Meet Emily Carle ’21, a religion major from Newington, Connecticut. Emily fell in love with Mount Holyoke’s academic offerings, vibrant spiritual life and endless opportunities for involvement within the campus community. In addition to the numerous clubs and organizations that she’s involved with on campus, Emily is also the youth director at Center Church in South Hadley and an intern for Cathedral in the Night, an outdoor Christian community in downtown Northampton. She also manages an instagram account featuring photos of Mount Holyoke (@picturesofmhc) and enjoys skiing, eating, watching the Patriots and researching her family genealogy.
Today, April 10, marks the 139th birthday anniversary of Frances Perkins, class of 1902. Long before women's liberation was a part of our vocabulary, Frances was a trailblazer for generations of women who would follow her. As the first female Cabinet member in the nation's history, this remarkable woman tussled with politicians, industrial management and labor leaders in her capacity as Secretary of Labor, fighting for the rights of working people everywhere.
Meet Penni Martorell FP’05, who found a lifelong community of friends when she began at Mount Holyoke as a Frances Perkins Scholar. An art history major, Penni’s education gave her the opportunity to work in libraries and museums, opening up doors to a profession with which she fell in love. She still calls the Pioneer Valley home and is grateful for the confidence that her time at Mount Holyoke instilled in her.
Meet Julie Ogg FP’22, who lives with her family in Belchertown, Massachusetts. An anthropology major, Julie has worked at Mount Holyoke for more than 15 years - first in the Alumnae Association and now in the Office of Advancement. She calls her experience as a Frances Perkins Scholar "transformative" and draws inspiration not just from her professors, but also from the strength and intellect of her fellow classmates. Through her coursework, she has discovered a passion for women's health and looks forward to completing her training as a certified doula this summer.
Before I transferred to Mount Holyoke at the beginning of my sophomore year, I remember browsing the Student Life section of the College’s website and learning about the many traditions that take place on campus each year. In particular, I recall watching a video of the 2016 Convocation, which featured a faculty flash mob dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake. This moment, though seemingly inconsequential, cemented my decision to attend.
Since its founding, Mount Holyoke has been a part of the tradition of strong women in the United States. This March, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, we look back at its origins and how it came to be.
The beginnings of Women’s History Month began with the first celebrated International Women’s Day on March 19, 1911. On this day, more than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office and end discrimination.
The Mount Holyoke College Frances Perkins (FP) Program was founded in 1980, rooted in the belief that a college education should be accessible to everyone and that the quest for knowledge has no age limit. Following in the footsteps of colleges like Wellesley and Smith, MHC’s Frances Perkins program offers a pathway for education to students of non-traditional age who have not yet earned an undergraduate degree but have the desire to do so.
Without thinking, Mount Holyoke students know which side of staircase to climb in the library atrium. This ritual, motivated by the superstition that you must take the stairs on the side of your class animal or risk graduating, is largely thanks to the majestic class flags that are suspended above both sets of stairs. Green Griffins and Blue Lions take the left staircases, while Red Pegasi and Yellow Sphinxes take the right.
Mount Holyoke’s yearbook, the Llamarada, was first published in 1895 for the class of 1896. In the years following, it served as a colorful collection of memories and senior portraits but was ultimately discontinued in 2010 due to budget constraints and low student interest. The yearbook was revived for one year in 2016 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of its first publication, but since then has remained out of print.
Reunion at Mount Holyoke is a highly anticipated event, and the alumnae that attend each May experience the magic of reconnecting with their classmates as they return to their beloved alma mater. The alumnae parade is a heartwarming tradition that binds together the various classes in a colorful display of class pride.