Commencement Address 2013

Amherst President Biddy Martin To the Class of 2013: “Hold To Your Desire for Poetry”

Submitted on Thursday, 6/26/2014, at 2:42 PM

May 26, 2013

New Amherst alumni celebrate Commencement (photo by Rob Mattson)

AMHERST, Mass. — Quoting the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, Amherst President Biddy Martin today exhorted the graduating members of the Class of 2013 in her annual Commencement address to remain true to their liberal arts educations, and “hold to your desire for thought, hold to your desire for poetry.” The themes of seeing beauty in the everyday via poetry and “putting together a good life with others,” as Martin put it, were echoed in an at-times humorous and poignant speech by Reilly A. Horan, of Darien, Conn., who was chosen by her classmates to deliver the student address during the college’s 192nd Commencement.

President Martin's Statement on Sexual Assault

October 18, 2012

Dear Members of the Amherst Community,

I write in response to the recent news about an incident of sexual violence and misconduct on the Amherst campus and to reports that the College has failed to treat similar incidents with adequate transparency or seriousness. A student’s first-person account in this week’s Amherst Student is horrifying—her rape, her painful efforts to deal with it on her own, and her subsequent experiences when she sought help on the campus.

A message from President Martin regarding sexual misconduct

October 11, 2012

Dear Amherst students,

I write to you concerning a matter that affects our entire community and for which we are all responsible, in one way or another. This message includes both information and an invitation. I know you are busy, but the issues are important. I hope you will take the time to read it.

President Martin’s Statement on Sexual Assault

October 18, 2012

Dear Members of the Amherst Community,

I write in response to the recent news about an incident of sexual violence and misconduct on the Amherst campus and to reports that the College has failed to treat similar incidents with adequate transparency or seriousness. A student’s first-person account in this week’s Amherst Student is horrifying—her rape, her painful efforts to deal with it on her own, and her subsequent experiences when she sought help on the campus.

Veterans’ Advocate, Acclaimed Defense Attorney and Hit Songwriter Among Seven to Be Honored at Amherst College Commencement May 26

Submitted on Friday, 4/19/2013, at 11:36 AM

April 16, 2013

AMHERST, Mass.— Virtuosic guitarist and composer Freddie Bryant ’87, labor activist Madeline Janis ’82, veterans’ advocate Paul Rieckhoff ’98, acclaimed civil rights attorney Barry Scheck, hit songwriter Jim Steinman ’69, former Wellesley College President Diana Chapman Walsh and pioneering AIDS researcher Robert Yarchoan ’71 will all receive honorary degrees from Amherst College during its 192nd Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 26, at 10 a.m. on the school’s main quad.

Alumnus Gives Amherst College Beneski Museum of Natural History a Dryosaurus Altus Dinosaur; Will Be Second Mounted Specimen of its Species the World

Submitted on Tuesday, 4/9/2013, at 11:15 AM

April 9, 2013                       
Contact: Caroline Hanna                                                                              
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

Photo courtesy of Research Castings International

AMHERST, Mass.—An agile and speedy vegan dinosaur roughly the height of a pony and the length of an American alligator will be the newest inhabitant of Amherst College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History this spring, thanks to a generous member of the Class of 1977 and his wife. John S. and Leigh Middleton have given John’s alma mater the skeleton of a Dryosaurus altus, a dinosaur that roamed North America during the Late Jurassic period about 150 to 145 million years ago.

Words of Wisdom from the President to the Class of 2016

Compiled by Emily Gold Boutilier

Five noteworthy quotes from President Biddy Martin’s convocation address on Sept. 3 in Johnson Chapel:

First George Washington. Now Biddy Martin.

By Emily Gold Boutilier

What does Biddy Martin have in common with Hillary Clinton, Paul McCartney and Clint Eastwood? All are among the 220 newest members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Inducted at a gala in Cambridge, Mass., in October, the Amherst president joined a field of new members that also includes Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates, playwright Neil Simon and former Amherst President Anthony W. Marx.

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