A Conversation with the New Board Chair

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In July the Amherst Board of Trustees elected Cullen Murphy ’74, editor-at-large at Vanity Fair and a critically acclaimed author, as its new chairman. He succeeds Jide Zeitlin ’85, who served in the position since 2005.

Cullen Murphy ’74 Elected Chair of Board of Trustees

Photo by Gasper Tringale
Photo: Gasper Tringale

July 3, 2012

Critically acclaimed author and editor Cullen Murphy ’74 has been elected chairman of the Amherst College Board of Trustees, effective immediately, announced outgoing chairman Jide Zeitlin ’85 on Tuesday.

In announcing the new board chair’s appointment, Zeitlin praised Murphy’s dedication to his alma mater.

“Cullen is admired on the board and beyond as a thoughtful leader with an enormous intellect,” Zeitlin said. “He exemplifies the life of the mind and the values that define our undergraduate liberal arts college. Amherst has benefited from Cullen’s dedicated service during the past 12 years. The Board and I look forward to Cullen’s leadership as he and Biddy and others in the Amherst community work to make Amherst even stronger and more distinctive in the years to come.”

Past is Present

God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World, by Cullen Murphy ’74 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Reviewed by Frederick J. McGinness

Cullen Murphy ’74

Cullen Murphy

Cullen Murphy ’74 has been an Amherst College Trustee since the year 2000. He is a freelance writer and editor-at-large for Vanity Fair magazine.

Murphy holds a B.A. in European studies from Amherst. Before arriving at Vanity Fair in 2006, he was an associate editor of Change magazine from 1975 to 1977, senior editor of The Wilson Quarterly 1977 to 1985 and then managing editor of The Atlantic (also known as The Atlantic Monthly) from 1985 to 2005. His books include Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage, with co-author William L. Rathje; The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own; Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America; and, most recently, God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World

2007 Interterm Colloquia

Contemporary Issues of American Empire- January 21, 7:30pm

Boston University Professor Andrew Bacevich and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ronald Steel explored the forces shaping American foreign policy and the responses it evoked abroad and at home. Moderated by Cullen Murphy '74, Editor at Large, Vanity Fair.

The Public Discourse of Immigration in the United States- January 23, 7:00pm

Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America

By Cullen Murphy ’74. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
Are We Rome?
2007. 262 pp. $24 hardcover.Reviewed by Fredric L. Cheyette

Emily Dickinson Museum Names Cullen Murphy and Betsy McInnis to Board of Governors

November 18, 2005 Director of Media Relations 413/542-8417 AMHERST, Mass.—Cullen Murphy and Betsy McInnis have been elected to the board of governors of the Emily Dickinson Museum, it was announced today by Polly Longsworth, the museum's chair.

Boston Sunday Globe: 'Give me back my legions!' by Cullen Murphy '74

Submitted by Paul S. Statt

Boston Globe: Cullen Murphy '74 on Rome and America

Submitted by Paul S. Statt
The Boston Globe, May 19
We're not surprised when people aspire to the top job, and even admire them for getting there. But giving up that job, willingly -- that's a little unusual.Yet that is what Cullen Murphy did. After 17 years as managing editor of the venerable Atlantic Monthly, he took over the duties of editor in chief in 2002.