By Brian Sobotko '16

Amherst celebrates successful fundraising campaign
The recent period of financial uncertainty has had a deep impact on the entire higher education community. When Amherst College launched a fundraising campaign in October 2008, the same month the global financial crisis began, the operation seemed destined for trouble. However, the campaign—which brought in $502 million over the last five years—exceeded the initial goal of $425 million. The campaign worked to continue some of Amherst’s most fundamental practices, including need-blind financial aid. Amherst President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin expressed appreciation to all those who contributed to the success.

“The fact that this campaign was aimed at ensuring socioeconomic, racial and ethnic diversity at Amherst as well as affordability is certainly worth celebrating because it reflects so well upon those who helped make it a success,” Martin said.

This weekend, the College will celebrate the successful campaign with music, lectures and discussion among members of the Amherst community, including an opera composed by an Amherst professor, a debate on affirmative action with Amherst alumni and a keynote address from a trustee titled,  “Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences: Glancing Backward, Imagining Forward.”

Connecticut College renews focus on sustainability
At last month’s Convocation ceremony Connecticut College unveiled new plans to renew their commitment to sustainability. The college defines sustainability as economic stability, social equity and diversity and environmental stewardship. This year marked the reopening of the Steel House, which will house the new Office of Sustainability and the unveiling of the college’s new Sustainability Strategic Plan. The focus on sustainability leads to more worldly courses and research opportunities and empowers students to increase the culture of sustainability via initiatives/organizations and the opportunity to be campus/community role models. The sustainability initiative works to inspire members of the Connecticut community to be leaders both on their campus and beyond.

“Compared to a vast majority of schools, we are way ahead. Our work builds on environmental efforts we have had in place for a long time. But we have now reached new heights in holistic sustainability and we have committed the College to a long-term plan for even greater achievement,” President Leo I. Higdeon Jr. said at convocation.

The message of sustainability has become a campus wide message. During Convocation, Art Professor Denise Pelletier echoed the theme.

“It’s natural to compare the enormity of a problem with our own smallness, and we tend to rationalize at least some bit of helplessness in this equation,” she said. “We all need community for personal and global sustenance. Nobody here’s going to go it alone.”


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