Campus Panorama

News * Eleven MHC seniors were elected to membership in the prestigious academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa this fall. In addition, forty-one MHC women are among those listed in the 1997 Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. The honorees were chosen for their academic achievement, community service, leadership, and potential for continued success.

* Seventeen Mount Holyoke delegates represented Sudan and Iran at a November model United Nations conference in Philadelphia. Assuming the roles of "ambassadors," the women debated, wrote working papers, and prepared resolutions for the Disarmament Committee, the Committee on the Status of Women, and the World Health Organization. MHC placed sixth among fifty-four represented colleges and universities.

Professor Anthony Lake

* Professor of international relations Anthony Lake has been nominated to head the Central Intelligence Agency. He has been on leave from the College since 1993, serving as national security adviser. Lake's nomination requires Senate confirmation.

* Are you an alumna working in communications, media, advertising, or public relations? Since the summer of 1996, the director of news services has been sending a growing list of "wired" alumnae occasional reports about MHC in the media through an email newsletter called the Woolley Wire (since the communications office is in Mary Woolley Hall). To get on the distribution list, simply send your email address to Please include your name, class year, phone number, fax number, office address, and title, and include the words "Woolley Wire" in your message.

* Dining Services is participating in a pilot program to recycle polystyrene plates, cups, bowls, and plastic utensils used in Blanchard Campus Center. Eventually, the money- and environment-saving system may be expanded to dining halls.

* Community-based learning (CBL), which integrates theory and practice and teaches students to "read experience like a text," is expanding beyond the women's studies department. Courses are also under way in the politics, psychology and education, sociology and anthropology, chemistry, and dance departments. "Students aren't just learning; they're learning to make a difference," says Martha Ackmann, whose faculty seminar on CBL helped spark the new courses.

* Students had a brush with greatness in collaboratively designing and painting a mural to "capture the elusive quality that is Mount Holyoke," as Katie Kelly '97 put it. Under the direction of noted artist Judith Baca, some twenty students worked nearly round the clock on the twin eight-by-ten-foot panels. Each shows MHC women streaming through the main College gates into the wider world. Words and phrases in many languages, a College map, poetry, and other images enhance the artwork (right), which is currently housed in Blanchard Campus Center.

* The Study Skills Corps, a new group of upperclass academic advisers and Frances Perkins scholars, began offering all students workshops this fall in time management, note taking, reading strategies, and test-taking skills. Best of all, students can take the workshops right in their own residence halls.

* Dan Barry (right), NASA astronaut (and husband of biology professor Susan Barry), was honored by MHC and the town of South Hadley with a day of festivities including a parade, science activities for local youngsters, and a videotape of Endeavour's January 1996 launch.

* The MHC Glee Club held its first European tour in twelve years in January, performing in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. To raise money for the tour, the group created a Munich-style beer garden and held a campus Oktoberfest. Also on tour for the first time in a decade are the V8s, who plan a spring break performance trip to San Francisco. The V8s, the nation's oldest continuing women's college a cappella group, are also recording their first CD in four years, due out in June. The fourteen-woman group needs to raise $11,000 to fund the two ventures.

Dan Barry

Vandana Shiva

* Noted environmentalist Vandana Shiva (left) urged students to think and act globally during her visiting professorship in environmental studies. Shiva is active in international efforts to preserve biodiversity, especially by defending indigenous peoples' right to use their own natural resources.

* Under a rainbow arch symbolizing diversity, about 300 people gathered November 14 to protest homophobia and support lesbian, bisexual, and gay rights. Participants also raised the rainbow "diversity flag" on the College flagpole and decorated Mary Lyon's grave with flowers and rainbow ribbon. Organizers called the rally "a community-building action" to "assure a safe and welcoming place in our community for all people."

* What's it like to be a scientist? Geologist Lauret Savoy is one of eight women scientists who answers that and other questions for young girls on a new CD-ROM called Telling Our Stories: Women in Science. Viewers can travel with Savoy to her research sites in the Canadian Rockies and the American Southwest, as well as access information on 130 other female scientists, past and present. The CD is also part of the Smithsonian Institution's Science in American Life exhibition.

* Ford Foundation Professor of History Joseph Ellis has been part of an early 1997 surge of interest focusing on President Thomas Jefferson. In January, Knopf issued American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Ellis's sixth book on American history. Also, Ellis is one of the experts in Ken Burns's new two-part documentary, Thomas Jefferson, which premiered in February on public television.

Applications to Class of 2001 Highest in Fifteen Years

As Vista went to press, a total of 2,267 women had applied to join the class of 2001 this fall, representing a 12 percent increase over last year's final admissions application total of 2,026. This is the highest number of applications to MHC in fifteen years, and the third-highest total in the College's history! In addition, the SAT scores and high school rank- in-class statistics are also up from last year, indicating rising quality among applicants.

The achievement is all the more impressive given that, this year, most colleges' application numbers are either holding steady or declining compared with last year.

Another especially positive sign is that early decision applications increased by 40 percent overall, with a total of 163 early decision candidates this year. These applicants declare Mount Holyoke as their first-choice college, so a rise in these applications, although a small part of the total class, indicates rising prestige for the College.

All applicants are notified of MHC's decision by early April.

* Founder's Day 1996 featured expanded festivities to hail Mary. In addition to the traditional ice cream eating at Mary Lyon's grave, there were candlelight dinners, a lecture by researcher Elizabeth Tidball '51, and a procession to the gravesite, where a wreath was placed. The most unusual event was an original student-directed play in which Lyon rose from the dead to protest the possibility that MHC might go coed. Its title: Mary Is Back for Twentieth-Century Tea and She's Pissed!

Students sing at Mary Lyon's grave on Founder's Day

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