Ifeoma Aduba ’95 majored in politics with a minor in African American studies at Mount Holyoke. Now she's making a difference for her community helping victims of domestic violence as the Executive Director of A Woman's Place. Her life changed the moment she was accepted to Mount Holyoke—she knew then she would be seen and her voice heard.
What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? There have been two that I have carried with me and grow in value for me every day—investing in the education and development of women is priceless for the whole community and to be thoughtful in building a case for support. They are lessons that I have benefited from and that have never failed me!
What's your favorite spot on campus? I love to wander and see what's changed over time... but I always come back to Upper Lake. That's where it started for me, living in MacGregor Hall my first year.
You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I give regularly to MHC—literally out of every paycheck I receive. I know that my experience at MHC and what I have accomplished since was made possible by the generosity of those who came before me and I try to honor that with a piece of every paycheck. That legacy of generosity and investment in women inspires me constantly.
Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? My life-changing moment came before I was even accepted. I poured my heart into the essay portion of my application. I was really curious about and explored what great leaders of peace would have thought about global conflicts at that time. It was the time of the First Gulf War and, after attending an international school as a kid, I always had a hard time not putting a friend's face on a global issue. A professor read my essay and wrote me a letter in response commending what I had written. I had been seen! I was both thrilled and terrified because I knew that MHC would mean being seen—which made me feel wildly valuable, but also comes with incredible responsibility and accountability. It's how we should always live our lives.
What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC? Why is this the hardest question to answer?! I reserve the right to change the rankings periodically, but here's where things stand right now:
1. The incredibly talented and determined change makers that journey through MHC.
2. Being challenged, with generous respect and support, because people believed me capable.
3. Being able to wander downstairs to my dining hall for a delicious hot breakfast—it's my favorite meal and I always got to start my day right!
4. M&Cs—partly for the snacks, but mostly because I now know that where breaking bread and laughter comes together is where flourishing community grows.
5. That my love for MHC continues to grow all these years later—the lovin' isn't done!
More about Ifeoma:
Ifeoma Aduba is Executive Director of A Woman’s Place (AWP), the only domestic violence community benefit organization serving Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She joined the staff at AWP in April 2006. Ifeoma has 20 years of professional experience within the community benefit sector, branching across the complete spectrum of organizational development. In addition to her work with AWP, Ifeoma actively volunteers within her community. She was formerly a member of Mount Holyoke's Annual Fund Committee (now The Mount Holyoke Fund), chairs the Administrative Ministries Team at Doylestown United Methodist Church (DUMC), serves on the Board of Directors of the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition, is President-Elect of the Doylestown Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and is a member of Doylestown Rotary. Ifeoma joined Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) as a Board Member in January 2012 and currently serves as President of the Board. Ifeoma holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University. Ifeoma is also mother to two beautiful girls ages 13 and 17 and forces herself to find time to run five days a week.
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