If you were to glance at my calendar, stop at random, and ask me what was distinctly “Mount Holyoke” about the event or meeting on which you landed, it would be a simple question for me to answer. My days, weeks, and months are filled with “Mount Holyoke moments,” encounters that represent who we are and what we do best. Through this forum, I want to give you a glimpse of some of the lesser-known moments that shape my pride in this College and our community. At the same time, I hope you will be willing to share your own stories, both past and present, as we prepare to launch our celebration of Mount Holyoke’s “175 Years of Women of Influence.”
In my role, I have the privilege—and the responsibility—of conveying our mission to a wide range of individuals, including policy makers at the state and national levels. As the oldest women’s college in the world, Mount Holyoke is a recognized leader in higher education, and it was gratifying to travel in March to both the White House and the State Department to build partnerships for access to educational excellence and to promote women’s leadership around the world.
We are indeed developing leaders in our classrooms and on our campus, and this was on full display when commentator and author Rachel Maddow recently addressed a standing-room-only crowd in Chapin. Student after student approached the microphone to engage Rachel with articulate and thoughtful questions. They had read her book, integrated perspectives gained from both course work and personal experience, and shaped remarkably insightful comments. I could easily envision our own students at the front of the room, inviting questions and comments from the next generation of aspiring women leaders.
Interspersed with these travels and conversations, I had the privilege of acknowledging Mount Holyoke staff members who have served the College for twenty-five or more years. Believe it or not, there are more than 100 members of this “twenty-five-year club” on campus. And, at this particular celebration, we recognized the retirement of Nancy Devine, one of Mount Holyoke’s longest-serving employees in our history. Nancy has devoted fifty-seven years of service to the campus library! The dedication of these staff members is distinctly “Mount Holyoke,” and I know you join me in honoring all of the staff and faculty who create and sustain the College and its mission.
I look forward to hearing from you about your Mount Holyoke moments!
–President Pasquerella ’80