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.

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. 

John Kasich to Speak at Amherst College on February 7

Popular Two-Term Ohio Governor and 2016 Presidential Contender to Headline Public Event

Portrait of John Kasich (AMHERST, Mass., January 16, 2019) — Amherst College today announced that John R. Kasich, Ohio’s outgoing two-term governor and 2016 presidential contender, will speak on campus on Thursday, February 7, at 8 p.m. at Johnson Chapel. The event is open to the public.

Kasich, a Republican, has served as Ohio governor since January 2011 and officially completed his second term today with the swearing-in of his successor, Mike DeWine. (The state’s governors are limited to two successive terms.) Kasich’s priorities were focused on restoring fiscal stability to Ohio, driving economic growth and job creation, modernizing infrastructure, developing a model to fight drug abuse and addiction and seeking bipartisan solutions on key national issues such as health care.

Prior to serving as Ohio’s governor, he was a member of Congress for 18 years, where he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee and worked to balance the federal budget for the first time since man walked on the moon. Kasich also served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist Jennifer Egan to Headline LitFest 2019, February 27–March 2

Event, Marking its Fourth Year, will also Feature Award-Winning Authors Jamel Brinkley, Brandon Hobson, Elizabeth Kolbert and Charles C. Mann

Jennifer-Egan
Jennifer Egan

(AMHERST, Mass., December 19, 2018) — Amherst College will host LitFest 2019, its fourth annual literary festival celebrating fiction, nonfiction, poetry and spoken-word performance, on February 27-March 2. The event will feature readings, conversations and book signings with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Jennifer Egan and Elizabeth Kolbert, renowned science writer Charles C. Mann, and 2018 National Book Award for Fiction finalists Jamel Brinkley and Brandon Hobson, among others. The festival takes place on the Amherst College campus and is free and open to the public.

Five Leading Liberal Arts Colleges Partner to Create New Solar Energy Facility in Maine

The Partnership is First Collaborative Purchase of New England-Generated Solar by Any Higher-Ed Consortium

(AMHERST, Mass., December 14, 2018) — Five of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges have formed a pioneering collaborative that will allow them to offset 46,000 megawatt hours per year of their collective electrical needs with electricity created at a new solar power facility to be built in Farmington, Maine. The partnership represents the first collaborative purchase of New England-generated solar electricity by higher-education institutions.

Amherst, Bowdoin, Hampshire, Smith and Williams colleges are partnering with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, a leading clean energy company, which will construct a utility-scale solar power facility that annually will create enough electricity to power about 5,000 New England homes.

Emily Dickinson Museum Announces Significant Upgrade and Expansion

$300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant and Purchase of Adjacent Property Will Significantly Enhance the Celebrated Amherst, Mass., Museum’s Offerings 

Emily Dickinson daguerreotype

(AMHERST, Mass., November 12, 2018) — The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass., today announced a major upgrade and expansion made possible by a $300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant, which will protect historic collections at the existing museum, and the purchase of an adjacent property that will eventually open even more of the poet’s Homestead to visitors. The Museum, which attracts an average of 15,000 visitors each year, holds the largest and most diverse collection of objects related to poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and her family, illustrating important themes in 19th century social and cultural history such as gender and domesticity, changes in aesthetic tastes, class and social prominence, and civic engagement.

Amherst College Announces Two New Major Initiatives to Expand the Loeb Center

The Meiklejohn Fellows Program and the Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program will increase student career opportunities.

The Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning (AMHERST, Mass., November 7, 2018) — Amherst College today announced that it has launched two new, innovative programs as a part of its rapidly modernizing and expanding Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning: The Meiklejohn Fellows Program and The Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program. These initiatives will significantly expand the opportunities for summer internships, research positions and other experiential offerings for Amherst students to help prepare them for post-graduation careers and endeavors. 

The Common Magazine, Based at Amherst College, Receives $50,000 Gift to Support its Literary Publishing Internship

The cover of issue 16 of The Common (AMHERST, Mass., November 5, 2018)  The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has received a $50,000 gift from Sally Wood, whose daughter and late husband attended Amherst. The gift supports student interns who show exceptional editorial promise and leadership skills. The students funded through this gift—one per year for four years—will be known as the Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellows, in honor of the donor’s late husband, an English major, avid reader, and gifted writer and poet.