Mount Holyoke community members share their best wishes in celebration of your great achievements.
Congratulations, class of 2020!
Photo messages from Mount Holyoke faculty and staff
View the album on flickr, or by scrolling through the slideshow
Messages from alumnae, parents and other members of the community
Rooting for you, class of 2020!
— Clare Fox, class of 2004
Congratulations to our 2020 graduates!
— Emily Arnold, class of 2012
Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Shahrnaz Kemal, class of 2004
Congratulations to the class of 2020!!!
— Vanessa Keverenge, class of 2014
Congratulations to the class of 2020! Just like your MHC education, our current situation will make you more resilient, caring and resourceful. Go forth and be great!
— Denise Elmore, class of 1980
Congratulations to the graduates!
— Grace Kim, class of 2007
Congrats 2020, welcome to the best club! Love, 2019! (Messages written on signs)
— Aryaa Rajouria, Marihah Idroos, Rida Alam, Maham Khan, Dhishana Kidami and Maha Hamdani, class of 2019
The light and network that encompasses MHC will forever be with you. You are about to start yet another journey and perhaps taking another leap of faith. All I can say is that you have got this and it’s going to be ok. Congratulations, class of 2020.
— Nshunge Musheshe, class of 2012
To the class of 2020: I hope you know how much you are loved by the MHC students who came before you!
— Kelly Bahmer-Brouse, class of 1986
Congratulations to the class of 2020!
— Svea Herbst-Bayliss, class of 1984
Congratulations to our newest Mount Holyoke alumnae. We are so excited for you to join us!
— Devora ’11 and Steph ’12 Rohr
Sending luck to the new 2020 grads and welcoming them to our MoHo alum network!
— Lauren McGraw, class of 2017
Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Emma Elizalde, class of 2011
Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Marie Ozanne, class of 2012, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Statistics
Congratulations, class of 2020! You should be incredibly proud not only of this amazing accomplishment, but also of your strength and resilience during these interesting and historic times. You have all you need to succeed out there, so go out and roar, like the lions that you are!
— Tiffany Clay, class of 1993, P’17, and Syry Mitchell, class of 2017
God bless the class of 2020. I hope we get to meet them another year.
— Mary Duffy, class of 1966
Congratulations, class of 2020! Know that there are many of us celebrating you all over the world. I look forward to walking with you in future Laurel Parades.
— Cheryl O'Connell FP’16 (blue lion class)
Dear class of 2020, you’ve got this!
— Margaret Hillman Shanley, class of 1989
Congrats CLASS OF 2020!!!
— Nicole Walsh, class of 2004
Congratulations to the class of 2020!
— Tiffany Ross, class of 1993
Oh, the places you’ll go!! Congratulations!!
— Nancy Fay, class of 1968
“Never hesitate to call on us”
To the incredible graduates of the class of 2020: Knowing you are launching out into the world to make your impact gives me greater faith in our future! While my heart breaks for you that you couldn't have your full Laurel Parade and Commencement experience today, rest assured that the MHC community/family will always be there for you. No matter where we go in the world, one of us seems to pop up! Never hesitate to call on us for networking, mentoring, relocating, adulting, etc. This is an exhilarating time because it’s the first when you are no longer locked into an academic schedule. It’s also incredibly scary to make that jump, especially in this current political and social climate. You are strong, you are resilient, you are empowered, you are game-changers and you are never alone. Looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate you in person as soon as possible! Congratulations/mazel tov/felicitations and lots of love,
— Mia Tavan, class of 1999
“We are cheering for you to follow your dreams”
Dear class of 2020,
I want to congratulate all of you on your hard work and accomplishments over the past four years! As a member of the class of ’72 who will celebrate her 50th college reunion in two years, I can only say how fortunate I feel for having had the opportunity to attend Mount Holyoke, for all the friendships made and lessons learned. My education there has served me well in life, as I hope it will you. The deep friendships I made there have continued throughout my life, despite the fact that we have gone our separate ways to different lifestyles, vocations and parts of the country and world. When our class gathers at our wonderful mini-reunions off campus and scheduled reunions on campus, we always marvel at how time has never broken our bonds. It seems as if it was just yesterday that we were undergraduates! We are astonished by the remarkable accomplishments of our classmates and form new bonds at each reunion, making new friends with previously vaguely familiar classmates. There seems to be a certain bond between us. When I meet graduates from other classes, it is evident how much they, too, are “uncommon women.”
So I wish you well as you graduate and go out into the world! Please know that the. We are cheering for you to follow your dreams and wishing you the very best in life!
— Anonymous, class of 1972
“Your graduation is not the end of the journey”
Dear class of 2020, we are proud of who you’ve become and how far you’ve come over over the last few years. Your graduation is not the end of the MoHo journey. It is merely the end of one lap and the beginning of the next lap. You will always have your MHC community behind you as you embark on your life’s biggest adventures. Wishing you lots of luck, love and light. Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Celeste Macauley, class of 2013
“May you feel love and peace inside yourself”
Dearest courageous class of 2020! I hope this finds you safe and healthy. You are taking time to read these special messages. Good! Your Commencement is certainly unique and you probably feel many different emotions. Any and everything is ok. My advice is to take life one day at a time and to discipline your mind not to worry about the future. It will happen in a beautiful way for you, at just the right time. So don't worry about when you’ll get a job, etc. You will. And until then, make time to take care of yourself and find simple joys. Rest and recover and rejuvenate! I hope you will use this gift of time to slow down and process everything that you’ve done in the past four years, because it is certainly a lot and you should feel proud!! Even though your heart (maybe) aches for Mount Holyoke, there will be more MHC days ahead. Being an alumna is really cool! Mount Holyoke forever has a special place in my heart. When I graduated 10 years ago I cried so much. For many reasons. One thing that helped me is I made a giant scrap book to represent my time there. It felt so good to create it. Maybe you can do something similar. (: There is a lot of beauty, ease and hope in your future. May you feel love and peace inside yourself no matter what happens. Congratulations!
— Molly Rapp, class of 2010
“The Magic is with Love.”
Death is more than a life lived.
It is that we offer for legacy without greed.
We give unto our faith and allow ourselves to know
Death is unbecoming.
The Magic is with Love.
Death then becomes something welcomed.
Absolute without pain.
The wonder of God to allow us.
Laugh at death because she is the one taking your soul
The beloved of us. Deaths make us wonder about anger.
Remember the good and honesty and integrity, and love.
“Success is counted sweetest”sweetness
“You cannot put a Fire out —
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan —
Upon the slowest Night —
You cannot fold a Flood
And put it in a Drawer —
Because the Winds would find it out —
And tell your Cedar Floor —”
“I read my sentence — steadily —
Reviewed it with my eyes,
To see that I made no mistake
In its extremest clause —”
“I dwell in Possibility —
A fairer House than Prose —
More numerous of Windows
Superior — for Doors —
Of Chambers as the Cedars —
Impregnable of eye —
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky —
Of Visitors — the fairest —
For Occupation — This —
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise —”
Poems and excerpts by Emily Dickinson
— Joy Kursewicz-Amato, class of 1986
“Thank you for giving me a fresh sense of hope”
I am tremendously honored to know that there are brilliant, animated, kind souls finding strength, encouragement and peace against the canvas of MoHome's educational parameters. Thank you for giving me a fresh sense of hope and purpose during my own personal difficulties. Though I have not met you personally (to my knowledge), I trust that our school has given you all you need and more to be successful, talented, compassionate, creative innovators in this universe. I hope to aid you personally however I can in the future.
— Anonymous, class of 2010
Class of 2020, the world is your oyster, go dance in the rain!
— Hope Mbabazi Sabiiti, class of 2011
Congratulations to you all. The value of a degree from Mount Holyoke and the friendships that you have made will last a lifetime.
— Judith Johnson, class of 1974
This would have been part of my 70th class of 1950 reunion gift this weekend!! Good luck, peace and health as you, “uncommon women” of MHC, should be uncommonly well-prepared to venture into a changing world.
— Fredy Jacobson, class of 1950
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” — Henry David Thoreau
— Loraine Codega, class of 1982
Welcome to the best club in the entire world — the MHC alum community! We are so proud of you and so honored to call you one of us. Congratulations!
— Anonymous, class of 2002
You are stepping out into a world that needs the knowledge, skills and caring that you offer!
— Sallie Wright Abbas, class of 1965, pictured with friends from the classes of 1966 and 1973
To the class of 2020 — I am sending lots of love and all good wishes for continued good health, happiness, love, prosperity and peace! Congratulations on your graduation!!
— Ellen Berman, class of 1987
From the Mount Holyoke Club of Hartford, congratulations to the new graduates from Connecticut and to the entire class of 2020! You give us hope in the future because we know that you uncommon women will meet the challenges of uncertainty and adversity.
— Carolyn Dorais, class of 1968, President of the Mount Holyoke Club of Hartford
Congratulations to the MHC class of 2020! While it is not how you envisioned it, your MHC community is still proud of your accomplishments! You are making history regardless! We can't wait to see the contributions you make to the world! Cheers, class of 2020!
— Heather Southwick, class of 1990
We celebrate you! We honor you! You are a reminder of what is to become and what we must remember to uphold — sisterhood and womanhood of power and excellence! Congrats, class of 2020!
— Ayoka Wiles, class of 1996
Wishing you all the best in this crazy time! May you flourish in your new-found freedoms and may you use what you have learned at MHC wisely. Welcome to a brave new world. Wishing you all success, happiness, love and contentment!
— Gwen Cohen Brown, class of 1984
“Congratulations on attaining your goals at MHC”
My graduation Commencement meant far more to me than expected, and I want to congratulate you all on attaining your goals at MHC. I also hope a way is found down the line for you to have that amazing experience, especially the walk with the laurel chain through all the alumnae to the earliest-attending — absolutely unique and extraordinary! Love & blessings.
— Elizabeth Marriott FP’93, P’92, P’97
“Welcome to our pride!”
Congratulations to you, the class of 2020! Just like perfect eyesight, I hope you can see all of the possibilities that are before you. And remember, as Barbara Bush put it in her 1990 Commencement speech at Wellesley College: “It doesn’t matter what goes on in the White House; it matters what goes on in YOUR house. [If you choose to have offspring,] always put your children first. Read to them, hug them and tell them you love them.” And of course, like Mary Lyon said: “Go where no one else will go. Do what no one else will do.”
P.S. I am a blue lion, too!! Welcome to our pride!!!!!!
P.P.S. In the words of my 7-year-old grandson in 2020, “Never quit.”
— Patty Bennett, class of 1972
“Your connection to MoHome will never end”
“Mount Holyoke forever shall be” takes a whole new meaning as you graduate in such circumstances. It proves that your connection to MoHome will never end and that it is yours to shape going forward. You do not have to lose Mount Holyoke and Mount Holyoke isn’t taken away from you, you are simply entering a new stage in your relationship. The alumnae community is incredibly excited to welcome you to our lifelong family, countless regional clubs will be there almost anywhere you go, and you can choose to stay even more involved by volunteering with the College. Most of all, Mount Holyoke is now part of your roots and has participated in making you who you are today, and you can choose to live your life upholding its mission at your core. I was once told that in order to be a true MoHo, MoHome will be there to welcome you back in all sorts of ways when you need it.
— Sidonie Le Youdec, class of 2017
“Welcome to the family!”
To the class of 2020: I know it must be hard to not have this special day together to celebrate and bring closure to your time at the amazing institution that is Mount Holyoke. Though you can’t be with your classmates, this doesn’t lessen your great accomplishments and hard work in any way. As you move forward into the next phase in your lives, know that you are strong and adaptable Mount Holyoke alums. Welcome to the family! I am excited to see your mark on the world!!
— Elizabeth Knaus, class of 2006
Happy graduation!! Go forth into the world with your light and let it shine! It’s amazing to be an alumna — a cherished life-long sisterhood. Welcome!!
— Alexandra (Lexie) Gross, class of 1993
Go forth and conquer.
— Molly Lumsden Martin, class of 1990
Fellow blue lions, congratulations on your achievements over the years, which have led you to this moment of graduation! We’re so proud and support you!
— Rose Minichiello, class of 2016
Congratulations, Sophia Cote! We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished.
Love, Uncle Fred & Aunt Celeste
— Celeste & Fred Basile
Thank you for always being a source of inspiration for your underclassmen and for paving the way. Although some of your work goes thankless, we really appreciate all of your dedication and effort! Thank you again, and congratulations!!!!!!
— Anonymous, class of 2023
“You will accomplish great things!”
Dear class of 2020: Congratulations to each of you! I read the words of Mary Lyon this morning and know that you will accomplish great things! We're pleased to welcome you to a worldwide group of Mount Holyoke alumnae. You can count on us as you make your way out into the world! Best wishes and be of good cheer!
— Meg Telford, class of 1967
“Explore your new horizons to the fullest”
All of your hard work and sacrifices that you’ve given over the past four years have led to this time in your life when you have achieved something special to carry forever. Take it with you, explore your new horizons to the fullest, share what you’ve learned with many and build your career. Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Frederick McCauley P’20
“We are most pleased to have you join our ranks”
Dear class of 2020,
Welcome siblings! We love you and are most pleased to have you join our ranks. Your class joins us at a challenging time in this world, and we have every confidence that you will rise to the challenges that face us — now and in your future. You are Mount Holyoke!
— Andrea Sullivan, class of 1982, P’20
Congrats 2020! Nancy MHC ’91
— Nancy Marks, class of 1991
Congrats 2020! It’s your time — roar!
— Meredith Henderson, class of 1988
Congratulations, class of 2020, upon your graduation from Mount Holyoke College on May 17, 2020! Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. Cheers to you for the rest of your life!!!!!
— Nancy Carey, class of 1971
Congratulations on your accomplishments — remember them so you will never fear or doubt your power in this world. We are so proud to welcome the class with 20/20 vision!
— Betsy Mark Meyerson, class of 1986, P’22
Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Gabe ’16, Kelly ’18, Siena ’99, Stevie ’05, Margaret ’04, Sam ’05 and Sara ’05 surrounding Mary Lyon’s grave while physically distancing. (photo by Emily Myer ’09)
Congratulations, class of 2020! It’s sad not to be on campus, but your senior year is bound to be memorable!
— Mary Jane Cowles, class of 1975
We are so proud of you, class of 2020! Sending you so much hope and love for the future.
— Kijua Sanders-McMurtry, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Unlike a graduation ceremony, your MHC experience will last a lifetime! Congrats, and become who you really want to be! Nothing can stop an uncommon woman!
— Tracey Gillespie, class of 1980
“In this world there are champions and heroes”
In this world there are champions and heroes: You, the class of 2020 MHC graduates, are both. In my view, champions set goals and meet challenges they choose for themselves and heroes overcome challenges and obstacles they must face that are not of their own choosing. You are champions because you chose the challenge of completing a rigorous college education and you have succeeded. You are heroes because you persevered in reaching this goal despite the obstacles you had to face caused by the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in your final semester. And now, as each of you continue climbing the ladder of your life after graduation, you have proven to yourselves and to all of us, your fellow admiring alumnae, that you will succeed in meeting both the challenges you choose as champions and those you overcome as heroes. Congratulations!
— Carolyn Buell Kidder, class of 1971
“Welcome to the real world!”
Congratulations, class of 2020! We're all so proud of everything you’ve been able to accomplish so far, despite the added challenge of a global pandemic. Welcome to the real world! It may be broken right now, but with your help, hopefully we can work together to fix it bit by bit. HAPPY GRADUATION! #lyonsforlyfe
— Kelsey Hutchinson, class of 2016
“You have persevered through extraordinary times.”
Dear 2020, you are an extraordinary class and you have persevered through extraordinary times. I feel for what you have lost in community and closeness, but also know that you will come out of it even stronger and with a bright future. May the world you join as alumnae be filled with new possibilities and a greater awareness of our connectedness and the things that really matter. I look forward to seeing you back on campus for many years to come!
— Fred Baumgarten, Director of Foundation Relations and Sponsored Research
“Fiona, Adi, Romina, Caitlin, Sé & all the 2020s”
To Fiona, Adi, Romina, Caitlin and Sé, and all of the other 2020s — the world awaits you! Pause, take a breath, look around and listen. To where are you called? Who needs YOU and what you uniquely bring? Where will you make the difference only you can make? Don't waste time hiding your light — shine in all the ways only you can and the world will be the better for it. I’m honored to have you joining us as alumnae today! XO
— Jennifer Sneddon Chace, class of 1993, P’20
Class of 2020: You are stronger, more resilient and forever connected to each other through and following this experience. All of the alumnae are SO proud of you and are cheering you on. Go forth, like the fierce blue lions you are and make your marks on this world. We are all counting on you!
Fellow blue lion,
— Michelle L'Archeveque Jones, class of 2008
Congratulations on graduating! Mount Holyoke is a community unlike any other. The alumnae community is so happy to welcome you, and we can’t wait to connect with you in the years and decades ahead!
“All years are as one and our loyal pledge: Mount Holyoke forever shall be-e-e! Mount Holyoke forever shall be!”
— Janice Shiu, class of 2014
Best wishes to our wonderful granddaughter, Soukeyna Cisse Abbott ’20!
— Stephanie Abbott
Change can feel uncertain and overwhelming, and within it lies the fertile ground for growth and revolution (of self, community and society). Congratulations and good luck as you approach this moment of change and accomplishment! Your MoHo family is here to support you and cheer you on!
— Emily Myer, class of 2009 (pictured with Sara Belding ’05)
Congratulations, Sophia! We are so proud of you! If you believe in yourself, and with a tiny piece of magic, all your dreams can come true! Take it away, Penny …
— Lisa Verducci P’20 (Sophia Verducci)
Congratulations, 2020!! We’re all so proud of you and we know you’ll do incredible things. Continue to celebrate everything that you’ve accomplished and show your Blue Lyon spirit!!
— DJ Ross, class of 2016
— Anonymous, class of 2005
Congrats to the class of 2020!!!!
— Shelley O'Connor, class of 1990
Here’s to the class of 2020! So proud of you!
— Ellen Hyde Pace, class of 1981
Blue lions together 2020 and 1980! We ARE resilient! Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Beth Stutzman, class of 1980
“You have brightened our campus and our lives”
Dear 2020, I knew you were going to be change-makers the moment you stepped onto campus. The past four years have been quite a ride, and I have watched you grow and lean into the challenges of our world daily, always while embracing your capacity for action. I am honored to have shared classrooms, dance studios, stages, rivers and offices with you. You have brightened our campus and our lives and left them for the better. Thank you. I cannot wait to see what you accomplish as your light and your passion lead you to your next step. Continue to be bold, brilliant and brave, and you will always blow us away. 2020 forever shall be! Congratulations!
With all my love,
— Ariya Lawson, class of 2018, Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment
“We love you and salute you”
Congratulations, class of 2020! You certainly are the most uncommon class among uncommon women! We love you and salute you not just from around the country but from around the world. Now go and make us proud and join the generations of women, help us change the world for the better. Warmest greetings from Tbilisi, Georgia, the Caucasus.
— Deborah Wild, class of 1997
“Always find time to stay in touch”
Your life will most likely be very busy, filled with excitement, learning, teaching, work, play and service to your family, friends and community. No matter how full each day might become, always find time to stay in touch with your friends from Mount Holyoke. Shared memories of the time you have treasured for the last four years will bring you joy for a lifetime. Continuing to grow together will enrich your experience for years to come. Congratulations and welcome, fellow alumnae!
— Joyce Kling, class of 1967
“Be confident, be strong, be bold”
Congratulations on your graduation! It is a big milestone in your life! Over time your pride in Mount Holyoke College and your appreciation for our alma mater will grow. You will see the dots connecting looking backwards; you will weather the storms of life and become more resilient. You will accomplish great things and make the world a better place through your intellect, engagement and kindness! Be confident, be strong, be bold — the future is yours and it is female!
— Vennie Encheva Muenzen, class of 2010
Congrats, 2020! You are impeccable! Stellar! Absolutely extraordinary! We are SO proud!
— Meggie Lasher, class of 2014
Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Kelly Hill, class of 1985
Ysabel Dove, I look forward to returning to Mount Holyoke with you. For now, I celebrate your accomplishments and the strong woman you have become. Love, Aunt Laura
— Laura Lavit Elmore, class of 1987
What I wish had known at my graduation: My lifelong and lasting friendships, as well as my connection to the College, were only just beginning — they were not ending.
— Wendy Fisher, class of 2000
Congrats, class of 2020!!
Your adventure is about to begin.
Soar high, dig deep and challenge yourself, enjoy every moment — and dream big!!
— Vijaya Pastala, class of 1989
“You're an alum forever”
Congratulations, blue lions 2020 from the blue lions of 1972! The enormous sisterhood of the alumnae community welcomes you into its ranks. It’s heartbreaking that you can’t fully participate — at least in the conventional way — in the traditions and other rites of passage that represent the culmination of your on-campus MHC experience. But as many have likely told you, your time as a student is short but you’re an alum forever. Congratulations, welcome, and I can’t wait to see the terrific signs your class will carry in future reunions!
— Karin Spencer, class of 1972
“So impressed by your fortitude”
“Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all” — Emily Dickinson, class of 1849. So impressed by your fortitude and love of the traditions of our alma mater. Looking forward to being at your on-campus graduation!
— Ellen Pace, class of 1981
“You are an amazing group of people”
Dear class of 2020, You are an amazing group of people going forth from MHC during an unprecedented time. Congratulations on your graduation! I am so proud to have each and every one of you as a new MHC sibling. You are strong, you are resilient, you are talented and you are well-equipped to face whatever the future brings! Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Jody Phillips-Clark, class of 1982, P’18
The graduation ceremony is one weekend (under ordinary circumstances), and I’m sorry you’ll miss it. But put on your white dress, fashion a little wreath of leaves to put on your head, take a selfie or get someone to photograph you, play the song “Bread and Roses,” post this photo (or even video) to share with your classmates, then head out into the world as a proud alumna! It is these years as an alum that will come to mean ever so much more in your life! I KNOW, after being more than 50 years beyond graduation!
— Sallie Wright Abbas, class of 1965
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You're off and away!” ― Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You'll Go!”
Good luck, class of 2020!
— Courtney Kaufman, class of 2016
Congratulations to the uncommon class of 2020, and welcome to the ranks of Mount Holyoke alumnae!
— Connie Farmer, class of 1967
Mount Holyoke FOREVER SHALL BE! Cannot wait to celebrate you all now and forever.
— Cathleen Pruden, class of 2016
“Take stock of what you have accomplished”
Congratulations, MHC class of 2020!!! You did it! Your time of endless debates, late nights of homework and joyful times with fellow classmates is coming to an end — and you will miss it. Take stock of what you have accomplished as you step into the world of alumnae. They will be treasures. Step into this new world, and be brave out there, uncommon women! You’ve got this.
— Lina Iddisah, class of 2013
“Sending you lots of virtual love and positivity!”
Congratulations, class of 2020! I watched you all enter as firsties and grow into the even more incredible change-makers you are today! I am so proud of your accomplishments and I cannot wait to see what amazing things you do next! Sending you lots of virtual love and positivity! Cheers!
— Karen Fernandez, class of 2017
“Alumnae all over the globe are very proud of you”
For the class of 2020. This was your time to be recognized — and you are! It may not include all the traditions and the Laurel Parade and Commencement, but you are still the class of 2020. Bravo!
Alumnae all over the globe are very proud of you and all your accomplishments. We can’t wait to see what comes next from your class as you overcome this lethal virus crisis.
Congratulations to the latest uncommon women. We salute you!
— Phyllis Carlson Freeman, class of 1959
“Our dearest Amal, you have made us so proud ”
Our dearest Amal, you have made us so proud in achieving yet another milestone in your life. Today you start a new chapter in your life with wealth of knowledge to take on the world. Graduating in these difficult times, you have learned hard lessons early in life that have prepared you to take on any challenge. We are sure you will use this as a strong foundation to build a career and, with your strong personality, you will overcome all hurdles. We are so, so proud of you.
Our baby has graduated from MHC.
Congratulations!! We wish you the best in your life.
Love, Mama ’n Baba
— Mariam Fadoo P’20 (Amal Fadoo)
Congratulations, class of 2020! Celebrate your accomplishments in true Mount Holyoke style — with some milk and cookies!
— Lisa Garrity, class of 2019, and Deb Garrity P’19, Director of Web Communications and Development
Congratulations to the newest blue lions, and may you all move in the direction of your dreams!
— Anne DeMarsay, class of 1972
Congratulations! Cherish the memories, remember that you have overcome challenges, you have created solutions, you have lived joy. As Mary Lyon said, “Go forward, attempt great things, accomplish great things.” Good luck, do well, have fun!
— Nancy Rosoff, class of 1978
Congratulations to the class of 2020, and stay safe!!
— Holly Sharac, class of 1994, Africana studies and history academic department coordinator
Always remember your roots at Mount Holyoke are strong, vast and wildly interconnected.
— Lindsay Theile, class of 2004
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to each other”
Congratulations, class of 2020! I know that things right now are difficult, to say the least. But you’ve worked hard to get to this point and should be very proud of yourselves. Your Mount Holyoke ties are stronger than physical separation, even if it’s frustrating and difficult. Don’t be afraid to reach out to each other, and be honest about how you’re doing. You will get through this. Even if you’re working to help keep yourself or your family afloat, and even if you’re dealing with a lot, remember that you deserve to feel good about this achievement, and I hope you get to relax and celebrate.
— Sarah Baughman, class of 2011
“You have your own resilience”
Congratulations. I wish we had a better world for you this May, but you have your own resilience (you ARE the class of 2020) and you are part of the resourceful and proud, world-wide and in your hometown, network of MHC alumnae. This is our commitment: Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Caroline Fuller Sloat, class of 1965, P’90
“We kindle the flame of optimism for you”
Dear daughter, Grace Gant Remillard ’20
You are strong, and persevering and beloved. Even in this bewildering time, we kindle the flame of optimism for you. We kindle it, too, for the great people of your MHC world — your fabulous suite mates, your knitters, your rowing friends, your biology and theater arts friends and the people at the greenhouse who work in horticulture in a timeless way for the beauty and ongoing “green space health” of the campus. It’s so wonderful that you will have this space as your own talisman spot on the planet. Such a happy day when you came and gave a hug and said, “That’s it! Last work turned in. I’m done, Mom.” Remember that moment! A moment to know that you are, indeed, fabulous. Mary Lyon and her successors have weathered so many setbacks, and she kept her strong feet, and her courage, anchored down to the earth and her spirits uplifted. She carried on and so will you.
Much love — from Mom ’88, Dad and Sam.
— Steph Gant, class of 1988, P’20
“The MHC siblinghood is made even stronger now”
Congratulations, class of 2020! While you may lose out on some of the amazing traditions of Commencement, here is what can never be missed: the power of the MHC siblinghood that is made even stronger now that you have joined it. It will stay with you and serve you well, forever. Wishing you all the best in the bright futures ahead of you!
— Laura Tepper, class of 1999
Congratulations, Sydney!!! We are so proud of you!
— Shannon Blomstrom P’20 (Sydney Blomstrom)
You may have to move mountains, but always remember that you have been well-trained for it.
— Doris Tabassum, class of 2010
It’s going to be ok — really, it is!
— Jeanne Geantil Howard, class of 1996
Mary Lyon said it best: “Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do.” Put that up where you can see it every day and do what needs to be done, even if no one else is looking.
— Shannon Kelly, class of 1983
“MHC is in your hearts and minds forever”
Congratulations and welcome to the class of 2020! While you are graduating into a world facing great adversity, MHC has taught you to analyze problems, brainstorm solutions, embrace change and be resilient. Your class will earn the distinction, I think, of being the first class EVER to truly rock the face mask as an accessory on your first jobs or as you attend graduate school.
Mount Holyoke is in your hearts and minds forever. You are now welcomed into the indefatigable group of uncommon graduates who comprise the alumnae of Mount Holyoke College. Your four (well, slightly less than four) years on campus do not have to be the end of your relationship with the College, but rather the beginning. Mount Holyoke is part of who you are and your designation as Mount Holyoke alumna will continue to open doors, both professionally and personally, for your entire lives. My advice to you? Seek out other uncommon graduates no matter where your life takes you — these relationships with other alums will make you laugh, challenge your minds and generally sustain you. Oh, and head MoHome whenever you can. A trip back to campus is good for the soul. Good luck and be well!
— Heather Wilcauskas, class of 1987
“The world is in awe of your resilience”
You made it, class of 2020! Congratulations on your hard work and perseverance! You’ve done so well and the world is in awe of your resilience. Wherever you’re heading to next, know that all generations of the MHC community around the world are with you!
— Ren Dinh, class of 2019
“Resolve now to come to Reunion”
Yes, graduation day at MHC, replete with moving events, is a highly memorable tradition. While you will sadly be missing yours, please resolve now to come to Reunion 1, 5, 10 or any other year to allow campus and classmates to remind you how your life was changed by four years at the most beautiful campus in the world! Congratulations on your graduation!
With love and best wishes,
— Jennifer Ransom, class of 1965
CONGRATS, dear class of 2020! You rock!!! Best of luck! With love from your connections class of 1970.
— Elizabeth Tucker Gould, class of 1970
Congrats to the class of 2020 from a 2008 blue lion! The Mount Holyoke community will always be there for you!
— Stephanie Forbes, class of 2008
Much love to the class of 2020!!
— Elizabeth Nelson, class of 2018
“Think of the stories you will be able to tell”
Congratulations to the class of 2020! Well, this will certainly be a memorable year, won’t it? While I am so sorry that your time at MHC ended too soon and that you missed out on some of the special celebrations, you still are part of a great tradition. As alums you are just beginning your relationship with the College community, and I have faith that you will go out and do wonderful things in this world. Just think of the stories you will be able to tell at reunions for years to come too! I look forward to hearing them.
— Mary Curran, class of 1985
“Lions are fierce and unstoppable”
Congratulations, class of 2020! Lions are fierce and unstoppable, and from adversity comes strength. As a fellow blue lion, I welcome you into our strong, supportive alumnae network. Know that we will always have your backs and cheer you on in the amazing things you will accomplish as Mount Holyoke graduates!
— Kim Sienkiewicz, class of 1988, P’20
Congrats, 2020!!! Never stop pursuing your passions!
— Alison Kobierski, class of 2009
Congratulations, class of 2020! This is a hard time to be graduating but we’re all very proud of you for doing it anyway. Well done, little senior babies!
— Susan Gemberling, class of 1964
Congrats to the class of 2020!!!
— Jenifer Jeannot, class of 1994
“Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do.” — Mary Lyon
— Lindsey Reader, class of 2011
Dream big class of 2020!
— Liz Offen, class of 1984
“None of this ends when you leave campus.”
Congratulations and welcome to the ranks of MHC alumnae. I remember my graduation being such a bittersweet day. Pride at the tremendous sense of accomplishment and despair that my greatest years, with amazing friends, in a beautiful place had come to an end.
What I did not fully grasp that day was that I would never truly leave Mount Holyoke and Mount Holyoke would never leave me. My closest friends are the women I met during my time on campus 40 years ago.
Mount Holyoke women have inspired me, opened doors for me, nurtured me, challenged me, laughed with me, believed in my dreams and, in the spirit of Mary Lyon, challenged me to excel.
We dance at each other’s weddings, children’s graduations, bat mitzvahs — anywhere really — there’s always a lot of dancing.
We hold each other’s hands through the tough times. None of this ends when you leave campus.
One additional unexpected gift has been getting to know alumnae from different classes through involvement in Alumnae Association activities. Get involved. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet more remarkable women.
I wish you the best as you go out into the world. Be brave. You stand on the shoulders of giants and we’ve got you!!
— Ellen Cosgrove, class of 1984
“May you flourish in your future”
Dear 2020 Mount Holyoke graduate,
Congratulations on your graduation! Even though it’s been 55 years since I graduated, I remember the excitement of that day and can empathize with your disappointment and sadness at ending your college years in this manner. However, I can also tell you that you will probably remember YOUR (non)graduation far better than I remember mine. With such an overpowering situation as the present COVID-19 pandemic going on, your children and grandchildren will be far more interested in what happened in 2020 than mine are in my 1965 graduation. May you flourish in your future and remember your wonderful and stimulating years at MHC. As the years go on, your appreciation for attending a women’s college and especially Mount Holyoke will increase, and you will do great things. The world is counting on YOU!
— Bonnie Ulrich, class of 1965
“Pessa Lulu, I am so very proud of you.”
My sweet Pessa Lulu, I am so very proud of you. You have persevered and gone after your degree, no matter the obstacles put in front of you. Your tenacity, strength and courage will serve you well as you start this new chapter, with help from your amazingly sharp mind and kind, empathetic heart. Please always remember your mom is in your corner.
— Jennifer Gregory P’20 (Jenna Hammond)
Congrats to the class of 2020! You have an entire world of people welcoming to the alumnae community and supporting you. I wish you kindness and empathy. Go forth and do good and do well in the world. Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Britt Vickstrom, class of 1996
Congratulations to the class of 2020! As we began a new decennial marked by uncertainty, I am sure our newly minted graduates will soon trailblaze their way into a bright future. Hurrah!
— Frances Lee, class of 1985
Allow your dreams to become your milestones, and you will go far. Congratulations, fellow blue lions! You did it!
— Barbie Flores, class of 2016
Dear graduates: How wonderful that you have fulfilled the requirements to graduate from Mount Holyoke College. The College consistently launches bright, talented people into a world that needs them — a world that now needs you. Be brave. Go forth. Find moments of joy.
— Carolyn Phinney Rankin, class of 1966
Thank you for providing me, and as well as the class of 2020, with a transformative educational experience. Congrats to the class of 2020!
— Wen-Hua Yang, class of 1998
Congrats to the class of 2020! May you continue to be resilient and meet the challenges you face in life with grace and determination.
— Maria Pisoni Daley, class of 1984
“Virtual arms of alumnae are wrapped around you”
As an officer of the class of 1982, I want to let the class of 2020 know that the virtual arms of our classmates, and of all alumnae, are wrapped around you and will always be here to support you through the difficult experiences that you have incurred. I encourage you to create a huge connection with each other through a class Facebook page and other means of social media to provide ongoing support. Know that at each of your upcoming reunions the College and alumnae body will make much of you to help you recreate the experience you missed of your official Commencement. Stay strong, stay connected and reach out to the alumnae body to help you move forward to blaze your path in this world! Welcome to the sisterhood of MHC graduates!
— Janice Abert, class of 1982
“Work to make a positive difference in our world”
Dear members of the class of 2020,
Congratulations on earning your Mount Holyoke degree. Although you will not be together on campus, the friendships you have made will play an important role in your lives for years to come. Your education will enable you to undertake many challenges as you work to make a positive difference in our world.
Best wishes as you enter this new phase of your lives!
— Evelyn Ferguson, class of 1959
“You will make it through!”
Mount Holyoke seniors! Congratulations! This might well be one of the hardest times in your life, but you will make it through! Don’t forget that all of us as alumae/i are behind you, and you can reach out to any of us through the alum network. Also, Mount Holyoke will always be there for you when life returns to a more normal rhythm. You can and will create wonderful new memories on campus in the coming years, in addition to the memories you already have.
— Jennifer Kyker, class of 2002
Congratulations, class of 2020! Best of luck — continue to live everyday like it’s Mountain Day!
— Michele O'Connell, class of 1985
To the most fabulous Uncommon Women of the class of 2020, I give you the love Christopher Robin once gave Pooh — “you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” We are “apart together,” which means we are none of us alone! Welcome, class of 2020, to your lifelong sisterhood!
— Cheryl Kane-Piasecki, class of 1985
Congratulations to the class of 2020! Your endurance, patience and persistence in the face of this pandemic and the profound disruptions and hardships it is causing is an inspiration to us all.
— Augusta Heywood, class of 1982 P’21
“Breathe in this moment and ENJOY”
Congratulations, class of 2020, and welcome to the Alumnae Association!! We will miss welcoming you in person this week but can't wait to welcome you back for your first Laurel Parade, marching with generations of MHC alums with your class of 2020 banner. You will FOREVER be part of our wonderful Mount Holyoke and will be able to share your memories of this time with generations to come — with the best and most unique class histories and parade signs! Breathe in this moment and ENJOY. Your accomplishments have made us all so very proud.
— Nancy Bellows Perez ’76, Executive Director of the Alumnae Association
“I dwell in Possibility”
“I dwell in Possibility,” says Emily Dickinson, and so do you as an MHC grad. The world awaits. Carry the lessons you've learned and the friendships you've made through both dark and bright times. Yes, you have missed some classes, events and parties this spring — so make sure you don't miss any reunions! You will appreciate them that much more.
— Camille Scarborough, class of 1992
“Welcome to the wonderful world of MHC alumnae”
To the members of the Mount Holyoke College class of 2020, I want to welcome you to the wonderful world of alumnae. I am so sorry that you are missing some of the special moments of Commencement and graduation. However, in the years to come, you will have the opportunity for many exceptional memories of alumnae events and gatherings and reunions, plus the special bond of friendships from your class, and all the other classes whose members you now know and will come to know. Congratulations on your graduation. Best wishes for what the future holds for you. And, again, welcome to the wonderful world of MHC alumnae.
— Anne Brandon, class of 1971
“Get involved and help us make a better world.”
Dear “Almost Graduates,”
First, congratulations. You’ve gotten to this milestone, and should be honored for all your hard work.
Second, welcome to the Alumnae Association. I hope you will find, just as I have, that this is your path to meeting and re-meeting some wonderful women. As you forge ahead, the connection to Mount Holyoke will always be there for support and friendship.
Third, one never forgets college graduation, but you, the class of 2020, will have a unique experience to look back upon and share with other alumnae.
As a member of the class of 1965, there’s a good chance that our classes will be on campus together for reunion in five years. I hope I’ll get to meet some of you then.
Good Luck. Get involved and help us make a better world. The world needs you, now more than ever.
— Jacqueline (Jackie) Berkowitz, class of 1965
“We will be here for you”
Congratulations! Welcome to the alumnae network. This group of smart people are ready to welcome you with open arms into the communities in which you land. We are here for you during these first few years after graduation, which can be hard even under normal circumstances, and we will be here for you for all the years to come.
— Leila Quinn, class of 2012
May all the members of the class of 2020 emerge from the current crisis unscathed and enjoy the wonderful futures they deserve!
— Carolyn Pouncy, class of 1974
Congratulations! — and glad-ulations! You made it! Best wishes for your continuing success as post-graduates.
— Anonymous, class of 1983
Hey class of 2020! Welcome to the ranks of uncommon women! You have met great challenges before you even graduated, and I know you will go out and meet more great challenges in the world, knowing you have the generations of MoHo alums by your side!!!
— Stephanie Perkins, class of 1982
— Katie Seymour, class of 1979
Cheers to you, 2020! Things may seem hard now, but your alumnae community is ready to welcome you with open arms. We're a strong bunch, and even stronger now that you're a part of our crew. Never stop doing your thing!
— Hannah Yee, class of 2015
Congratulations to all of you, class of 2020. So very sorry that you have missed all the festive parts of graduating, but you will be remembered in MHC history as a very special class.
— Claire Burgoyne Brouwer, class of 1957
“You are ready for anything now, so go forth”
Congratulations 2020! While this is certainly not the kind of graduation process you were envisioning, you should be so proud of yourselves. You're learning to deal with adversity, and believe me, it's one of the best skills you can ever develop as you negotiate your future. You've learned you have courage, resilience and creativity. You'll also always have a special bond with your classmates that will always be there, along with the love and support of your fellow MHC's, no matter what their age. You are ready for anything now, so go forth, be your best selves and make the world a better place in whatever way you choose.
— Gay Strickler, class of 1973
“Walk through doors as they open”
Congratulations! You are graduating into a time that is more challenging, in very different ways, than most of us could have imagined. But you are uncommon women, and you have the tools to carry you forward with integrity, wisdom and generosity. Periodically you may feel you are hitting a brick wall. That's merely a signal that you need to change direction. I told myself after graduation to walk through doors as they opened, and I have done that, with no regrets — ever. I encourage you to do that, too. There are always new roads and new challenges. There is much to discover and learn. The world is fascinating and exciting. You are on your way to discovering it! Never be afraid of change. You can handle it. In fact, you can thrive.
— Diane Glynn, class of 1968
“Life has an infinite capacity for surprise.”
As a loyal alumna who has attended every reunion since my graduation in 1960, clinging as long as I could to my room and my connections, savoring most every moment in Clapp, I applaud your resiliency and willingness to finish school online, which meant not participating in the traditions that abound at a typical tear-stained Mount Holyoke Laurel Parade. In 2007, I returned to South Hadley to marry the prof who was my adviser in 1959, thus increasing my connection with campus. Life has an infinite capacity for surprise. One could argue about the rules but I THINK rule No. 1 is resiliency, and you have passed!!
Congratulations! Come back!
— Dana Feldshuh Whyte, class of 1960
Here’s a photo to encourage graduates to explore and see areas of the country that inspire. Congratulations, class of 2020!
— Pam Schwarzmann, class of 1976
Congratulations, Mount Holyoke 2020! Your resilient class may be the one most studied by future archivists. Welcome to the fold!
— Katherine Bartholomaus, class of 1968
Congratulations, class of 2020! Your creativity and resilience was evident at your Laurel Parade before you left campus! It was wonderful to see you marching and singing “Bread and Roses.” As you join the ranks of Mount Holyoke alumnae, know that the tradition of a supportive, caring network remains strong.
— Patrice Kirshbaum, class of 1978
“Go forth in a new and unknown world”
Congratulations to everyone in the class of 2020! You have already proven yourselves to be MHC-strong by completing your senior year remotely and missing out on a live commencement. You’ll go forth in a new and unknown world and will make it a better place for everyone. Be well, be happy, do your best at whatever you choose to do and keep in touch with MHC always!
— Gail Nessell Colglazier, class of 1981
“Remember your MoHo roots”
Congratulations — you did it! You’re entering the real world during an unprecedented time, but, never forget: every single member of your MoHo family is here for you for this new step in your journey and we’re not going anywhere. Always be kind, but remember to be assertive when necessary, remember your MoHo roots and nurture your MoHo network. You are special, you are loved and you are brilliant. Lots of love and good wishes to you, class of 2020!
— Nazeela Nasseri, class of 2012
“Mary Lyon is certainly smiling in her grave”
Dear class of 2020, congratulations! You have achieved such a major accomplishment. I hope you have taken the time to celebrate your milestone with your loved ones either virtually or in person. I wanted to let you know that I and many other alumnae are incredibly proud of you. You have faced and overcome an immense and unprecedented obstacle through your tenacity, creativity and passion: three facets of a true Mount Holyoke student. Mary Lyon is certainly smiling in her grave (which, by the way, is definitely on the Mount Holyoke campus and not the Wheaton campus — don’t let them tell you otherwise!). With that being said, the class of 2015 is sending you so much love and support! Please reach out to us if you need anything at all. And remember: Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Meghan Fuery, class of 2015
Congratulations MHC class of 2020! Although you may wear a mask for a time, there will be no masking the impact you, as uncommon women, will have on the world. Be as proud of yourselves as we are of you.
— Susan Goodwin, class of 1981
Dear graduates: Though we know you are disappointed, your graduation will be the most memorable one in history. With the hindsight of 20+ years, I can tell you that your Mount Holyoke community is just beginning. Congratulations!
— Ulrike Krotscheck, class of 1997
I am so sorry that you will not be able to enjoy all the traditional Commencement activities, but you will always have the foundation that MHC provided you for purposeful engagement in the world. Welcome to the community of uncommon women!
— Carol Barrett, class of 1971
“Savor the possibilities.”
Congratulations on graduating from Mount Holyoke! That name alone will open doors for you. More importantly, the education you have received will more than enable you to walk through those doors and succeed in whatever you choose to do. Savor the possibilities. Even in this challenging environment, you will find options. We wish you well!
— Gail Hunt Reeke, class of 1964
“You are the class with excellent vision”
Congratulations and good wishes to the class of 2020. It is not the ending of your Mount Holyoke career which you would have chosen. At least you had your impromptu celebration before you scattered to the four corners of the globe. When you return for reunions you will be able to celebrate the traditions with the classes who are graduating. You are class of 2020 — and I look on that as a class which has excellent vision! Your vision for the world and our society are crucial. You are strong. You are resilient. You are and will always be Mount Holyoke women. I believe that Mount Holyoke is not a four-year experience, it is an experience for a lifetime. From a perspective of 62 years, I judge that to be valid. In the middle of this pandemic a group of six of us classmates are in continuous communication! May you do the same.
— Anne Whitney, class of 1958
“Welcome to the club!”
Welcome to the club! I’m sorry that your graduation and all of the activities surrounding it aren’t going to be what you expected. We alumnae would have joyfully welcomed you to our ranks. And you would have seen how deep our connection to each other remains, two, five, 15, 40, 70 years later. My MHC sistahs have blessed my life now for 33 years and they are still the first people I call with joys and sorrows. And I have many new friends and connections made through reunions and our Facebook groups. Mount Holyoke really forever shall be, if you stay connected. Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for whatever comes next! Even though the celebration will be small and private, I hope it’s happy.
— Jennifer Klee, class of 1987
Congratulations, class of 2020. As fellow alums, we have your backs!
— Cheryl Ryan Maloney, class of 1973 (class president)
Dear class of 2020,
I am so sorry that you can not have a conventional graduation. This would have been my 70th reunion, and you and I would have shared a beautiful laurel chain and so many other legendary and cherished traditions.
With love, best wishes and hopefulness for your future,
— Jennie Lou Brockelman, class of 1950, P’77
“You will change the world. You already have.”
To the class of 2020:
You’re graduating in a year that everyone around the globe will remember — 2020 is forever in the annals of history! I encourage you to write, create and document your observations, thoughts and feelings in every way you can, as history will call on you someday for your memories and impressions of this unprecedented time.
Knowing the education you have received and the ways in which your horizons have been broadened by being at Mount Holyoke, I believe you will rise to the challenges of life in this new world — you already have all the tools it will take.
Go forth, sisters, and focus on helping others, using every one of your talents. That action, and gratitude for even the smallest of things, is the surest way to fulfillment. You will change the world. You already have.
With love from your sister in the class of 1982.
— Abigail Wolff, class of 1982
“Know that your MHC siblings are supporting you”
Dear 2020 siblings,
This has been a most unusual spring for people around the world, and especially for graduating college seniors. I’m sure you’ve had quite a range of emotions as this situation has unfolded. I’m sorry that your senior spring was disrupted and you didn’t have the chance to say farewell to our beloved MHC in the usual fashion and with the alumnae body physically cheering you on. However, as you move forward, join the ranks of alumnae and find your place in the world, know that your MHC siblings are supporting you and cheering you on from afar. Wishing you good health, good fortune and much happiness! Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Sabrina Maurer, class of 1990
“Count on the day when we can celebrate together!”
As your reunion buddies, we are so sad to not get our chance to meet you and welcome you into the alumnae ranks. We were also experiencing a confusing and strange world in May of our graduation year (1970) but we were at least able to be together for graduation, which you will have to wait for. Your four years of developing friends and growing into uncommon women at Mount Holyoke will help you survive this challenge. Keep close to those who know you and love you for the person you are and count on that day when we can celebrate together!
— Toni Tschann, class of 1970
“MHC has prepared you to face anything”
I imagine you are overcome with doubt and fear as you go out into the world of 2020, but I have great faith in the human ingenuity and ability to overcome hard times. The inhabitants have always come out a bit stronger after pandemics such as the plague. You will look back at this year in the future and say, “We did it — against all odds, we did it.” And you will have a tale to tell to your children/grandchildren/other youngsters and they will not believe it. But be firm and insist on the facts. Save little objects or articles to prove your point, and quite honestly, they still may not believe it. Good luck and stay safe. MHC has prepared you to face anything life can confront you with. Believe in yourself!!
— Ellen Koenig, class of 1963
Congratulations, class of 2020! You are amazing and the world shines brighter because of you.
— Jaq Tuttle, class of 2009
Congratulations MHC class of 2020! Although you may wear a mask for a time, there will be no masking the impact you, as uncommon women, will have on the world. Be as proud of yourselves as we are of you.
— Susan Goodwin, class of 1981
Congratulations, class of 2020. As students, you’ve achieved so much and have done such amazing things. And, while this is an unconventional way to end your Mount Holyoke career, please know that you’re part of a vibrant and strong community of alumnae who want to welcome you with open arms. We hope that you have a wonderful end of your year, and we look forward to celebrating with you soon.
— Audrey and Beckie Markarian, class of 2007
“You can look forward to spreading your wings”
Congratulations to the class of 2020!! The pandemic in no way lessens your accomplishment. Commencement is just a ceremony. You will have earned your Mount Holyoke College degree, which is something no one can ever take away from you. My son is also graduating this month (Colorado College, physics). While your classes of 2020 are sad to miss celebrating with friends, you can look forward to spreading your wings and using your excellent liberal arts training to help us all work to improve our challenged world. Thank you.
— Rebecca Lloyd, class of 1982
“Know that you are not alone.”
Dear class of 2020,
While you will/would graduate in a week’s time, today’s celebration of the end of World War II in Europe (May 8, 1945) brings to mind many inspiring thoughts and quotes, apt to the difficult times in which we all find ourselves.
We are reminded that since Mount Holyoke’s founding in 1837, every succeeding generation of these uncommon women have faced dire challenges, whether war, famine, pandemic or otherwise, wherever they found themselves in the world. Know you are not alone.
Whether, to use Winston Churchill’s phrases, you view this as your “darkest hour” or your “finest hour,” know you are not alone.
Captain Tom Moore, that incredible British World War II veteran born not long after the 1918 flu pandemic hit Britain and who celebrated his 100th birthday last month by walking 100 laps of his garden to raise over £32 million (about $40 million) in micro-donations for the National Health Service charities over a few short weeks, tells us, “The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.” Know that you are not alone.
And when Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (age 94) gave one of her rare televised addresses last month, she also made reference to that enduring World War II song made famous by Dame Vera Lynn (now 103) when she said, “We will meet again.” The song goes:
“We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
’Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away…”
Know you are not alone.
Congratulations on joining a sisterhood of uncommon women, privileged to have received an incredible education that enables us to excel. When the time is right and the sun is shining again, we will meet to extend a welcoming hand.
Until then, we are always here for you. Know that you are not alone.
— Debra Marmor, class of 1980
Congratulations to all 2020 seniors on graduating from Mount Holyoke! You are each so strong and impressive for finishing out your last semester despite the craziness that is going on in the world.
— Marielena Lima, class of 2015
“All years are as one and our loyal pledge
Mount Holyoke Forever Shall Be!”
Welcome to the class of 2020! What great things you will bring to our alumnae community!
— Caroline Griep, class of 1986
“You can accomplish whatever you choose”
Dear class of 2020,
I would have been with you today, sharing your graduation and celebrating my 70th reunion! I congratulate you and I am assured that with a Mount Holyoke degree and the continued diligence you have already shown, you can accomplish whatever you choose. It was one of the wisest decisions I ever made and I have been reminded of that countless times through the years. Now go and live your dreams!
— Patricia Willard Geismar, class of 1950
“You will be the leaders our our world needs”
Congratulations to the class of 2020! The world needs you to go forth and do great things. The class of ’55 had hoped to celebrate our 65th reunion this year, so we share your disappointment, but I have great faith that you will be the leaders our country and our world so desperately needs.
— Barbara Mulvehill Gray, class of 1955
“We are confident of your success”
The class of 1970 had planned our 50th reunion in May of 2020 for many years. Greeting the class of 2020, our sister class by 50 years, was an important part of our plans. We still hope to connect with you at a postponed Commencement and Reunion celebration sometime in the future. We feel some kinship with your lost Commencement days. Our last days at Mount Holyoke were marked by some of the worst days of the Vietnam War, including the killing of four college students by the National Guard at Kent State University. It was a tragedy both for students and soldiers. Our Commencement was tinged with sadness and anger. 1970 did not carry the laurel chain. We carried signs bearing the word “PEACE” instead. 50 years later we ache for your loss. I watched the video of your parade around Skinner Green and up to Mary Lyon’s grave. It was both brave and sad. I can not imagine how I would have felt to be separated suddenly from my classmates who were like family to me. In spite of what you missed, remember what you achieved. We are confident of your success. Your friendships will continue as you enter the ranks of Mount Holyoke alumnae. Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
— Mary Phinney, class of 1970
I am proud of all of you for joining this long line of “us!” Its value will grow for you through your lives. Special regrets that your year had to end so strangely.
— Jane Houssiere, class of 1974
With congratulations to Michelle, Nicki and their classmates. Welcoming another class of “uncommon women” to our sisterhood!!! From a very senior, SENIOR from the class of 1958, who currently “dresses to go down for the mail!!”
— Joan Rosen, class of 1958
“The friendships will stay with you”
Dear class of 2020, you’ve had a rough end to senior year, but there are strengths and skills you will find in yourself because of it. And it’s not a rough end to your time at Mount Holyoke, because your time as an alum is just beginning, and that time never ends. No, it’s not always or even often time on campus, but those friendships you’ve been building over the last two or three years stay with you and are the start of a really strong support network. Same goes for the connections you’ve built with staff and faculty, or other older alums. I know some of you are upset about missing out on graduation weekend traditions, and it’s all right to be upset. But know that this wasn’t your only shot to play some role in those traditions. When you come back for reunions as an alum you’ll get to see a different side of the traditions. The Laurel Parade will need you as an alum just as much as it needs the current batch of seniors. Best wishes on your next adventures in life. Know that as you face whatever challenges come next, you do it with the love and support of so many thousands of alums. Take care.
— Tracy Whelen, class of 2014
“Your class will go down in Mount Holyoke history”
As a member of the “grandmother” class of 1970, I am especially happy to salute the class of 2020, and particularly Melissa Johnson ’20, for the individual and collective achievements that the class has demonstrated. The class of 2020 will go down in Mount Holyoke history as a class that faced an unimaginable challenge and met it. The members of the class will now spread their wings all over the nation and the world to demonstrate the value of a liberal arts education and the particular values absorbed at Mount Holyoke. I hope that you remember these days and the love you have for your College when you are gathered to celebrate the Commencement of the class of 2070.
— Pamela Stuart, class of 1970
Congratulations, Mikayla Wales! We are so proud of you and all of your achievements at Mount Holyoke College!
— Susan Wales P’20
In support of the class of 2020 from your sister. #poweredbyMountHolyoke
— Krys Cooper, class of 1992
“Remain resolved to serve yourselves well”
Dear class of 2020,
Congratulations! My heart goes out to you as you graduate under the cloud of this pandemic and without any of the customary festivities, pomp and ceremony of a Mount Holyoke commencement. I graduated 40 years ago and I recall what it felt like to carry the Laurel Chain and say goodbye to classmates and teachers. I am so sorry you don’t get to graduate the way we did!
But it would be wrong if you concluded that your graduation is not recognized by many as distinctive — it is! And worthy of celebration — it truly is! You are an amazing group of women and deserve to be feted and lauded as such. And, most importantly, I know that wherever you go, you will carry our alma mater with you.
Words of advice? None. Just a few suggestions:
Hold your heads up high!
Remain resolved to serve yourselves well, and the world you enter as fresh college graduates, even better.
Remember that your lives are made up of minutes and hours and days, so every one of these counts and deserves your loving attention.
Call your parents, often.
May you be blessed with good health, safety and peace of mind, always.
— Lakshmi Bloom, class of 1980
“You never know where your training will take you”
I found lifelong friends and valuable connections from my classmates at MHC. Hopefully you will also.
My experience at MoHo gave me the confidence to use my science background to a new (in 1960) technology — COMPUTERS. My career was as a software engineer, an unknown position while I was an undergraduate. At age 81, I am a webmaster of my favorite organizations. You never know where your training will take you. Be brave, try new ideas!
— Joyce Spencer, class of 1960
"Intelligence entails a strong mind, but genius entails a heart of a lion in tune with a strong mind" — Criss Jami
— Bernadette Metrano, class of 1995
You are brilliant, accomplished, courageous and resilient. You will be among the MHC Lion-hearted in the years to come. Here's to a future to break the sound barriers! Go 2020!
— Alice Andrus, class of 1963
“We welcome you with open arms.”
Class of 2020, congratulations on your graduation & entrance to the MHC sisterhood! We welcome you with open arms. Although the culmination of your MHC journey is not what you expected, you have persevered & will continue to do so. Go forth & do amazing things. The world needs you, now more than ever. I can’t wait to meet you, in person, at a future event!
— Julie Kellerman, class of 1985
“Be proud of your grit and perseverance.”
Dear Class of 2020, my heart aches for you and for the rites of passage and celebration you are missing and so richly deserve. Know, though, that this pandemic and its effects in no way diminish the richness of your achievement or the love that the whole Mount Holyoke community feels for you. We are so proud of you - be proud of yourself, too! Be proud of your incredibly hard work. Be proud of your grit and perseverance. Be proud of leaving your comfort zone. Be proud of expanding your intellectual capability and horizons. Be proud of your voice and your ambition and your vision for a better life for yourself and for our world. Although right now often feels like just anger and fear and loneliness, your present situation is not your final destination. You are now a Mount Holyoke alumna, an uncommon woman. Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment and welcome to the sisterhood!
— Laura Illig, class of 1990
Your celebrations will look much different than ours did, but the achievement is no less great, and your future just as expansive.
— Frances Chester, class of 1989
Congratulations to all of 2020’s blue lions for making it through the year despite the world.
— Clare Zicari, class of 2019
— Johanna Milburn, class of 2002
Congratulations! Wishing the class of 2020 and the entire MHC community all the best! Stay safe and positive during this difficult time.
— Heather Bjerke Dickinson, class of 1981
Congratulations to these extraordinary women!
— Allie Pendleton, class of 1996
Congratulations and best wishes as you head out into the world, Class of 2020!
— Erin Molta, class of 1988
“Be courageous and hopeful.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2020. I am sad you are not experiencing graduation on our beautiful campus. Be proud of your accomplishment. Your education will take you far. Be courageous and hopeful. The future is bright with you in it!
— Jeannie (Bonne Jean) Brown Leonard, class of 1985
“Thank you for the great things you each will do.”
The future is uncertain for all of us. There is a great amount that needs to be fixed and solved and healed. But what is certain is that you ladies have taken steps to become the fixers and solvers and healers we need. Thank you for the great and grand things you each will do.
— Jean Arlt, class of 2010
“The future is open to you.”
I want to congratulate each of you on completing your degree at MHC. I know how much work that is, and also how much fun. In my senior year, we missed out on Mountain Day due to a scheduling snafu and weather problems. I still remember just how disappointed I was, and that is nothing compared to what the class of 2020 has gone through at the end of their senior year. I just want you all to know that while the most challenging times do linger with us the longest in our memories, so do the achievements that go along with those challenges. Despite a global epidemic, you have finished your degree at an amazing school and the future is open to you. The friendships you made will linger, the memories are yours to keep. My heart is with you and your families. Stay smart, stay healthy, stay kind, stay strong.
— Madeleine Rowan-Davis, class of 2000
Your year was cut short but your dreams & accomplishments were not. Congratulations & best wishes to the Class of 2020.
— Carolyn Krejmas, class of 1977
Congratulations to the Class of 2020!!! You will accomplish great things!!!
— Jennifer Jeannot, class of 1994
Congratulations beloved Class of 2020, my heart is with you! We are all so proud of you and how far you’ve come. Can’t wait to see you continue to do amazing things!
— Kalea Martin, class of 2019
“Here's to all that's yet to come!”
Many have marched into the alumnae community before you, and many more will after you, but we recognize you, the class of 2020, are joining your alumnae siblings during unique circumstances. Lean on us, while also believing in your great individual strengths, now and in the future. You, members of the class of 2020, are indeed uncommon, and your whole life is ahead of you. Here's to all that's yet to come!
— Elizabeth Pierce, class of 1992
“You should all be proud.”
Congratulations on your graduation! It’s a great achievement, and you should all be proud. Although there are so many uncertainties right now, I know you are well prepared to weather them. Some day, hopefully soon, you will be marching in the Laurel Parade with signs declaring the class of 2020 as one that survived the pandemic.
— Janet Rutigliano, class of 1981
Continue to stay MHC-strong as you forge your way forward in the world. Stay true to your passions and never give up hope for the future!
— Alicia Buccino, class of 1980
This will be a commencement unlike any that have come before. I am sure you will take with you the lessons of this extraordinary time in our world. Best wishes!
— Piete Avrahami, class of 1974
“So proud of you and excited for what you will do”
20! 20! 20! 20! Congratulations MHC Class of 2020! I am so very sorry that you are not able to end your senior year at our beloved MoHome as you should. My classmates and I were looking forward to cheering you on at your Laurel Parade at our 10th reunion, so I want you to know that, from my home in Maine, I am cheering for you, sending my congratulations on your graduation and welcoming you to the alum community! I was inspired and heartened by the love and resiliency you all displayed when you put together your own spontaneous Laurel Parade and Commencement before departing campus. We are so proud of you and excited for what you will do with all you’ve learned and all the ways you’ve grown in the last four years. While this is a very different start from what you imagined, I am confident that you will find your way through this challenging time and achieve great things. I look forward to celebrating you at a future reunion! For now, I donate an extra $20.20 to MHC in your honor this year.
— Miriam Stevens, class of 2010
“Congrats 2020 — each and every one of you.”
Congrats 2020 — each and every one of you. I can already imagine the signs you will carry in future Laurel Chain Commencement Parades as you return to campus over the years: “COVID-19 did not defeat us!” and more. As the years go by, you’ll love giving back to the College and being part of one super-impactful sisterhood. Go lions!
— Gail Humphreys, class of 1964
Cheers and wishes for success. Your degree is a start. Real-world experience is the next step — so important!
— Anonymous, class of 1980
“Dare to lead with your hearts”
Dear class of 2020,
As women of conviction, dare to lead with your hearts as you navigate this world of uncertainty. Find yourself looking for the path of kindness, generosity, compassion and balance. Take that path when you find it, let your heart tell you what to do, give your head the task of executing the work of your heart. We are with you all the way.
In sisterhood and celebration, Betsy P. ’85
— Betsy Powell, class of 1985
“You’ll get through it in style”
Dear class of 2020,
When I was a junior, the florist did not deliver the graduating class’s laurel chain. With typical MHC resilience, the class made their own chain. You’re facing perhaps the biggest challenge any class has ever faced, BUT — with the same sort of ingenuity, flexibility and determination, I know you’ll get through it in style.
— Anne Trosper Kahn, class of 1967
We are so proud of you, class of 2020. Welcome to our community of MHC alumnae!
— Julie C Van Camp, class of 1969
So sorry that this is how your official time at Mount Holyoke student ends, but remember that this is only the beginning of your lifelong experience as a Mount Holyoke alumna.
— Anonymous, class of 2015
“You have lots of adventures ahead — enjoy them”
Dear class of 2020,
As the years go by, you’ll find that every aspect of your learning at Mount Holyoke plays a role in where you’re going and how you’ll get there. You have lots of adventures ahead — enjoy them all. All my best wishes and confidence go with you.
— Elli Rogan, class of 1963
“Your degree from Mount Holyoke is what matters”
It has been 61 years since I graduated from MHC. Time has not dimmed my memory of my graduation day, nor of the many I have since witnessed as an alumna. Missing your celebration on campus this May is a disappointment, I am sure. Yet, with the perspective of decades, I can tell you that your degree from Mount Holyoke is what matters. The friends you made among students and faculty will endure. You will return for reunions and be part of a future class’s commencement. It will be great. I am proud of your individual and collective accomplishments and look forward to meeting you in the future. That is another fact of which I am sure. The paths of Mount Holyoke graduates cross again and again as life goes on. Congratulations. See you soon.
— Elizabeth (Liz) Bauer, class of 1959, alumna advancement and admission volunteer, treasurer of the Mount Holyoke Club of Detroit
“Reach out to us. Ask for our help.”
Dear class of 2020 alumnae,
Welcome! You are joining a group of incredible, visionary and resilient women. The alumnae of Mount Holyoke (and, shhh — here’s a well-kept secret —our sister-school alumnae, whom you will meet in the years to come and bond with over a shared decision to attend a women’s college) are excited to have you join us!
Very few of us can understand how it feels to have your life and student days abruptly ended; to miss the excitement of final days on campus and the graduation spirit you heard much about during your years at Mount Holyoke.
But you are not alone. Mount Holyoke has a rich history of strong women graduating into times of great uncertainty. Think of the classes who graduated during WWI, the 1918 flu pandemic, 1930 (after the ’29 crash), Pearl Harbor/WWII, Vietnam and 9/11. From those classes arose heroines. Women who broke trails and paved roads for other women to follow.
During the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, you, class of 2020, are the new trailblazers. You have great gifts to offer the world and we, your fellow alumnae, cannot wait to hear of your accomplishments and successes. Reach out to us. Ask for our help. Ask us to mentor you. Ask us to hire you. Ask us to listen to you. Ask us about our experiences. And most importantly, thank you for everything you have done and will do.
All my best, Kate
P.S. Like your predecessors who graduated during difficult global times before you, the class of 2020 will have the very best reunion signs.
P.P.S. VOTE 1920-2020.
— Kate Howard, Class of 1985; 2017 Mary E. Woolley Fellowship Recipient
“You are stronger than you know and oh so brave”
Dear class of 2020,
Right now, instead of attending Strawberries and Champagne and enjoying the sun on the green while procrastinating the last few assignments of your senior year, you are finishing your classes online. Instead of worrying about jobs or grad school, the world feels like it is falling apart and it’s hard to think of something you are not worried about. You are finishing your Mount Holyoke experience on the couch instead of surrounded by your friends. If you are pissed off about that despite everything going on in the world right now, I hope you know that is valid. You have worked so hard to finish this and celebrate the heck out of this, and it is unfair to have that taken away. I am so, so sorry. I hope eventually you get the celebration you deserve. Until then, you are stronger than you know, more resilient than you seem, and oh so brave.
— Samantha Marsden, class of 2015
“Indeed, Mount Holyoke forever shall be. Welcome”
Indeed, Mount Holyoke forever shall be. Welcome, class of 2020, to the incredible community of MHC alumnae. Your participation as alumnae will be a bedrock of your lives. Cherish the opportunities and friendships you will make from all generations, and remember the heritage you share with thousands of alumnae who have preceded you. Carry on!
— Marcia Seifert, class of 1958