Bread and Roses: the origins of a Mount Holyoke tradition

By Rachel Nix ’20 on May 18, 2019 at 6:01 AM

This morning, as part of Commencement weekend, graduating seniors and alumnae will sing “Bread and Roses” at the conclusion of the Laurel Parade — a ceremony in which the graduates, donned in white, process across campus linked by two 275-yard laurel chains to the grave of Mary Lyon. But did you know that both the song and the attire that are such integral parts of the tradition are tributes to the women labor activists and suffragists of the early 20th century?

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Reflections of a graduating senior: my favorite Mountain Day

By Inayat Gill ’19 on May 17, 2019 at 9:02 AM

As a senior, the start of the fall semester was also the start of the countdown to my last Mountain Day. Every year, the anticipation and conversation surrounding Mountain Day becomes a staple at every lunch and dinner table in the Dining Commons. One person wants Monday off so they don’t need to worry about homework that’s due, another doesn’t want it on Monday because they don’t want to miss a work shift. Each day is filled with excitement and nervous mornings as October approaches. For seniors the anticipation is bittersweet, as we realize that our “lasts” at Mount Holyoke are about to begin.

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Student Life Stories: Rachel Nix ’20

By Rachel Nix ’20 on April 4, 2019 at 5:14 PM

Before I transferred to Mount Holyoke at the beginning of my sophomore year, I remember browsing the Student Life section of the College’s website and learning about the many traditions that take place on campus each year. In particular, I recall watching a video of the 2016 Convocation, which featured a faculty flash mob dancing to “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake. This moment, though seemingly inconsequential, cemented my decision to attend.

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Choose Student Life

By MHC Development on March 28, 2019 at 3:06 PM

The Division of Student Life complements and enhances every aspect of the Mount Holyoke College student experience. With professionals across campus — specializing in student programs, residential life, diversity and inclusion, religious and spiritual life, health, counseling and accessibility — the team provides the resources and support that students need to craft a college journey rooted in wellness. And fun!

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Colors that spark new traditions

By Rachel Nix ’20 on March 1, 2019 at 12:35 PM

Without thinking, Mount Holyoke students know which side of staircase to climb in the library atrium. This ritual, motivated by the superstition that you must take the stairs on the side of your class animal or risk graduating, is largely thanks to the majestic class flags that are suspended above both sets of stairs. Green Griffins and Blue Lions take the left staircases, while Red Pegasi and Yellow Sphinxes take the right.

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Donor Spotlight: Joan Schwartz Weber ’71. “Over the years, my love for and pride in Mount Holyoke continues to grow.”

By MHC Development on June 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Joan Schwartz Weber '71 majored in psychology at Mount Holyoke. After getting her PhD, she became a teacher and psychologist, later turning the world into her classroom. Over the years, the lessons learned at Mount Holyoke were never forgotten and fond memories remain dear:

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? It's not all about grades. I came from a large New York City public high school, and I knew how to get good grades there by figuring out what was expected of me and by testing well. At Mount Holyoke, worlds of inquiry opened up to me, and I was told I was worthy of engaging these without needing to prove I could get A's. (For the most part, I did not get A's!)

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? It's the ongoing wonder of the place, the dynamism. It's the belonging that I feel, and the pride I have in the remarkable young women who continue to grace the place. When I was a student in the late 60's, the college re-committed to its mission of serving women, and here we are, still committed and excelling and inspiring.

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Donor Spotlight: Huma Ghauri Lodhi ’92. “MHC gave me a voice and the confidence to pursue my love for science.”

By MHC Development on June 10, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Huma Ghauri Lodhi graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1992 with a degree in biochemistry. Huma says, "Mount Holyoke had a significant impact on my life as I was a science student from a male-dominated school environment in Pakistan in the 80s. MHC gave me a voice and the confidence to pursue my love for science."

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? The most valuable lesson I learned at MHC was that women were able to pursue anything in their lives through hard work and commitment.

What's your favorite spot on campus? The wooded areas around the lake where I would go running early mornings.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I have daughters who are growing up and seeing them as young women with ambitions has made me reflect on how monumental MHC was in helping me develop into a confident woman and to pursue my passion.

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Alumna Spotlight: Kimberly Hébert '94. "Even an individual voice can impact the masses."

By MHC Development on February 27, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Kimberly Hébert '94, an actress, studied psychology and theatre at MHC. Her new HBO series, Vice Principals, will be airing this year.

Kimberly Hébert graduated with honors from Mount Holyoke in 1994, majoring in psychology with a minor in theatre. For Kimberly, the MHC experience was truly transformational—a time when she claimed her voice and walked into the world on her own.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? The greatest lesson MHC taught me was that even the individual voice can impact the masses.

What's your favorite spot on campus? The Betty Shabazz Cultural Center. We called it "The House," and it was a soft place to land on campus for me.

Was there an MHC moment you knew your life was forever changed? I attended the College in the nineties, and much like today, the country was grappling with large issues around diversity and inclusion. The lines often blurred and for young women finding their individual and political voices, the campus sometimes struggled to find its balance. Rodney King had been attacked by the police and Los Angeles was ablaze, and many of us felt the pang of injustice. Some of my classmates watched because those were the very streets on which they walked... to school, to see friends, to see family, to their homes. It WAS home... to somebody. That moment touched a nerve that lies dormant in the comfort and safety of your parents' home; it isn't often touched until you walk into the world on your own.

For me, Mount Holyoke in the 1990's represented that time when I walked into the world on my own, but with a cloud of witnesses in the form of classmates faculty, and alums. We protested that year. We talked a lot about social injustice/justice and the too comfortable campus conversations about diversity in that moment didn't satiate our need to be heard. Standing with so many MHC women and faculty, arm in arm, tears streaming and throats raw from screaming, I found my voice. I found that something that ignited my soul. Having a voice, for myself, for those with me, before me and for those to come. I knew I wanted to help and to be heard. The form in which that took shocked even me.

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Alumna Spotlight: Kat Calvin '05. "Always speak up no matter the consequences."

By MHC Development on February 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Kat Calvin graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke in 2005 with a degree in theatre and minor in religion. Kat has been recognized for numerous achievements and leadership, including being named one of Business Insider's  Top 30 Women Under 30 in Tech and one of BET's Blacks on the Brink of Greatness.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? To always speak up no matter the consequences. My motto is from a Scissor Sisters song: "No one's ever gonna listen if you haven't made a sound." I learned that I could survive anything on my own but I couldn't survive staying silent.

What's your favorite spot on campus? The library. I found some amazing treasures wandering in the stacks in the middle of the night.

What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC?
1. M&Cs and having a dining hall in each dorm was so important for building community and comfort while I was in school. Especially in winter!
2. The fact that MHC is on the perfect college campus far away from distractions. It allowed me to focus solely on myself and my own education and development without anything getting in the way.
3. Study abroad. Because three years of #2 is enough, sometimes you really do need to go out into the world.
4. Alums.
5. The students. Every time I go back to MHC, I am in awe of the amazing young women I meet. They're so smart and focused and independent and I could go on and on. They give me so much faith in the next generation.

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Wendy Watson, because we met...

By MHC Development on November 13, 2015 at 1:39 PM


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