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Calvin Plimpton (AC 1939) Presidential Speeches

Identifier: MA.00083

Scope and Contents

Galley proofs and typescripts of the book The Spoken Word: Calvin Hastings Plimpton, President, Amherst College 1960-1971, a collection of speeches given during his Presidency; also, a collection of Plimpton's other speeches and articles written in the period 1960-1970.


  • Creation: 1960-1971


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Plimpton Speeches for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Plimpton Speeches should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Calvin Hastings Plimpton, physician and educator, was born in Boston on October 7, 1918. He attended Philips Exeter Academy; Amherst (Class of 1939); Harvard (MD 1943, MA 1947); and Columbia (MSD, 1951). Between 1943 and 1945 he served at the 83rd Field Hospital of the 3rd Army. Later, he worked at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1950 to 1957, and taught medicine at the American University in Beirut from 1957 to 1959. Plimpton was appointed President of Amherst College in 1960. As president, he introduced the first female professors to the college, helped to found Hampshire College, and guided Amherst through the troubles of the 1960s. He resigned in 1971 to return to medicine. From 1971, he worked at the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, as President (until 1979) and as Professor of Medicine (until 1983). In 1983, after the assassination of President Malcolm Kerr of the American University in Beirut, Plimpton took charge of the university, which he led until 1990. He has been awarded honorary degrees by several institutions, including Williams, Wesleyan, Amherst, Trinity and the American International College. Plimpton married Ruth Talbot in 1941, and had four children with her.

Plimpton's speeches delivered as president of Amherst College were collected and published as The Spoken Word (1981).


0.5 Linear feet (1 archives box)

Language of Materials



Physician and former Amherst president. Collection contains proofs of The Spoken Word a collection of his speeches; and also includes other speeches and articles by Plimpton.


This collection is organized into two series:

  1. Series 1: The Spoken Word, circa 1970-1971
  2. Series 2: Other Speeches and Writings, 1960-1970

Related Materials

Alumni Biographical Files - Class of 1939 - Plimpton, Calvin H.

Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Peter Nelson.
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299