Fall 2016 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

A letter summarizing the Board Meeting that took place September 29 – October 1, 2016. The meeting included the approval of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke College community,

The Board of Trustees met on campus from September 29 through October 1, and was delighted to welcome two new officers of the College, Jon Western (Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty) and Marcella Runell Hall (Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students), as well as to meet with the new tenure-track faculty, and student leaders.

The Board celebrated the start of construction on the new Blanchard Community Center, and the successful completion of a $25 million capital campaign in support of this transformative addition to our campus.  

Other highlights of the meeting included:

  • the approval of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021, and of the creation of the Implementation Planning Group, which is tasked with developing detailed tactical and financial metrics in support of the plan
  • a poster session focused on the class of 2020 and the first-year experience presented by staff and faculty from across the campus
  • a review of the College’s performance in the US News and World Report rankings
  • a presentation from Mount Holyoke students in the Climate Justice Coalition
  • an update on the Commission on the Relationship between the Alumnae Association and the College.

In other meetings and in the regular business of standing committees, the Board discussed a range of issues, including:

  • the performance of the College’s endowment
  • the reaccreditation process and the October 2017 visit of the evaluating team to our campus
  • goals for the 2016-17 academic year
  • new initiatives in the areas of admissions and enrollment, academic affairs, student life, and advancement
  • the College’s operating and capital budgets and financial strength overall  
  • efforts to diversify the faculty
  • opportunities for increased emphasis on environmental sustainability.

The Board of Trustees also congratulated Cathleen Pruden ’16,  a top-30 nominee for the NCAA’s of Woman of the Year Award.

It was a meeting marked by energy and excitement in the face of new efforts and opportunities, and by a spirit of engaged collaboration. The Board gratefully acknowledges the tremendous commitment of faculty, staff, students, and alumnae, and extends special thanks to the many members of the Mount Holyoke community who contributed to this important, informative meeting.


Barbara Baumann ‘77
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Sonya Stephens
Acting President