2015 Honorary Degrees and Awards

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Video: President Biddy Martin presents the honorary degrees.

2015 Honorary Degrees

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Ansara ’82, renowned children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle, contemporary artist and educator Sonya Clark ’89, economist Alice Rivlin, computational geneticist Pardis Sabeti and attorney and activist Paul Smith ’76 received honorary degrees from Amherst College during its 194th Commencement exercises.

2015 Honorees

Read the honorary degree citations:


Leo Arnaboldi


2015 Medal for Eminent Service

Leo Arnaboldi ’81 received the Medal for Eminent Service. The award is presented to members of the Amherst community who have demonstrated extraordinary devotion to the college. Read the citation.


2015 Swift Moore Teaching Award Recipients

Secondary-school instructors who challenged, inspired and moved members of Amherst College's Class of 2015 will be honored with the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award. This year’s recipients include:

  • Bob Jonas, math teacher, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston, Texas
  • Linda Maier, biology teacher, Emma Willard School, Troy, New York
  • Steve Schmidt, a history teacher from Lowell High School in San Francisco, California

Class of 2015 Honorary Class Members

The Class of 2015 elected the following Amherst College staff members to be honorary classmates, and honored them at Senior Assembly:

  • Leykia D. Brill, Admission
  • Tony D. Esposito, Dining Services
  • Justin Goot, Dining Services
  • Danielle Hussey, Women’s and Gender Center
  • Michael Keezing, Writing Center
  • Cara Sullivan, Police