Hampshire College

Hampshire College
Motto Non satis scire
Motto in English
To Know is Not Enough
Type Private
Established 1965
Endowment $40 million[1]
President Jonathan Lash
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 1,410 (Fall 2015)[2]
Location Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
Campus Rural, 800 acres (3.2 km²)
Avg. Class Size 15[1]
Colors Purple, blue, red, maroon, white                         
Website hampshire.edu

Hampshire College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. It was opened in 1970 as an experiment in alternative education, in association with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Together they are now known as the Five Colleges, or the Five College Consortium.

The college is widely known for its alternative curriculum, socially liberal politics, focus on portfolios rather than distribution requirements, and reliance on narrative evaluations instead of grades and GPAs. In some fields, it is among the top undergraduate institutions in percentage of graduates who enroll in graduate school. Fifty-six percent of its alumni have at least one graduate degree and it is ranked 30th among all U.S. colleges in the percentage of its graduates who go on to attain a doctorate degree (notably first among history doctorates).[3]


The Hampshire College campus (right, not center), as viewed from Bare Mountain
Dakin House dormitory

The idea for Hampshire originated in 1958 when the presidents of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appointed a committee to examine the assumptions and practices of liberal arts education. Their report, “The New College Plan,” advocated many of the features that have since been realized in the Hampshire curriculum: emphasis on each student’s curiosity and motivation; broad, multidisciplinary learning; and close mentoring relationships with teachers.

In 1965, Amherst College alumnus Harold F. Johnson donated $6 million toward the founding of Hampshire College. With a matching grant from the Ford Foundation, Hampshire’s first trustees purchased 800 acres (3.2 km2) of orchard and farmland in South Amherst, Massachusetts, and construction began. Hampshire admitted its first students in 1970.[4]

For several years immediately after its founding in the early 1970s, the large number of applications for matriculation caused Hampshire College to be among the most selective undergraduate programs in the United States.[5] Its admissions selectivity declined thereafter because of declining application popularity. The school's number of applications increased again in the late 1990s, causing increased admissions selectivity since then. The college's rate of admissions is now comparable to that of many other small liberal arts colleges.

The school has been financially challenged since its founding, in large part because the college lacked a founding endowment to rely upon for stability of income, and it relied almost entirely upon tuition income for operations. As of 2012, the endowment was a very modest $35,739,555.[6]

In recent years, the school has been on more solid financial footing, though lacking a sizable endowment. Its financial stability relies on fundraising efforts of its most recent past presidents, Adele S. Simmons and Gregory S. Prince, Jr.. The College has issued a draft for a "sustainable campus plan" and a "cultural village" making possible the residence of non-profit organizations not affiliated with the school on its campus. The cultural village includes the National Yiddish Book Center and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

The 'H' logo of Hampshire College, used separately from the seal. The four colored bars represent the other four colleges that formed Hampshire.

On April 1, 2004, president Gregory Prince announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2004–2005 academic year. On April 5, 2005, the Board of Trustees named Ralph Hexter, formerly a dean at University of California, Berkeley's College of Letters and Science, as the college's next president, effective August 1, 2005. Hexter was inaugurated on October 15, 2005. The appointment made Hampshire one of a small number of colleges and universities in the United States with an openly gay president.[7]

Some of the most significant founding documents of Hampshire College are collected in the book The Making of a College (MIT Press, 1967; ISBN 0-262-66005-9). The Making of a College is (as of 2003) out of print but available in electronic form from the Hampshire College Archives.[8]

On August 23, 2012, the school announced the establishment of a scholarship fund dedicated to helping undocumented students get degrees. It would give more than $25,000 each year to help an undocumented student pay for the $43,000-plus tuition.[9]

Academics and resources


Hampshire College describes itself as "experimenting" rather than "experimental," to emphasize the changing nature of its curriculum. From its inception, the curriculum has generally had certain non-traditional features:

Emily Dickinson Hall, designed by the architecture firm of former faculty member Norton Juster, houses much of the humanities, creative writing, and theatre

The curriculum is divided into three "divisions" rather than four grades. Each division serves as a building block towards the student's Division III - the final academic year when all students are required to produce an original work in their academic or artistic field in a fashion comparable, but usually more substantial, than a senior thesis. In division I, which accounts for the first academic year, students are required to take at least one course in all of Hampshire College's five schools. Students' remaining three or four first-year courses may be taken at at school within Hampshire College or within any of the colleges of the Five-College Consortium. The second and third year constitute Division II. Courses in these two years are selected, like all Hampshire students' course selection, in close consultation with their academic adviser. Division II courses are comparable to the major requirements at a more traditional liberal arts college. Hampshire students may take as many courses in the Five-Colleges as they wish during their Division II, with the exception of Amherst College that limits all Five-College students from taking no more than two courses at Amherst College per semester. Additionally, during these two middle years, Hampshire students often choose to study-abroad or intern for a semester. In Division III, the fourth and final academic year, students work with two or three academic advisers from Hampshire College and/or from the Five-Colleges in crafting an original piece of academic or artistic work.

Schools and programs

Cole Science Center contains the School of Natural Science and administrative offices

The Hampshire College faculty are organized broadly in defined Schools of thought:

The Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS) is based at Hampshire; its director is Michael Klare.[11] The national reproductive rights organization Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) operates on Hampshire's campus, where they host an annual conference.[12] In 2014 Hampshire announced the formation of a new concentration, in Psychoanalytic Studies.[13]

Five College Consortium

Hampshire College is the youngest of the schools in the Five-College Consortium. The other schools are Amherst College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[14]

Students at each of the schools may take classes and borrow books at the other schools, generally without paying additional fees. They may use resources at the other schools, including internet access, dining halls, and so forth. The five colleges collectively offer over 5,300 courses, and the five libraries have over eight million books.[15] The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) operates bus services between the schools and the greater Pioneer Valley area.[16]

There are two joint departments in the five-college consortium: Dance and Astronomy.[17]

Prominent campus issues


In the spring of 2004, a student group calling itself Re-Radicalization of Hampshire College (Re-Rad) emerged with a manifesto called The Re-Making of a College, which critiques what they see as a betrayal of Hampshire's founding ideas in alternative education and student-centered learning. On May 3, 2004, the group staged a demonstration that packed the hall outside the President's office during an administrative meeting. Response from the community has generally been amicable and Re-Rad has made some progress.

The Yurt is home to Hampshire's student radio station

The Re-Radicalization movement is responding in part to a new "First-Year Plan" that changes the structure of the first year of study. Beginning in the Fall of 2002, the requirements for passing Division I were changed so that first-year students no longer had to complete independent projects (see Curriculum above). Though still a major source of contention, this change is rapidly fading from memory as most students who entered under the old plan have graduated or are in their final year. Re-Rad submitted its own counter-proposal in both 2006 and 2007, but these proposals were not acted on, and no follow-up was attempted.

The Re-Radicalization of Hampshire College assisted the administration in launching a pilot program known as mentored independent study. This program paired ten third semester students with Division III students with similar academic interests to complete a small study—observed by, and subject to the approval of, a faculty member.[18]

While some students worry about what they see as Hampshire's headlong plunge into normality, the circumstances of Hampshire's founding tends to perennially attract students who revive the questions about education the institution was founded on, and who challenge the administration to honor the founding mission. Unsurprisingly, then, Re-Rad was not the first student push of its type. Similar efforts have sprung up at Hampshire with some regularity, with varying impacts. In 1996, student Chris Kawecki spearheaded a similar push called the Radical Departure, calling for a more holistic, organic integration of education into students' lives.[19] The most durable legacy of the Radical Departure was EPEC, a series of student-led non-credit courses.[20] A more detailed account of movements such as these can be found in a history of Hampshire student activities, an account written by alumnus Timothy Shary (F86) that was commissioned by Community Council in 1990; he has subsequently been a faculty member at Clark University of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the University of Oklahoma.[21]

In the media

The Harold F. Johnson Library

In May 1977, Hampshire was the first college in the nation to divest from apartheid South Africa.[22] The college removed $39,000 in stocks in four companies. Legal and financial research undertaken by student Michael Current and faculty member Kurtis Gordon was promoted nationally by business activists Douglas Tooley and Debbie Knight.[23] Hampshire College was also the first college in the U.S. to divest from Israel because of their violation of human rights in February 2009. The college divested school assets from an investment fund that violated the college's standards. Some violations included: unfair labor practices, environmental abuse, military weapons manufacturing, and unsafe workplace settings.[24]

In November 2001, a controversial All-Community Vote at Hampshire declared the school opposed to the recently launched War on Terrorism, another national first that drew national media attention, including scathing reports from Fox News Channel and the New York Post ("Kooky College Condemns War"). Saturday Night Live had a regular sketch, "Jarret's Room," starring Jimmy Fallon, which purports to take place at Hampshire College but is inaccurate. It refers to non-existent buildings ("McGuinn Hall," which is actually the Sociology and Social Work building at fellow cast member Amy Poehler's alma mater, Boston College) and features yearbooks, tests, seniors, fraternities, three-person dorm rooms, and a football team—none of which the school has ever had (though in the Fall 2005, 2006, and 2007 semesters the college experienced a higher than expected number of freshmen and temporarily had to convert some common spaces into three-person dorms). The sketch also claims that the college is actually in New Hampshire (a common mistake).

Alumnus Ken Burns wrote of the college: "Hampshire College is a perfect American place. If we look back at the history of our country, the things we celebrate were outside of the mainstream. Much of the world operated under a tyrannical model, but Americans said, 'We will govern ourselves.' So, too, Hampshire asked, at its founding, the difficult questions of how we might educate ourselves... When I entered Hampshire, I found it to be the most exciting place on earth." Loren Pope wrote of Hampshire in the college guide Colleges That Change Lives: "Today no college has students whose intellectual thyroids are more active or whose minds are more compassionately engaged." In 2006, the Princeton Review named Hampshire College one of the nation’s "best value" undergraduate institutions in its book "America’s Best Value Colleges."[25]

Flag removal

Following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, on November 9, 2016, Hampshire students lowered the American flag at the center of campus to half-staff as "a protest against acts of hate and harassment."[26] The next day, school officials announced they would allow the flag to remain at half-staff temporarily. College president Jonathan Lash said in a statement that some of the people on campus felt that the flag was "a powerful symbol of fear they've felt all their lives because they grew up in marginalized communities, never feeling safe." In an incident under investigation by campus police, the flag was burned at some time in the evening of November 10 or the morning of November 11. It was replaced the following day and the school indicated it would continue to fly the flag at half-mast "to mourn deaths from violence in the U.S. and around the world."[27] Following a backlash, the college announced on November 21 that it would temporarily cease flying the flag on campus.[28][29] This, in turn, led to protests of over one thousand people, including veterans, for restoration of the flag.[30] Local state representative John Velis (D) called for the school to return the flag and expel the students who burned the flag: they should "pack up their bags and leave."[31] On November 29, shortly after Fox News aired a news segment on the incident, Trump tweeted "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"[32] On December 2, the school decided to raise the flag to full staff.[33]

Alumni and faculty

Notable alumni

Fictional alumni

Notable past and present faculty

Presidents of the college

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Hampshire at a Glance". Hampshire College. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  2. "Common Data Set 2015-2016" (PDF). Hampshire College.
  3. "Success after Hampshire". hampshire.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  4. "Acquiring Land for the New College | www.hampshire.edu". www.hampshire.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  5. Making of a College pp. 307–310.
  6. "Hampshire College". U.S. News and World Report. n.d. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  7. The exact number was unclear, but there may have been as few as eight openly gay college and university presidents as of 2007, and at the time Hexter was named president of Hampshire there were fewer still. "Openly Gay Presidents Say Chronicle Article Left Them Out." Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, August 7, 2007. See also Hexter, Ralph J. "Being an 'Out' President." Inside Higher Ed January 25, 2007.
  8. Making of a College (1975 ed.), retrieved January 1, 2013 A new edition is rumored to be in progress.
  9. Young, Shannon. "MASS. COLLEGE OFFERS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SCHOLARSHIP". AP. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  10. "The Academic Program | www.hampshire.edu". www.hampshire.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  11. "Peace and World Security Studies". hampshire.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  12. "CLPP". Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  13. "Announcement of the new concentration". Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  14. "www.fivecolleges.edu". fivecolleges.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  15. "Libraries - www.fivecolleges.edu". fivecolleges.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  16. "Pioneer Valley Transit Authority of Western Massachusetts". pvta.com. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  17. "Five College Academic Opportunities". https://www.fivecolleges.edu/. External link in |website= (help)
  18. "Re-Rad - Hampedia". hampedia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  19. The Experimental Program In Education and Community Peter Christopher Document Archive
  20. "Experimental Program in Education and Community (EPEC)". hampshire.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  21. Timothy Shary, University of Oklahoma, Faculty of Film & Video Studies Faculty.
    Timothy Shary, Curriculum Vitae (MS Word)
    Note in the CV: Keynote Speech: Activating the History in Student Activities, delivered at Hampshire College History Day, Amherst, MA, April 29, 2000.
  22. Volume 2, 1975–1985, Chapter 6: Divestment Hampshire College Archives
  23. "Hampshire College students win divestment from apartheid South Africa, U.S., 1977 | Global Nonviolent Action Database". nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  24. "Hampshire College Divests From Israel". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  25. "Hampshire College - Hampedia". hampedia.org. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  26. Hoover, Amanda (November 28, 2016). "Why Hampshire College pulled down the American Flag". Christian Science Monitor.
  27. Bromwich, Jonah Engel (November 28, 2016). "Hampshire College Draws Protests Over Removal of U.S. Flag". The New York Times.
  28. Svrluga, Susan (November 21, 2016). "Massachusetts college stops flying American flag after it becomes focus of dispute over Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  29. "A Statement from President Lash: "Some... - Hampshire College | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  30. Afonso, Ashley (November 27, 2016). "Veterans protest flag removal at Hampshire College". Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  31. Chan, Tiffany; Correspondent, 22News State House (November 14, 2016). "Rep. John Velis says flag burners should "pack up their bags and leave"". Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  32. Savage, Charlie (November 29, 2016). "Trump Calls for Revoking Flag Burners' Citizenship. Court Rulings Forbid It.". The New York Times.
  33. "US flag, lowered after election, flies again at Hampshire College". www.cnn.com. December 2, 2016.
  34. "Eula Biss". northwestern.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  35. "Hasok Chang CV" (PDF). ucl.ac.uk. University College London. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  36. "Hill, Benjamin Mako". University of Washington. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  37. "Pied Piper website". HBO. Retrieved 22 April 2014.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hampshire College.

Coordinates: 42°19′30″N 72°31′51″W / 42.325079°N 72.530837°W / 42.325079; -72.530837

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.