Inauguration Information

The Inauguration of Sonya Stephens
The Nineteenth President of Mount Holyoke College

The Inauguration Ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 29, at 3:00 pm in the Field House of Kendall Sports and Dance Complex.

Celebratory events are planned throughout the weekend. Details will be shared here as they become available. Please refer to your invitation for RSVP information.

Watch the Inauguration

The Inauguration will be livestreamed beginning at 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 29.

Resources for the media

Media are welcome at the Inauguration. Please contact Keely Savoie, Interim Director of Media Relations, at ksavoie@mthoyoke.edu or (413) 538-3517, for more information.

Schedule of Events

Welcome / Guest Registration
Noon – 5:00 pm
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall
Campus representatives will be available to answer questions. All guests, including delegates and members of the Mount Holyoke faculty representing other institutions, are asked to register.

Community Center Celebration (invitation only)
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Blanchard Hall, Community Center
Please join us to celebrate our glorious new Community Center and acknowledge the support of those who contributed to the project’s completion.

Movies After Dark: Superhero Double Header (students only)
7:30 – 11:00 pm
Gettell Amphitheater. In the event of rain: Gamble Auditorium
We'll have prizes for those who choose to come as their superhero alter ego — ’cause you’re already a superhero!

  1. 7:30 pm: “The New Original Wonder Woman,” featuring Lynda Carter
    The first showing is “The New Original Wonder Woman,” the first episode of the TV series “Wonder Woman,” that first aired in 1975 and featured Lynda Carter. Check out this heroine, created by William Moulton Marston, and modeled partly on his wife, Mount Holyoke College’s Elizabeth Holloway Marston, class of 1915.
  2. 9:00 pm: “Black Panther”
    The second showing is “Black Panther,” the 2018 award-winning and worldwide favorite that smashed records and barriers. “Black Panther” showcases the power of Wakanda, both on- and off-screen.

Welcome / Guest Registration
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall
Pick up a program of the day’s events and enjoy light refreshments. Campus representatives will be available to answer questions. All guests, including delegates and members of the Mount Holyoke faculty representing other institutions, are asked to register.

Panels: What We Can Do Together
9:30 am – noon
Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
Please note that the panels on Saturday morning are expected to be full. If you are registered for the panels and would like to guarantee your seat, please be seated 10 minutes before the panel begins. Stand-by seating will be available to all attendees 10 minutes before each panel begins. The panels will also be available to watch via livestream in Hooker Auditorium in the Clapp Laboratory and online.

Panel I: Making Change, Making Knowledge, Maker Culture
Moderated by Jon Western, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty and Carol Hoffmann Collins ’63 Professor of International Relations

How does liberal education prepare students for entrepreneurship and other careers? Join us for a panel that explores the connection between faculty scholarship and student learning as it showcases contemporary approaches such as restoration ecology, technologies in the arts, and other methods and applied learning by faculty in a range of disciplines. The discussion will also provide an illustration of the way contemporary social challenges and other research problems are a part of Mount Holyoke’s contemporary pedagogies and intellectual vibrancy.

Panelists

  • Sarah Adelman, Associate Professor of Economics
    As an applied microeconomist, Sarah Adelman works with data rather than theory. Her research focus is health and nutrition in developing countries. She spent time in Uganda researching her thesis and has also worked in Malawi and Liberia.

  • Kate Ballantine, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
    Kate Ballantine’s research uses restored ecosystems as an opportunity to learn about ecosystem processes and development. Ballantine and her students conduct basic and applied research to investigate how these restored wetlands develop and function, and what restoration methodologies may stimulate desirable — or undesirable! — ecosystem functions.

  • Thomas Ciufo, Associate Professor of Music
    Thomas Ciufo is a sound artist, composer, improviser and music technologist working at the intersections of electronic music, electroacoustic performance, sonic art and emerging digital technologies. His research and teaching interests also include audio recording and production, acoustic ecology, and innovative approaches to teaching, learning and career development. With a focus on digital music and music entrepreneurship, Thomas is developing new courses and facilities to support student explorations in creative music technology. He is also a faculty affiliate in the Makerspace.  

Panel II: Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts

Moderated by Eva Paus, Professor of Economics; Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives; Chair, Program Committee, Entrepreneurship, Organizations and Society

Three alumnae who have become entrepreneurs demonstrate the enduring value of liberal education and the creativity, courage and innovative spirit of our alumnae. Explore their extraordinary journeys in three different fields as they describe the services and products that their enterprises offer.

Panelists

  • Ellen Chilemba ’17
    Award-winning activist and social entrepreneur Ellen Chilemba has been widely recognized for her work in promoting women’s rights and access to education. As founder of Tiwale, Chilemba heads up a community-based social enterprise that gives microloans to women in Malawi, where girls are often forced to leave school and marry at age 12 or 13. For her efforts, she has been named one of Forbes’ Africa 30 Under 30, Glamour Magazine’s College Woman of the Year, a We are Family Foundation’s Global Teen Leader, a Powell Emerging Leader, a One Young World Peace Ambassador, an Ashoka Future Forward Winner, and a Global Changemaker.
  • Elli Kaplan ’93
    Elli Kaplan is co-founder and CEO of Neurotrack, a digital health company dedicated to the development of a digital cognitive assessment test that will enable earlier and more effective evaluation of patients who may be at risk for cognitive decline and help advance research and treatment of cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Kaplan has two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S. departments of state and treasury, and the United Nations Development Program. She has also held positions with AIG, Goldman Sachs and multiple start-ups. She holds an MBA from Harvard.

Inauguration Day Gallery Hours and Tours at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
11:15 am – 1:00 pm
Join members of the Art Museum’s curatorial staff and Student Guide program for a 45-minute tour of special exhibitions and permanent collection highlights. An exhibition of work by internationally acclaimed artist Joan Jonas ’58 will be featured. Open to the first 25 people to arrive at each tour time. All museum galleries are open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Lunch (students and invited guests only)
noon – 1:30 pm
Skinner Green
Robing and Procession Line-up (delegates and Mount Holyoke faculty)

Prepare for processional (delegates and Mount Holyoke faculty)
2:00 – 2:45 pm
Delegates and Mount Holyoke faculty should report to their assigned room at 2:00 pm. Coats and personal items may be left in the assigned room, which will be locked during the ceremony. The assigned rooms are all located in the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex and will be posted at registration and in the Kendall lobby.

Processional (delegates and Mount Holyoke faculty)
2:30 pm
Under the direction of the delegate marshals, professors Dorothy Mosby and Kenneth Colodner, the delegates will line up in order of the founding of their Institutions. Faculty marshals, professors Katherine Binder and Samba Gadjigo, will lead the Mount Holyoke faculty. The academic procession, led by the College marshal, professor Alan Werner, will step off promptly at 3:00 pm and move into the Field House to begin the ceremony.

Inauguration Ceremony
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Field House, Kendall Sports and Dance Complex
Please join us for the installation of Sonya Stephens as the 19th president of Mount Holyoke College. The Inauguration Ceremony will be livestreamed and a PDF of the program is available.

Inauguration Gala Cocktails (invitation only)
6:00 – 7:30 pm
McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Music Hall
Join us to raise a glass to President Sonya Stephens.

Inauguration Gala Dinner (invitation only)
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
Celebrate the Inauguration of President Sonya Stephens.

[Silent] Discotheque Under the Stars (students only)
9:00 – 11:00 pm
Pageant Green. In the event of rain: Skinner Green under the tent
Dance it out under the stars with our silent disco! Each person gets their own headset and picks the DJ who’s mixing what they want to hear. With a choice of three different DJs, you’ll be able to dance to your own beat. Join us for the quietest, most energetic dance party you’ve seen! We’ll have glow sticks and other light-up items on hand — no need to BYOG (bring your own glow).

Accessible and visitor parking is shown on the campus map. Guests are encouraged to park in the lot near the Gorse Children's Center between Stanton Avenue and Kohler Road. An additional grass lot will be open on the corner of College Street (MA-116) and Morgan Street, weather permitting. Guests may also park in any faculty/staff or visitor spots on campus.

A golf cart shuttle route will make 10 stops around campus. Please see the shuttle stop map on this page. The shuttle will run on Friday, September 28, from 5:00 pm. to 10:00 pm on the blue route, and on Saturday, September 29, from 9:00 am to 10:30 pm on the red route.

All guests, including delegates and members of the Mount Holyoke faculty representing other institutions, are asked to register in the New York Room in Mary Woolley Hall between noon and 5:00 pm on Friday, September 28, or from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 29.

Delegates from other institutions are invited to wear their academic regalia at the Inauguration Ceremony. Robing will begin at 2:00 pm in a location to be announced. Delegates will line up at 2:45 pm in order of their institution’s founding (earliest first) to process in.

Please note that the panels on Saturday morning are expected to be full. If you are registered for the panels and would like to guarantee your seat, please be seated 10 minutes before the panel begins. Stand-by seating will be available to all attendees 10 minutes before each panel begins. The panels will also be available to watch via livestream in Hooker Auditorium in the Clapp Laboratory and online.  

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450 Memorial Drive
Chicopee, MA 01020
413-331-5155
Code
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Rate: $159 plus tax
Deadline for reservation: August 27

Hampton Inn Chicopee
600 Memorial Drive
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413-593-1500
Rate: $139 plus tax
Deadline for reservation: September 6

Sonya Stephens, Mount Holyoke College

Meet Sonya Stephens

Sonya Stephens is an internationally recognized scholar, educator and leader. She is an ardent believer in women’s colleges and liberal arts education.

History of Mount Holyoke College

Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote.
Aerial photo of the Mount Holyoke campus

About Mount Holyoke College

As the first of the Seven Sisters — the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League — Mount Holyoke has led the way in women's education.