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Home > Legacy of Diversity > History

Legacy of Diversity

During Mount Holyoke's previous campaign, a group of ALANA (African American, Latina, Asian American, and Native American) alumnae joined forces and made history. With an extraordinary participation rate of 48 percent of Mount Holyoke's alumnae of color, they raised $1.5 million in honor of pioneering ALANA alumnae, such as Hortense Parker, who graduated in 1883 and is the first African American woman known to attend the College; Cherokee Native American Ruth Muskrat of the class of 1925; and dozens of others who bravely forged a new era in the education of women.

Now, with a new Campaign underway, ALANA alumnae again are coming together to advance the Legacy of Diversity, led by cochairs by Mindy McWilliams Lewis ’75 and Chau Ly ’97.

Lewis, an MHC trustee whose daughter Alexis graduated in 2005, believes that the Legacy of Diversity is a powerful way for alumnae to honor the past while opening doors for young women of color. “As you look through the years, the College has a proud history of reaching out to diverse communities and of bringing a diverse population of faculty and staff into this environment. As a student, the fact that there were people on this campus that looked like me and were sensitive to my concerns made all the difference in the world. Currently, a quarter of faculty members are persons of color,” said Lewis.

Likewise, Ly regards the Legacy of Diversity as a way for ALANA alumnae to demonstrate what MHC’s commitment to diversity means to them: “Who understands the importance of diversity better than women of color?”

Lewis and Ly, along with their dedicated committee, have begun spreading the word about the initiative and inviting the College’s more than 2,400 ALANA alumnae to get involved. “As with the Campaign itself, every gift truly counts,” noted Lewis. “This initiative is about women of color coming together. By doing that, we build a powerful legacy.”


 

 

Related links:

See the Video

The Committee

Legacy of Diversity Endowed Fund

Gift Opportunities

Alumnae Reflections

Event gallery

 


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