Comments on the New President

  • “Biddy’s entire record demonstrates that she knows how to spend money effectively, save money intelligently and raise money in good times and bad,” says John Servos, Anson D. Morse Professor of History and Presidential Search Committee member.
  • “Biddy has a disarming smile, a ready laugh and a sense of humor that she does not exercise at the expense of others. But there is no mistaking that she is tough-minded when the occasion demands it,” says Don Randel, president of the Andrew W.


“I wasn’t out there looking for organic farms and ranches. … I was looking for the taste of the salad that I’d eaten in France.”

Foodie favorite Alice Waters, on why she founded the Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse. The honorary degree recipient spoke in Stirn Auditorium on May 21, 2011.

“It’s not about dumping rice, and it’s not about giving aid and handouts. It’s about creating these real opportunities.”


We asked people on campus and on Facebook to give advice to new students.

“Drive Route 9 all the way into the woods in the fall. In­­vite your adviser out to lunch, never mind your nerves. Take any class that will make you interesting to chat with at cocktail parties.”

Jennifer Kaufman Aslan ’02 (via Facebook)

“If you want to keep it, lock it up. Don’t leave your laptop, bicycle or other valuables unsecured.”


Overheard on Campus

“They did make me turn in a thesis of 15 million pages written in 75 languages, but I was lucky enough that other people wrote it for me.”

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on what he had to do to get an honorary degree from Amherst. He spoke in Cole Assembly Room on May 22.

“When are they going to quit worrying about the Daily Planet?”


Overheard on campus

"I was in the room with the IT person, and I was very, very nervous."

Dean of Admission Tom Parker describing to Amherst trustees his state of mind on the occasion of pressing “send” on the spring 2010 e-mail informing 1,126 applicants (from a record-setting pool of 8,088) they’d been admitted to the college. This was the first time the college has notified the students by e-mail.

"Some days we’re Hamlet, sometimes we’re Ferdinand, but our time and place confronts us with those young men’s dilemmas."


Overheard on campus

“I don’t believe we’re going to stop climate change. I believe that the climate and the Earth have been changing forever, and it’s man’s arrogance that can say we can stop it. But we can and must slow it down.”


Overheard on (and off) Campus

“Consider Baby Doc Duvalier from Haiti, who … never had to answer in any domestic or international court for atrocities and lives in southern France with a cozy retirement package.”

Lawrence Douglas, the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, in an interview about the International Criminal Court for “Who Knows,” Amherst’s online ask-the-expert series