With all the excitement of Commencement and Reunion behind us, it is with great anticipation and resolve that we engage in the deep work of summer, in preparation for the fall and the return of the students. While the rhythm is different — and repairs to the clock in Mary Lyon Hall make the hours seem longer and slower — the work itself is more concentrated and more urgent. Perhaps, for me, this sense of urgency is amplified by this moment, by the sense of entering more fully into the long (laurel) chain of Mount Holyoke’s history as the College’s 19th president. I have said to many of you, when asked how I feel about this opportunity to serve you and the College, that my first reaction (and perhaps the most enduring one) is a renewed and weightier sense of responsibility: the responsibility to preserve and advance and to protect and promote this extraordinary institution — its excellence, its beauty and its values. To do this, we must indeed work with consequential urgency and with creativity and commitment.
From the Spring 2018 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
Mount Holyoke College’s first known international student, Susanna Major, came from Canada and graduated in 1843. The first from outside North America, Toshi Miyagawa, was a Chinese citizen who grew up in Japan and graduated in 1893. (Learn more about Miyagawa on page 34.) Since then, we have grown to be a truly global community, with 605 international students comprising 27 percent of the College’s undergraduate population in 2017. While Massachusetts residents account for almost 20 percent of Mount Holyoke’s enrolled students, those on campus this year come from forty-five states and sixty-nine countries.
From the Winter 2018 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
As the finishing touches are added to the new Community Center, where contemporary dining meets the historic feel of the Mount Holyoke residential experience, we are turning our attention to the programming that will be centered in it, as well as to the opportunities represented by the vacated kitchen and dining spaces in the residence halls. In all that we are doing, there is intent to bring together creativity and analysis, to engage intellectually and socially, and to ensure that we sustain a community of imaginative learners.
As we come to the close of 2017 and look forward to the promise and possibilities of 2018, we offer you and your loved ones our best wishes for the new year.
Leadership is an inherently social endeavor, rooted in listening and conversing, gathering and collaborating, envisioning and engaging. While the College has long cultivated leaders of thought and action, we are thrilled to introduce a new hub that is specially dedicated to the social aspects of the endeavor.
From the Fall 2017 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
From the Summer 2017 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
It is an inescapable and heartwarming truth about Mount Holyoke that we are invested in a tradition of traditions. At no time in the academic year, and at no moment during the career of a student, is this more apparent than during the commencement exercises. Not for nothing did one person, about halfway along the path of this year’s laurel parade, offer up a box of tissues. We laughed at her prescience, knowing that, as the new graduates reached the generous ranks of the fiftieth-reunion class of 1967, who were lining the way to Mary Lyon’s grave, there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the parade.
From the Spring 2017 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
If the notion of “return on investment” is a new way of students, parents, policymakers, and the wider public measuring higher education, it’s not a new idea. The value of the liberal arts—and the adventure of discovery that a Mount Holyoke education represents—have always been understood and promoted as an investment in the future, in a life of learning, and as preparation for professional success. What those professions and successes look like has changed many times over the course of Mount Holyoke’s history, especially in the twentieth century, which saw shifts in college career services from vocational guidance to job placement and from career planning and counseling to professional networking. These paradigm shifts reflect social change as much as they do the evolution of work and jobs. Today this means that personal and career development are core to the work of college and that career services have evolved to support that work and to create the communities and networks that position our students for success.
Ever wonder how the campus is heated? Hint: It involves five hot fires, boiled water, a steam turbine generator set and an extensive network of underground pipes — aka the north and the south loops. The process generates seven percent of the College’s electricity.
Watch the video to learn more about the efficient role of the central heating plant, courtesy of Richard Bigelow, associate director and chief engineer of facilities management.
Full steam ahead!
From the Winter 2017 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen
A strategic planning process, as much as a process to envision and revitalize, is a moment for self-analysis and reflection about what we do well. It is an opportunity to review and recommit to our vision and values; a moment to identify what distinguishes us as an institution; and a time to set higher goals for achievement in those areas of distinction.
The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021 charts a course for the next five years that anticipates a much longer-range future. It does so confident in what Mount Holyoke represents—a place committed to women and gender equality, academic excellence, liberal education, diversity, leadership, global understanding, and environmental awareness and sustainability—and with renewed energy to make salient (and attractive to current and future students, faculty, and staff) the experience that is the College. This means striving to be yet more exceptional in those areas we claim as such. It also means new commitments.