Smith and Amherst Black Alumni Hold Mini Reunion

Early this October, nearly 200 Black alumni from Smith and Amherst colleges came together in Washington, D.C. for the first ever Smith and Amherst College Black Alumnae/i Mini Reunion. Developed by Linda Smith Charles (Smith ’74) and Richard Ammons (Amherst ’74), the event was designed to connect, celebrate and strengthen the community of Black alumni from the Pioneer Valley. Over the course of the weekend, alumni from classes 1965 through 2018 shared memories and stories, reconnected with old friends and made new ones. As one Smith alumna said, “Everything about this weekend was magical! You brought the Smith community to one of my favorite cities, and we were able to celebrate success and the way our personal milestones intersect with a greater Black history.”

Highlights of the weekend included:

  • An informal, conversation- and laughter-filled Friday evening reception
  • Early access to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with a special welcome from Beverly Morgan-Welch (Smith ’74), Associate Director of External Affairs
  • A Saturday evening reception and dinner with remarks from representatives from both colleges including Smith President Kathleen McCartney; organizers Linda Smith Charles and Richard Ammons; Danielle Carr Ramdath, Smith dean of the senior class and associate dean of the college; Norm Jones, Amherst College chief diversity and inclusion officer; and Amherst College trustee David Sutphen
  • An “epic” dance party! (Enormous thanks to Sylvia Lewis ’74 for making this happen)

“This event was one of the highlights of my year,” said one Smith alumna. This sentiment was echoed by many who attended, with participants reporting enjoying the opportunity to catch up with friends they hadn’t seen in many years and to connect with alumni outside their graduating year. There were multiple requests to hold future reunions in other locations across the country to ensure those from different areas have a chance to gather closer to home.

Alumnae also remarked on something we at the college already know: Our invitations are not getting to everyone who might be interested in events like the Black Alumnae/i Mini Reunion. If you feel like you are not getting this kind of information and would like to, please update your email address with the college by emailing us at or calling 413-585-2040. You can also let us know if you would specifically like to be included in emails regarding programs or events related to Black alumnae or alumnae of color.

Smith and Amherst alumni gather in the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC

Smith and Amherst alumni gather in the Lobby Bar of the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC, on October 5, 2018.

Smith alumnae from the class of 1974 on October 5, 2018

Smith alumnae from the class of 1974 on October 5, 2018.