Junior Maya Sopory ’22 credits Mount Holyoke with helping to expand her world view and enhancing her critical thinking skills. “I am told to question everything, interrogate the status quo, and push the boundaries of my thinking, regardless of the space I am in.”
Junior Dayishaa Daga ’22 credits her closeness with professors with her success in pursuing two rigorous STEM majors, biological sciences and data science. In addition to feeling connected to faculty through her academics, Dayishaa serves on multiple committees and clubs that have helped her feel closer to the community. This summer before her junior year, funding through the College’s Lynk initiative enabled her to pursue a remote internship in data science in her home country of Nepal. She learned new skills related to her major and explored possible career paths.
Recent graduate Marisol Fernandez ’20 credits Mount Holyoke with the “compassion, relationships, critical thinking skills, and overall growth” that helped her succeed at Mount Holyoke and beyond. As a student, Marisol learned about the effectiveness and power of representation, thanks to her connections with faculty and staff in the Office of Student Involvement. She hopes to eventually serve in a professional role that enables her to provide hands-on support to students who face similar challenges — to Posse scholars, first-generation and low-income students, Latinx students, and “any other student who is just trying to find themselves in a big, scary world.”
Senior Casey Roepke ’21 has taken full advantage of her Mount Holyoke education, pursuing a double major in physics and politics, a Nexus concentration in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse, and participating in numerous cocurricular activities. Her experience has been defined by her interactions with her fellow members of the College community.
Coming to Mount Holyoke from Beijing, junior Amy Shiying Wang initially struggled with translating familiar concepts, particularly in her biology class, since her high school science classes had been taught in Chinese. She credits her professors’ patience, responsiveness and encouragement for her success. With their support, she explored her passion for biochemistry and computer science, and was able to combine both of her majors into the perfect internship opportunity: a lab at Baylor College of Medicine, where she used computational biology techniques to analyze RNA sequences. She is also exploring classes outside of the STEM fields. “I also take full advantage of a liberal arts education,” she says. “I think it makes me a better scientist — and definitely a better human being — when I have cohesive learning.”
The global coronavirus outbreak has brought many changes to the Mount Holyoke campus, requiring the College to adapt quickly in order to ensure the safety and well-being of current students, faculty and staff. Transitions to alternative modes of instruction and learning, shifts to remote work and changes in the ways that we connect with one another have led to a wide variety of unanticipated challenges.
The moment she stepped foot on campus, Verity O’Connell ’20, knew Mount Holyoke was the school for her. Surrounded by the majestic brownstone buildings and lush greenery, the College felt like a place she could grow into and make her home. Four years later, she’s found her place and still revels in the community and tradition that have so profoundly shaped her time here.
Are you interested in supporting sports and athletics at Mount Holyoke? Or investing in experiential internships or research opportunities? Or maybe you are passionate about providing scholarship aid to students? By choosing a destination — such as Athletics, The Lynk & Career Preparedness or Scholarships — for your gift through The Mount Holyoke Fund, you support incredible students like Mika Butin ’19.
On behalf of all our students, thank you for your gifts to The Mount Holyoke Fund! Your gifts will support every part of the MHC experience for our students, from once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to beloved MHC traditions, as well as our amazing faculty and this beautiful campus. With your gifts, you have shared many heartfelt comments on what inspired you to pay it forward. Here are just a few:
"Mount Holyoke was the type of school that I needed after graduating from a small public high school with only about 30 students who planned to go on to college. I had been told that as a girl, I needed to keep my mouth shut and not to excel in ways that would make boys uncomfortable! I needed outstanding professors, but most of all I needed to be allowed to ask questions, seek answers, work hard, and do my best. I loved my liberal arts education and the breadth of experiences that was very different from anything I had experienced before. I loved having classmates and fellow students who were also interested in a variety of issues and subjects." —Claire Offutt Leonard '67
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.