Family Weekend 2018 Schedule

Programs will be posted and updated as they are confirmed.  All programs are 60 minutes unless otherwise noted.

Find locations on our Campus Map. Use the fields below to search the Family Weekend schedule.

Friday, October 26, 2018
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, printed programs, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Alumni House will close at 8 p.m.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street, (413) 542-2065
9:00 AM
Attend Open Classes
Visit professors and students in the classroom. A list of classes open to visitors is available online and at the Alumni House Reception Center.
Various locations
9:00 AM
Mead Art Museum Open
The Mead Art Museum holds the world-class art collection of Amherst College - more than 19,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of global culture, all used for teaching and research across academic disciplines and available for the pleasure and understanding of a diverse public. Collection highlights appear in regularly changing displays. A bookshop and café offer museum publications, postcards and more. Admission is free, and the museum is fully accessible. See a full list of exhibitions currently on view at amherst.edu/museums/mead/exhibitions. Museum closes at 8 p.m.
11:00 AM
Beneski Museum of Natural History Open
The Beneski Museum of Natural History houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected since 1825 from local areas and around the world. Some displays illustrate the evolution and ecology of major groups of animals, and others describe the geological processes that have formed the earth and local structures. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection from the sedimentary rocks of the Connecticut Valley. This collection continues to be one of the largest and most studied fossil track collections in the world. Museum closes at 4 p.m.
11:00 AM
Emily Dickinson Museum Tours
The Emily Dickinson Museum offers guided tours throughout each day. Admission ranges from $5 to $15. There is no charge for Amherst College students, faculty or staff. Families who visit during Family Weekend each receive a 50 percent discount on tour admission and can apply the admission fees toward membership in the Friends of the Emily Dickinson Museum. The Homestead was the birthplace and home of poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens next door was built in 1856 for the poet's brother Austin and sister-in-law Susan. For more information, call the museum at (413) 542-8161 or visit us at emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Museum closes at 4 p.m.
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street
1:00 PM
Art and Activism Workshop with Megan Smith
All are invited to attend an art and activism workshop with Megan Smith, the artist behind Repeal Hyde Art Project. We will gather as a community to make works of art that respond to key issues of reproductive justice and then complete a pop-up art installation at a secret location on campus. Repeal Hyde Art Project draws attention to and creates intersectional dialogue about the Hyde Amendment, which blocks people from using Medicaid to pay for abortion. The project educates through collaborative art-making and shareable graphic arts. Ends at 3 p.m.

Part of Reproductive Justice Week: The Mead Art Museum is teaming up with the Women’s and Gender Center to support a pioneering series of programs that constitute Reproductive Justice Week. This year’s theme, “Queering Reproductive Justice,” focuses on abortion access, contraception, safe birth access and the particular set of challenges the LGBTQ community faces in this arena. 

Women’s and Gender Center, Keefe Campus Center
2:00 PM
Tour the New Science Center
Come see the new Science Center on a student-led tour! Tours will be 20-30 minutes each, over the course of the hour.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
2:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Russian
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department. Ends at 3:30 p.m.
Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Room 202), Webster Hall
3:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Spanish, French and German
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our departments. Ends at 5 p.m.
Library, Barrett Hall
3:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Architectural Studies and Art and the History of Art
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our departments.
First Floor Lobby, Fayerweather Hall
3:00 PM
Interfaith Gathering with Religious and Spiritual Life
All are welcome to participate in this simple gathering to share hopes and concerns of the heart and mind. The session will be guided by Amherst’s new Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Harrison Blum, and will also serve as an opportunity to learn about religious and spiritual life at the College.
Chapin Chapel, Chapin Hall
3:00 PM
Advising for the Health Professions
William A. Loinaz, Professor of Physics and Chair of the Health Professions Committee, and Richard Aronson '69, Health Professions Adviser and Assistant Dean of Students, will present an overview of the premedical and health professions advising program at Amherst and the medical school and health professions graduate school application process.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
3:30 PM
Academic Department Reception: Mathematics and Statistics
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department. Ends at 5 p.m.
Room 206, Seeley Mudd
3:30 PM
Academic Department Reception: Psychology and Neuroscience
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our departments.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
3:45 PM
Academic Department Reception: Computer Science
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department. Ends at 5 p.m.
C Wing, Second Floor, Science Center
4:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Biology
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
4:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: History, Religion, and Latinx and Latin American Studies
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our departments. Ends at 5:30 p.m.
Pemberton Lounge, Chapin Hall
4:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Physics and Astronomy
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department.
Lobby outside A011 and A013, Science Center
4:00 PM
Economics Lecture: The Challenges and Opportunities of Living and Working Longer
by Joseph F. Quinn '69
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
4:00 PM
Artist Talk with Megan Smith
Ever wonder about how you can channel your passion for the arts into activism? Curious about what reproductive justice means? Join us for a keynote talk with artist and activist Megan Smith. Her Repeal Hyde Art Project draws attention to and creates intersectional dialogue about the Hyde Amendment, which blocks people from using Medicaid to pay for abortion. The project educates through collaborative art-making and shareable graphic arts. Part of Reproductive Justice Week.
Mead Art Museum
4:45 PM
Academic Department Reception: Chemistry
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
5:00 PM
The Common's Family Weekend Reading
Join staff and interns of The Common, Amherst's award-winning literary magazine, to celebrate and hear brief readings from our new Fall issue, which inlcudes a portfolio of Puerto Rican authors writing one year after Hurricane Maria. Wine and cheese will follow the reading.
Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Frost Library
5:15 PM
Academic Department Reception: Economics
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department.
Lobby, Converse Hall
5:15 PM
Hillel Shabbat Services
Join Hillel and Jewish Adviser Rabbi Bruce B. Seltzer for Shabbat services followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m. Learn more about Jewish life on campus.
Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
6:15 PM
Hillel Shabbat Dinner
Join Amherst College Hillel and Jewish Adviser Rabbi Bruce B. Seltzer for Shabbat dinner. Learn about Jewish life and meet student leaders.
Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
7:00 PM
Aki Matsuri (Fall Food Festival)
Anime Club is holding our first cooking night of the year, so come through!! We'll be cooking various Japanese festival foods, such as takoyaki and taiyaki, as well as screening anime and hanging out with friends. This will be a Halloween party, so costumes are welcome and encouraged (but if you just want to come for the food, that's chill too ;D)
Event Space, Ford Hall
7:00 PM
MRC Dessert Reception and Family Movie Screening
Come join the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) for a cozy night full of sweet treats and popcorn! We will be hosting a movie screening of fun family movies while our guests enjoy our selection of cakes, brownies, popcorn, snacks and chocolate fondue! Ends at 9 p.m.
Multicultural Resource Center, Keefe Campus Center
8:00 PM
Amherst College Jazz Ensemble Concert
Under the direction of Carl Clements, Visiting Director of Jazz Performance, the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble (ACJE) will collaborate with Boston-based world-jazz group Natraj. The two groups will perform together on a piece by Natraj leader Phil Scarff, based on the North Indian raga “Jog.” ACJE will also feature works by Mongo Santamaria, Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus and others. Natraj will perform a set of original compositions. Natraj seamlessly melds the classical music of India, traditional music from West Africa and contemporary jazz to create its own unique and infectious style. Hard-driving African grooves and graceful Indian ragas meet in the band’s expansive jazz conception. Selected as Boston’s Best Jazz Band by The Improper Bostonian and nominated Best World Music Act at the Boston Music Awards, Natraj captivates and excites audiences with exotic textures, accessible melodies and rhythmic energy (www.natrajmusic.com). Free and open to the public.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
8:30 PM
Mr. Gad's House of Improv Family Weekend Show!
Come one, come all, come Eddie*! Parents, Gad's is the premier (and only) improv group on campus that performs weekly for students. We have a special show for Family Weekend that poignantly and humorously deals with themes of parenting, sisterhood and familial loyalty (just kidding, we're going to make it up on the spot). Students, this is something "college-y" to do with your parents. You can say things like "It's so nice that they perform every week, I love to go to shows!" even if you've never been before. Don't worry, we won't tell. The whole family is welcome (but do note that the show is rated approximately PG13/mature 12 year-old). 

*comedy. Get it? Come Eddie. Com-edy. Ok sorry.
Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
Saturday, October 27, 2018
8:00 AM
Alumni House Reception Center Open
Stop by for registration, printed programs, messages, information on the Amherst area and light refreshments. Alumni House closes at 4 p.m.
Alumni House, 75 Churchill Street, (413) 542-2065
8:45 AM
Coffee Hour with Athletics
Informal gathering to meet coaches and administrators in the Athletics Department. This event will take place in the Conway Classroom of Alumni Gym on Saturday, October 27 at 8:45 a.m.
Conway Classroom, Alumni Gym
9:00 AM
Mead Art Museum Open
The Mead Art Museum holds the world-class art collection of Amherst College - more than 19,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of global culture, all used for teaching and research across the academic disciplines and available for the pleasure and understanding of a diverse public. Collection highlights appear in regularly changing displays. A bookshop and cafe offer museum publications, postcards and more. Admission is free, and the museum is fully accessible. See a full list of exhibitions currently on view at amherst.edu/museums/mead/exhibitions. Museum closes at 5 p.m.
10:00 AM
Beneski Museum of Natural History Open
The Beneski Museum of Natural History houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected since 1825 from local areas and around the world. Some displays illustrate the evolution and ecology of major groups of animals, and others describe the geological processes that have formed the earth and local structures. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection from the sedimentary rocks of the Connecticut River Valley. This collection continues to be one of the largest and most studied fossil track collections in the world. Museum closes at 5 p.m.
10:00 AM
Tour the New Science Center
Come see the new Science Center on a student-led tour! Tours will be 20-30 minutes each, over the course of the hour.
Living Room (Main Lobby), Science Center
10:00 AM
Learning By Doing: The Undergraduate Research Experience
Amherst is increasingly emphasizing the value of “learning by doing” in the curriculum, internships and other off-campus activities. In this session Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, will talk about how this emphasis on learning by doing fits with a liberal arts education. He will focus, in particular, on the opportunities Amherst students have to do research with faculty. What skills and dispositions do students learn when they do such work? Why are student-faculty research collaborations valuable for faculty? How can/do they shape a student’s academic experience and help prepare them for the world beyond Amherst? He will draw on his own experience in collaborating with students on several projects on the death penalty in America.
Stirn Auditorium
10:00 AM
S'more Family Fun
Join the Outing Club for a campfire on the Quad. Roast marshmallows and make s'mores, paint pumpkins and enjoy the leaf pile. Fun continues until 2 p.m.
First Year Quad, near Frost Library Entrance (Rain Location: Stearns Residence Hall Common Room)
11:00 AM
Emily Dickinson Museum Tours
The Emily Dickinson Museum offers guided tours throughout each day. Admission ranges from $5 to $15. There is no charge for Amherst College students, faculty or staff. Families who visit during Family Weekend each receive a 50 percent discount on tour admission and can apply the admission fees toward memberships in the Friends of the Emily Dickinson Museum. The Homestead was the birthplace and home of poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens next door was built in 1856 for the poet's brother Austin and sister-in-law Susan. For more information, call the museum at (413) 542-8161 or visit us at emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Museum closes at 4 p.m.
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street
11:00 AM
Planetarium Program: We Are Part of This Universe
For over 55 years, the Bassett Planetarium has served the College well. This tool has helped countless individuals better understand their place in the universe. Join Alfred Venne, Planetarium Director, as he uses the vintage Spitz A3P Starball to help re-create the night sky over Amherst. In addition, using a classic Orrery, participants will examine the plane of the solar system, the tilt of the Earth, day/night and seasons. The main takeaway from the planetarium visit may best be summed up by Neil deGrasse Tyson, who said, “We are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us.”
Bassett Planetarium, Morgan Hall
11:00 AM
Book and Plow Farm
Walk or drive up to the Book and Plow Farm Core Site. Feel free to walk around our greenhouse and pick-your-own garden and enjoy the beautiful views on Tuttle Hill. Farm Manager Maida Ives will be on site until 1 p.m. to answer questions about the farm.
425 South East Street, Tuttle Hill
11:00 AM
Conversation with Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein
Dean Epstein will address transformations and innovations occurring on campus in support of academic excellence and residential life. Please join her for the conversation! This event is in lieu of the traditional Family Weekend conversation with President Biddy Martin.
Johnson Chapel
12:00 PM
Amherst College Choral Society Concert
The program includes music by Shawn Kirchner, Sydney Guillaume, Györgi Ligeti, Ēriks Ešenvalds and Veljo Tormis. It is conducted by Arianne Abela, Director of the Choral Music Program and Lecturer in Music, and Assistant Conductor Ellen Mutter ’18. The Choral Society is joined by renowned singer/songwriter Shara Nova in the world premiere of her composition “If I Say That You’re My Sister.” The concert concludes with traditional Amherst songs. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for senior citizens, students and children 12 and under. Five College student tickets are free. Tickets may be purchased at the door only, beginning one hour before the concert.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
1:00 PM
Amherst Football v. Tufts
Pratt Field
1:00 PM
Academic Department Reception: Music
Stop by to meet our faculty and other Amherst families interested in our department. Ends at 3 p.m.
Lobby, Arms Music Center
1:30 PM
Beneski Museum "Bones and Stones" Tour
Join Museum Educator Alfred Venne and student docents for a walk through the Beneski Museum of Natural History, which houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected locally and from around the world since 1825. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection. Bring your cameras!
Beneski Earth Sciences Building
2:00 PM
Navigating the First-Year Experience as Parents
Join Rick López ’93, Dean of New Students and Professor of History and Environmental Studies, and Hikaru Kozuma, Chief Student Affairs Officer, for a conversation about what to expect during your student’s first year at Amherst.
Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall
2:00 PM
Study Away and Global Education at Amherst
Hear from Janna Behrens, Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Global Education, and current students about study abroad and domestic study at Amherst. The panel will share the academic and career benefits of a semester away and students and their families will learn about the diversity of programs available to Amherst students.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
3:00 PM
Introduction to the Loeb Center for Career Exploration & Planning
Meet the Loeb Center leadership team and hear about the innovative career development programs and services available to students at Amherst.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
4:00 PM
La Causa's Loteria/Bingo Night
OYE!!! La Causa will be hosting its first LOTERIA NIGHT (more like a day) this Saturday! It's Family Weekend so parents are invited as well! Don't miss the chance to show off your skills of luck at Bingo! And yes ... there will be prizes. Ends at 6 p.m.
Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
5:30 PM
A Cappella Showcase
Come hear why Amherst is known as the Singing College with a selection of music from Amherst's six a cappella groups! Tickets available at the door for $6.
Johnson Chapel
7:00 PM
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance is an annual event sponsored by the Black Student Union that celebrates Black culture in a way that pays homage to the artistic boom during the 1920s. Performances will include singing, monologues and poetry. Dinner will be served and semiformal attire is required. Please join us as we celebrate the past and look to the future! Seating begins at 7 p.m. To reserve tickets, please contact bsu@amherst.edu.
Alumni Gym
8:00 PM
Amherst Symphony Orchestra Concert
The Amherst Symphony Orchestra continues its 2018 survey of Music of Spain and Latin America with performances of the vibrant concert music of continental Spain! The concert opens with a fiery showpiece: Catalonia: Suite Populaire by Catalan piano virtuoso and composer Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), followed by perhaps the most famous guitar concerto in the repertoire, the Concierto de Aranjuez (1939), by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999).  Inspired by imperial gardens on the river Tagus at the Palacio Real de Aranjuez dating from the 16th century Hapsburg monarch Philip II, the flamenco-influenced Concierto is by turns flashy and tragic (the slow movement reflects the deep sadness following the Spanish Civil War). The concert closes with music to the ballet El Sombrero de Tres Picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) (1919) by Spain's greatest 20th century composer, the Andalusian Manuel da Falla (1876-1946). Written for Diaghilev for Paris, with choreography by Massine and sets/costumes by Picasso, it tells of a town magistrate who attempts to seduce the wife of a local miller. Tickets may be purchased only at the door. Prices are $10 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens, students with ID and children under 12; and are free to Amherst and all Five College students with ID.
Buckley Recital Hall, Arms Music Center
9:00 PM
Night at the Observatory
The Astronomy Association, in collaboration with Amherst College Science Outreach, invite you to come observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars while they guide you and teach you some astronomy as well. Tom Whitney of the Astronomy Association will be present to operate Amherst College's own 19-inch Clark refractor telescope. This event is open to all, but it will be canceled if the weather is uncooperative (cloudy).
Wilder Observatory, Snell Street
Sunday, October 28, 2018
9:00 AM
Mead Art Museum Open
The Mead Art Museum holds the world-class art collection of Amherst College - more than 19,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of global culture, all used for teaching and research across the academic disciplines and available for the pleasure and understanding of a diverse public. Collection highlights appear in regularly changing displays. A bookshop and cafe offer museum publications, postcards, and more. Admission is free, and the museum is fully accessible. See a full list of exhibitions currently on view at amherst.edu/museums/mead/exhibitions. Museum closes at midnight.
9:00 AM
Jazz Brunch in Valentine
Valentine will be pulling out all the stops for a special brunch for Amherst families. Students swipe for entry as usual, families can pay cash at the door ($5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under). If you prefer to pay ahead, you can register online for brunch. A balloon twisting artist will be onsite from 9 to 10 a.m.!
Valentine Dining Hall
10:00 AM
Beneski Museum of Natural History Open
The Beneski Museum of Natural History houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens collected since 1825 from local areas and around the world. Some displays illustrate the evolution and ecology of major groups of animals, and others describe the geological processes that have formed he earth and local structures. Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection from the sedimentary rocks of the Connecticut River Valley. This collection continues to be one of the largest and most studied fossil track collections in the world. Museum closes at 5 p.m.
11:00 AM
Emily Dickinson Museum Tours
The Emily Dickinson Museum offers guided tours throughout each day. Admission ranges from $5 to $15. There is no charge for Amherst College students, faculty or staff. Families who visit during Family Weekend each receive a 50 percent discount on tour admission and can apply the admission fees toward membership in the Friends of the Emily Dickinson Museum. The Homestead was the birthplace and home of poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens next door was built in 1856 for the poet's brother Austin and sister-in-law Susan. For more information, call the museum at (413) 542-8161 or visit us at emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Museum closes at 4 p.m.
Emily Dickinson Museum, 280 Main Street
11:00 AM
Families of Choice Luncheon
Join us for our yearly Families of Choice gathering! The Families of Choice luncheon is open to members of the Amherst College community who may not have their family of origin present this weekend, or in their lives otherwise. Together we celebrate the families we build and cultivate through close connection, community and friendship. All are welcome! Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options will be available. For accessibility needs or concerns, please email cise@amherst.edu or qrc@amherst.edu, or call us at (413) 542-5971 or (413).542-5964. Sponsored by the Center for International Student Engagement and the Queer Resource Center. Ends at 3 p.m.
Event Space 107, Ford Hall