Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales, Poet Mary Jo Salter, Nobel Laureate Paul Nurse Among Eight to Be Honored at Amherst Commencement

April 20, 2010

AMHERST, Mass.—South African activist Zackie Achmat, founder of the AIDS/HIV advocacy group Treatment Action Campaign (TAC); Joshua M. Epstein ’76, a pioneer in agent-based computational modeling; Walter Dean Myers, author of children’s and young adult literature; Sir Paul Nurse, president of Rockefeller University and Nobel laureate; advocate Harvey J. Rosenfield ’74, founder of Consumer Watchdog; Mary Jo Salter, an award-winning poet who is also a playwright, lyricist, essayist and reviewer; Dame Marjorie Scardino, CEO of the education and media company Pearson PLC; and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, will all receive honorary degrees from Amherst College during its 189th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 23, at 10 a.m. on the school’s campus.

Amherst College Graduates 409

May 28, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass, May 28.—Under warm blue skies, Amherst College celebrated its 186th Commencement Exercises today. The college granted bachelor of arts degrees to 409 members of the Class of 2007 at Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m. in the Main Quadrangle.

2015 Honorary Degrees and Awards

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How to Be Happy After College

By Caroline Jenkins Hanna

[Speeches] In her commencement address President Biddy Martin exhorted the 464 members of the Class of 2013 to “hold to your desire for poetry.”

Paul Rieckhoff '98: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”

Thank you, thank you very much. Thank you, Professor Hunt—I appreciate it very much, that introduction. If you’re standing, come on down; there are plenty of seats. … Thanks, man…

Honorary Degrees & Awards

The Honored

At Commencement 2012, Amherst awarded seven honorary doctorates and a Medal for Eminent Service. The college also honored high school teachers nominated by graduating seniors.

Honorary doctorates

Christiane Amanpour, global affairs anchor at ABC News and host of Amanpour on CNN International, where she is chief international correspondent


At Commencement on May 22, 2011, Amherst awarded honorary doctorates to seven people. The youngest is not even 30.

"These Are Your Classmates, Dad"

The Honored

Zackie Achmat, doctor of humane letters. Founder and former chairman of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign, which responds to the AIDS crisis; anti-apartheid activist; founder of the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality; director of the Centre for Law & Social Justice in Cape Town