"As alumnae, we have all benefited in some way from the Mount Holyoke experience, whether it’s the academics, the community, or the opportunities MHC provided for us. It's up to us as alumnae to give back to ensure that future generations of students enjoy a MHC experience that’s just as incredible, if not better, than ours." — Omaima Afzaal ’17
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. New Laurel Chain Society Member Omaima Afzaal ’17 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? I was an economics and politics double major. There’s no way I could pick my favorite class, but one class that particularly left an impact on me was “Economic Development in the Age of Globalization” with Professor Eva Paus. There were about 14 of us from about nine different countries, which made for lively conversation regarding globalization. There was a huge emphasis on participating and debating in the class, and I left each class more confident about my speaking and arguing skills. I am currently working as a legal assistant at a corporate law firm in New York, combining my interests in finance and law.
Why did you choose MHC? I was originally on the fence about choosing Mount Holyoke. That changed when I sat in on several MHC classes during accepted students’ weekend. I loved how passionate Mount Holyoke students were about their coursework, and I was impressed by how engaging and interactive the professors were in the classroom. The classes were much more than just lectures — students brought their own genuine curiosities, frustrations, and critiques about the course materials, creating an open, collaborative space to learn in. I chose Mount Holyoke because I knew it would provide the rigorous, yet supportive, environment I needed to grow as a student.
How has being an alumna of MHC impacted your life? Mount Holyoke alums are everywhere! It’s comforting to know that even when you leave Mount Holyoke’s gates, there is an incredible network of alumnae all over the world to continue to support you. I just moved to a completely new city a few months ago, and I am so grateful to have had so many alums in the area reach out to connect with me.
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? I would not have been able to attend Mount Holyoke, and have the life-changing experience I had, without the generous amount of financial aid I received. As alumnae, we have all benefited in some way from our Mount Holyoke experience, whether it was the academics, the community, or the opportunities MHC provided for us. It’s up to us as alumnae to give back to ensure that future generations of students enjoy a MHC experience that is just as incredible, if not better, than ours. To me, being a member of the Laurel Chain Society is a way for me to thank the alumnae whose generosity brought me to Mount Holyoke, while ensuring that Mount Holyoke has the resources to inspire change-makers and leaders for generations to come. It’s about giving thanks and giving back.
Do you have a favorite MHC memory? One of my favorite MHC memories has to be Dis-O (Disorientation) my senior year. I was on the class board and helped to organize it. We had to move it to spring semester, and I doubted we’d get a good turnout because it was such a cold night. Still, Kendade was filled with seniors and firsties banging on pots and pans. I’ll always look back fondly on singing the anti-alma mater at the top of my lungs to Acting President Sonya Stephens — and getting a snow day announcement for the next day was the perfect end to the night.
Want to learn more about the Laurel Chain Society or share your story? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.