Mount Holyoke Alumnae Symposium in Asia

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India at Crossroads: Past, Present and Future

Jaipur, India

January 11–13, 2019                                      

Alumnae, parents, students and family,

If Mount Holyoke holds a special place in your heart, come to Jaipur, India, where we will welcome you in the vast gardens of the Taj Jai Mahal Palace hotel, the sprawling compound of which reminds us of our expansive, beautiful campus. Not only will you be welcomed with a Mount Holyoke hug, we will recreate the famous Rathskeller night.

Join us for this weekend of thought-provoking lectures and cultural events organized by Mount Holyoke’s Indian alumnae. This third Mount Holyoke Alumnae Symposium in Asia, and the first ever in India, will be a power-packed weekend of vigorous intellectual and social engagement among alumnae. It promises to be a weekend like no other.

Events will focus on the evolution of India, the world’s largest democracy and one of its fastest growing economies. The theme, “India at Crossroads — Past, Present and Future,” will inform our exploration of the culture and contradictions that make up this fascinating land. Speakers from diverse backgrounds — academia, journalism, sociology and politics — as well as performance and visual artists will parse India’s complexities.

Highlights of the weekend

  • Take a deep dive into India’s history and culture.
  • Learn about its cuisine, economics, politics, science and society, and contemplate its future.
  • Hear and experience its songs and dances, and enjoy its food and drink.
  • Listen to panel discussions by an array of experts from a variety of fields.

You will go home enriched and energized by the sheer color and intricacy of this land. Mount Holyoke’s Indian alumnae — the largest alumnae population of any Asian country other than China — are excited to welcome the global sisterhood to this fabled city.

Preliminary list of speakers include:

  • Sonya Stephens, president of Mount Holyoke College
  • Mahua Moitra ’98, politician and member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Karimpur 
  • Barkha Dutt, Emmy Nominated reporter; Washington Post columnist; founding editor, Mojo & We The Women; TV Host and Author
  • Malini V. Shankar MA’82, officer of the Indian Administrative Service currently serving as the director general in the Ministry of Shipping 
  • Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, Yale World Fellow, TED Senior Fellow and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

The Taj Jai Mahal Palace Hotel

We chose the location in Jaipur precisely because of its campus-like feel. We will all stay together — eat, drink, dance and debate together, and enjoy most sessions in one magnificent place, the Taj Jai Mahal Palace Hotel, ranked by Condé Nast Traveler readers in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards as #31 of the 50 best hotels in the world and as the third best hotel in India.

The Pink City

Known for its magnificent royal past and fabulous heritage sites, plus its stunning gems, jewelry, crafts and design, Jaipur has seduced the most seasoned global travelers with its pomp and splendor. From Queen Elizabeth II to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, visitors to the Pink City have been enthralled. Experience Rajasthani hospitality at its best by immersing yourself in this iconic city.

Strategically located in the golden triangle that also comprises Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an easy flight from both Mumbai and Delhi.

Follow the symposium on social media

Facebook @MHCJaipur2019


Make your plans now!

Plan now to join us January 11–13, 2019 in Jaipur! We will add more details as we have them. With questions, please email

We look forward to seeing you in Jaipur!

Your organizing committee,

Vijaya Pastala ’89
Shoba Narayan CG’87
Gayatri Rangachari Shah ’94
Tina Nagpaul ’93