An Amherst Boyhood

An Amherst Boyhood

An Amherst Boyhood

An Amherst Boyhood

Excerpt

To know a book one must know its author. But my classmate Alfred E. Stearns, who has generously undertaken to prepare this volume as the means of sharing with others his cherished recollections of Amherst town and College, needs no introduction to an Amherst audience. In his case a foreword could add little to our knowledge of the author. At most it can serve only to revive our own recollections and, by adding them to his, add something, perhaps, to the picture of Amherst which he gives us.

Few graduates of Amherst have been so intimately associated with the town and College, or are so well qualified as the author to write this book of Amherst reminiscences. For more than the traditional three score years and ten "Al" Stearns has been as much a part of the Amherst scene as the Holyoke Range or the College church, which was donated to the College by his father, and its cornerstone laid the year before the birth of the son.

Al Stearns' grandfather, William A. Stearns, was the fourth President of the College, and a successful one, from 1854 until his death in 1876. After the death of the father, Al's mother took up her residence in Amherst, where she conducted, in what is now the President's house, the Stearns' School for Girls. It was known as "the Convent" to successive generations of Amherst students, who, as they passed to and from classrooms and chapel, seldom failed to cast furtive glances at the school and its fair occupants. From 1874 until his graduation from Amherst with the . . .

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