Traditions and Annual Events
When you’re an institution that's been around since 1837, it’s only fitting to have treasured traditions. As a student, you’ll quickly discover that the College’s traditions bring the community closer together and create some of your most memorable Mount Holyoke moments.
A College tradition since 1838. Classes are cancelled and students are invited to climb (or ride) to the Summit House atop Mount Holyoke.
M&Cs (milk and cookies)
A long-standing College tradition enjoyed by all resident students, M&Cs is a light snack provided as a study break and social event each evening.
In 1980, Pangynaskeia (now commonly called “Pangy Day”) debuted as a Mount Holyoke College tradition celebrating the “total world of women.” Pangy Day is typically held on the last Friday of classes in the spring semester.
Annual vespers concert
Held in some form on campus each December since 1899, this holiday tradition is much anticipated and reliably fills Abbey Chapel.
This moving ritual, which takes place during commencement weekend, marks the transition from MHC student to MHC alum. Alums from all class years come back to campus to take part.
Annual academic events
An annual campus-wide event, LEAP Symposium is Mount Holyoke's premier showcase of student summer work, organized by and for Mount Holyoke students.
Seniors share the projects, scholarly research, and intellectual passions they have pursued through independent study or upper level coursework.
Annual community events
BOOM: Building on our Momentum
An annual learning symposium that meets participants where they are in their learning and comfort in engaging in sessions on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Glascock Poetry Contest
An intercollegiate event since 1924. Students are nominated by faculty members, and then judged by a panel of three distinguished poets.
Hortense Parker Celebration
Named for the College's first known student of color, this event is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of the history, struggles & achievements of women of color.
Crafting a Life in the Arts
A biennial daylong career workshop that connects students with alumnae working in the world of the arts.
The Big Broadcast!
A re-creation of a live 1940's radio show featuring the Mount Holyoke College Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles.
Trailblazers of Color Leadership Conference
This annual, student-organized conference aims to empower self-identified women and gender minorities of color across the Five Colleges, Pioneer Valley and beyond; including faculty, staff and community members.
Tracing its origins back to the early 1900s, the program partners the Junior Class with the First-Year Class.
DisOrientation is an ever-evolving tradition, but at its core it serves to build camaraderie between seniors and first-year students.
A first-year and sophomore based tradition. First-year student residence hall doors are unexpectedly “Elf-ed” with small gifts and decorations.
Class colors and symbols
A tradition since the early 1900s, classes use a color and symbol to identify themselves at class-related activities including Convocation.
The days preceding Commencement are especially alive with tradition for the senior class as well as alums.