Thank you to the 901 alumnae, faculty, staff, students, family and friends who made gifts to The Mount Holyoke Fund for the Commencement Challenge totaling $205,031, all in honor of the class of 2020. At the same time, our generous community members also shared countless messages of support and congratulations with our graduating blue lions! Inspired by the outpouring of love from this challenge and by the powerful way that our community has come together in recent months, a group of anonymous alumnae have given an additional $100,000 to Mount Holyoke and $2,020 to The Senior Campaign.
Each year the senior class works together to leave behind its legacy, in the form of The Senior Campaign. This provides an opportunity for the class to work together towards a shared goal and a chance for new or established leaders to come up with creative ideas for ways to engage classmates. Led by Head Class Agents (HCAs), with the support of the Class Board, The Senior Campaign allows the class to join forces for the first time with the thousands of alums who paved the way before them.
At Mount Holyoke, this week would normally be the time when underclass students would be traveling home for the summer, alums in reunion classes would be packing their Laurel Parade ensembles and the seniors’ calendars would be packed with celebrations leading into Commencement.
During the 2018–2019 fiscal year, 9,591 alumnae, family members, friends and students made gifts to Mount Holyoke totaling $28.6 million. 8,943 alumnae gave back to Mount Holyoke, and $8.06 million was raised for The Mount Holyoke Fund to meet the College’s immediate needs. These investments in Mount Holyoke help empower students to find their voices, become leaders and inspire others. Your generosity is paramount to the Mount Holyoke experience. Thank you for ensuring that Mount Holyoke forever shall be.
This April I had the opportunity to take an all-expense-paid trip to sunny Los Angeles, where I represented Mount Holyoke at the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition (IBESCC). To think an international relations major would become so involved with business and entrepreneurship is probably surprising, but that is exactly what Mount Holyoke allowed me to do — reach and stretch outside of my comfort zone in order to expand my horizons.
Before coming to Mount Holyoke, I was pretty sure I wanted to do something resembling environmental studies and public policy. I’m still not completely sure, but after two semesters I’ve discovered a real interest in politics, particularly the intersection of politics and environmental issues. With this career path in mind, I’ve become intrigued by the possibility of law school — something I never would have contemplated before attending Mount Holyoke.
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.
Meet Lanie Richards ’21, who hails from Orange Park, Florida. Majoring in psychology and education, she was drawn to Mount Holyoke because of its academic rigor as well as it’s welcoming community. On campus, she’s also a research assistant in the Office of Advancement, a member of the MHC Rugby Football Club and an SGA Senator for the Rugby team.
In preparation for my first year at Mount Holyoke, I asked a lot of alums about their residential experience. Though many said that they had a mostly positive experience, some students mentioned that they wished their dorm halls felt like more of a community. I quickly realized that I would not enjoy living in a dorm where I felt as though I would not know my neighbors.
I was fortunate to arrive at Mount Holyoke just as the Shirley Chisholm Living-Learning Community (LLC) was beginning its second year on campus. The “Shirley” was created to provide a supportive space for students of African and Caribbean descent. As a black girl coming from Ghana, I was not sure I would be able to find a community well-suited for me. Even as I moved into the Shirley, I had my doubts about whether or not I would find my people.
Meet Emily Carle ’21, a religion major from Newington, Connecticut. Emily fell in love with Mount Holyoke’s academic offerings, vibrant spiritual life and endless opportunities for involvement within the campus community. In addition to the numerous clubs and organizations that she’s involved with on campus, Emily is also the youth director at Center Church in South Hadley and an intern for Cathedral in the Night, an outdoor Christian community in downtown Northampton. She also manages an instagram account featuring photos of Mount Holyoke (@picturesofmhc) and enjoys skiing, eating, watching the Patriots and researching her family genealogy.