Gerety has maintained and strengthened Amherst’s flagship status, increasing both student body and faculty unity, through such moves as the reinstitution of a “common first day” freshman orientation in 1997. We all know of and applaud his skill in fundraising-the endowment having almost tripled during his term-firmly securing the College’s financial future. The increased funds ensured that strict departmental cuts are currently unnecessary and made possible the renovations of Fayerweather and the athletic facilities, as well as the ongoing revision of the Freshman Quad.
It is easy to get caught up in his capable implementation of the comprehensive and capital campaigns, but we should not forget that he is primarily rooted in the academic tradition. While being the chief administrator, he is also a skilled teacher, an intellectual and an inspired public speaker, as his various Commencement and Convocation speeches demonstrate.
He has responded promptly and appropriately to student concerns, whether it be speaking out against an alleged case of homophobic harassment in 1994 or his sensitive handling of the Sept. 11 fallout. Regarding the latter, he was at hand and available during the crisis, present at most related events. Often described as “down-to-earth,” he has always been approachable and in tune with the student body.
In addition we extend our personal and heartfelt thanks for the consideration President Gerety has shown to The Student and our staff. We must say “thank you” for your time, your support and for, on occasion, making things interesting.
In 1995, at the end of Gerety’s first year, we ran an editorial stating, “He showed up at Trinity, but he left early � We hope, though that he doesn’t leave us in the lurch when it comes to following through.” Although we are sad to see Gerety depart, he does so at a perfect time, leaving Amherst in a strong and stable position and in the hands of a worthy successor. He certainly has not left us in the lurch and we applaud him for his outstanding commitment and what has been a remarkable nine years.