Amherst College Art Professor Sonya Clark Launches Final Phase Of “Solidarity Book Project”; Contributors Will Sculpt Iconic Raised Fist Symbol into Pages of Books

  Books with a raised fist sculpted into the fore edge (Amherst, Mass., February 16, 2021) — During Black History Month, Sonya Clark ’89, award-winning artist and professor of art and the history of art at Amherst College, has launched the final phase of the Solidarity Book Project (SBP), a collaborative artwork and activist initiative open to the public. In this phase, participants will learn how to sculpt the iconic raised fist symbol into the pages of thematically relevant books. At the project’s conclusion in September 2021, an immersive exhibition including participants’ sculpted books will be mounted. As is the case with all three phases of the project, each participant’s submission will be matched by individual donations from the College up to a total of $100,000 to provide access to books to Black and Indigenous communities in need.

Amherst, Wesleyan Presidents Lead Coalition Of Higher Ed Leaders In Urging U.S. Department Of Education To Abandon Civil Rights Investigation Of Princeton University

Amherst College Seal (September 24, 2020) —Today, more than 80 college and university leaders have signed onto a statement co-authored by Presidents Biddy Martin of Amherst College and Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to abandon its announced civil rights investigation into Princeton University.  

[Update, October 1, 2020: More than 110 have now signed the statement.]

Martin and Roth defend Princeton’s right--and the right of all “individuals, families, communities, businesses, corporations, and educational institutions”--to examine the country’s “legacies of slavery and racial oppression” and their own roles in perpetuating these legacies, past and present. They criticize the DOE for “using our country’s resources to investigate an institution that is committed to becoming more inclusive by reckoning with the impact in the present of our shared legacies of racism….We stand together in recognizing the work we still need to do if we are ever ‘to perfect the union,’” they write. “We urge the Department of Education to abandon its ill-considered investigation of Princeton University.”

Amherst College Partners with 2U, Inc. to Prepare for Fall 2020

Amherst College will use 2UOS Essential to build high-quality, online versions of its largest enrollment courses

Aeriel from of Amherst College campus in fall (Amherst, Mass., July 8, 2020) Amherst College is preparing for the fall semester by bringing some of its highest enrollment courses online in partnership with 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology. Amherst faculty will reimagine their larger, lecture-style courses in a high-quality, online format with the
support of 2UOS Essential, 2U’s bundled solution to help colleges and universities build, deliver, and support a hybrid learning experience this fall. 

Statement on ICE Change Impacting International Students

July 7, 2020

Amherst College Seal Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program for non-immigrant students on F-1 and M-1 visas for academic and vocational study. The changes would force international students to leave the country or transfer to an institution offering in-person classes if their colleges and universities are offering classes entirely online during the fall semester. We are baffled by what we consider a terrible decision, and we condemn it. The announcement goes so far as to suggest that if institutions offering a mix of in-person and remote classes go completely remote during the semester, international students would then have to leave the United States.

Guggenheim Foundation Awards Prestigious Fellowship to Amherst College Professor Lisa Brooks

The English and American studies professor will research the environmental history of eastern coyotes and their adaptation to climate catastrophes and colonization.

Lisa Brooks (Amherst, Mass., April 29, 2020) – Lisa Brooks, professor of English and American studies at Amherst College, has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Brooks is one of just 175 writers, scholars, artists and scientists from a pool of 3,000 applicants this year to receive the award, which is based on prior achievement and future promise.

In all, 53 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 75 different academic institutions, 31 states and the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces are represented among the 2020 Guggenheim Fellows, who range in age from 29 to 82.

Martin Garnar is Named Director of the Library at Amherst College

Martin Garnar (AMHERST, Mass., April 27, 2020) — Martin Garnar has been named director of the library at Amherst College, it was announced by Catherine Epstein, Provost and Dean of the Faculty. He joins the College from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where he was dean of the Kraemer Family Library and a faculty member. Garnar will assume the position on August 1, 2020.

“Martin was the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of the search committee, which was impressed with his wide range of experience, leadership style, and enthusiasm and support for the liberal arts mission,” said Epstein. “When he visited campus in February, those who met with him were struck by his knowledge, vision, collegiality, and ability to connect with members of the community.”

Legendary Amherst College Men’s Basketball Coach David Hixon ’75 to Retire

Alumnus closes books on storied 42-season career with 800+ wins, eight league championships and two NCAA national titles

Coach Dave Hixon (AMHERST, Mass., April 13, 2020)
— Legendary Amherst College head men’s basketball coach David Hixon ’75, who holds the record for number of wins in a single sport while coaching at Amherst, has decided to retire, Director of Athletics Donald Faulstick announced today. During his storied 42-season career at his alma mater, Hixon was the third coach in men’s basketball history across all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) divisions to surpass the 800-win mark. His overall record of 826-293 places him 15th on the NCAA’s list of most wins in men’s collegiate basketball.

Additionally, Hixon’s Amherst teams defeated archrival Williams in 17 of the last 21 contests the two schools played.

Amherst Admission Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Changes include a test-optional policy and no advance tuition deposit.

A staff members holds a Welcome to Amherst publication (AMHERST, Mass., April 6, 2020)—In response to the enormous global disruption that has accompanied the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health crisis, Amherst College has announced a set of modifications designed to help students and families in these extraordinary times.  

The Amherst College Office of Admission, with the consultation and approval of the Faculty Committee on Admission & Financial Aid, will suspend for one year its requirement that students applying for first-year admission submit SAT or ACT scores. This test-optional policy applies to applicants for the first-year class during the 2020-21 admission cycle; students applying for transfer admission to Amherst already have no requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores. Applicants may still submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration. However, first-year and transfer applicants should not submit SAT Subject Tests, as they will no longer be considered in Amherst’s admission process.  

Message to the Community Regarding Men’s Lacrosse

March 20, 2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff, 

We write with an update about the steps the College is taking to address problems with the culture and actions of the men’s lacrosse team. Findings of individual responsibility for violating the Honor Code lie with the disciplinary process in the Office of Student Affairs. That process is underway. Federally mandated student privacy protections mean that those findings will not be shared.

College Statement Related to Possible Use of Racist Slur on Campus

March 13, 2020

There is no circumstance in which any racist slur is acceptable on this campus, and there is no use of any slur that does not provoke anger, fear, sadness, and alienation in those who are targeted or outrage in those who abhor racism. That should include all of us. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of the racist slur at the heart of this matter.

New Book By Pulitzer Prize-winning Architecture Critic

A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin ’79 celebrates Amherst College’s rich architectural legacy and the stories its buildings tell.

A panoramic view of Amherst College campus (AMHERST, Mass., Feb. 20, 2020)—In celebration of Amherst College’s upcoming bicentennial in 2021, Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin ’79 has written a fascinating new book, Amherst College: The Campus Guide. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, photographed by the acclaimed Ralph Lieberman and commissioned by the College, the book presents an architectural tour of Amherst’s 1,000-acre campus and tells the stories of nearly 100 of its buildings, landscapes, sculpture and interiors. 

Legendary Amherst College Volleyball Coach Sue Everden to Begin Phased Retirement

Sue Everden (AMHERST, Mass., January 29, 2020) — Sue Everden, the Amherst College women’s volleyball coach since 1986 who has amassed more than 700 volleyball wins—and more than 1,000 wins overall in multiple sports, the first Amherst coach to accomplish that feat—will begin a phased retirement at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year, it was announced by Don Faulstick, Director of Athletics, and Everden. While her active coaching duties will conclude at that time, Everden will plan and lead a team trip to Japan that is expected to take place in spring 2021.

Emily Dickinson Museum Receives a $22 Million Gift From the Late William McC. Vickery ’57

William Vickery The endowed gift, the largest ever received by the Museum, is to be used for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. The remainder will fund the maintenance of pianos for the College’s Music Department.

(AMHERST, Mass., June 5, 2019) — Amherst College today announced a gift of approximately $25 million from the late William McC. Vickery ’57 to the College’s endowment, approximately $22 million of which is designated for use by the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass. The transformative gift, the largest ever received by the museum, will be known as the “William McCall Vickery ’57 Emily Dickinson Fund” and is specifically earmarked for the maintenance and improvement of its buildings, grounds and collections. Vickery, who was a devoted Amherst alumnus, volunteer, employee and supporter, also was a founding member of the Dickinson Museum’s board of governors.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Visit Campus this Fall

October 5, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Ruth Bader Ginsbur: Photo credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States I am delighted to announce that we will welcome U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to campus this fall. On Thursday, October 3, Justice Ginsburg and I will hold an onstage conversation at 5:00 p.m. in Johnson Chapel. Justice Ginsburg has also generously offered to meet with students in Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at 3:30 p.m. for a review of cases from the last term. The second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969, Justice Ginsburg is well known for her clear voice in support of the constitutional rights of all members of our society.  Her early career as a pathbreaking lawyer in defense of fundamental rights, as well as her nearly forty years as an appellate judge and Supreme Court Justice, have been well-documented in many media, including opera, late-night television, and two feature-length films.

This will be Justice Ginsburg’s second visit to Amherst. In 1991, two years prior to her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, Amherst College president Peter Pouncey awarded Ginsburg an honorary degree, citing her “lifelong insistence that inequality for some unbalances a society and makes it precarious for all.” Her unwavering dedication to righting that imbalance over the course of her lengthy and principled career as a jurist has made Ginsburg not only a pioneer for gender equality but an inspiration to all who seek to address systematic injustice.