Mount Holyoke College Office of the President

Sonya Stephens

Recent Posts

A Renewed and Weightier Sense of Responsibility

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.

A Global 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.

In the Making

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.

Celebrating the heart of Mount Holyoke

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.

Celebrating 100 Years of the Quarterly

From the Fall 2017 Alumnae Quarterly President's Pen

An interlude of light

Season after season and year after year, the beauty of Mount Holyoke and the light of learning connect us, across generations and across the world.

In “What Shines,” Marjory Wentworth ’80, poet laureate of South Carolina, evokes this sense of wonder and shared experience. May her poem, set to music by composer Nathan Jones and performed by the Glee Club for Vespers 2016, bring you a moment of connection to the College, to your own memories, and to friends near and far.

The beauty, the magic, the story

Resilience—and good, balanced decisions. Prudence—and expediency.

After the devastating fire of 1896, the College took a series of actions that continue to resonate to this day. Magical and phoenixlike, key elements of Mount Holyoke’s unconventional and beautiful campus rose out of the ashes in an amazingly fast fashion. Yet with an equally impressive level of classic grandeur and detail.

Hear the details courtesy of Paul Breen, director of facilities management and planning.

Built. To. Last. Enjoy the video!

The magic of sustainability

To what extent will the new Community Center contribute to the College’s sustainability efforts? In fantastic and exciting ways. Gain a glimpse into the construction of this game-changing building on campus—featuring solar panels, dehydrator digester units, and other state-of-the-art equipment—courtesy of Paul Breen, director of facilities management and planning.

It’s hard-hat time. Enjoy the video!

MHC: True. Love.

My first Mountain Day as acting president was nothing short of a thrill. It was a wonderful day to hike. The leaves were just turning. And there were loads of students and faculty at the summit, taking in the great views of the river.

The turn of the key

 

“It is a real privilege to be serving Mount Holyoke in a new way.”
–Acting President Sonya Stephens

“I like the energy in the house—and there’s so much to look forward to.”
–House Manager Brenda Adams

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