When you’re the nation’s oldest institution of higher learning for women, it’s only fitting to have some 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.

Professor James Hartley Singing Can't Stop the Feeling


The annual ceremony for welcoming our newest students and launching the academic year. Held in the ampitheater and attended by faculty and students.
Image of Famliy and Friends Weekend

Family and Friends Weekend

A weekend in October for family and friends to experience the beautiful Mount Holyoke campus, culture of academic excellence and vibrant cocurricular life.
Students atop Mount Holyoke.

Mountain Day

A College tradition since 1838. Classes are cancelled and students are invited to climb (or ride) to the Summit House atop Mount Holyoke.
Students enjoying M&Cs

M&Cs (Milk and Crackers)

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.

Pangy Day

In 1979, Pangynaskeia (now commonly called “Pangy Day”) debuted as a Mount Holyoke College tradition celebrating the “total world of women.”
this is a photograph of Mount Holyoke students participating in the annual Laurel Parade.

Laurel Parade

This moving ritual, which takes place during commencement weekend, marks the transition from MHC student to MHC alumna.
Photo of elfing gifts outside a door


A first-year and sophomore based tradition. First-year students receive small gifts over the course of the week from a sophomore ‘Elf.’
Image of the four MHC class symbols

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.