Thank you all for an amazing FebruMary! And our final contest winners are...

By MHC Advancement on March 4, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Pictures with Mary at the birthday party in Archives! Photo by Tessa Schroll '18.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in our third annual FebruMary celebration this past month. In 29 days, we learned about some of the incredible student organizations in our Celebrating Community posts, shared information about the wide variety of Black History Month programming on campus, tested our knowledge about some of the more obscure student orgs in Mount Holyoke’s history, shared photos of Mary celebrating with alumnae all around the world, and toasted to our fearless founder on here 219th birthday.

We also joined together to support the tremendous work happening on campus; over 2,600 alumnae joined together this month to invest in current students and the future of Mount Holyoke. This was a 25% increase in the number of donors from last FebruMary, and helped us increase overall alumnae participation in giving by 7.2%.

And the final FebruMary contest winners are...

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Chynna Taylor '16: "It is because of the values and culture of the MHC community that I have become a confident and “uncommon woman.”

By Chynna Taylor '16 on February 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Chynna Taylor '15 (center) with members of the National Aquarium staff. 

Over the 2016 winter intersession, I completed an internship at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD—an amazing opportunity which enriched both my college experience and my personal life. Over a span of 3 weeks and 120 hours, I gained practical, hands-on knowledge of animal husbandry which will prove extremely useful in my pursuit of a career in this field. I worked alongside a highly committed and coordinated group of individuals who ensured animal safety and created positive interactions with the public.

I was also privileged to work under the direction of Holly Martel Bourbon ’87, who serves as the Head Dive Safety Officer and Curator of Large Fish exhibits. While we did not work together every day, the time that I did spend with her allowed me to see the immense and lasting impact that a Mount Holyoke education can provide. Working with someone as dynamic, inclusive, and inspiring as Holly has allowed me to truly experience the magnitude of our worldwide alumnae network. Through my time observing, working, and talking with her, I was able to put myself in her shoes and to view more clearly the possibilities for my own future.

While it was in part through my own effort that I was able to secure this opportunity, the collective efforts of others in the community have been critical to my success. The assistance, encouragement, and investment of my professors have proved invaluable in motivating me to pursue opportunities such as this one. One professor in particular, Renae Brodie, has provided extensive support since I transferred to Mount Holyoke last fall, and has henceforth served as an important mentor. Early on, she opened my eyes to the many opportunities that lay before me as a woman of color in a field that has historically been dominated by Caucasian males. It is largely because of the encouragement of Professor Brodie, and several others, that I have been able to secure first a National Science Foundation-funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates), and now this internship at the National Aquarium.

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Final Trivia and Where is Mary Contest

By MHC Advancement on February 29, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Thank you for making the third annual FebruMary amazing! We've learned, laughed, celebrated, and helped advance the mission of MHC.

Here is your last chance to test your knowledge and win some special MHC prizes!

Which of the following was never a Mount Holyoke student organization?

a. The Missionary Association
b. The Mount Holyoke Marching Band
c. The MHC Paranormal Society

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Celebrating Community #29

By MHC Advancement on February 29, 2016 at 1:42 PM

This month we have highlighted 28 student organizations that allow students to pursue their passions and make an impact in their community. There are currently over 100 registered student organizations at Mount Holyoke, and hundreds more that have existed over our 179 year history. These groups range from cultural orgs that celebrate our diverse community to sports teams that show the power of being a part of team,  from musical ensembles that entertain thousands of people to advocacy groups that work to improve our wider community.

With so many wonderful student organizations at Mount Holyoke, we were only able to cover the tip of the iceberg. Did we highlight your favorite group?

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Celebrating Community #28: Student Philanthropy Committee

By Elana Tsogt-Erdene '17 on February 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The Student Philanthropy Committee's December 2014 PhilanthroTea with Dianne Doherty '59

Ever since Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke in 1837, it has attracted a community of dynamic leaders looking to use their passion to make a positive impact on the world, from the first generations of missionaries and teachers to our current students. The Student Philanthropy Committee (SPC) was formed to allow students to come together to discuss ideas of philanthropy and its impact, as well as the significant role of philanthropy in Mount Holyoke's history and future. In honor of Mary Lyon's 219th birthday, here is a special post by the chair of the SPC celebrating Mary Lyon and the tradition of philanthropy that she inspired.

Philanthropy at Mount Holyoke: Then, Now, and Forever

by Elana Tsogt-Erdene '17

Philanthropy (noun) is defined as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes,” but I think for Mount Holyoke, the etymological definition of “the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human” is a better fit.

Founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon as an institution of higher education for women, Mount Holyoke College could not have opened its doors without a wide base of financial support from both prominent men who backed her revolutionary ideas and the local women’s sewing circles that donated the quilts and bedding. After leaving her job as assistant principal of the Ipswich Female Seminary, Mary Lyon traveled thousands of miles with her green velvet bag to raise funds and support, driven by her dream of opening an institution of higher education for women. After three years of her tireless efforts, the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary opened its doors, offering both a rigorous curriculum equivalent to those at men’s colleges and a low tuition to make education affordable for students from modest backgrounds.

To this day, her philanthropic efforts and beliefs still reflect in the Mount Holyoke mission of educating talented students from all backgrounds through an intensive liberal education, preparing them for thoughtful and purposeful engagement in the world.

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Celebrating Community #27: Outing Club

By palme22c on February 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The Outing Club seeks to cultivate and enrich Mount Holyoke students' appreciation for nature by providing accessible trips, leadership training, and community outreach in the outdoors. The organization believes in being all inclusive and respecting the differences of all members by striving to create an environment in which everyone feels capable and comfortable. As a club, they also strongly believe in the importance of cultivating leadership and hope to do so through sound training and having fun in the outdoors. 

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FebruMary 2016 Trivia Tuesday and Where Is Mary Winners, Week 4

By MHC Advancement on February 26, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Announcing our fourth Trivia Tuesday and Where’s Mary winners! Congratulations to Lisa Caputo '82, the winner of #TriviaTuesday, and Stephanie Rohr '12, winner of #WhereIsMary contest.

Lisa correctly identified the Lyon Lumberjacks as the fake student organization. It may surprise some to know that we had a synchronized swimming group. The Lorelyons, pictured left (previously known as Lorelei and Water Ballet), graced the pools of  Mount Holyoke from 1966-1985. And Treble Effect  is "Mount Holyoke's one and only show choir group." Established in the fall of 2013, this group is made of singers and dancers of all class years.  Treble Effect uses popular songs and synchronized movement to promote teamwork, self confidence and fun.

Stephanie, along with many others, correctly identified Mary as being at the Mount Holyoke Community Boathouse, located a little ways away from campus. The boathouse, which was opened in the spring of 2010, houses the MHC crew team while also giving community members access to the Connecticut River.  You can read more about the crew team in today’s Celebrating Community post.

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Celebrating Community #26: Crew Team

By palme22c on February 26, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Mount Holyoke scholar-athletes are driven to excel in the sports arena as well as the classroom and laboratory. The discipline, sense of accomplishment, and competitive edge fostered in sports resonate through every channel of their intellectual lives. Balancing scholastic, athletic, and extracurricular activities, Mount Holyoke Crew Team members are champions of numerous endeavors. Among their alumnae are Olympic medalists, World Championship competitors, and Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars. The Mount Holyoke Rowing Team was founded in 1875, concurrently with a club by the same name at Wellesley College, on the grounds that the sport “promoted the grace and form of the female body.” Competition was strictly forbidden, as it was thought that over-exercise would ruin the oarswomen’s physical appearances and make them unhealthily muscular.

Harriet “Holly” Metcalf ’81

Mount Holyoke’s own Harriet “Holly” Metcalf ’81 won a combined five World Championship and Olympic medals in her career. A six-time member of the U.S. National Team, she captured the Gold Medal in the women’s eight at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games. Metcalf started her coaching career as the head coach of the varsity crew team at Mount Holyoke from 1981-1985. Metcalf went on to direct the Silver Medal winning crew at the 1990 World Championships. In the 1990s, she earned a master’s degree at Harvard, studying rowing as a metaphor for girls’ and women’s psychological and emotional development. That experience prompted her to start Row as One programs that have initiated women into the demanding sport and inspired advanced rowers to be more competitive. She extended this concept to inner-city girls in 1996 with her G-ROW program in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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Alums looking forward and giving back. A FebruMary meet-up at the MA House Chamber.

By MHC Advancement on February 25, 2016 at 2:00 PM

It started out with a quick email between two classmates who work in the same office building: "Could we take a lunchtime photo together for FebruMary? and invite some other MHC alums who work for the Commonwealth?" A few more emails and a quick LinkedIn search later, and our group had grown to nine. FebruMary meet-up accomplished!

We had a terrific time getting together. We found that our work for the Commonwealth couldn't be more varied—we address issues that range from uniquely local to global; that cover the human lifespan from birth to workforce participation to death. We work for three different Constitutional Officers (Governor Charlie Baker, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and State Auditor Suzanne Bump) and three State Representatives (one of whom, Representative Ellen Story, kindly arranged for our use of the House Chamber for this photo). Even with this range, we found overlap—it was a nice surprise to find that three of us are on the Special Legislative Commission on Post-Partum Depression, and three of us are mothers of MHC alums. The biggest overlap—every day, we look forward/give back.

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Celebrating Community #25: Pre-Law Association

By Alexandria Decatur ’16 and Tessa Schroll '18 on February 25, 2016 at 9:30 AM

A recent Pre-Law Association "Internship Info Session" event in collaboration with the Career Development Center. Guest speakers included Pre-Law Advisor Roshonda DeGraffenreid FP’10 who spoke about Lynk funding, and also association members who spoke about their past internship experiences.

Art law, civil rights law, environmental law, international law...the legal field spans a broad range of industries and expertise, enabling people to pursue their passions and make an impact. But where can an MHC student go to learn more? Thankfully, the Mount Holyoke College Pre-Law Association is there as a resource and network. Comprised of students considering pursuing law school or a legal profession, the association aims to increase awareness about this vast field and to create a peer community where students can gain inspiration and foster their passion for law. Through collaboration with the Career Development Center (CDC), the association helps guide students through the law school application process, preparing for the Law School Admission Test, and choosing suitable schools. The association also works at educating members on various fields of law and career exploration.

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