumnus announced at the campaign’s launch in April, has provided a strong base for the College’s goal of raising $625 million over the next five years.

“The extraordinary generosity of our donors makes it possible for this gem of a College to provide students with the best possible education, one that has close colloquy between faculty with students at its heart,” said Amherst President Biddy Martin. “The priorities of our Promise campaign are straightforward and focused on the fundamentals of great education—a faculty of distinguished scholars who treat teaching as a calling, financial aid that allows us to enroll promising students regardless of means, curricular and pedagogical experimentation, new approaches to career exploration, and more creative ways of building and enjoying community. This generous gift will ensure that we can continue to develop independent, versatile, and creative thinkers.”

The Promise campaign includes support for a new interdisciplinary science center, the largest project in Amherst’s history, that is likely to be unsurpassed at a liberal arts college. With this center and additional faculty positions, the College will set a new standard in the mathematical, physical and biological sciences and enhance its historic excellence in the humanities, arts and social sciences. The science center opened last week.

The campaign will enhance need-based scholarships and other forms of support for students, continuing Amherst’s commitment to removing barriers to access and ensuring equity in the opportunities students have once they are enrolled. Amherst’s incoming class of 2022 possesses the strongest academic credentials on record and is the most racially and socioeconomically diverse to enroll. It marked the College’s highest number of applicants (9,724) and self-identified students of color (47% of the class) and is projected to include 60% financial aid recipients—and 29% who qualify for Pell grants—and 16% first generation students. The class also boasts a record average ACT and SAT composite score.

For more information on the Promise campaign, visit

Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its founding, in 1821, in Western Massachusetts, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world. The College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2021.