Donor Spotlight: Sarah Hoke ’08. “At Mount Holyoke, I learned to not be afraid to speak up.”

November 11, 2016 at 10:21 AM

sarahhoke08.jpgSarah Hoke ’08
was a French major and art history minor as a student at Mount Holyoke. It's been over 8 years since she's left the College gates, but to this day, Mount Holyoke continues to change her life in so many ways.

What is the greatest lesson you learned at MHC? To not be afraid to speak up, even if my viewpoint doesn't match those around me. I'm a people pleaser at heart, so learning to stay true to my own moral compass was hard at times. But I was often encouraged to say my piece at MHC in a thoughtful and respectful way, which has carried me well through my interactions in the real world.

You recently became a sustaining donor to Mount Holyoke. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? Because as every year passes, I appreciate and value my experience there more—and I want the same experience for others.

Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? I wouldn't say there was one single moment—that moment is still going on. I recognized the value of what MHC had provided me with (in terms of a solid education, reasoning skills, social skills, and more) before I graduated; but, when I came back for my 5-year reunion I realized how strongly our shared time at MHC had bonded my class together. I spoke with people that I'd never interacted with during my time as an undergrad, and found that we had so much in common, even beyond our time at MHC—this shared understanding will only deepen as time goes by I believe. As I interact with other MHC grads around the world, I continue to experience this phenomenon, which allows me to feel connected even when other areas of my life might be in flux.

What is your favorite spot on campus? Tough to decide, but the falls at Upper Lake or the library.

graduation.jpgJoanna Cogan, Sarah Hoke, Elizabeth Brick, and Stephanie Forbes after Commencement 2008.

What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC?
1. M&Cs.
2. The Laurel Parade.
3. My friendships.
4. The faculty and staff.
5. The library.

Can you tell us a little more about yourself? A New Hampshire native, I grew up thinking that all maple syrup was the "real stuff" and that it was normal to frequently see moose, deer, and bears. After graduating from MHC, I worked for a book vendor for six years (living in New Hampshire, Georgia, and North Carolina). I am currently living in Montreal, QC where I practice my French and am working on completing my Masters in Information Studies at McGill University. I am hoping to pursue a career as an academic librarian once my degree is complete.

 The Mount Holyoke College Montpellier Study Abroad program in 2006-2007 enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with director Amy Loth '94 and her son.


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