Traditions

First Year

Orientation and Convocation
Mount Holyoke Class bonding begins for First Years with a vibrant Orientation program that is designed to connect new students to each other and the community.  On Convocation Day the incoming First Year class has their first opportunity to show off their class spirit and class colors at the cermeony and picnic that follows.

Spring Transition Event: Next Steps for First Years
The goal of this event is to help the first-years learn about the range of academic opportunities and support available to them as they transition to their sophomore year.  In the past this event has been put together with help from the Alumnae Association, Dean of Students Office, Academic Affairs, CDC, CGI, and many other departments on campus.

Sophomore Year

Cakes and Cookies
The sophomore class of Mount Holyoke runs a fundraiser each year selling cakes and cookies to relatives and friends of Mount Holyoke students for their birthdays and special occasions.

Sophomore Orientation
The Sophomore Orientation differs slightly each year, focusing on the needs of each individual sophomore class. The event is typically held within the first two months of the fall semester to start the sophomores out on the right track, and to help to combat “Sophomore Slump.” The Sophomore Orientation is put on in conjunction with the Alumnae Association, Dean of Students Office, Academic Affairs, CDC, CGI, and many other departments on campus.

Elfing
During October, sophomores become “elves” and leave surprise gifts for the first-year students. Each sophomore anonymously “elfs” a first-year student for several days until they reveal their identities at a party or special M&C’s at the end of the week.

Sophomore Semi Formal
The semi formal is traditionally held in February when the students get back from Winter Break. Each year the theme changes and it is a great chance for everyone to get dressed up and enjoy a special night with their friends without having to leave campus.

Ring and Rose Ceremony
The ring and rose ceremony is a special event held in the spring semester to acknowledge the 'half way mark' of a students MHC career.  Sophomores who ordered class rings receive them this night and the class celebrates each other with a semi-formal  presentations and a dessert reception. All Sophomores are invited to attend.

Blood Drives
The blood drives are a sophomore service project tradition, held in conjunction with the Red Cross.  Traditionally, the Red Cross comes to campus approximately 3-4 times a year and offers the Mount Holyoke Community the opportunity to help the greater community out by donating blood.

Junior Year

Big/Little Sister
This is a well-established tradition at Mount Holyoke. Through social events designed by the Junior class board, an incoming first-year student is paired to a member of the junior class. Over the semesters ahead "Big Sisters" are there to offer advice and support to their "Little Sisters" on campus issues. Many of these connections persist long past graduation.

Are you a member of the Class of 2015 and looking for a little sibling? Fill out the form HERE to get matched!

Junior Banquet
The Junior Banquet offers juniors the opportunity to talk to alumnae and faculty to get clarity about what the future holds. It is a great chance to connect with Alumnae and faculty and hear stories about their experiences. It also offers juniors the opportunity to get advice for post graduation plans and for what leads up to graduation. Typically this event is held in the Abbey Buckland Dining Room over a special dinner.

Junior Show
The junior class traditionally stages its own show to entertain the College, usually during the last weekend in February. Over the years returning alumnae have been known to sing, even twenty to thirty years after the event, the songs from their show. The closing night is junior/senior night, generally followed by a party for the two classes.

Senior Year

Convocation
The College community traditionally gathers for convocations to mark the official start of each academic semester. The College President welcomes new students, faculty, and staff, and gives thoughts on the upcoming academic year.  The ceremony is particularly important to the new Senior class, and a calss breakfast precedes the Convocation line-up.

Founders Day
Founder's Day is a day of celebrating the founding of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and honoring Mary Lyon and her living legacy. Held on the Sunday nearest to November 8, the date the Seminary opened in 1837; it is a day for reflection and respect. Begun by President Elizabeth Storrs Mead in 1891, this is one of Mount Holyoke College's oldest traditions. In the 1920s, early morning ice cream became a part of the Founder's Day tradition. The senior class board invites special guests to come speak and serve ice cream to the College community.

Disorientation
This event provides an opportunity for first-year students and seniors to get to know each other. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for seniors to develop a supportive and friendly atmosphere among themselves and with the first-year students. This event involves a series of fun and varied activities that take place over the course of four to six days in the fall semester.

Pub Nights & Socials
Pub Nights offer a great chance for seniors to unwind and socialize with other members of their class. They are held several times a year and there is often a special theme each night or fun activity.

Finals Care Packages
The senior class of Mount Holyoke runs a fundraiser each year by selling care packages to relatives and friends of Mount Holyoke students during the fall and spring finals time.

Senior Class Gift
The Senior Gift is a program run by Mount Holyoke’s Annual Fund and dates back to the 1970s. It is currently a student’s first introduction to the Annual Fund and the alumnae tradition of giving back to Mount Holyoke. The program is led by two Head Class Agents elected to the Senior Class Board who work in conjunction with an adviser in the Development Office. The Head Class Agents, in consultation with their adviser in the Development Office, plan the personalized campaign, recruit a committee of class agents to assist with the campaign, create materials (letters, posters, articles) that inform the seniors and the entire campus of the gift, plan Senior Gift related events, and work to achieve the fundraising goals set for the Senior Gift Fund. It is the responsibility of the Head Class Agents to inspire and influence their committee of class agents and the Senior Class as a whole to support the Senior Gift. Participation, rather than the amount of each gift, is stressed throughout the campaign. By working with classmates and the Senior Gift adviser from the Development Office, the Head Class Agents will learn the skills needed to build an organization and to manage its tasks. The Head Class Agents and the Senior Gift adviser in the Development Office share the responsibility of seeing that each step of the program is completed successfully.

Strawberries and Champagne
This event, sponsored by the Alumnae Association, welcomes members of the senior class as Mount Holyoke’s newest alumnae and celebrates their last day of classes.