By Keely Savoie
This year’s senior class, the green griffins, is truly the stuff of legends.
Three Fulbright teaching fellows, a winner of the prestigious DAAD German language fellowship and countless others with awards and accolades too many to mention — these Mount Holyoke College graduates are here to take the world by storm.
Those are the accomplishments of just a few of the nearly 600 students who will graduate Sunday in the 180th Commencement ceremony. Many have already made indelible marks on their communities, from the Connecticut River Valley to as far away as Ghana, India and China.
They have developed social entrepreneurship programs to lift communities out of poverty and employment programs to liberate young college women from the sex trade. They have learned cutting-edge technology that will fundamentally change the way science understands the world. Their original research has made them producers of new knowledge, not simply consumers of it. They’ve penned op-eds and influenced public thinking, developed conferences to empower girls and people of color in technology and won top academic honors as athletes.
“This is an extraordinary class of talented individuals who are extremely well-prepared to take their passions further to create, innovate, and otherwise make their mark on the professions and communities they will join,” said Acting President Sonya Stephens. “It is my great honor to have been a part of their time here and I look forward to seeing the difference they will make in the world.”
Some will go on to jobs in the public sector — in the Peace Corps, City Year and at Rocky Mountain National Park. Others will work at Microsoft, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Wells Fargo, Navigant and Mass Mutual. Still others are headed to graduate school at Harvard, Yale, Duke, Dartmouth and Cornell. One graduate is off to New York to be a jazz singer and another to Washington, D.C. to work on Capitol Hill.
Each graduate has a history — and a passion for making their mark on the future and leaving the world a better place than they found it.
“Commencement at Mount Holyoke is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the graduating class and on the many contributions our faculty and staff have made to the students’ personal and intellectual growth,” Stephens said.
“Mount Holyoke provides an exceptional education, and these students, like the generations of graduates before them, embody the founding vision of the College — to reach for more, to do better, to go further and to be emboldened to effect change where others see only challenge.”
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