President’s Pen: Fall 2013

President Lynn Pasquerella in the Fall 2013 Quarterly

President Lynn Pasquerella
Photo by Michael Malyszko

The opening of our academic year coincided with the launch of the College’s new charge— never fear / change—words that honor the historic legacy of Mount Holyoke women as changemakers. The never fear / change challenge calls on the College and all who are a part of our community to be self-aware, future-focused, and optimistic. As we all know, change is one of the constants in life, and we want our students to adapt to change with curiosity, confidence, and courage.

While we are looking forward, we are also celebrating those who give back. The Mount Holyoke Campaign surpassed its goal by raising a record-breaking $305.4 million. We thank you for your generosity. Alumnae show their devotion and commitment to the College in many ways, and your financial support allows us to open doors to future generations of engaged and ambitious women. During the final phase of the campaign, our focus was on securing funds that will give many students an extra boost. We hope to expand scholarship funds for academically talented students and provide paid internships— at least once during their undergraduate years— for each and every Mount Holyoke student.

We hope to expand scholarship funds for academically talented students and provide paid internships for each and every Mount Holyoke student.
Lynn Pasquerella ’80

As many of you know, internships that link curriculum to career are nothing new at Mount Holyoke. In fact, legendary political science professor Victoria Schuck created the Washington Internship Program in 1949. The program provided students with an opportunity to work in Washington, DC, as summer assistants to members of Congress and administrators of federal agencies. The Washington Internship Program was the first of its kind and served as a model for similar college programs across the country. Our current curriculum-to-career initiatives build upon these valuable ideas. We consider internship opportunities as more than academic enrichment alone. They are also a promise—a promise to provide experiences for all students to engage in transformative learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Student internships, along with pre- and post- internship courses, are the centerpiece of a new curricular connection we are building called The Lynk. This initiative will include a first- year seminar with enhanced advising by faculty, staff, and peer mentors; a sophomore experience emphasizing professional development and preparation for choosing a major; and a senior capstone in which graduating seniors will serve as role models for first-year students, inspiring them to face the future with energy and imagination.

I am extremely grateful to the faculty and staff who have rolled up their sleeves to develop these new curricular pathways. We are confident they will foster the College’s mission to use liberal learning for purposeful engagement in the world. We also expect these innovations to contribute significantly to educating the next generation of women leaders. The close of the 175th anniversary year of Mount Holyoke College made me understand more than ever what Emily Dickinson meant when she wrote, “I dwell in Possibility.” I am proud to be a member of this remarkable community, and I look forward as we embark on the next 175 years to discover the thrilling possibility of women’s education.

— By President Lynn Pasquerella ’80

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