Choose your destination. Choose Verity ’20.

November 28, 2019 at 6:15 AM

Verity O'Connell ’20

The moment she stepped foot on campus, Verity O’Connell ’20, knew Mount Holyoke was the school for her. Surrounded by the majestic brownstone buildings and lush greenery, the College felt like a place she could grow into and make her home. Four years later, she’s found her place and still revels in the community and tradition that have so profoundly shaped her time here.

Coming into college, Verity was unsure what she would study. She knew she loved art and initially thought she might pursue that, but as she began to take classes at Mount Holyoke, she also realized that she wanted to learn more about the stories and legacies that led to the creation of art, leading her to declare an art history major. A second major in gender studies emerged after taking an introductory class. “My Introduction to Gender Studies class was really amazing, and I loved what we were learning,” she reflects.

Her time at Mount Holyoke doesn’t solely revolve around academics, however. Verity remembers the College’s Catholic faith group as being one of the first places where she felt supported and found community. Now, she serves as the group’s co-president and has grown as a leader within the broader campus Interfaith Council. She’s also sharpened her leadership skills as president of the Mount Holyoke Conscious Poets Society, where she cultivates her love of poetry by encouraging other students to write and by organizing events for those interested in poetry. 

With plans to pursue a Ph.D. in art history centered around contemporary art and the history of fashion, Verity hopes to one day be a professor. She attributes this career path to the inspiring advisors and professors she’s interacted with at Mount Holyoke. 

Verity defines her Mount Holyoke experience through six words: “part of a larger history.”

She knew she wanted to attend a women’s college, and her time here has only validated the transformative effect that a women’s college can have. Inspired by fellow students, professors and alumnae, she knows when she graduates in the spring, she’ll have the power of many women behind her. 

Thankful for her MHC experience, Verity is also grateful for the scholarship funds that she received that made it possible for her to attend Mount Holyoke. “Scholarships are very important to me,” she says. “Anyone who wants to attend Mount Holyoke should be able to.” 

Verity is one of many incredible students whose journeys and successes are impacted when you support destinations such as Student Life or Scholarships through The Mount Holyoke Fund. Through your gift, you ensure that Mount Holyoke’s legacy of empowering women and creating change-makers continues on.

What matters most to you? Your gift. Your choice. Choose your destination.

Rachel Nix ’20

Written by Rachel Nix ’20

Rachel, a politics major and sociology minor, is a marketing assistant in the Office of Advancement and a contributor to the MHC Forever blog. Hailing from West Virginia, she serves on MHC’s Admissions and Financial Aid Advisory Committee, is deeply involved with social justice initiatives and loves spending her free time with friends, reading on the green or trying to pet Jorge, the goose.