"Our Fellows Deserve to Be Heard"

Open Secrets

By Katherine Duke '05

Frank Warren has close-cropped hair and a soft voice. He wears blue jeans and glasses. He looks like the average 40-something husband and father. But, as he knows better than anyone, outward appearances often conceal extraordinary stories. Warren is, in fact, the creator of a famous and influential blog; he has published four popular books and launched two travelling art exhibits. He has earned the title of “the most trusted stranger in America.”A simple idea that he set in motion a few years ago has since helped to change, and even save, lives around the world. Standing on stage in Johnson Chapel in front of a rapt audience, he introduced himself simply: “My name is Frank, and I collect secrets.”

The Blame Game

By Katherine Duke '05

A certain current Amherst student—let’s give her the pseudonym “Cassie”—and her friend made a decoration for Family Weekend this year: a pumpkin with an A carved in it. “We put a strobe light in it,” Cassie says. “I was so proud of it. All my friends said it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen.”

Ben Bishop ’09 Answers: What Is Jeopardy!?

Interview by Katherine Duke '05

Since its first, black-and-white incarnation, created by Merv Griffin in the early 1960s, Jeopardy! has built a reputation as the thinking person’s game show. Amherst has helped prepare many trivia geeks to do battle with the big blue board: As a senior, Gwyneth Connell ’00 represented the Jeffs in the 2000 College Championship. Novelist and attorney Scott Turow ’70 towered over the competition in Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2006. And even though I ultimately came in a distant third, I consider my own Jeopardy! game, which aired in April 2008, among the luckiest and most fascinating experiences of my life.

The Game Plan

Story and photos by Katherine Duke '05

As an innocent Amherst first-year in the fall of 2001, I developed an addiction that has a hold on me to this day. I got sucked into a strange world that’s difficult to explain to those who haven’t visited: a world where we know each other by first and middle initials, last name and class year (I’m kdduke05); where “snooping” and “snitching” are not only socially acceptable but appreciated; and where people who have never laid eyes on each other regularly engage in vigorous debates and develop lasting friendships.

Just Old Enough

Close to Home

By Katherine Duke ’05

One of the many reasons I chose to attend Amherst College was that it was far away. Or, far enough away.  My parents could do the three-hour drive fairly easily when I wanted them to—but only when I wanted them to. The other serious contender, Vassar, was only an hour from my hometown. I cringed when I realized it got the same radio stations. I have nothing against my family or my high school, but I wanted my college experience to feel separate from them. So Amherst it was.

Life with Neavey

My Life: Constance Congdon, Playwright-in-Residence

Short Takes

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