Mt. Holyoke Founded in 1837, Oldest of Seven Sisters

Location: South Hadley, Massachusetts

Founded: In 1837, Oldest of the seven sisters

A few traditions:

  • M&C (Milk & Cookies) — A long-standing College tradition enjoyed by all resident students, M&Cs is a light snack provided as a study break and social event each evening.
  • Big/Little Program — Siblings for life. Tracing its origins back to the early 1900s, the program pairs up a junior (the “Big”) with an incoming first-year (the “Little”).
  • Elfing — A first-year and sophomore based tradition. First-year students receive small gifts over the course of the week from a sophomore ‘Elf.’
  • Mountain Day — A College tradition since 1838. Classes are cancelled and students are invited to climb (or ride) to the Summit House atop Mount Holyoke.

Famous graduates:

  • Emily Dickinson, class of 1849, revolutionized American poetry.
  • Frances Perkins, class of 1902, became the first woman appointed to a presidential cabinet.
  • Virginia Apgar, class of 1929, set the standard for evaluating newborn health with the Apgar score.
  • Suzan-Lori Parks 1985, playwright; Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner
  • Kavita Ramdas 1985, senior advisor and former CEO, Global Fund for Women
  • Mona Sutphen 1989, former deputy chief of staff, Obama administration
  • Heather Harde 1991, CEO (2007–2011), TechCrunch