Two students taking samples from a canoe

Since 1837, Mount Holyoke College has shaped pioneers of thought in the sciences, where women make up less than a third of the science and engineering workforce. About 30 percent of Mount Holyoke students major in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), which is significantly higher than the proportion of women who typically major in math or science at comparable coeducational institutions. At the Miller Worley Center, we believe that students who are well-grounded in the liberal arts and understand the multidimensional facets of environmental issues – ecological, social, cultural, historical, political and economic  – have the greatest ability to address environmental challenges in responsible, just and equitable ways.

The Miller Worley Center enables students to make connections — across disciplines, across points of view, across constructs — that help them understand the concept of "environment" more broadly in their work, community, and lives. They tackle the world’s most complex issues as environmental stewards and leaders.

Mount Holyoke students explore the rate of glacial melt, plant shade trees, and catalogue and restore fragile ecosystems. They participate in international environmental conferences—in person, around the world. They raise their curiosity quotient through research with faculty members and by helping to advances campus sustainability initiatives and innovations. Ultimately, they contribute knowledge and understanding about our world across disciplines and geographic borders.

Mission and History

The Miller Worley Center for the Environment (formerly the Center for Environmental Literacy) was established in 1998 with the goal of making environmental literacy a central part of Mount Holyoke students’ education through the use of the campus as a natural laboratory.

In 2010, in recognition of a generous gift from Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, the Center was renamed the Leslie Miller ’73 and Richard Worley Center for the Environment. Leslie and Richard saw their gift as one that would help Mount Holyoke take the lead in environmental studies and progress both on campus and around the world. Leslie’s sister, Sarah G. Miller ’75, affirmed her commitment to the Center and its activities through a gift to endow the Leslie and Sarah Miller Directorship of the Miller Worley Center and to establish an interdisciplinary professorship in environmental policy. We are grateful for their foresight, wisdom and support, which have allowed the Center to reiterate its guiding principle: the integration of teaching, research and community service.

Leslie Miller ’73 and Richard Worley

Photo of Leslie Miller and Richard Worley

“Richard and I are honored to play a part in the Center’s influence in the life of the College. We believe that this gift will position Mount Holyoke as a leader in environmental studies and advocacy and help the College fulfill its mission to educate its students to grapple with current pressing concerns.” — Leslie A. Miller ’73