Mount Holyoke students, approximately 1,900 in all, come from all 50 states and more than 60 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Athletes, musicians, poets, and scientists study here. Most Frances Perkins students balance integration in the larger Mount Holyoke community where their mature perspective and broad experience are welcome with the camaraderie and support of other Frances Perkins students.
For an older student, perhaps even more than for her younger classmate, attending a women's college can be a liberating experience. Many Frances Perkins students have found, some for the first time, that they belong to a community that allows them to develop their talents free of stereotypes and traditional expectations. Creating a life on campus is one of the most valuable components of the program. Students participate in all aspects of campus life and enjoy such college traditions as Mountain Day.
A special orientation allows new FPs to become familiar with the campus and its offices, meet each other, and attend academic workshops. Frances Perkins students share their exhilaration-and the occasional frustrations of being an older student-in their own student center, which sponsors workshops, special campus events, and social get-togethers. FPs also meet informal at the main student center.
All members of the Frances Perkins Program belong to the Frances Perkins Scholars Association, a student organization which is very active. The FPSA holds an annual tag sale to raise funds for its Emergency Loan Fund and it sponsors speakers and social events.
Students may qualify for intercollegiate athletic teams in fifteen sports. In recent years varsity teams such as the equestrian, crew, lacrosse, tennis, squash and cross country teams have benefited from the participation of Frances Perkins students. Facilities include sixteen outdoor and six indoor tennis courts, six squash courts, dance studios, indoor and outdoor tracks, a twenty-five-meter swimming pool, a diving tank, a championship eighteen-hole golf course, a weight room, and a sauna. The Equestrian Center hosts major competitions and has indoor and outdoor rings, a stable, and a hunt course.