Women Graduate at College's
nearly 2,500 friends and family members cheering them on, the
572 members of the class of 2003, one of the largest classes in
the College's history, received diplomas on Sunday, May 25, at
the College's 166th commencement.
Novelist and children's
author Judy Blume (right) offered words of encouragement: "Don't
listen, don't ever listen, to those who would discourage you.
Listen to your inner voice. And not the taunting inner voice,
not the one who makes you afraid to go for it, but the one who
says, 'Okay, so maybe you won't make it, maybe you'll fail. But
you'll never know if you don't try.'"
Blume revealed that,
in spite of a high school guidance counselor's desire that
enter Mount Holyoke nearly 50 years ago, her act of rebellion
on the College Boards--"I picked up my number 2 pencil and
filled in all those little circles at random"--put her on
another course. "So, you see why this day means so much to
me. It's not just that I'm here at last, it's that today I might
be accepted as a freshman, thanks to your policy of no longer
requiring a standardized test. Thank you to all of you on behalf
of those whose minds work differently."
Also addressing the
students were Jane Famiano Garvey, former administrator of the
Federal Aviation Administration, who received a master's from
MHC in 1969; Nancy Woodward Hendrie '54, pediatrician and founder
of an organization to assist orphaned and homeless children in
Cambodia; James A. Joseph, former United States ambassador to
South Africa; and Amartya Sen, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize
Delivering the student
address was Chiara Davis Fuller '03 of Brookline, Massachusetts.
"Within our time at Mount Holyoke College, we have experienced
a personal as well as a collective sense of growth," Fuller
said. "Each of us has undergone personal growth on spiritual,
mental, physical and intellectual levels."
In addition to 572
bachelor of arts degrees, the College awarded four postbaccalaureate
degrees, two master of arts degrees, and nineteen certificates
for international students.
Several of the weekend's
speeches (although, unfortunately, not Judy Blume's) are available
on the MHC website:
Lee Bowie's baccalaureate address
Jane F. Garvey's
Nancy W. Hendrie
'54's commencement address
James A. Joseph's
Amartya Sen's commencement