Notable Alums

How will you make your mark?

Mount Holyoke alums have always challenged the status quo. Scientists. CEOs. Politicians. Entrepreneurs. Pulitzer-Prize winners. Oscar winners. And everything in between. The worldwide Mount Holyoke alumnae network is a force for change in ways big and small.

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar

Class of 1929

Inventor of the Apgar Score for newborns

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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

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Ella Grasso

Ella Grasso

Class of 1940

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

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Susan Kare

Susan Kare

Class of 1975

Pioneer of pixel art and graphical computer interface

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Nita Lowey ’59

Nita Lowey

Class of 1959

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

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Frances Perkins, class of 1902

Frances Perkins

Class of 1902

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

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Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks

Class of 1985

First Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

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Janet Litster Rideout

Janet Litster Rideout

Class of 1961

Organic chemist and patent holder of AZT

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Jean Sammet, class of 1948

Jean Sammet

Class of 1948

Co-developer of the computer programming language COBOL

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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

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Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein

Class of 1971

Tony-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner

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Chloé Zhao

Chloé Zhao

Class of 2005

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

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