Mission & History

Mount Holyoke has a long and proud history of international engagement.

  • The first international student enrolled in 1839 (two years after the college’s founding), marking the beginning of growing international student diversity at the college, with over 600 students from more than 50 countries today.
  • The first domestic student studied abroad in 1928 (in Paris), experiencing the profound personal and professional impact of immersion in a culture different from one’s own.
  • Mount Holyoke President Mary Woolley (1901-1937) was the only female participant in the U.S. government delegation to the international disarmament conference in Geneva in 1932; a shining example of our commitment to make the world a better place.
  • Politics professor Ruth Lawson established the first Mount Holyoke international internship program in 1949, enabling students to see their studies, career paths, and themselves in new and expanded ways.

Over the decades Mount Holyoke developed a rich array of internationally-focused curricular and co-curricular offerings. Then in 2003, our faculty and trustees decided that the realities of an increasingly globalizing world demanded that we make comprehensive internationalization a strategic priority. The college established the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives to implement internationalization within the entire community of faculty, students, staff, and alumnae and to extend MHC’s international involvement to a network of organizations around the globe that focus on social justice, health, business, environment, culture, science and technology, and share MHC’s values and principles.

In collaboration with our faculty and staff colleagues, support from the College leadership and alumnae, and in partnership with foundations and organizations around the world, we have been weaving global education into the fabric of a Mount Holyoke education.

Milestones of Achievement

Watch the video about the McCulloch Center 10th Anniversary Celebration.

We continue to be strongly committed to enable Mount Holyoke students, through successful careers and as global citizens to contribute meaningfully to a more just and sustainable world.

The McCulloch Center’s Founding Partners

Dorothy R. McCulloch ’50 and Norman E. McCulloch, Jr.

Dorothy R. McCulloch ’50 and Norman E. McCulloch, Jr.

"Worldwide data transmission today is instantaneous; cultural understanding is not!  Appreciation of and respect for our similarities and our differences are the vital bases that the McCulloch Center provides for all Mount Holyoke students to begin the dialog with our neighbors in the world." — Dorothy R. McCulloch, ‘50

Carol Hoffman Collins ’63 and Paul J. Collins

Carol Hoffman Collins ’63 and Paul J. Collins

“The world sorely needs college women who are intellectually prepared and culturally adroit to lead in the international arena. Mount Holyoke’s Global Scholars are showing our students that they too can become visionaries who improve our world.” — Carol Hoffmann Collins, ‘63