List of Mount Holyoke College people

List of Mount Holyoke College people

The following is a list of individuals associated with Mount Holyoke College through attending as a student, or serving as a member of the faculty or staff.


Notable alumnae

Academics and scientists


Actresses, musicians, and performers


  • Esther Howland, 1847 - artist noted for her role in popularizing St. Valentine's Day cards
  • Minerva J. Chapman, 1880 - painter
  • Jane Hammond, 1972 - artist
  • Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, did not graduate - documentary photographer; attended classes at Springfield Colleges as part of the Massachusetts Migrant Education summer program, where he was offered his first courses in photography.



College presidents

Computer scientists and graphic designers

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists

Filmmakers, broadcast presidents, and producers



Politicians and family


Notable faculty, past and present



Authors, actors, poets, and playwrights





  • Shirley Chisholm - U.S. Representative, 1968–1983, founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and simultaneously the first woman and the first African-American to run for U.S. President
  • Jean Grossholtz - professor emeritus of politics; bodybuilder who won a silver medal at the 1994 Gay Games [4]
  • W. Anthony Lake - U.S. National Security Advisor, 1993–1997
  • [Cyrus Vance] - U.S. Secretary of State, 1977–1980

Sciences and social sciences


A number of individuals have acted as head of Mount Holyoke. Until 1888, the term principal was used. From 1888 to the present, the term president has been used.[1]

Acting and Interim Presidents

  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, served as Acting President for part of 2002 while President Creighton was on leave.
  • Peter Berek, served as interim president in Fall 1995.
  • Joseph Ellis, served as Acting President for part of 1984 while President Kennan was on leave.
  • Meribeth E. Cameron, served as Acting President for part of 1954 while President Ham was on leave and for part of 1966 while President Gettell was on leave.

Commencement speakers

The following is a list of Mount Holyoke College Commencement Speakers by year. [2]

Date Name Speeches and links
2010 Martha Nussbaum [3]
2010 Gail Collins [4]
2009 Mary McAleese [5]
2008 Carol Gilligan [6]
2007 Wendy Kopp [7]
2006 Joyce Carol Oates [8][9]
2005 Nina Totenberg [10]
2004 Kim Campbell [11]
2003 Judy Blume [12][13]
2002 Queen Noor of Jordan [14]
2001 Suzan-Lori Parks ’85 [15]
2000 Mary Patterson McPherson [16]
1999 Anna Quindlen [17]
1998 Johnnetta B. Cole [18]
1997 Madeleine Albright [19]
1996 Donna Shalala [20]
1995 Ann Richards [21]
1994 Nita Lowey ’59 [22]
1993 Judith Kurland ’67 [22]
1992 Pat Schroeder [22]
1991 Evelyn Fox Keller [22]
1990 Wendy Wasserstein ’71 [23] (quotes)
1989 Glenn Close [24] (quotes)
1988 Joseph Brodsky [22]
1987 Maya Angelou [25][26]
1984 Barbara B. Kennelly [27]
1981 Shirley Chisholm [28]
1976 Lillian Hellman [29]
1975 Ella T. Grasso '40 [30]
1963 U Thant [30] [30]
1912 The Rev. Edward F. Sanderson [31]
1899 William McKinley [32]


  1. ^ Principals & Presidents (1837-)
  2. ^ Commencement Speakers by Year
  3. ^ Martha Nussbaum to speak at Mount Holyoke College commencement
  4. ^ Columnist to deliver Mount Holyoke College graduation address
  5. ^ McAleese to MHC Grads: "The World Needs You"
  6. ^ Carol Gilligan Commencement Speech
  7. ^ Wendy Kopp Commencement Speech
  8. ^ Joyce Carol Oates Commencement Speech
  9. ^ Boston Globe article
  10. ^ Nina Totenberg Commencement Speech
  11. ^ Kim Campbell Commencement Speech
  12. ^ Judy Blume Commencement Speech
  13. ^ Photo from Judy Blume's official website
  14. ^ Queen Noor of Jordan Commencement Speech
  15. ^ Suzan-Lori Parks Commencement Speech
  16. ^ Mary Patterson McPherson Commencement Speech
  17. ^ Anna Quindlen Commencement Speech
  18. ^ Johnnetta B. Cole Commencement Speech
  19. ^ Madeleine Albright Commencement Speech
  20. ^ Donna Shalala Commencement Speech
  21. ^ Ann Richards Commencement Speech
  22. ^ a b c d e "List of commencement speakers 1987-1997". Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  23. ^ Wendy Wasserstein Commencement Speech
  24. ^ Glenn Close Commencement Speech
  25. ^ "Commencements; Mount Holyoke". The New York Times. May 25, 1987. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  26. ^ "At Mount Holyoke:Angelou tells seniors to reflect on their education". Daily Hampshire Gazette. May 26, 1987. 
  27. ^ Political Action Urged
  28. ^ Commencement Address, the Genre
  29. ^ Lillian Hellman papers with draft of Mount Holyoke commencement speech
  30. ^ a b c The Education of Ella Grasso
  31. ^ "Mount Holyoke Graduates; The College Celebrates Its Seventyfifth Commencement.". The New York Times. June 16, 1912. 
  32. ^ "President Gives Diplomas; Mount Holyoke College Confers a Degree Upon Him. The First Man So Honored Speech to the Graduating Class, Among Whom Was His Niece -- The President's Trip.". The New York Times. June 21, 1899. 

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