Principals and Presidents (1837-)

Mary Lyon founded the college in 1837 and was the first principal.

List of Principals and Presidents (1837-)

Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, was Principal of the school from 1837 until her death in 1849. Her successors as Principal were Mary C. Whitman (1849-1850), Mary W. Chapin (1850-1865), Sophia D. Stoddard (Acting Principal, 1865-1867), and Helen M. French (1867-1872). In 1888, Elizabeth Blanchard, who had served as Principal since 1883, was named Acting President when Mount Holyoke's charter was changed to allow the school to grant degrees. Mary A. Brigham was elected President in 1889, but died in a railway accident on the way to assume her duties. Louise F. Cowles was Acting President until Elizabeth Storrs Mead became the first non-alumna President of the College in 1890. Her successor, Mary Emma Woolley, was elected President in 1900, took office in 1901, and served until 1937. In a controversial appointment, Roswell Gray Ham then became Mount Holyoke's first male President. His successor, Richard Glenn Gettell, was President until his resignation in 1968. Academic Dean and history professor Meribeth E. Cameron, who had served as Acting President when Presidents Ham and Gettell were on leave in 1954 and 1966, filled that office once again until David B. Truman became President in 1969. His successors as President have been Elizabeth T. Kennan (1978-1995) and Joanne V. Creighton (1996-present).

Principals and Presidents (1837-)

1. Mary Lyon

Founder and Principal
1837-1849

2. Mary C. Whitman (Class of 1839)

Principal
1849-1850

3. Mary W. Chapin (Class of 1843)

Acting Principal
1850-1852
Principal
1852-1865

4. Sophia D. Stoddard (Class of 1841)

Acting Principal
1865-1867

5. Helen M. French (Class of 1857)

Principal
1867-1872

6. Julia E. Ward (Class of 1857)

1872-1883
Principal

7. Elizabeth Blanchard (Class of 1858)

Principal and President
1883-1889

8. Mary A. Brigham (Class of x1849)

President Elect
1889

9. Louisa F. Cowles (Class of 1866)

Acting President
1889-1890

10. Elizabeth Storrs Mead

President
1890-1900

11. Mary E. Woolley

President
1900-1937

12. Roswell G. Ham

President
1937-1957

13. Richard Glenn Gettell

President
1957-1968

14. Meribeth E. Cameron

Acting President
1968-1969

15. David B. Truman

President
1969-1978

16. Elizabeth T. Kennan (Class of 1960)

President
1978-1995

17. Joanne V. Creighton

President
1996-2010

18. Lynn Pasquerella (Class of 1980)

President
2010-