Tony Marx To Step Down As College President
By Elaine Teng '12, Editor-in-Chief
The news trickled out slowly. It started with a New York Times article on Tuesday afternoon. Almost immediately, the story started filtering into students’ Facebook news feeds and by evening became the talk of Valentine Dining Hall: President Anthony Marx will leave the College at the end of the school year to become the president of the New York Public Library.

The library is expected to announce Marx’s appointment this afternoon, pending the approval of the library Board of Trustees, which is expected to go through, while the College will now form a search committee of faculty, administration and students to conduct a national search for his replacement. Marx, who came to the College in 2003, could not be reached for comment but sent out an email to the campus around midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. In it, he expresses his love for the College and the difficulty of making the decision.

“I have been honored to be a member of this faculty, this staff and this board,” he wrote. “I now consider myself an Amherst alum and will continue to be a student and to be inspired by the students I have met here. But after eight years it will be time to pursue in another setting the values that have so engaged me here—the values that I have grown into, that Amherst has long stood for, and that I hope will inform the world my children will live in.”

Students greeted the news of the departure of the much-beloved president, known for his booming voice and wide grin, with shock, dismay and disbelief, much of which they shared on the Internet. However, because most students learned of the news via an outside source, namely The New York Times or Facebook, the predominant emotion seemed to annoyance and anger that the president had not announced it himself.

“I think that the students definitely ought to hear this kind of news from the college itself, not from some third-party source,” said Rebecca Magnus ’13. “It’s very disturbing to me that I heard of this news from somebody’s Facebook status.”

Magnus’ classmate Jeffrey Moro ’13 echoed this sentiment. “I feel kind of insulted as a student because I feel like I should be the first person to know this. Shouldn’t we be the priority?”

This also created confusion throughout the campus as students asked each other for details that no one knew. Many at first did not realize that Marx would be leaving and instead thought that he would just be taking on two appointments at once. However, few students have actually been voicing a serious concern over the loss of the current president, a sentiment Kayleigh O’Keeffe ’12 feels will possibly come with time.

“I don’t think the effects of Tony Marx will be felt until he’s gone,” she said. “Once he’s gone, if things start changing, then I’ll realize what power he’s had.”

Nevertheless, students will miss seeing the president, and his dog Argos, around campus.

“I’m sad. I think he was a good president. I definitely have great memories with him. I remember seeing him freshman year Halloween dressed up as a Jedi with his kids,” said Dan Kim ’12. “Usually presidents are far off, but he made an effort to be closer to the students. I’ll miss Argos.”

Issue 05, Submitted 2010-10-06 01:47:37