I learned more than history!

Catherine Allgor FP '92 PhD

Catherine Allgor FP ’92 PhD

Catherine Allgor FP ’92 PhD, Nadine and Robert A. Skotheim Director of Education

Major: History

Awards: Joseph Skinner Fellowship, Mary E. Woolley Fellowship

Advanced Degrees: MA in History & MA in Philosophy, PhD in History, Yale University

Employer: Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

“Being a history major at MHC gave me my life’s work,” writes Catherine Allgor (FP ‘92), the Director of Education at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. “Every teacher I had at MHC showed me what it was like to live a life of the mind, to think critically, and to engage effectively.”

Allgor graduated from Mount Holyoke and pursued an academic career in history, teaching at Simmons College, Harvard University, and the University of California Riverside and publishing research in the field of antebellum U.S. women’s and gender history. When faced with an opportunity to change her career path, however, critical thinking and effective engagement shaped her decision making process:

"[A] few years ago, I wondered if I could step off this path. The way I framed this decision was around conversations. I knew I could talk to students, professors, and specialists in my field. But could I talk to a staff, a donor community, or board leaders? More importantly, could I talk to the American public about hard issues around race, class, and gender?”

“That’s when being an Uncommon Woman, a historian who studied at Mount Holyoke, really came to the fore,” she notes. “My training as an MHC history major gave me knowledge, confidence, and courage.”