Douglas C. Wilson ’62

Medal for Eminent Service

Douglas C. Wilson retired in November after 27 years in the College’s Office of Public Affairs. The unofficial “literary and historical conscience” of Amherst, he has a long and distinguished record of service to the College. As an undergraduate, he chaired the Amherst Student. After graduation, he worked as a journalist in Providence and Washington, D.C., where he was the first to report President Nixon’s decision to resign.

He returned to Amherst in 1975, and worked for nearly 30 years as editor of Amherst magazine, demonstrating a thorough, wide-ranging understanding of the College, as well as a commitment to preserving Amherst’s history while supporting its gradual change. As coordinator of the most important College events (including inaugurations, Opening Convocation, and Commencement), he respectfully maintained Amherst’s symbolic traditions, leading generations of Amherst students through the important history associated with the College’s ceremonies. His work brought him into contact with Amherst people from all quarters—alumni, faculty, students, senior administrators, and staff—and he treated them all with dignity and respect, letting them know (because he genuinely believed it) that each of them was essential to Amherst.

His service to Amherst goes beyond his work in the Office of Public Affairs. For more than a decade he served as recorder at Amherst’s faculty meetings, successfully shaping the records of these august (and politically delicate) proceedings with accuracy and care. And he has been a volunteer for the Class of ’62, serving most recently as editor of his class yearbook.

Douglas Wilson’s work for Amherst was more than a job. His commitment to the College was—and is—profound. He brought deep care, a real humanity, to all that he did because he did it on behalf of Amherst.