You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I give to Mount Holyoke every year because my MHC education allowed me to become the person I am today. I gained self-confidence that I didn't know I lacked and was able to stand up for myself in the working world because I had already done it at Mount Holyoke.
Only a few more hours left! Mount Holyoke's fiscal year ends tonight at midnight. Each year, every year, MHC counts on the community for support so that students today—and for generations to come—will have the amazing MHC experience. With so many opportunities and so many reasons to give, here's what inspired Christine Ianni '15 to pay it forward:
You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities Mount Holyoke provided me and I hope my gift will help guarantee the same for others.
Rochelle Thomas '01 recalls Mount Holyoke as being the greatest academic experience of her life: "I try to give something to MHC every year because I will never forget the experiences I had and hope that it continues to inspire more women for centuries to come. I am ever so jealous of the FPs, because I wish I could walk through the MHC gates with the knowledge of the world as I now know it. I don't think I would ever leave!"
What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? We were all once fish!
What's your favorite spot on campus? So many! I always remember the flowering trees that were just outside of Buckland. They were probably insignificant to almost everyone else but it was a reminder of all of the touches of beauty around campus. But, the waterfall, the equestrian center, the path around the lake—the possibilities are endless!
You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I received a very generous financial aid package that enabled me to attend MHC and I hope many other women are able to benefit from such a gift in the future. Additionally, I hope that the College continues to attract such world class educators. Not a day goes by when I don't think about how much the faculty was invested in its students, taking the time to have lunch with us, invite us into their homes and answer e-mails about anything. A lot of learning happened outside of the classroom. And, the campus ain't too shabby to look at either!
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.
In the 1990s, the Taliban imposed many restrictions on women's rights. They couldn't go to school, walk on the streets alone, or speak publicly. The Taliban was ousted from parts of the country in 2001 but progress has been slow. 18-year old Fatima Haidari decided things needed to change.
With help from Girl Up, a U.N. Foundation group that advocates for young girls around the world, Haidari created a riding club for girls. Every Friday, they meet to bike around the city of Kabul. The group started out with just 5 girls but quickly grew and is still going strong with now more than 20 on the weekly ride.
For the last three years, Alizeh Zaman has been trying on possible careers for size. The Mount Holyoke College senior from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, now aims for a career in public policy. But she didn’t start out that way.
Zaman came to MHC already interested in her eventual major fields, economics and mathematics. But one book assigned in an introductory anthropology course—The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down—drew her also to anthropology and to an interest in the book’s topic, Vietnam’s ethnic minority Hmong people.
“I could never have imagined then that, through Mount Holyoke, I would have the opportunity to learn more about the Hmong tribe in Vietnam,” she said.
Arielle Derival '17, an Africana Studies and Spanish double major with a Nexus minor in law, public policy, and human rights, writes from Lima, Peru, where she is working with La Casa de Panchita. This NGO promotes and defends the rights of women domestic workers who are often discriminated against based on age, gender, color, language, or culture. It also aims to protect children and prevent the employment of children 14 years or younger who go to the cities in search of domestic work:
The journey so far has been nothing but amazing. I have had the opportunity to work with the lawyer who helps domestic workers with any conflicts they may be having at work, speaking to them in detail about their rights and letting them know about protective laws.