Free Speech and Institutional Responsibility
President Biddy Martin
September 8, 2013
Last weekend I had the pleasure of hearing a “point-counterpoint discussion” between two Amherst alumni, both of whom have argued before the Supreme Court in landmark civil rights cases. Paul Smith ’76 and Bert Rein ’61 explained the differences in their theories of the Constitution, gave their interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment, and respectfully but also firmly disagreed about the wisdom of affirmative action policies in college admissions. Listening to their conversation, I was again reminded of the distinctive responsibility of colleges and universities to protect spaces for freedom of expression so that the force of argument can help us resolve the hardest of problems. Civil, intelligent, and carefully reasoned debates like the one last weekend have become far too rare. I am glad it took place on a campus known for its intellectual rigor and holistic admissions, as well as its commitment to enrolling and educating a socio-economically, racially, and ethnically diverse student body.
Commencement Address 2013
President Biddy Martin
May 26, 2013
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.
Amherst President Biddy Martin Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Submitted on Monday, 10/8/2012, at 5:22 PM
This weekend, Amherst College President Biddy Martin—joining a diverse group of academics, politicians and international celebrities—was inducted into one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
2012 Commencement Address by President Biddy Martin
On Sunday, May 20, 2012, President Biddy Martin delivered the 191st Commencement Address at Amherst College. Play video and read the transcript below.