Magical Memory Tour

Revisiting Favorite Campus Spots

When you think about your favorite spot at Mount Holyoke, do you envision autumn’s scarlet splendor? The murmur of hushed conversations and concentration in the library’s reading room or the smell of coffee in the atrium? Upper Lake’s thundering waterfall? Perhaps you hear boots crunching snow on the hill behind the Mandelles or recall a secluded oasis where you recharged after a busy day.

Perhaps it’s an exercise in futility trying to choose just one favorite place on a campus that’s regularly rated as one of the country’s most beautiful. But when we asked (on facebook), you responded with eloquence and enthusiasm.

We’ve selected photos that reflect the most popular spaces on campus—Upper and Lower Lake were your top choices, followed by the library—but of course you mentioned many more idyllic spots than we had room to feature in print. Here are your shout-outs to some of your favorite campus spaces.

Read, look, and let your mind take you back to your time at Mount Holyoke. Can you see the wind rippling the surface of Lower Lake? Hear Jorge the goose honking and the bells ringing in Mary Lyon Hall? Smell the lilies of the valley outside the library? Ahhhhhh…

—By Emily Harrison Weir

This article appeared in the spring 2013 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.


Extend your tour with this interactive map. It’s studded with alumnae memories tagged to campus sites.


Magical Memories

• My favorite place is everywhere, because MHC was (and always will be) home to my heart, my intellect, and the most interesting, powerful, and compassionate people I have ever met. —Sue Cameron ’07

• I loved to walk across the bridge over Lower Lake by the ’delles and see the whole lake behind me, the trees around me, the ducks and nutria swimming…and I liked to play my bagpipes there in the evening when I lived in Prospect. —Laura Kamrath ’04

• I would often stop on the bridge to the Mandelles on my way home from a long day of classes and rehearsals just to listen to the water and take in a moment of calm. —Rain Ross ’00

• I love the crossing between the library and the Clapp Hall tower when both buildings had blazing red leaves on them and the colors were reflected by the leaded window panes in each tower. —Ruth Anne Wolfe ’82

• I used to love to sit on the stone wall next to the waterfall on Upper Lake and ponder “big” questions… often brought on by my classes. —Taylor Pressler Vydra FP’08

• I loved climbing down and slipping behind the waterfall. When water was high, it thundered and took your breath away as you looked back through the falls toward Lower Lake…On the Orchards golf course in winter, cross-country skiing as the snow continued to fall, and all was silent until the MHC clock chimed. —Pamela Adkins ’79

• The garden by the Art Building… roomie and I used to have a sunrise champagne breakfast to celebrate the last day of finals. —Lisa Jarisch ’81

• The sculpture studio in the Art Building felt like home to me. That was back in the day when we still cast bronze there; Hephaestus (the giant kiln) was a warm, comforting presence. —Nancy Root Miller ’79

• Many places in the library…the bridge to Mandelles…Mead fire escapes, where I watched fireworks over Lower Lake…music practice rooms…stables… While the Ortega Center was festive, the Betty Shabazz Center fed my spirit. —Naomi Barry-Perez ’96

• Coming out from the Upper Lake loop near the equestrian center when the horses are out and they realize someone is there—twenty pairs of alert ears prick toward you. —Sarah Lamoreux Courchesne ’03

• Running around Upper Lake in the morning, with the sun protection from the foliage, the deep crisp smell of fresh air and the tranquility that comes with the surroundings—bliss! — Oyinade Ogunbekun ’07

• I love the hauntingly beautiful chapel, especially since I got married there. When I was a student, I would watch the alumnae brides, out my Brigham window, making their way to the chapel. It is such a romantic and sacred spot. —Laura Malone Hunt ’02

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3 responses to “Magical Memory Tour”

  1. Cindy White says:

    The bridge over lower lake is a favorite spot. I lived in 1837 for two years and North Mandelle for one year, and I always enjoyed that walk across the bridge.

  2. Priscilla Ferguson says:

    my carrel in the library was magical.

  3. mary ellen scofield says:

    I am hoping you might sell these photos – and/or put them into a calendar I could buy. I enjoy the alumnae quarterly but these pictures really bring tears to my eyes. How I love and miss MHC!

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