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.
Some Mount Holyoke Traditions
Convocation is the traditional opening of the College each year. On the afternoon before the first day of classes, the faculty and student body gather in the amphitheater to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year. This is the first formal College event that new students attend.
Family and Friends Weekend
Held in the fall, Family and Friends Weekend is a time when students invite their families and friends to visit the campus and learn about the College community. Events include master classes taught by faculty, open houses, entertainment by campus performing groups, athletic events, and much more.
When fall weather sets in, speculation begins about the date for Mountain Day. One of the College’s oldest traditions, Mountain Day provides an unexpected break from classes and other obligations, and many students spend the day enjoying outdoor activities, in particular, hiking on Mount Holyoke in Skinner State Park. The early morning pealing of the Mary Lyon Hall bell announces to the campus that it’s Mountain Day.
M & Cs
All resident students enjoy a long-standing College tradition known as M & Cs (milk and crackers). This snack is provided in all residence halls as a study break and a social event several nights each week.
The junior class traditionally stages its own show to entertain the College, usually during the last weekend in February. Over the years returning alumnae have been known to sing, even 20 to 30 years after the event, the songs from their show. The closing night is junior/senior night, generally followed by a party for the two classes.
Once every four years, the faculty and staff entertain the College by putting on their own show so each generation of students has the chance to experience one. It is an opportunity to see your professors as you’ve never seen them before!
Commencement and Reunion Weekends
Among the highlights of this weekend are the alumnae parade on Saturday morning, the baccalaureate service on Saturday evening, and commencement on Sunday.