The idea for Hampshire originated in 1958 when the presidents of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appointed a committee to reexamine 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 of orchard and farmland in South Amherst, Massachusetts, and construction began. Hampshire admitted its first students in 1970.

The Making of a College: The Seventies

1966-1971 Franklin Patterson, First President of Hampshire College

1970 – The Opening of Hampshire College is marked by an address by Archibald MacLeish, October 3, 1970.

1971- Founding of the Climax newspaper

1971- First Women’s Week

1971- Founding of Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics

1971-1977- Charles (“Chuck”) Longsworth, President

1971 – The First Commencement Address is given by Franklin Patterson May 22, 1971.

1973- Founding of Mixed Nuts Co-Op

1973- Five College Folk Festival

1974- Hampshire Frisbee Team “Undisputed New England Champion

1976- Hampshire hosts the National Ultimate Frisbee Championships

1977- Occupation Cole Science: Committee for the Liberation of Southern Africa

1977-Women’s Center Founded

1977- Committee on Racism Report

1977- Davis Bates Fired from Saga

1977-1989- Adele Simmons, President

1978- Bridge Cafe opens

1978- Proposal for the New England Farm Center

1978- Grassroots Network petition to raise student wages

1978 – March 9th The Board of Trustees fully divests from South Africa and votes “to instruct our investment counselors not to purchase any stocks of corporations operating in South Africa.”

1979- Anti-Nuke demonstrators arrested

1979- Progressive Student Alliance Formed

One Decade Down: The Eighties

1980 – The Ten-Year Review of Hampshire College has been published.

1980 – The National Yiddish Book Exchange, directed by alum Aaron Lansky, has opened in Florence.

1980- Co-op Store opens

1980- Community Center opens

1980- Gay Men’s Alliance Formed

1980- Women’s Center coordinator appointed

1980- National Yiddish Book Exchange

1981- Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) Founded

1981 – Climax, the student newspaper since November, 1971, prints its last issue.

1981- The Third World Organization has redefined itself as SOURCE, Students of Under- Represented Cultures, citing the ambiguity and subordination implied by the term, “Third World”. [Apostrophe: December 10, 1981]

1982- Hampshire Day Care opens

1982- Disability Rights Challenge

1982- Occupation Cole Science

1983-1986- James Baldwin visiting Professor

1985- Survival and Visions Conference

1985- Take Back the Night Rally

1988- Source Occupation of Dakin Master’s House

1989- Lebron -Wiggins- Pran Cultural Center established in Prescott master’s House

1989-2005- Gregory Prince, President of the College

Party Like It’s 1999: The Nineties

1990- NIRVANA at SAGA, Hampshire College (Amnesty International Benefit),
Amherst, MA, US. April 27th, 1990

1990-Anti-War Protest

1990- Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Concerns Founded

1992- Occupation of Cole Science Center

1992- James Baldwin Scholars Program Founded

1993- The Omen publication was founded

1994- In 1994 the National Yiddish Book Center signed final papers for the purchase of 10 acres of land at the southeast corner of Hampshire’s campus which included the old apple orchard.

1994- Students of Color Meeting with President Prince to address why Administration isn’t living up to the 1992 Cole Science agreement.

1995- Hampshire College Yurt Campaign

1997- Timothy Shary’s Book Makes a Comeback

1997- Easter Keg Hunt

1997- Inaugural Eqbal Ahmad Lecture Series

1998- First student referendum in over a decade

Let’s Get Digital: The 2000s

2000-Prescott mods 81-88 catch fire

2003- Students strike against Iraq war

2005- Ralph Hexter, President

2006- Judith Butler delivered the ninth annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College on October 24: “Universality and its Paradoxes: Hidden Histories of Post-Zionism.”

2009- Hampshire College Divests From Israeli Occupation

2010-2011-Marlene Gerber Fried, President

Ushering in a New Era: The 2010s

2011-2016- Jonathan Lash, President

2013- Seed Lending Library Opens

2013- Meadowland Project begins where student, faculty, and staff initiative turned some Hampshire lawns into meadowland

2014-Roos-Rhode house opens. Beginning as an old barn and being moved and rebuilt by students on the Hampshire campus as a student space. Home to Mixed Nuts Co-OP and student operated social center.

2014-Hampshire climate justice, spiritual life, CLA, and CPSC organize for students to attend Climate March in NYC

2016- Students protest administration’s handling of sexual assault, lack of support for students of color, and investments in fossil fuels

2016-Kern center opens

2016-In response to the outcome of 2016 election, students lower flag, someone burns it the next night.

2018-2019- Miriam Nelson, President

2019-Hamp rise up protest for administrative transparency

2019-Board of trustees votes to not accept a fall 2019 class

2019-Kenneth Rosenthal, Acting President

2019- In April of 2019, Hamp rise up sit ins end after 75 days, longest in Hampshire’s history.

2019-Hampshire College to Transform Curriculum and Student Experience Around Contemporary Challenges

2019-Third Annual Engage! Day Focused on Anti-racism, Social Justice, and Inclusion

2019-Hampshire College Maintains Accreditation, Advances Ambitious Plan for its Future

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