Gracie Wilkinson ’25 named Western Massachusetts Scholar
Mount Holyoke sophomore Gracie Wilkinson, a chemistry major and environmental studies minor from Amherst, Massachusetts, has been named the recipient of this year’s Western Massachusetts Scholarship Fund.
Gracie Wilkinson ’25, a chemistry major and environmental studies minor from Amherst, Massachusetts, has been named the recipient of this year’s Western Massachusetts Scholarship Fund. The fund, established four years ago and funded by an annual contribution of $10,000 from PeoplesBank, aims to support local students in attending Mount Holyoke.
According to Matt Bannister, senior vice president of marketing and corporate responsibility at PeoplesBank, the bank’s support for local students is part of its broad commitment to invest in the economic, cultural and social health of the Pioneer Valley.
“A community bank is only as strong as the communities we serve,” said Bannister. “By investing in institutions like Mount Holyoke, and further investing in promising residents like Ms. Wilkinson, we hope to contribute to the overall health and prosperity of the region. We commend Mount Holyoke for identifying such worthy recipients each year.”
“I am beyond grateful to be named this year’s Western Massachusetts Scholar,” said Wilkinson, who was homeschooled until 12th grade, when she attended Amherst Regional High School. “I had an extremely different education than most people have leading up to college, and when I first got into Mount Holyoke, I was worried that it would set me back academically. I am incredibly thankful to my friends, family, teammates, coaches and professors for believing in me and what I can accomplish, and I am very touched that the hard work I’ve put into my education is being acknowledged in such a way.”
In addition to her highly regarded academic work, Wilkinson is involved in numerous activities, from volunteering in a local meal program and working as a creative consultant at the Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab to being co-captain of the College’s field hockey team.
“Being an athlete and a leader in the athletic community here has taught me much about perseverance, challenging the limits of my abilities and working in a team to achieve something bigger than my own goals,” Wilkinson said. “I have experienced so much personal growth from being a part of the field hockey team here — in my communication skills, my confidence and my overall performance, mental and physical. MHC field hockey is a huge part of my life at Mount Holyoke, and I don’t know the person I would be without that community and support system.”
After graduation, the sophomore hopes to attend graduate school in the field of environmental and chemical engineering and to work in the sustainability field designing pollution control and mitigation strategies.
More than 70% of Mount Holyoke College’s students receive financial aid from the College, which is working to establish more support from local businesses for local students. Typically, between 6% and 8% of Mount Holyoke students come from Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties, while 20% come from the commonwealth.