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Chris Carlson ’70 and Jane Carlson

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. He remembers especially a seven-course dinner one evening at Professor Henry Steele Commager’s house, and what would become a private tutorial by Professor Peter Marshall on the last six books of the Aeneid. And of course he remembers his classmates, calling them brilliant, interesting and, in some cases, unique.

A nationally honored estate planning attorney, Carlson hosted the Reunion Estate Planning Seminar for many years.  His wife, Jane, is a Smith alumna (also Class of 1970) and, like Chris, is a graduate of the Harvard Law School. Ironically for some, but not the Carlsons, Jane is also an estate planning attorney, and is equally active at her own alma mater.

On the personal side, Carlson enjoys running, hiking and outdoor photography—but for those who really know him, it is his passion for meteorology that defines his outside interests. He has been keeping daily weather records for more than 40 years, and he may be one of the few Amherst alumni who subscribe to the Daily Weather Maps issued by the National Weather Service.

On giving to Amherst, Carlson says, “Giving to Amherst affords me a way to stay connected to the College, to give something back to a place that played a very important role in shaping my own life, and to be part of the ongoing quest for excellence which is at the heart of this truly remarkable institution.”