Alums Leading the Way

Mount Holyoke alums have been opening doors, breaking barriers and launching into the world as leaders since the founding of the College. Our graduates are leading the way — in the boardroom and in the classroom, in the lab and in public service, in the field and on the runway. Every day alums are lifting up others, calling out injustices and advocating for change.

Launching leadership

In celebration of the achievements of our alums and to highlight the many ways Mount Holyoke prepares its graduates to lead in the world, we present a conversation series between interim President Beverly Daniel Tatum and a diverse group of graduates. These alums exemplify an intellectually adventurous Mount Holyoke education in action. Their interviews will be posted to this page as soon as they are available.

Tara Roberts ’91

Named the 2022 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year, Tara Roberts ’91 is recognized for her work diving with — and telling stories about — a group of Black scuba divers as they search for wreckage of ships from the Atlantic slave trade.

Read Tara's story

Mona Sutphen ’89 and Natasha Mohanty ’03

Mona Sutphen ’89 is partner and head of investment strategies at The Vistria Group, a Chicago-based private equity firm with a focus on technology. At Mount Holyoke, Mona was an international relations major and has had an illustrious career, serving as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.

Natasha Mohanty ’03 is head of engineering at Stripe, a financial services and software company based in the Bay area. Natasha was a computer science major at Mount Holyoke. After working for several years at Google, she co-founded Primza, an AI-powered video engagement and media analytics SaaS solution that offers content discovery, personalization, predictive viewing and analytics for media and telecom companies.

Read about Mona and Natasha

Aimée Eubanks Davis ’95

Aimée Eubanks Davis ’95 is the founder of Braven, a startup that works to ensure underrepresented college students develop the life skills, confidence, experiences and networks that enable them to get strong first jobs after graduation. Named as one of America’s Best Startup Employers of 2022 by Forbes magazine, Braven is now operating in five cities and working with more than 3,300 students.

Read Aimée’s story
Suzan-Lori Parks
Photo credit: Tammy Shell

Suzan-Lori Parks ’85

Suzan-Lori Parks ’85 is the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an award she received in 2002 for “TOPDOG/UNDERDOG.” In 2018, the play was named “The Greatest American Play of the Past 25 Years” by The New York Times. This unprecedented distinction was awarded unanimously by a special panel of critics convened to examine and rank the most important plays written and produced in the previous 25 years. Parks is also a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

Debra Martin Chase

Debra Martin Chase ’77

Tony Award-winning producer Debra Martin Chase ’77 is an entertainment industry trailblazer. She was the first Black woman to have a producing deal at a major movie studio, and her films have grossed more than a half billion dollars. She has a deal at Universal Television and executive produces CBS’ “The Equalizer.” Her numerous credits include “Harriet,” “The Princess Diaries” and “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” In partnership with Marc Platt, she won a 2022 Tony for Best Musical for “A Strange Loop.”

Addison Beaux ’99

Addison Beaux ’99

Addison Beaux serves as an executive leadership, strategic communication and management consulting asset. Before becoming a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he served as a staffer to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, speechwriter to the President and Board of Trustees at Stanford University, congressional liaison and speechwriter at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and lead researcher at the Center for Economic Integrity. Addison is trained as a child and family therapist and is also a celebrated storyteller and public speaker.

Lessons in leadership

Mount Holyoke alums are leading in varied and nuanced ways and using their spheres of influence for good — through professional achievements, volunteer experiences, advocacy work, special passions/projects, and more. We want our community to hear these important stories.

Please use this form to share your story or to recommend a friend, classmate or colleague.

Alums in the News

Demonstrating leadership

The Speaking, Arguing and Writing (SAW) Program is a critical component of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College.

At the second Launching Leadership event at Mount Holyoke College, Mona Sutphen ’89 and Natasha Mohanty ’03 discussed the importance of embracing a nonlinear path to success, why leadership can be lonely and the importance of a support system.

Mount Holyoke’s Zowie Banteah Cultural Center has reopened in a new, accessible space so all can come and celebrate the culture and heritage of the Indigenous community.

How will you make your mark?

Mount Holyoke alums have always blazed trails and challenged the status quo. Scientists. CEOs. Politicians. Entrepreneurs. Pulitzer-Prize winners. Oscar winners. And everything in between.

Chloé Zhao

Chloé Zhao

Class of 2005

The first woman of color to win an Academy Award for best director

Read Chloé’s story

Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks

Class of 1985

First Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Read Suzan-Lori's story

Susan Kare

Susan Kare

Class of 1975

Pioneer of pixel art and graphical computer interface

Read Susan's story

Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein

Class of 1971

Tony-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner

Read Wendy's story

Barbara Smith, class of 1969

Barbara Smith

Class of 1969

Co-founder of the Combahee River Collective and co-author of the Combahee River Collective Statement

Read Barbara's story

Janet Litster Rideout

Janet Litster Rideout

Class of 1961

Organic chemist and patent holder of AZT

Read Janet's story

Nita Lowey ’59

Nita Lowey

Class of 1959

U.S. Representative and the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee

Read Nita's story

Jean Sammet, class of 1948

Jean Sammet

Class of 1948

Co-developer of the computer programming language COBOL

Read Jean's story

Ella Grasso

Ella Grasso

Class of 1940

First woman elected U.S. state governor in her own right

Read Ella's story

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar

Class of 1929

Inventor of the Apgar Score for newborns

Read Virginia's story

Frances Perkins, class of 1902

Frances Perkins

Class of 1902

First woman Cabinet member, U.S. Secretary of Labor and creator of Social Security

Read Frances' story

A photo of an Emily Dickinson U.S. Postal stamp

Emily Dickinson

Class of 1849

One of the greatest and most original poets of all time

Read Emily's story