AMHERST COLLEGE

Patrice Rushen
Ben Alman / Creative Commons

Patrice Rushen chairs the Popular Music Program at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Although her early training was in classical music, she is a jazz pianist and R&B singer perhaps best known for her popular music of the ‘70s and ‘80s. A four-time Grammy nominee, Rushen has also composed scores for television and film.

Rushen was invited to Amherst College to talk about why USC started the Popular Music Program and how it fills an underserved artistic need in America.

Graphic of an Amherst College baseball cap on the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth, which is on display at the school's natural history museum.
Screen shot from mascot video / Amherst College

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

The Lord Jeffery Inn is owned by Amherst College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

With the selection of the Mammoths as the new school mascot, Amherst College has mostly closed the book on the controversial "Lord Jeff." One exception: a hotel owned by the school.

It's been 14 months since Amherst College decided to get rid of the mascot and rename the Lord Jeffery Inn, which sits next to the town common.

Lord Jeffery Amherst was a British general who suggested biological warfare against Native Americans.

Graphic of an Amherst College baseball cap on the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth, which is on display at the school's natural history museum.
Screen shot from mascot video / Amherst College

Amherst College said its new mascot will be the Mammoths. The selection replaces Lord Jeff -- which the school's board banished from campus 14 months ago.

The search for a new mascot followed protests on campus last school year. One demand from protesters was to get rid of Lord Jeff, named after Lord Jeffery Amherst, a British General who suggested using biological warfare against Native Americans.

Jamie Cushman / Daily Hampshire Gazette

As college basketball's so-called "big dance" takes a few days off, Amherst College is celebrating a national championship. The women's hoops team won the Division III title over the weekend.  Amherst knocked off conference and in-state rival Tufts 52-29 to win the championship, capping a perfect 33-0 season.  Head Coach GP Gromacki said a lot went through his mind when the final buzzer sounded in that game. "It was an unbelievable run," Gromacki said.

Jamie Cushman / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A pair of Western Massachusetts colleges are playing in basketball Final Fours on Friday Night. The Amherst College women and Williams men are both trying to bring home national championships.

Amherst College enters the Division III national semifinal with a perfect 31-0 record. So far in NCAA play, they have defeated their opponents by an average of 25 points per game. On Friday night, they’ll face Christopher Newport University.

Democracy's Doubters

Mar 4, 2017
Via Flickr by Scott / CREATIVE COMMONS

Commentator and law professor Austin Sarat is nervous. He says federal judges’ rulings to block president trump’s executive order on immigration were stirring victories for the rule of law. But he says no one should be resting on their laurels.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the federal judiciary retains the authority to challenge executive action. Its decision echoes one made by the Supreme Court more than 40 years ago, when it ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over evidence in the Watergate case.

Franklin Odo is the John J. McCloy Visiting Professor of American Institutions and International Diplomacy at Amherst College. As part of the UMass Amherst History Department’s Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series: “The U.S. in the Age of Mass Incarceration”, Odo talked about Japanese Internment during World War II, the subsequent redress, and how Japanese Americans have been affected by discrimination.

Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist and author, spoke about modern American conservatism, the liberal crisis, what conservatives should learn from the rise of President-elect Donald Trump, and the desire worldwide to preserve cultural identity.

Douthat is the author of “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics” and “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class” and the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream“.