Mount Holyoke College Office of the President

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke, a women’s college, is for ambitious, independent students from around the world who embrace complexity, cultivate curiosity and resolve to become agents of change. The tight-knit community is academically rigorous, intellectually adventurous and socially conscious. As one of the most diverse research liberal arts colleges in the United States, Mount Holyoke prepares students for leadership and cultural awareness on a global scale. Mount Holyoke graduates thrive in all fields, on all continents and in a vast array of languages.

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A community dedicated to leadership

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.

Commencement Traditions

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.

Return on Investment: The Lynk

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.

Stepping into the central heating plant

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!

The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021

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.

Connections

 

From the Fall 2016 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen

In their 2014 book How College Works, Daniel F. Chambliss and Christopher G. Takacs write about the way in which the social world of college “spreads out from a small circle of two or three close friends, to a wider group of routine acquaintances in the dorm . . . or classes, to a much wider, looser network of familiar faces and recognized groups.” I am powerfully reminded of these networks and a sense of belonging whenever I meet and work with groups of Mount Holyoke alumnae. Amid the excited chatter and energetic greetings, there are names of classmates and memories of events—ties that bind us to a place, wherever we may meet, to a time, often layered with subsequent visits and experiences, and to the company of others. Classes just a few years or many decades apart are united by common experiences among uncommon individuals and by an emotional bond that seems somehow written into the ink of the diploma.

Welcome to our Mount Holyoke!

 

Welcome to a new academic year at Mount Holyoke College—marked by the spirited tradition of Convocation. There is much to celebrate today, and every day, in this dynamic community of students, faculty, and staff. At my first Convocation as acting president, I am honored to kick off the semester alongside you and amid a host of exciting changes happening all around us on campus.

A Degree of Continuity

Interview by Jennifer Grow ’94 for the Summer 2016 Alumnae Quarterly

Just before Sonya Stephens received the torch—literally and figuratively—from outgoing president Lynn Pasquerella ’80 in a student-organized “Olympic” ceremony in the spring, the Alumnae Quarterly sat down with the College’s next leader to talk with her about her transition from vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty to the work that she plans to focus on during her appointed three-year term as the College’s acting president.

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