The true magic of Mount Holyoke

By Rand Abu Al-Sha'r on December 5, 2016 at 11:35 AM

My first time seeing Mount Holyoke was when I arrived for international student orientation in August of my first year. What I felt when I drove through those gates is something that I will never forget and, as I stepped out onto campus, I knew that I had arrived to the place where I belonged.

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted visual mementos for myself of Mount Holyoke in all its enchanting colors and forms. From the lush greens and saturated blues of the summer, to the stunning warm hues of the fall, the majestic frostiness of the winter, and back to the soft greens and pastel pinks of the spring.

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Donor Spotlight: Current student Elana Tsogt-Erdene ’17. “Life is always better when you love and support your fellow women.”

By MHC Development on September 16, 2016 at 12:27 PM

The fall semester has now begun and the campus is buzzing with activity once again! Elana Tsogt-Erdene '17 is happy to be back and took a moment to share her favorite things about MHC:

What's the greatest lesson you learned so far at MHC? Life is always better when you love and support your fellow women. The culture of kindness and the total commitment to bettering our communities, our environment, and our world that exist at Mount Holyoke is extraordinary. I especially love our communal dedication to our individual passions and the ways in which we continually inspire, encourage, and nurture each other.

Women being kind to women is a radical thing and Mount Holyoke has always been ahead of the curve on that front.

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Our students value your support.

By MHC Development on June 27, 2016 at 1:10 PM


With every gift, you can inspire, motivate, and drive our students to do more. Continue paving the way. Please make your gift by June 30.

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“A choice doesn’t have to be perfect to be the right one” — Emily Kyte ’17, taking on risks and redefining bounds, to make a difference in the lives of refugees.

By MHC Development on June 22, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Emily Kyte ’17 (pictured kneeling) at a medical clinic in Jordan recording basic patient demographics in Arabic.

Emily Kyte ’17, a geography major and Arabic minor, left her comfort zone far behind to study abroad in Amman, Jordan this past spring semester. With support from Lynk-funding, she has taken on a new challenge this summer and is making a difference in the lives of refugees, working as an intern for Alhadaf, a non-profit in the Hashemite Kingdom that serves marginalized populations through education, training, psychosocial support services, and medical campaigns. So far this summer, she has designed and taught an ELL (English Language Learner) course for Iraqi refugees, worked with logistics and translation at a health clinic, and is helping to open a new community space for refugees. She writes to us from Jordan:

I started taking Arabic my first year of college. My "Arabic community" was the foundation to my community and finding my place/self at Mount Holyoke. The intensive, daily instruction gave me work ethic, and taught me to laugh at myself a little more and take more risks in all parts of my life. As a first-generation student (who would not be here without generous financial aid) from a nontraditional home structure, this was key to deciding to stay after a really challenging adjustment my first year. With an incredible degree of encouragement from Jordanians, Arabic speakers, and Arabic learners, quiet ideas turned into a reality. After lots of Facebook-stalking my Arab friends, YouTube videos, and "head-nods" from those who have lived in Jordan, my family approved of my decision. I am the first person in my family to ever really travel outside of the U.S., so this experience meant redefining bounds, meanings, and conceptions of the world for my entire family.
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Donor Spotlight: Holly Thompson ’81. “MHC has played such an important role in my family... MHC has shaped, inspired and empowered us all.”

By MHC Development on June 17, 2016 at 9:30 AM

MHC runs in the family. From left to right: Emily Thompson ’87, Isabel Thompson-Pomeroy ’19, Eleanor Ernst Thompson ’51, Holly Thompson ’81, Pamela Thompson ’84.


When Holly Thompson ’81 first came to Mount Holyoke, she, like many other Mount Holyoke students took advantage of the broad range of liberal arts courses, intending to double major in biology and music. Her Mount Holyoke journey would lead her on a different path to find "her heart's home"—her true passion of creative writing.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? There are so many! Here are a few: To have the courage to try things far outside my comfort zone. To be present, active, caring and positively engaged in this complicated world. To learn from others yet trust my own uncertain voice.

What's your favorite spot on campus? The copper beech tree by Dwight Hall. Every time I visit campus, I stop for some moments with this tree.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? MHC has played such an important role in my family—my mother, my two sisters and I all graduated from MHC, and my daughter is currently attending. MHC has shaped, inspired and empowered us all, and by extension has impacted our families, our colleagues, and our communities.

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Single-sex schools are relevant in the 21st century

By MHC Development on May 4, 2016 at 2:10 PM

The Laurel Chain Parade, 2014. Photo: Deirdre Haber Malfatto.

Vanity Fair takes a look at a few of the nation's top women's colleges, including Mount Holyoke, seeing how single-sex schools continue to be relevant in the 21st century.

Single-sex schools would seem outdated in this era of post-feminism, gender fluidity, and skyrocketing tuitions. Instead Wellesly, Smith, Barnard, and others are seeing a resurgence...

"We are the oldest of the Seven Sisters," outgoing president Lynn Pasquerella '80, says. "It was Mary Lyon's mission to disrupt the hegemonic forces. We have always been committed to access and to social justice."

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Thank you President Pasquerella

By MHC Development on April 18, 2016 at 12:04 PM

In recognition of President Pasquerella’s leadership, and in honor of her commitment to providing deserving students the opportunity to benefit from an excellent Mount Holyoke education, join other alumnae, parents, and friends in supporting financial aid at Mount Holyoke. A group of generous alumnae have pledged to add $50,000 for each $200,000 raised. Make a gift or pledge before May 15, 2016, and your name will be added to a special acknowledgement that will be presented to President Pasquerella. 

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Your support makes a world of difference and our students are grateful!

By MHC Development on April 8, 2016 at 1:58 PM

Thank you for helping me to find my passion. If it weren’t for your generous donation, I would never have learned to row, speak Arabic, or gotten the opportunity to study abroad. Thank you for continuing to support Mount Holyoke and the many, many students who rely on your help to attend. - Azulina Green ’17

Thank you so much for your generous donation and support of MHC! I really appreciate the support of our amazing science programs. As a neuroscience major, I’ve benefited immensely from our school’s resources and incredible professors that have prepared me for my career in occupational therapy. - Joy ’16

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Thank an Alum Days are here!

By MHC Development on April 5, 2016 at 1:08 PM

The time has come once again to call attention to how alumnae gifts—large and small—create the incredible "Mount Holyoke experience" that makes our alma mater unique. To honor the thousands of alumnae who support Mount Holyoke each year, The Mount Holyoke Fund is hosting its third annual Thank an Alum Days this week, April 5-7.

Join us for Thank an Alum Days events on campus April 5-7!

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Arielle Derival '17 develops key leadership skills as a student-dining manager

By MHC Development on April 4, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Arielle Derival '17, a Miami, FL native and Posse Scholar, is the student-dining manager for the Rockefeller and Torrey dining halls. An Africana and Spanish double major with a Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights nexus minor, Derival seeks to incorporate her passion for service in every aspect of her undergraduate experience. As a manager, she is developing key leadership skills, mastering how to take initiative, improving her communication skills, and working alongside others to accomplish goals. Rebecca San Juan '17, the Career Development Center's Experiential Learning Journalist, writes more about Arielle's leadership experience:

Posse scholar Arielle Derival ’17 points the swivel spout to the dirty dish in her hand... Student workers filed in and out of the damp room, past the shelves of Honeycrisp apples, Sunkist oranges, and ripening pineapples, and received their orders from Derival. They worked in union to be out by 8 p.m.

Work in dining services is required of all first-year students on work-study. Derival spent her first year at Mount Holyoke College working in the Abbey-Buckland dining hall. She juggled the typical responsibilities: swiping OneCard I.D.s, scrubbing dishes, and clearing dirty silverware. She was prompt and worked efficiently. She secured additional shifts at Prospect in order to earn more money.

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