Bicentennial Podcast: Bill Ford ’83

a microphone rests in a mic stand on a table

“We need more fact-based thinkers. We need more informed thinkers and ones who have covered a wide range of ideas and disciplines.” Bill Ford ’83, CEO of General Atlantic, on Episode 14 of Amherst’s Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Amherst Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sabrina Lin ’21

People walking in Boston's Chinatown

“I talked with people as we bought egg tarts and pineapple buns from beloved Chinatown bakeries, in front of storefronts and street musicians, and at tenants’ rights meetings and community protests.” Sabrina Lin ’21, on her interviews with residents of Chinatowns across the U.S.

Bicentennial Podcast: Rosanne Haggerty ’82

a microphone rests in a mic stand on a table

“The fact that so much progress has been made really does provide a beacon for how solvable this issue is if you have these collaborative structures in place.”  Rosanne Haggerty ’82, president and CEO of Community Solutions, which works toward a lasting end to homelessness in communities nationwide, on Episode 11 of Amherst’s Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Bicentennial Podcast: Federico Sucre ’13

a microphone rests in a mic stand on a table

“I feel very comfortable starting from scratch on something completely new that I know nothing about. And I think that's a result of the academic experience that I had at Amherst.” Federico Sucre ’13, in Episode 12 of Amherst’s Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Bicentennial Podcast: Alejandro Sucre ’13

a microphone rests in a mic stand on a table

“Ultimately, life ends up being a team sport, really, and you have to rely on other people in order to get to where you want to get to, right?”  Alejandro Sucre ’13, in Episode 12 of Amherst’s Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Bicentennial Podcast: Rebecca Segal ’18

a microphone rests in a mic stand on a table

“I think I'm shocked, and also not shocked, at how much my Amherst education comes into my job every day, and how much I rely on that bedrock that Amherst gave me.” Rebecca Segal ’18, field artillery officer and first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, on Episode 13 of Amherst’s Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Amherst Voices: Kendall Greene ’24

Close up of a charoal drawing

“This is a space where people can be themselves and be creative and share what’s in their hearts and their minds, through whatever medium.” Kendall Greene ’24 on the student-run Black Art Matters festival.

Amherst Voices: Joanne Wang Golann ’04

Graphic rendition of three profiles, facing right, with scientific symbols in the background.

“As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, I have always been interested in the subtle ways that culture shapes comfort levels.” Sociologist Joanne Wang Golann ’04, in an Amherst magazine interview about her book, Scripting the Moves. 

Amherst Voices: Nick Holschuch

A sample of Antarctic ice.

“We are taking the first steps in a decade-long scientific mission that spans institutions across the U.S.” Assistant Professor of Geology Nick Holschuch on climate-change research that involves the oldest ice in the world.

Amherst College Celebrates Women's History Month

A crowd of men and women holding signs and protesting for justice for indigenous women

“This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous feminisms, and explores how questions of sex, gender and sexuality have been articulated in relation to concerns such as sovereignty, colonization and imperialism.” Jennifer Hamilton, visiting professor of American studies. From the course description for Hamilton's Spring 2022 course “Indigenous Feminisms.

Photo credit: Jamie Malcolm-Brown, Cultural Survival.

Amherst Voices: Joanna Booth ’19

Close up of textile art, "Come Home," by Joanna Booth ’19

“My better ideas come from just living life and paying attention to what grabs me.” Artist Joanna Booth ‘19, in an Amherst magazine interview with Carla Diaz ’13. (Note: Closse-up of textile art by Joanna Booth: "Come Home."

Amherst College Celebrates Women's History Month

Ruth Bader Ginsberg and President Martin conversing on stage at Amherst College.

“What’s the difference between a bookkeeper in the garment district and a Supreme Court justice? One generation.” The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, speaking on campus in 2019

Amherst Voices: James Merrill ’47

Quote by James Merrill in honor of his birthday

“I knew / That life was fiction in disguise.” The late James Merrill ’47, from his poem “Braving the Elements.” Merrill was born this month in 1926. Note: Doodle by James I. Merrill on the manuscript of his novel, The Seraglio. Merrill-Magowan Family Papers, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.

Amherst College Celebrates Women's History Month: Ruth Kremen ’76

Quote by Amherst alumae Ruth Kremen

“I credit Amherst with what I see in myself today, which is great intellectual curiosity. Amherst brought me there, and it’s a huge part of my life.” Ruth Kremen ’76 was one of the first nine women to receive a bachelor’s degree from Amherst. 

Amherst College Celebrates Black History Month: Chloe McKenzie ’14

Street sign for Wall Street

“This toxic value system unsurprisingly originated during slavery. It affects us all. It affects Black women the most.” Chloe McKenzie ’14, an expert on financial trauma, abuse and shame, from “The Real Power of Money.”

Amherst Voices: Melody Dodoo ’21

Round logo for CISE the Center for International Student services at Amherst College

“My goal when I joined the Center for International Student Engagement was to make sure international students would have a voice, loud and distinct, in the Amherst student body.” Melody Dodoo ’21 is one of 151 Schwarzman Scholars chosen for this year out of nearly 3,000 applicants from 33 countries.

Amherst College Celebrates Black History Month

Students attending an outdoor reception for the Black Studies department at Amherst College

“The individual college youth cannot wait forever until the problem of his education is decided.” Charles Hamilton Houston, class of 1915, is the trailblazing civil rights attorney who created and led the legal strategy that would ultimately end racial segregation in American schools.

Amherst College Celebrates Black History Month

Quote by William Hastie

“Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat.” William Hastie ’25: lawyer, judge, educator, public official and advocate for the civil rights of African Americans. Hastie was the first African-American to serve as Govenor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a Federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, and as a Federal appellate judge. 

Amherst Voices: Sonya Clark

Quote by Sonya Clarke

“A book is a common object that has such capacity to hold so much of who we are—and to shape who we might be.” Sonya Clark, the Winifred L. Arms Professor in the Arts and Humanities and professor of art and the history of art, in “Solidarity for Posterity,” about the Bicentennial’s Solidarity Book Project.

Amherst College Celebrates Black History Month

poet sonia sanchez at amherst college

”A people without a thorough knowledge of roots and history cannot move into the future, cannot rest in the proper chair of life.” Sonia Sanchez, poet, activist and scholar who taught at Amherst from 1972 to 1975 and was the first chair of the Black Studies department.

Amherst Voices: Danielle Benedetto

an instructor works with two students at a large table

“I’ll walk you across a tightrope, but I’ll hold your hand while you’re doing it.” Danielle Benedetto, senior lecturer in mathematics. This year, Benedetto was awarded the Jeffrey B. Ferguson Memorial Teaching Prize

Amherst Voices: Eniola Ajao ’21

Map highlighting France, Ghana, and Bhutan

“I am excited for the opportunity to be totally independent, and the growth that will inevitably follow.” Eniola Ajao ’21, one of two recent Amherst graduates to become Watson fellows. 

Amherst Voices: Kate Follette

Clare Leonard and Professor Kate Follette

“It’s really cool working on something that would have been sci-fi to my parents’ generation.” Assistant Professor of Astronomy Kate Follette’s work involves detecting how planets form around young stars.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022: Jared Loggins

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“On this day, we have to renew our commitment to struggling towards the beloved community, which means dealing with the structural problems that prevent its realization.” Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Political Science, Jared Loggins, in an interview about Martin Luther King Jr.

posted 1/16/22

Amherst College Bicentennial: William H. Pritchard ’53

William Pritchard Quote

“It’s dangerous to consider the past from the standpoint of age, since change is of the essence and sentimentalizing one’s past is to be avoided. Yet is it possible that in those days everything was better?” Professor William H. Pritchard ’53, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue.

posted 1/16/22

The Bicentennial Podcast: Kirk Johnson ’82

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“Like the museum I run, Amherst is a product of the 19th century, and it is living in the 21st century, with its eyes on the 22nd century.” Kirk Johnson ’82, Sant Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, in Episode 10 of Amherst's new Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

The Bicentennial Podcast: Dr. Meron Hirpa ’11

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“I decided that my experiences, where I was coming from, my background was very different from everybody else. And my path forward was also going to be different from someone else.”  Dr. Meron Hirpa ’11 in Episode 9 of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright ’87 Listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Congratulations to German Giammattei ’22!

German Giammattei

“German has embodied so many of the ideals that our culture celebrates. There are so many people proud of him today.”  Men's soccer coach Justin Serpone, speaking about German Giammattei ’22 , who was just named the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III National Player of the Year for men's soccer. Giammattei is only the second player ever to win the honor twice.

The Bicentennial Podcast: William H. Pritchard

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“I decided that there was nothing in the world that I would rather do than come back and teach at Amherst.” William H. Pritchard, the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English, Emeritus, in Episode 8 of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted: 12/15/21)

The Bicentennial Podcast: Chris Lehane ’90

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“Biden, without missing a beat, turns to me and says, ‘Great, let’s go get some pizza, and we’ll hang out.’” Chris Lehane  ’90 in Episode 7 of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series, on meeting Joe Biden, who was then a U.S. senator, after Biden spoke at Amherst in the late 1980s. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted: 12/10/21)

Amherst College Bicentennial: Jennifer Acker ’00

footprint in sand

“Revision meant squarely facing my initial efforts and letting the professor’s comments, and those from any peers, settle in, drifting down past the discomfort and embarrassment of my work being criticized to nestle comfortably near the root of the problem, like the sand that collects at the bottom of your sock after a day at the beach.” Jennifer Acker ‘00, founder and editor-in-chief of The Common and an award-winning author, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (Posted: 11/29/21)

NOTE: Learn more about The Common, including its Literary Publishing Internship for Amherst students 

Amherst College Bicentennial: Lauren Groff ’01

Illustration of a crew team in a boat on a river

“There is not a month that goes by when—on a run when I’m not feeling at my best, or if I’m in the middle of doing something for work that seems impossible—I do not tell myself what our kind and dedicated coach, Bill Stekl, once said: ‘Nearly anyone can do nearly anything, as long as they do it slowly enough.’ ” Novelist Lauren Groff ‘01, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (Posted: 12/6/21)

Amherst College Bicentennial: Carmella de los Angeles Guiol ’09

A white house with green shutters

“When I think about what has endured from my time at Amherst, the most valuable treasure that I took away from those four years, what immediately springs to my mind are my friends.” Carmella de los Angeles Guiol ’09, , in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (Posted: 11/29/21)

NOTE: Guiol ghostwrites memoirs and blogs about digital health. She wrote an earlier essay for Amherst magazine on finding her mother tongue. 

Amherst College Bicentennial: Rafael Campo ’87, ‘04H

the mt holyoke range at sunset

“It was at Amherst College that I first learned our mysterious humanity can never be entirely explicated by our fascinating physiology or even our elegant genetics, and that the hardest questions about us require only the embrace of our empathetic imaginations as response.” Rafael Campo ’87, ‘04H, poet and physician, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (Posted: 11/22/21)

Note: At Amherst, Campo opted not to decide between the humanities and the sciences, but to study both. Learn about his majors, English and neuroscience

Amherst College Bicentennial: Rand Richards Cooper ’80

illustration by HannaBarczyk

“In course after course, we were both urged and trained to take responsibility for our own ideas—and, in doing so, to become thoughtful human beings. The method was, in the most encouraging way possible, to leave you no room to hide.” Rand Richards Cooper ’80. a fiction writer and journalist, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (Posted: 11/22/21)

NOTE: Cooper is a frequent contributor to Amherst magazine who interviewed Moderna president Stephen Hoge ’98 earlier this year.

Native American Heritage Month

leather, beadered moccasins

With a $2.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Five Colleges, Inc., and its member campuses are transforming how they approach Native American and Indigenous studies, with the goal of enhancing teaching, learning and scholarship in the field. (Posted 11/22/21)

Learn about the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate.

The Bicentennial Podcast: Becky Rwakabukoza ’14

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“My classes put all the pieces together and showed me what the picture is.” Becky Rwakabukoza ’14, in Episode 4 of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright ’87. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted 12/1/21)

The Bicentennial Podcast: Kathy Chia ’88

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“Throughout my Amherst education, I think every course that I took has ended up feeding into what I do as an architect.” Kathy Chia ’88, in Episode 3 of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright ’87. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted 11/19/21)

The Bicentennial Podcast: Freddie Bryant ’87

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“I know that people say math and music are connected, but for me, it’s music and prose. It’s music and words, it’s music and stories, it’s music and history, it’s music and struggle.” Bryant, in Episode 2 of Amherst's new Bicentennial podcast series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright ’87. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted 11/17/21)

The Bicentennial Podcast: Anthony Abraham Jack ’07

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“We can craft what is to come. We can engineer a different society, we can engineer a different way of life if we only have the courage and the imagination and the will to do so.” Anthony Abraham Jack ’07 in Episode 1 of Amherst's new Bicentennial podcast series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright ’87. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted 11/15/21)

Native American Heritage Month 2021

Quote by Kiara Vigil

 “I feel extremely fortunate and honored to be able to not only gain access to a language lost to me because of colonization, but to collaborate with Indigenous language teachers on creating new materials that will benefit Dakota people for generations to come.” Associate Professor of American Studies Kiara Vigil, cofounder of the College’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Program. Read about the funding that will enable her to learn, practice and preserve the endangered language of her ancestors, Dakota, and translate Dakota-language papers and publications. (Posted 11/15/21)

The Bicentennial Podcast: President Biddy Martin

Bicentennial Podcast quotes

“One of the first weeks I was on campus, I passed by two students sitting on a bench outside of Val. I stopped, and asked what they were talking about, and here’s what they said: “We‘re comparing Infinite Jest to James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. And I remember thinking, ‘I’ve arrived in heaven.’” President Biddy Martin in the premiere Bicentennial podcast. Martin, in discussion with former College Presidents Tom Gerety and Tony Marx as part of Amherst’s new Bicentennial podcast series. Listen on your favorite podcasting platform. (Posted 11/12/21)

In Honor of Veterans Day

A view of memorial hill facing the mt holyoke range

“Service and sacrifice, not triumph and victory, are the overriding themes.” Blair Kamin ’79 writing about the College's War Memorial in his book Amherst College, a Campus Guide.

Native American Heritage Month 2021

traditional native american textiles

Indiginous Feminism, taught by Jennifer Hamilton, visiting professor in American studies in the Spring 2022 semester, explores how questions of sex, gender and sexuality relate to sovereignty, colonization and imperialsm. 

Amherst College Bicentennial: Celebrating 200 Years -- Helen Wan ’95

illustration by Marc Rosenthal

“I used to scurry back to my dorm with each new assignment, nerdily think about it at dinner and start writing the minute I got back from Valentine. Sometimes I’d stay up late, knocking out a draft in the wee hours. I’d look at the time and be amazed how close it was to morning.” Helen Wan ’95, lawyer and author, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue.

Amherst College Bicentennial: Celebrating 200 Years -- Debby Applegate ’89

Quote by Debby Applegate

“However people arrived, it seemed to me that the College created a community, however imperfect, out of our most thoughtful, curious and eager impulses. Later, when I wrote about Amherst as a professional historian, I found the annals of the College teeming with these sorts of characters.” Debby Applegate ’89, a Pulitzer Prize winner for biography, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue. (illustration by John S. Dykes)

NOTE: Applegate began working on what would become her first book, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, as an undergraduate in Frost Library; it won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Her second book, Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age, is out on Nov. 2. (Posted: 11/1/21)

Amherst College Bicentennial: Celebrating 200 Years -- J.M. Holmes ’12

Quote by J.M. Holmes

“Throughout my time at Amherst and far beyond, these inexplicable generosities have accrued and coalesced into something larger than the sum of their parts. To call this compilation the Amherst experience would be inaccurate, or at least incomplete, but I will carry the opportunity, or wonder, or wisdom given to me from these kindnesses to the end of my journey.” J.M. Holmes ’12, author of the story collection How Are You Going to Save Yourself?, in a new essay for Amherst magazine’s special Bicentennial issue.

NOTE: Holmes won Amherst’s Howe Prize for fiction and has written for the New Yorker. He is now writing for Showtime’s City on a Hill and working on his first novel. (Posted: 11/1/21)