When I first spoke to Dan Cluchey ’08, I had just emerged from Organic Chemistry on the Friday of a tough week. I remember reading a short bio provided by Alumni and Parent Programs and thinking about how far off his life appeared. It was difficult to imagine life after graduation, and I couldn’t comprehend how Cluchey had managed to do so many incredible things in the eight years since he graduated. Among his many different paths, Cluchey earned a degree from Harvard Law, worked as a speechwriter for the Obama administration and published a novel this past summer.

When Gretchen Sisson ’06 was a senior in high school, she only applied to five schools. When she received her first letter back, she opened it, set it aside and waited.

Then she received her Amherst acceptance and didn’t open any of the following letters. “My mom wasn’t too thrilled with that decision,” she said. “But I felt confident and I didn’t want to complicate the decision — I had made up my mind.”
Now a sociologist studying abortion and reproductive health, Sisson credits her time at Amherst as critical to her life and career in research.

Peter Millard ’76 was once a chemistry and German double major at Amherst, unsure of whether or not medicine was the right path for him. After graduation, he discovered his true passion for helping the poor by using the tools of medicine and public health. Millard’s interests and penchant for adventure have led him to serve patients from Bolivia to Zimbabwe and become the director of a community health center in Maine. His dedication to tackling public health problems has resulted in an invention that could transform the fight against HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

This election, the Hillary Clinton campaign was based out of Brooklyn, New York. A 10-minute walk from the headquarters will land you at the Gillespie household where Willy Gillespie ’15 grew up. As I witnessed at a Pennsylvania outreach base for the Clinton campaign, the family is tight-knit. It’s no surprise that it has given rise to Willy, someone who recently devoted months to encouraging others to take action with the possibility of making the country a better place.

One day, while sitting on the couch watching TV, Chloe McKenzie ’14 sent out an email with a simple header: “I’m a doer.” This was McKenzie’s guiding mantra as a college varsity soccer player, a student and, most recently, a young entrepreneur. The email address’ domain was the website for the company McKenzie had just created: BlackFem, a nonprofit venture capital firm that teaches financial literacy to girls and women of color and creates opportunities for investments in their futures.

Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein sent an email to faculty members on behalf of the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) to announce the college’s authorization of five new tenure lines, which will be allocated specifically for senior black and Latinx scholars, on Monday, Oct. 24.

President Biddy Martin asked the board of trustees last spring to add five new professorial lines as part of efforts to diversify the faculty. The board authorized the request, raising the number of full-time equivalents, or FTEs, from 183 to 188.

Plans to repurpose the Merrill Science Center, following the completion of the new science center, are currently being discussed. Chief of Campus Operations Jim Brassord said that the development of the new science center will allow the college to use Merrill to accommodate other functions.

“While [Merrill] has extended beyond its design life and no longer adequately serves the programs that it houses, it is a building that represents a great opportunity for adaptive reuse for other pressing needs for the college,” Brassord said.

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