Face of alumna Perkins may grace US $10 bills.

Frances Perkins looks on as President FDR signs the Social Security Act into law.

The US Treasury Department plans to put a female face on the ten-dollar note, sparking a debate about which woman best fits the bill.

Famous people—including Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt—have been proposed to replace Alexander Hamilton. An article in Boston.com noted a surge of support for a less-well-known, but no less important, woman: Frances Perkins.

Perkins, a 1902 graduate of Mount Holyoke College, was the first woman to serve in a US presidential cabinet. As Franklin D. Roosevelt's secretary of labor, she championed programs that form the foundation of our nation's social safety net.

"While Perkins was the head of the Labor Department, the government established a minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, paid overtime, workers’ rights to unionize, unemployment insurance, and—last but not least—Social Security, for which she was particularly passionate," the article noted.

Read the entire article.

Related News

Lydia Cheah ’20 took the Theory of Computation class at Mount Holyoke. She subsequently created videos as an independent study. Initially meant to support Mount Holyoke students, now the videos have thousands of views on YouTube.

Shifting climate in tech

Spurred by the mentoring of Mount Holyoke professors, Lydia Cheah ’20 has found herself leading the way to reshape the computer science career track. 

Bweinofa-Petrozzello ’94 is the president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and is the first woman of color to hold that role in an industry where less than 2% of CPAs are Black.

Accountable to accountancy

Mount Holyoke alum Rumbi Bweinofa-Petrozzello ’94 is the president of the New York State Society of CPAs and the first woman of color to hold that role. 

Nancy Welker smiling into the camera, wearing a blazer, a turtleneck and a large green necklace

Nancy Welker ’63 on her 55 years in physics

Nancy Welker ’63 credits her pioneering success in a male-dominated science field to her time studying at Mount Holyoke College.  

Chloé Zhao ’05 accepting her Academy Award for “Best Director.”

Chloé Zhao ’05 wins at the Academy Awards

Chloé Zhao ’05 has made history with her wins at the 93rd Academy Awards, held April 26, 2021. 

Thaenpaavai Kannan ’17

Taking one year of Arabic at MHC translated to rewarding work experience

When I walked through the gates of MHC as a 17 year old, I never would have imagined that I’d be working my dream job as an Assessment officer with an Emergency Team of a humanitarian organization in Jordan just 7 years later.

Find more stories >