The promise of access

Preserving our historic strengths by supporting outstanding students and faculty.

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The promise of discovery

Opportunities to learn by doing, through research experience, field-based work, and course-related travel.

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The promise of achievements

The contributions of our alumni in every walk of life continue to grow in vast disproportion to their numbers.

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The promise of generations

Alumni, parents, and friends have made Amherst one of the most exceptional colleges in the country.

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Our donors come from across the globe and span generations, but they all have one thing in common: they chose Amherst. Read their stories below.



‘Let’s Activate It’: Betty and Paul Mayer ’65 Jumpstart Their Gift to Amherst

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.

A Transformational Force: John I. Williams Jr. ’75

When asked what about Amherst College makes him most proud, Life Trustee John I. Williams Jr. ’75 doesn’t hesitate: “Two words: intellectual intensity.”

Lessons of a Lifetime: Mark Perry ’65, P’92, G’23

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.

David Greig ’02 and Sarah O’Keefe Greig ’02

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.

K. Rone Baldwin ’80 and Carol Wilson Baldwin ’81

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

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.

Michael Barach ’80

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.

The Quiet Impact of Benjamin Kightlinger ’51

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.

Ceridwen Cherry ’06

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.

Chris Carlson ’70 and Jane Carlson

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.

Dan Sullivan ’69

“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.”

Dwight Goldthorpe ’41

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.

Peter J. Weiller ’56

"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."