Amherst College

Amherst College (/ˈæmərst/ (listen)[6] AM-ərst) is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1821 as an attempt to relocate Williams College by its then-president Zephaniah Swift Moore, Amherst is the third oldest institution of higher education in Massachusetts.[7] The institution was named after the town, which in turn had been named after Jeffery, Lord Amherst, Commander-in-Chief of British forces of North America during the French and Indian War. Originally established as a men's college, Amherst became coeducational in 1975.[8]

Amherst College
MottoTerras Irradient (Latin)
Motto in English
Let them enlighten the lands[1]
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1821; 201 years ago (1821)
AffiliationFive College Consortium
Annapolis Group
568 Group
Endowment$3.775 billion (2021)[2]
PresidentMichael A. Elliott
Academic staff
307 (Fall 2021)[3]
Undergraduates1,971 (Fall 2021)[4]
Location, ,
United States
1,000 acres (4.0 km2)
Colors    Purple & white[5]
Sporting affiliations

Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution; 1,971 students were enrolled in fall 2021.[9] Admissions is highly selective, and it frequently ranks at or near the top in most rankings of liberal arts schools. Students choose courses from 41 major programs in an open curriculum[10] and are not required to study a core curriculum or fulfill any distribution requirements; students may also design their own interdisciplinary major.[10] Amherst competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Amherst has historically had close relationships and rivalries with Williams College and Wesleyan University, which form the Little Three colleges. The college is also a member of the Five College Consortium, which allows its students to attend classes at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Among its alumni and affiliates are six Nobel Prize laureates (with its five alumni giving it one of the highest proportions of Nobel laureates among graduates out of any undergraduate institution worldwide),[11] 20 Rhodes Scholars,[12] numerous Pulitzer Prize recipients, MacArthur Fellows, winners of the Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards, a President of the United States, a Chief Justice of the United States, three Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives, and notable writers, academics, politicians, entertainers, businesspeople, and activists.

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