As the spring semester begins, Mount Holyoke’s Senior Campaign kicks into high gear. This tradition, which has been ongoing since the 1970s, is an essential part of Mount Holyoke’s legacy of giving back. Each year, members of the graduating class come together to make gifts of thanks in support of the mission and future of the College.
Through efforts led by the Head Class Agents (HCAs), with the support of the Class Board, students are encouraged to donate to the Senior Campaign throughout their final year at MHC. These collective donations make up the class’s first “class gift” to The Mount Holyoke Fund, leaving a lasting legacy of support for future students. By donating their senior gift to The Mount Holyoke Fund, students are able to give to specific destinations that resonate with them, often because they themselves have been impacted by support in those areas. The Senior Campaign doesn’t have a dollar amount goal. Rather, its objective is to have as many seniors as possible participate.
The concept of a Senior Campaign is not a new one and is very common among small liberal arts colleges. The campaign is seen as a pivotal effort for a couple reasons: first, it encourages current students to begin thinking about philanthropy early in their professional life and offers an introduction to the importance of giving back annually with time, talent and treasure once they join the alumnae community. It is also significant because it affects the College’s access to important federal funds and grants. Philanthropic engagement is factored into rankings, which not only affect enrollment and shapes reputation, but can impact resources awarded to colleges.
Ultimately, the Senior Campaign is a great opportunity for current seniors to reflect on their Mount Holyoke experience and pay it forward to future generations in the same way as the alumnae that came before them. Through their gift, the senior class joins forces with thousands of alumnae from across the generations to pave the way for future changemakers, helping to ensure that Mount Holyoke forever shall be.
Pictured above: 1.) Senior Ropejumping 1920: Class of 1920 graduates on the steps of Skinner Hall with one in front with sign reading "Keep the Endowment Fund on the jump!" Photo courtesy of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections. 2.) Graduates at Commencement 2019.