Elizabeth Cook Babbin ’96 graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke with a degree in history and a special minor in journalism studies. This past spring, Elizabeth returned to campus to celebrate her 20th Reunion and reflected on what Mount Holyoke means to her: "I had no way to know how many gifts I would receive here, and I don't want to imagine where I'd be without them. Thank you, Mount Holyoke."
What is the greatest lesson you learned at MHC? That I am an intelligent, capable woman who can stand on the shoulders of my predecessors to achieve anything.
What is your favorite spot on campus? Just one? The newsroom. The barn. The green. The library...
You recently became a sustaining donor to Mount Holyoke. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? Mount Holyoke changed the course of my life. I would like to help the College help other students in the same way.
Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? The privilege of attending Mount Holyoke changed my life, my path, and most importantly, my view of myself and my potential. While at Mount Holyoke, I learned: how to write, edit, communicate, shed light in darkness, and argue; how to not only ride a horse, but compete on the team by my senior year; the rewards of true, deep friendships; and that I have intelligent contributions to make in the world. After graduation, a Mount Holyoke alumna served as a reference for me when I got my first job. I remember the human resources person telling me afterwards that the alum's only concern was whether the job was good enough for me. The job was an outstanding launch to my career.
What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC?
1. The fiercely intelligent, compassionate, and ambitious people who entered my life through Mount Holyoke. This includes faculty, fellow students, and alumnae.
2. Mount Holyoke taught me to think critically, to articulate my positions, and to dig deeper by asking the tough questions. These are skills that have shaped my life.
3. The many ground-breaking Mount Holyoke women who paved the way for me and others, and continue to inspire and motivate me.
4. The endless list of opportunities, both on campus and off, that the College helped me access.
5. The gorgeous campus.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself? I am currently in the last leg of the journey to complete my doctorate in educational leadership at Lehigh University. I work in a middle school, watching out for at-risk students and working with teachers to create systems and curricula that meet our students where they are in their learning. I collaborate with Understood.org, a non-profit resource for parents that aims to support kids with learning or attention challenges. My husband and I own and run a Sylvan Learning Center in Easton, PA. But most importantly, I am the mom of two wonderful boys, ages 5 and 10.
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