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Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts college for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States. It was the first member of the Seven Sisters colleges, and served as a model for some of the others.


50 College Street
South Hadley

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College History


Mount Holyoke's founder, Mary Lyon, is considered by many scholars to be an innovator in the area of women's education. Her establishment of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was part of a larger movement to create institutions of higher education for young women during the early half of the 19th century. Lyon's contemporaries include Sarah Pierce (Litchfield Female Academy, 1792); Catharine Beecher (Hartford Female Seminary, 1823); Zilpah P. Grant Banister (Ipswich Female Seminary, 1828); George Washington Doane (St. Mary's Hall, 1837 now called Doane Academy). Prior to founding Mount Holyoke, Lyon contributed to the development of both Hartford Female Seminary and Ipswich Female Seminary. She was also involved in the creation of Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College, Massachusetts) in 1834. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was originally chartered as a teaching seminary in 1836 and opened its doors to students on 8 November 1837. Both Vassar College and Wellesley College were patterned after Mount Holyoke. Mount Holyoke College now stands as the sister school to Ivy League Dartmouth College in NH. From its founding in 1837, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary "had no religious affiliation". However, "students were required to attend church services, chapel talks, prayer meetings, and Bible study groups. Twice a day teachers and students spent time in private devotions. Every dorm room had two large lighted closets to give roommates privacy during their devotions". Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was the sister school to Andover Seminary. Some Andover graduates looked to marry students from the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before becoming missionaries because the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) required its missionaries to be married before starting their missions. By 1859 there were more than 60 missionary alumnae; by 1887 the school's alumnae comprised one-fifth of all female American missionaries for the ABCFM; and by the end of the century, 248 of its alumnae had entered the mission field. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary received its collegiate charter in 1888, becoming Mount Holyoke Seminary and College. In 1893 it became Mount Holyoke College. Mount Holyoke's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1905. It has been a sister school to Women's Christian College in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India since 1920. In the early 1970s Mount Holyoke had a long debate under the presidency of David Truman over the issue of coeducation. On 6 November 1971 the board of trustees voted to remain a women's college. On February 28, 1987, the United States Postal Service's Great Americans Series issued a postage stamp featuring Mary Lyon, in honor of Mount Holyoke's Sesquicentennial (Mount Holyoke's 150th anniversary)

College Specialty


Our mission is to preserve the campus facilities while creating and sustaining an environment that will attract, keep and support the best and brightest students, faculty and staff. We will work with our employees in ways that value their ideas , show trust and challenge them to excel. We will manage our financial resources in ways that accomplish our tasks of maintenance, service and construction as well as any in the industry.



Mildred Sanderson, 1910 - mathematician Cornelia Clapp, 1871 - zoologist and marine biologist Mary Cutler Fairchild, 1875 - pioneering librarian Martha Warren Beckwith, 1893 - anthropologist Abby Howe Turner, 1896 - founded Mount Holyoke's department of physiology Margaret Morse Nice, 1905 - ornithologist Louise Freeland Jenkins, 1911 - astronomer Marion Elizabeth Blake, 1913 - classics professor Rachel Fuller Brown, 1920 - chemist who discovered Nystatin Mildred Trotter, 1920 - noted forensic anthropologist Lucy Weston Pickett, 1925 - noted chemist Helen Sawyer Hogg, 1926 - astronomer Janet Wilder Dakin, B.A. 1933, M.A. 1935 - zoologist who was the youngest sister of Thornton Wilder and Charlotte Wilder Mary McHenry, 1954 - professor of English credited with introducing African American literature to Mount Holyoke Jane English, 1964 -physicist, translator, photographer Phyllis Young Forsyth, 1966 - Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies, Emerita; founding chair, Classical Studies, University of Waterloo Dolores Hayden, 1966 - professor of architecture, urbanism, and American studies Carolyn Collette, 1967 - professor of English Susan Shirk, 1967 - professor of political science and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Asia during the Clinton administration Karen E. Rowe - English professor Carolyn Hotchkiss, 1976 - current Babson College and former Harvard graduate school business law professor Cornelia Cook - Senior Lecturer of 19th and 20th Century Literature Clare M. Waterman-Storer, 1989 - noted biologist & winner of National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award Becca Frank, 2016 - student of English



2,000 acres (8.1 km�), academic campus