Rochelle Thomas '01 recalls Mount Holyoke as being the greatest academic experience of her life: "I try to give something to MHC every year because I will never forget the experiences I had and hope that it continues to inspire more women for centuries to come. I am ever so jealous of the FPs, because I wish I could walk through the MHC gates with the knowledge of the world as I now know it. I don't think I would ever leave!"
What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? We were all once fish!
What's your favorite spot on campus? So many! I always remember the flowering trees that were just outside of Buckland. They were probably insignificant to almost everyone else but it was a reminder of all of the touches of beauty around campus. But, the waterfall, the equestrian center, the path around the lake—the possibilities are endless!
You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I received a very generous financial aid package that enabled me to attend MHC and I hope many other women are able to benefit from such a gift in the future. Additionally, I hope that the College continues to attract such world class educators. Not a day goes by when I don't think about how much the faculty was invested in its students, taking the time to have lunch with us, invite us into their homes and answer e-mails about anything. A lot of learning happened outside of the classroom. And, the campus ain't too shabby to look at either!
Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? The day Professor Stan Rachootin jumped on the table in Clapp and demonstrated evolution in action. And, just about every single moment in one of Professor Mark McMenamin's classes. Mark had such a passion for teaching and his enthusiasm was infectious.
What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC?
1. The beauty of the campus grounds and buildings.
2. Milk and cookies.
3. The art museum.
4. The faculty.
5. The most excellent meal plan (seriously, I thought the food was amazing)!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Here are a couple photos of myself but I'm very partial to the one of me in a horse suit. I'm helping fellow MHC alum, Sue Smith '01 at the Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, PA (March 2016). Sue and I are on the Board of Directors of CANTER Pennsylvania, a non-profit organization that finds homes for retiring racehorses. I am the President of the Board and Sue is the Executive Director and VP. My love for wearing costumes began in a student theater production in my second year of Mount Holyoke and when Sue needed a little help at the Horse World Expo in March, I had no trouble stepping in!
I'm a working stiff by day but crazy volunteer by night. In addition to serving on the board of CANTER, I'm a New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitator and the Recording Secretary of the Linnaean Society of New York. I'm married to my wonderful husband, Jeff, and parent to two cats.
Want to share your favorite things about MHC for an alumna spotlight? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.