"My MHC education gave me confidence in my own abilities, reinforced my assertiveness in continuing to strive and instilled problem-solving skills, intellectual discipline and the value of hard work, which, like my mother and aunts, resulted in my success in graduate school and in my career." —Kathy Schofield ’70
The Laurel Chain Society honors the generosity of all alumnae, family members and friends who support the College consistently each year. Their steadfast support of — and unwavering belief in — the College advances the mission of Mount Holyoke and empowers our students to change the world. Laurel Chain Society Member Kathy Schofield ’70 tells us why she supports Mount Holyoke:
Tell me a bit about your Mount Holyoke experience. What did you study? What was your favorite class? What was your favorite place on campus? What has been your path since leaving Mount Holyoke? Fine Arts, specifically painting and printmaking, was my academic home (determined based on being able to earn a grade better than a “C” after experimenting with French and Chemistry). Sculpture with Professor Leonard A Delonga, Professor of Art 1964-1991 was my favorite class; the art studios in Dwight were my favorite places.
My working life path since leaving MHC is complex and varied: secretarial; MBA from Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth; 30 years as an advertising executive in Chicago, Greenville, South Carolina and Baltimore; association marketing executive in Washington D.C.; a return to school to earn a third degree in Computer Graphics; adjunct instructor in Computer Graphics at a community college; finally full circle back to administrative assistant. Retirement in March 2015.
My path in private life: marriage at 20; divorce at 30; single until 40; 25 years of very happy marriage ending at the premature passing of my beloved husband; beginning my fourth year as a widow. No children.
Why did you choose Mount Holyoke? MHC is in my genes; when I matriculated in 1966, The Quarterly reported my status as fifth generation with my great-great-grandmother Mary Ballantine Fairbank having been a student of Mary Lyon and my being the 50-something girl from the Fairbank and Caskey families to attend MHC. My playmates as a child were my nine girls cousins from three sisters, all MHC alums, each of whom built successful careers in their chosen fields. Although my mother Mary Adelaide Wright Rainey ’43 had communicated her unhappiness during her four years at MHC, I accepted an invitation from my aunt Alice Wright Conkey ’41 to accompany her and my cousin to an application interview. Upon my acceptance, MHC’s beautiful campus was the deciding factor in my decision to attend along with its high educational standards and single sex education.
How has being an alumna of Mount Holyoke impacted your life? My MHC education gave me confidence in my own abilities, reinforced my assertiveness in continuing to strive and instilled problem-solving skills, intellectual discipline and the value of hard work, which, like my mother and aunts, resulted in my success in graduate school and in my career. MHC’s superior efforts to maintain connection with alums reinforces my commitment to education for women and equality of educational opportunity.
As a member of the Laurel Chain Society, you are one of Mount Holyoke’s most dedicated supporters. Why do you give to the College each year? What does it mean to you to be a member of the Laurel Chain Society? My practice of giving to the College each year comes from a commitment to budgeting for charitable causes based on values instilled by my parents as a child, the high priority I place on advanced education for women, and MHC’s commitment to equal educational opportunity for women and its stance in the social justice arena. To me, the Laurel Chain Society is a nice way to thank me for my contributions to the College; I appreciate the recognition.
Do you have a favorite Mount Holyoke memory? My good memories are many: experiencing for the first time Motown music as a resident of a small diverse community in Pearson Annex my sophomore year; sketching on the bridge at Lower Lake; presenting with my comps project, the result of my hard work in the major I loved; painting in the studios at Dwight; enjoying times together with my first friends from Freshman year; savoring coffee at the “CI” – T.S. Eliot’s quote carved in one table – “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”
Want to learn more about the Laurel Chain Society or share your story? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.