An Open Letter to Amherst College

Dear Amherst community,

Over this past year, Amherst has gone through trying times. Angie’s story shook us to our core, as we were exposed to our own imperfections — as people and as a school. Although it is saddening that such a heartbreaking story was needed to wake us up, I feel there has been a profound shift in our attitude and perception. The question of “community” has gone from an elusive thought, to the guiding principle of our actions. Though we have a long road ahead — from ending sexual assault on our campus, to changing our mascot, giving a sizeable endowment to the Multicultural Resource Center and rethinking the role of fraternities — I think our reactions this year, are and will fundamentally define what Amherst is to be in years to come.

As I end my presidency, I have learned that our community is more than an abstract, all-encompassing entity. We are the sum of interactions between all those who study, work and live here. And so, on behalf of the entire student body, I would like to thank all the incredible people that work tirelessly towards making our student experience so special. From Val and Schwemms’ staff, to faculty, Dean of Student and President Offices, custodians, facility workers, academic departments, the police department, librarians, post office workers and all other offices, Amherst College would not run if it weren’t for your dedication, time and energy. Not only do you help make Amherst what it is, but your kindness, patience and wisdom shape us as young adults. Our memories and experiences would not be the same without you.

Over this year, it has been inspiring to see students, faculty, staff and alumni selflessly ensuring that, as a community, we do not become complacent or settle for less than our best aspirations. It has been a wonderful honor to get to know so many of you, and I wish you all the best of luck in continuing to make and remake Amherst into the community we ultimately want it to be.