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Political Science Professor Tony Marx Named President of Amherst College

By Katie Moore

Anthony W. Marx

On Friday, April 4, The Amherst College Board of Trustees named Anthony W. Marx as president of Amherst College, effective July 1, 2003. Marx, currently serving as a Columbia professor of political science and director of undergraduate programs for the department, has been a member of the faculty since 1990.

"What a bold and brilliant choice Amherst College has made in selecting Tony Marx as its next president," said Provost Jonathan R. Cole. "At once a scholar of the first rank, a thoroughly engaging teacher of undergraduate students and a personable and engaging person, Tony will bring the characteristics of intellectual rigor and leadership to Amherst that is so much a part of its great tradition."

In addition to his position at Columbia, Marx also is director of the Gates Foundation-funded Early College/High School Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which establishes model public high schools as partnerships between school systems and universities. He is founder of the Columbia Urban Educators Program, a public school teacher recruitment and training partnership and co-director, with his wife, Karen Barkey (a Columbia professor of history and sociology), of Columbia's Center for Historical Social Sciences. Marx has been awarded fellowships from the prestigious United States Institute of Peace, National Humanities Center, Howard Foundation, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. He also was the youngest member of the Columbia political science faculty to be honored with a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1997).

"As a teacher, scholar and administrator, Tony Marx has worked hard to realize his tenacious vision of the promise of education in a turbulent world," said Chair of Amherst's Board of Trustees, Amos B. Hostetter, in announcing the appointment. "We are delighted that he now has this opportunity to continue his career as an educational innovator in the context of Amherst's longstanding commitment to excellence in the liberal arts."

"[Amherst]...is an extraordinary institution, with a tradition of intellectual rigor and energetic debate," said Marx. "But we undertake this new beginning in troubled global times. We must be mindful of our responsibilities to understand the world we inherit, to send out the best educated young men and women we can so that they can lead and engage in helping to solve our problems here at home and beyond."

Marx is the author of a dozen substantive articles and three books, "Lessons of Struggle: South African Internal Opposition: 1960-1990" (Oxford University Press, 1992), "Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa and Brazil" (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and "Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism" (to be published later this month from Oxford University Press). He has traveled and worked extensively overseas, helping to establish Khanya College, a South African secondary school that prepares black students for university, while living in South Africa, 1984-1989. Marx served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He received the 1999 Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association and the 2000 Barrington Moore Prize from the American Sociological Association.

"Amherst's gain is surely Columbia's loss," added Cole. "We will miss Tony on Morningside Heights."

Published: Apr 08, 2003
Last modified: Apr 08, 2003

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