Amy Diamond, Distinguished Davidsonian
(Editor’s note: Since March is International Women’s Month, it is appropriate that our newest Distinguished Davidsonian is Amy Diamond. We have written about many other women and you can find them by clicking on Distinguished Davidsonians in the toolbar. Also, women of Davidson’s past have been featured in our “Davidson History” column.)
Amy Diamond moved to Davidson 29 years ago because she liked the fact that her husband, Robert, wanted to be a college professor. That happened when the late Davidson College president, Sam Spencer, offered to hire Robert as a one semester visiting professor in the math department. And though he never was officially appointed, Robert’s contract was continually renewed semester-by-semester for more than 25 years! Amy found her own niche in education, working as a resource teacher in the gifted program at Davidson Elementary School for 15 years. In addition, Amy and Robert raised five children. Things were going well for the family until that tragic day in 2011 when Robert was hit and killed by a car as he crossed Concord Road on his way home from a day of teaching.
Though her heart was broken, Amy found the solace to continue in the friends she had always enjoyed in the town that she determined never to leave. “Sharing grief makes it so much lighter,” Amy recalls now. “All my plans for our future together had to change. I was fortunate enough to find meaningful ways to engage.”
Among her strengths, the ability to bring people together ranks high. And with her husband gone, she found comfort in helping Davidsonians make connections that strengthen the community.
At about the same time, many Davidsonians were seeking a way to formalize educational opportunities for adult learners. Amy got involved, and ended up agreeing to serve as the first-ever executive director of the new DavidsonLearns organization. She pulled together instructors from the college, from The Pines, and from the town, and during five years at its helm, Amy helped the group grow from three courses per semester to sixteen. “It works because Davidson needed it,” Amy said. “It was a void that needed to be filled. Our instructors teach only subjects they want, and there’s no quibbling over grades. They love it.”
She has fulfilled her five-year commitment as a DavidsonLearns executive, but continues her involvement with the group as its organizer of one-time “spotlight” special events. Those include pre-concert discussions of musical performances, and a talk prior to a Davidson Community Players production of “Benediction,” and a forthcoming “lunch and learn” event in conjunction with a display of art by Davidson alumni.
She’s now wondering about staging new opportunities for DavidsonLearns to bring Davidsonians together. “The future holds some interesting possibilities,” she said. “What would it mean for DavidsonLearns to build a permanent home? Should we try to organize traveling classes?”
As she mulls those possibilities, she continues to seek out means of pulling Davidson friends and neighbors together. Her latest initiative takes place in her kitchen, where she cooks occasional meals for friends. Food, she explains, is a wonderful means of bringing people together. “The dining table is a great place for people to share. Food fuels our appreciation for each other.”
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.