With the pealing of the clock tower bells for five minutes at 7 am, President Lynn Pasquerella has declared today, Thursday, October 6, is Mountain Day. An annual academic holiday at the College, Mountain Day is Mount Holyoke's oldest tradition, dating back to 1838, one year after the College's founding. Members of the Mount Holyoke community are invited to hike to the Summit House atop Mount Holyoke, where Dining Services staff will serve ice cream from 9 am through lunch time.
Students eagerly look forward to the Mountain Day hike each year, keenly watching the fall weather forecasts and hedging their guesses over which day classes will be cancelled. The buzz has built in recent days, not just on campus, but on social media.
"Mountain Day is never on the day when everyone thinks it will be. Don't think too hard about it and it will come. Patience, my friends," tweeted @djshoward.
Alumnae are just as enthusiastic about joining the conversation —and the fun. "Could really use a #mtnday tomorrow! @mtholyoke, could you force the city of Boston to carry that tradition over to the real world?" tweeted @allytpeebles.
In an effort to bring a portion of the festivities to the MHC community beyond South Hadley this year, the Class Board of 2011 mounted a social media campaign to organize Alumnae Mountain Day Mini-Reunions at ice cream shops in cities across the globe at 6:30 pm today.
Back in 1838, there was no Facebook discussion of when or how to celebrate Mountain Day—nor was there any opportunity for alumnae and others to vicariously enjoy Mountain Day from off-campus locations. Today you can follow Mountain Day reports on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter users are asked to use the hashtag #MtnDay, and students and alumnae are encouraged to share their photos on the MHC social media sites.
For staff members who must remain on campus today, the Staff Council will serve pie and ice cream outside Blanchard Campus Center from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.