Donor Spotlight: Ellen Safier Goodman ’64. “My experiences on campus continue to inspire my life.”

By MHC Development on June 30, 2016 at 8:52 AM

Ellen Safier Goodman '64 says her “MHC experiences on campus continue to inspire my life,” even though her few years here were many years ago. After graduating from Mount Holyoke with a degree in English and teaching for a few years, she earned a PhD at Brown University and dedicated her entire career to education. Her passion for learning continues each and every day in all the artistic, cultural, and community activities she engages in.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? How to be fully engaged in life in all its variety.

What's your favorite spot on campus? Two come to mind: the breath-taking library and the waterfall between Upper and Lower Lake.

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Donor Spotlight: Caitlin Reilly Smith ’98. “It is important for me to give back, and to help provide more young women the opportunity…”

By MHC Development on June 29, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Caitlin Reilly Smith '98 majored in anthropology at Mount Holyoke. As it is with so many other alumnae, the lessons learned and the confidence gained from her years at MHC continue to serve Caitlin throughout her life.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? I learned how to listen carefully, think critically, write effectively, and speak thoughtfully. Lessons that have been used every single day of my life since graduating.

What's your favorite spot on campus? I always loved walking past Babbo's bench (next to the art museum) on my way to and from class, so now I like to stop and sit on it when I visit campus.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I support MHC so that it can continue to provide a top-quality liberal arts education to the women leaders of the future! I have been so impressed by every alumna I have met throughout the years. Their career accomplishments, leadership abilities, and sense of purpose in life are a common thread that I have found ties all MHC alumnae together. It is important for me to give back, and to help provide more young women the opportunity to build that same foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

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Donor Spotlight: Kira Kmetz FP’06. “For me, MHC will always be a place where women’s beautiful minds are both challenged and respected.”

By MHC Development on June 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Kira Kmetz FP'06 majored in geography with a minor in history at Mount Holyoke. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA with her partner of twenty years. Kira writes poetry and is currently working on a historical novel. She also tutors elementary school students, volunteers at the San Francisco SPCA, and enjoys practicing and performing the Japanese ensemble-drumming art of taiko. With all her activities, Kira finds the time each year to give back to her alma mater:

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? That women's colleges are truly vital and must be supported and championed, so that current and future generations of smart, eager women have the opportunity to become their best selves.

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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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Donor Spotlight: Felisa Ver Friesen ’06. “Our parents and MHC are two of the biggest reasons why my sister and I are the women we are today.”

By MHC Development on June 27, 2016 at 11:06 AM

As the end of Mount Holyoke's fiscal year draws near, we want to continue to celebrate all the alumnae and friends who are making a difference for students today. Whether it was an amazing class, an inspiring professor, or the lifelong friend you met your first-year, we all have different reasons for giving back and paying it forward. Felisa Ver Friesen '06 majored in sociology with a minor in dance when she was a student at Mount Holyoke. Her Mount Holyoke education prepared her well for life beyond the gates and made her the confident woman she is today but her reason for giving back was a very personal one.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? My father passed away in February 2016. He was a hard working man who never wavered in his support for me or my sister, Ana Cecilia Ver '03. Our education and success were his priority and he was so proud that we were able to graduate from such a prestigious school, one that fostered our strengths. The gift was in memory of our father; without MHC's financial aid and our familial contribution, neither of us would have been able to attend MHC. Our parents and MHC are two of the biggest reasons why my sister and I are the women we are today: strong, thoughtful, and committed.

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Donor Spotlight: Ifeoma Aduba ’95. “Investing in the education and development of women is priceless.”

By MHC Development on June 24, 2016 at 10:41 AM

Ifeoma Aduba ’95 majored in politics with a minor in African American studies at Mount Holyoke. Now she's making a difference for her community helping victims of domestic violence as the Executive Director of A Woman's Place. Her life changed the moment she was accepted to Mount Holyoke—she knew then she would be seen and her voice heard.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? There have been two that I have carried with me and grow in value for me every day—investing in the education and development of women is priceless for the whole community and to be thoughtful in building a case for support. They are lessons that I have benefited from and that have never failed me!

What's your favorite spot on campus? I love to wander and see what's changed over time... but I always come back to Upper Lake. That's where it started for me, living in MacGregor Hall my first year.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I give regularly to MHC—literally out of every paycheck I receive. I know that my experience at MHC and what I have accomplished since was made possible by the generosity of those who came before me and I try to honor that with a piece of every paycheck. That legacy of generosity and investment in women inspires me constantly.

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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: Sarah Tobias ’76. “I treasure my four years at MHC.”

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

At Mount Holyoke, Sarah Tobias majored in art history and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. Sarah treasures her time at Mount Holyoke, where she "made lifelong friends and was inspired by so many wonderful professors like Jean Sudrann."

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? The greatest lesson I learned is how much I love the liberal arts.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? Four incredible years on campus that continue to inspire me and from which I draw strength.

What's your favorite spot on campus? The sundial and pathway from Porter to the library.

Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? Graduation day.

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United, Determined and Ready: Kavita Ramdas ’85 on The United State of Women

By MHC Development on June 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Kavita N. Ramdas ’85, Senior Advisor, Global Strategy at the Ford Foundation and former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, was among 5,000 women recently gathered in Washington, D.C. for a "one-of-a-kind" summit, The United State of Women. From the Obamas to 11-year old Mikaila Ulmer, and from trailblazers like Lily Ledbetter to activists like Bamby Salcedo, it was a historic gathering of inspirational leaders, feminists, and extraordinary women:

"Watching the sun slant over the waterways and bridges as the Amtrak train glides by my mind goes back to the 5,000 women with whom I just spent a very special day.  We were gathered at the Convention Center in Washington DC to celebrate a one of a kind summit: The United State of Women. Hosted by the White House in close collaboration with the Department of Labor and Justice, the Aspen Institute and with the support of the Ford Foundation, the Pepsico FoundationTory Burch Foundation and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women among many others, it was a chance to honour and celebrate the power of women here in the United States and across the globe, while also squarely facing the miles that remain yet to be travelled in our shared quest to end violence and discrimination against women and girls.  In words of President Obama, who addressed us all at lunch, "With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our nation." I would add—the fabric of all nations."

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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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