Mount Holyoke College

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox University2 Mount Holyoke College, a liberal arts college in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is the oldest continuing institution of women's higher education in the world.

Founded in 1837, Mount Holyoke is the oldest member of the Seven Sisters, founded as the women's equivalent to the Ivy League (which, at that time, excluded women). It is also a member of the Five Colleges consortium.

For several consecutive years, the Princeton Review has named Mount Holyoke's 2,000 acre (8 km²) campus as the "Most Beautiful College Campus in America." The founders of Mount Holyoke later traveled westward to found the Western College for Women (which later became the Western College Program) in Oxford, Ohio which is now a part of Miami University.

It is named for Mount Holyoke, with an elevation of 878 feet (268 m).


General information

Mount Holyoke is the oldest continuing institution of women's education in the world. Today, Mount Holyoke enrolls approximately 2,100 undergraduates from across the country and around the world. Approximately 18 percent of students are African American, Latina, Asian American, or Native American. A further 15 percent are international students. The College is known for its strong science programs, for its interdisciplinary studies (such as International Relations and Critical Social Thought), and for its beautiful campus. The College is also an incubator for writers, having produced scores of professional writers and poets, beginning with Emily Dickinson, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrites Wendy Wasserstein and Suzan-Lori Parks its most recent. Since 2000, submitting the SAT has been optional for Mount Holyoke applicants.


Mount Holyoke College was founded as the academically rigorousseminary (Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) on 8 November 1837 by Mary Lyon (1797-1849), who also founded Wheaton College (originally Wheaton Female Seminary). In 1888 the seminary received its collegiate charter and became Mount Holyoke Seminary and College, and by 1893 the seminary was fully phased out in both name and curriculum.

Famous alumnae and faculty


Famous alumnae of Mount Holyoke College include:

  • Emily Dickinson, who dropped out of the college in 1849 because her religious ideologies differed from those of the college's founder
  • Suzan-Lori Parks playwright; Pulitzer Prize winner, Topdog/Underdog
  • Frances Perkins (Class of 1902) who was the first woman Cabinet member as Secretary for Labor
  • Dr. Virginia Apgar (Class of 1929) who developed the Apgar score for newborns
  • Ella Grasso (Class of 1940), Governor of Connecticut who was the first female Governor elected in her own right in United States history
  • Wendy Wasserstein (Class of 1971) playwright; Pulitzer Prize winner, The Heidi Chronicles
  • Elaine Chao (Class of 1975), Labor Secretary
  • Barbara Cassani (Class of 1982), the American busineswoman who is spearheading London's Olympic effort for 2012


Distinguished faculty at Mount Holyoke include:

Fictional alumnae

In the movie Dirty Dancing, Jennifer Grey's character "Baby" spent her last summer dancing before going off to Mount Holyoke College.

The lead character of the film "Black Widow" was also a Mount Holyoke alumna.

In Blow, it was mentioned along with other "Four Colleges" as a lucrative place to sell cocaine.

A group of Emily Dickinson Women's College students are taken out for a wild evening by the faux-Dartmouth brothers and pledges of Animal House.

In the '70s Peter Bogdanovich screwball comedy, What's Up Doc? , multiple-college eject Barbara Streisand announces that she has a mind for numbers because she majored in, "Math: Mount Holyoke." She was kicked out for blowing up a building, she then explains.

Lisa Simpson is tempted by the Siren-like representatives of the Seven Sisters Colleges, and George Plimpton, who offer a free ride to the Sister of her choice (and a George Plimpton hot plate) if she will throw a Spelling Bee. Mount Holyoke is portrayed as a party school.

                      MOUNT HOLYOKE: 
               (slurring, sipping champagne) 
            No! Party with me! (Falls face first.)

External links

Seven Sisters Colleges
Barnard | Bryn Mawr | Mount Holyoke | Radcliffe | Smith | Vassar | Wellesley

Template:Five Colleges


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