Mount Holyoke's Economic Impact

Fall 2013

Mount Holyoke College, Western Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth

Mount Holyoke is proud to contribute to the economic life and vitality of western Massachusetts. In addition to bringing approximately 2,200 students to South Hadley each year, Mount Holyoke College is one of the largest employers in the area, with an annual payroll of more than $50 million and a workforce of 1,050 faculty and staff, nearly all of whom live in the area.

International students comprise approximately 20 percent of the student body and represent 80 countries worldwide, while domestic students attend Mount Holyoke from 47 states. Three hundred and sixty-four active students attend the College from the Commonwealth and over 6000 active alumnae currently live in the Bay State. Mount Holyoke's Frances Perkins Program also has a strong track record of enrolling students from community colleges in western Massachusetts and the rest of the Commonwealth. Tuition and fees for academic year 2013-2014 total $53,596.

Mount Holyoke students intern and perform community outreach work in area schools and in many human services agencies in the Pioneer Valley, primarily through the Community-Based Learning Program.  In addition, members of the College community volunteer their services to assist with various projects in community institutions, such as the Neighbors Helping Neighbors food pantry in South Hadley, the Homework House, CHOICES, and Connections afterschool programs in Holyoke.  The College and area schools are actively collaborating in several areas, including the participation of faculty and students in courses in local schools, including a leadership program at the Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley, conducted in partnership with school officials and the Discovery Center of Farmington, Connecticut.  Twenty-three undergraduate students were endorsed for initial teacher licensure in the state of Massachusetts in May of 2013, following intensive field experiences in local public schools.

Through its Town Grant program, the College supported five graduates of South Hadley High School in 2013 in attending Mount Holyoke. The total grant provided under this program in FY’13 was $103,175.

The College offers many educational, athletic, and cultural programs that are open to the public, including lectures, concerts, performances, art exhibitions, athletic competitions, and other events—most free of charge. Additionally, the College's Williston Memorial Library is open to community residents.

Mount Holyoke is committed to providing access to its athletics facilities for the Town of South Hadley. The athletic department’s facilities are available for a number of community activities, including summer tennis programs, school team practices and competitions, community riding, and sports clinics for children. Community activities include the fitness swim program and winter walking program available to South Hadley seniors (for a small fee), as well as free use of outdoor tennis courts.  Additionally, the outdoor track is open to South Hadley residents at specific times. Please contact Athletics for times and availability.

The Talcott Greenhouse and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum offer many programs for local residents and schools. As a member of the Museums10 consortium, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum links communities in the Pioneer Valley to the arts.

The College is one of the largest taxpayers in the area, paying $101,715 in property taxes and $18,419 in taxes to Fire District No. 2 in 2012. In addition, the College pays approximately $4 million annually to South Hadley vendors for goods and services. College purchases made in the four counties of western Massachusetts in 2012 total $12,015,030.

In FY '12 the College, Orchards, and Village Commons paid $265,565 in property taxes to South Hadley.

Also in South Hadley

The Village Commons, owned by the College, generated more than $9 million in retail activity in 2012 and paid $114,000 in property taxes.. Tenants in the complex employ approximately 360 people.

The Orchards, also owned by the College and under long-term lease to Arnold Palmer Golf Management, provides eight full-time and approximately 40 seasonal jobs. The golf course recently paid $49,850 in property and real estate taxes.

The 2004 U.S. Women's Open, perhaps the biggest and most successful sporting event in the annals of western Massachusetts, brought millions of dollars in economic activity to the region. The event was the result of the effective collaboration of many people and organizations, including the Town of South Hadley and local officials.

From 2007 to 2008, through a partnership between the Town and the Commonwealth, and in conjunction with the improvements to College Street as well as to the intersection of College Street and Route 47, the College subsidized the cost ($650,000) of installing five lighted crosswalks on College Street. This addresses a long-standing safety issue along this stretch of College Street for both the campus population and Town residents.

From 2005 to 2009, Mount Holyoke College contributed a total of $300,000 toward South Hadley's $1.55 million purchase of the Bachelor Brook property, supporting efforts by the Town, the Commonwealth, and conservation groups to preserve the property for passive recreational use.

In 2007, members of the Five Colleges completed the installation of a fiber optic loop to connect the institutions to the Internet artery in Springfield. This project reserves dark fiber for each of the seven municipalities through which the cable runs--Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, South Hadley, Chicopee, Springfield, and Granby--giving these communities the potential for significantly improved communication capacity and helping to alleviate dependence on the telecommunications marketplace.

The College contributed $25,000 to the Town's Stabilization Fund in both 2003 and 2004.

The College works closely with the Town of South Hadley on emergency planning. In previous years, the College has assisted Fire District #2 with equipment and vehicle purchases. Recently, the College assisted South Hadley in the purchase of a new ambulance.