Betty and Paul Mayer ’65 flipped the script. By 2016, they had estate plans neatly in place for the institutions they feel most connected to, Amherst College among them. Then, last fall, they made a bold choice.
When asked what about Amherst College makes him most proud, Life Trustee John I. Williams Jr. ’75 doesn’t hesitate: “Two words: intellectual intensity.”
Six years into retirement, following a 47-year career in Silicon Valley, Mark W. Perry ’65, P’92, G’23 recalls two things he learned in his freshman year at Amherst that impacted his professional life.
In the fall of 1998, David Greig ’02 and Sarah O’Keefe ’02 met in the common room on the first floor of North Hall on the first day of orientation. He came to Amherst in search of academic freedom, opportunities for extracurriculars, and engaged faculty.
This is an Amherst love story. Not only because Carol Wilson ’81 and Rone Baldwin ’80 met at a picnic for incoming students in Washington D.C. before freshman year, had their first date at Judie’s, and got engaged at Homecoming.
Stephen Pflaum ’62, P’04, ’93 recalls the first time he laid eyes on Amherst. It was the moment he arrived on campus for the start of his freshman year. He arrived by train—actually several trains that connected him from Minneapolis to Chicago, Chicago to Albany, and Albany to Springfield—and a bus for the final stretch to the College.
For Michael Barach ’80, Amherst is about the people—those who shaped his experience in company and in spirit. “Amazing people were everywhere,” recalls Barach.
Benjamin N. Kightlinger’s $7 million bequest to Amherst College left the Class of 1951 classmates who knew him best amazed but not entirely surprised.
During a first-year seminar in the fall of 2002, the professor asked who had voted in the mid-term elections held that week. Ceridwen Cherry was one of only a few students to raise a hand.
Like many alumni, Carlson came to Amherst because of the College’s size and location, its focus on the undergraduate experience, and its reputation for academic excellence. As a student, Carlson took advantage of the wide-ranging curriculum.
“I spent my entire first year in the Frost Library—I never left, it seems” says Dan Sullivan ’69. “Amherst, for me, was overwhelming at the beginning.”
In 2007, a call came to Amherst from the estate of Dwight Goldthorpe ’41. The attorney on the line said that Goldthorpe, who had lived a quiet, unassuming life in Palm Beach, Florida, had died weeks earlier at age 87. The lawyer explained that Goldthorpe had willed two-thirds of his residuary estate to the college.
"Freshman year, early fall: Professor Baird enters our English One section by climbing through the window of Appleton, throwing his hat in the wastepaper basket and sitting on the desk. We spent the remainder of the class redefining the window as a door, the wastebasket as a hat rack, and the desk as a chair. Lucky me, to have this brilliant and dynamic professor as my English One teacher."