2007 Convocation

Wednesday, September 5, 2007 - 13:56
Convocation AddressKathleen (Katie) Adler '08
President, Student Government Association
September 5, 2007

Good morning Mount Holyoke! I'm Katie Adler, the president of the Student Government Association. I would like to once again welcome the class of 2011, and welcome back the classes of 2010 and 2009. I would also like to take this opportunity to impart a saying that was one of the many lessons I learned my first year here at Mount Holyoke: the older the grapes, the sweeter the wine--welcome back '08!

During my three years at Mount Holyoke I have met women who represent Mount Holyoke's past, present, and future. While working for the Office of Admission, I have not only learned how to walk backwards, but have also seen what attracts amazing young women to the College; what allows them to transform into articulate, confident, and strong leaders; and the ways Mount Holyoke women have impacted the world at large.

Yet as generations of women pass through the gates of the College, the world changes, and the concept of an all women's college and an institution like Mount Holyoke face skepticism. I know all of us have the rehearsed, and now somewhat robotic, answer to "Why would you ever go to an all women's college?" Skeptics claim that a single-sex education is antiquated, and while it is evident that we have come a long way since Mary Lyon's day … imagine having to wear a corset to class. I believe that women today still need institutions like MHC and the Seven Sisters.

While many of our illustrious alums had no choice but to attend all women's colleges, we have been given the choice to come to Mount Holyoke. We have taken a now seemingly unusual path: a path that leads to confidence, intelligence, and limitless opportunity. A path that creates women who are not afraid to stand up to countless obstacles and demand equality for women. A path that allows us to set aside our differences and come together to make changes and improve not only the community but ourselves.

Today it is up to us, the current generation of Mount Holyoke students, to continue the legacy left to us by our alums. To continue to be the articulate, confident, and generally just amazing women that Mount Holyoke has cultivated. And it is my hope that our student government can represent the ideals that embody the Mount Holyoke woman.

Every member of the student body is also a member of SGA. Yet it can feel as though the SGA is an organization set apart from the students. There is no reason for SGA to place itself upon a pedestal. I want to make SGA an organization that can truly represent our diverse and fabulous student body and make our student government an organization that benefits the entire community--an organization that is an accessible resource for everyone.

As an older, wiser, and possibly wildly idealistic senior, I realize that we must come together to make our voice stronger. It's time for the student body to have a voice that truly represents all the ideals that we hold dear: a voice that is articulate, confident, and generally just amazing like the women it represents. As SGA president, I want to transform SGA into a strong and vibrant organization that can effectively and articulately represent our student body. But in order to do so, SGA must make changes. I realize that the SGA is not perfect, but I'm standing before you today to ask for your help to make the changes that SGA needs. We need your ideas, your passion, and your determination.

As we head into the new academic year, I sincerely hope you utilize SGA and get involved with our community. I know that yet again most of you will be doing what it is Mount Holyoke women do best: multitasking classes, volunteer work, jobs, and attempting to maintain some kind of life. Despite living a busy and more than likely over-scheduled life, I hope you can live by the words of Oscar Wilde and remember, "Everything in moderation, including moderation." Once again, congratulations '08!!!!

Related Links:

Audio - Katie Adler
(QuickTime: 3.3 MB, Time: 7:17)

Photo Gallery

Crystal Blue Convocation Launches New Year

Convocation Address by Russell Boudreau

Audio - Russell Boudreau
(QuickTime: 1.9 MB, Time: 4:07)

Convocation Address by Joanne V. Creighton

Audio - President Joanne V. Creighton
(QuickTime: 5.2 MB, Time: 11:14)

Convocation Address by Penny Gill

Audio - Penny Gill
(QuickTime: 5.6 MB, Time: 12:08)