Meeting the moment

Mount Holyoke College has received $11 million in gifts to support financial aid and launched the “Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge.”

Mount Holyoke College announced that it has received the largest gift in support of financial aid in its history. Liz Cochary Gross ’79 and Philip Gross have committed $10 million to be directed to scholarships and financial aid. 

“With this gift, my husband Phill and I hope to inspire others to invest,” said Liz Gross, who is a member of the Mount Holyoke Board of Trustees. “We need to ensure students with diverse backgrounds and from a wide variety of economic circumstances have the opportunity to join the Mount Holyoke community and thrive as student scholars and change agents.” 

“The Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge is an investment in the future--the future of Mount Holyoke College and the futures of the talented students who will benefit from the education and the financial support that these endowed scholarships make possible,” said President Sonya Stephens. “I am deeply grateful to Liz and Phill Gross for their generosity, and for inspiring others to join them in their commitment to the College, its students and the affordability of an outstanding liberal arts education.”

Nancy Nordhoff ’54 has also committed $1 million to support future Mount Holyoke students across the economic spectrum.

“When I heard about the $10 million gift, I found myself wanting to jump right in to support the financial aid and scholarships,” said Nordhoff. “I’m proud to be part of giving and I encourage others to join us.” 

These two gifts are the seed for Mount Holyoke’s new Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge. This challenge offers donors the opportunity to double — or triple — their impact with their endowment gifts. 

For first-time donors to endowed financial aid, the Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge will match two dollars for every one dollar contributed for gifts between $50,000 and $250,000. For repeat endowed financial aid donors, the challenge will match new gift commitments between $50,000 and $250,000 dollar for dollar. 

The College is seeking to raise at least $20 million in new gifts and commitments over the next 18 months. As of January 14, the College has already secured over $5 million in gifts and commitments toward this effort, above and beyond the $11 million in challenge gifts. 

For alums who want to get involved with the scholarship effort at all levels, Bess Weatherman ’82, also a member of the Board of Trustees, has designated part of her generous gift to the scholarship initiative in support of that goal. Those opportunities will be announced on the College’s Meet the Moment website. 

Mount Holyoke College currently makes most of its admission decisions without regard to a family’s financial resources. In 2019-2020, 73% of students received financial aid, with an average aid package of $42,000. 

For more information, visit the Meet the Moment website.