Saturday, September 25, 2010

Congrats to a New College President -- Dr. Lynn Pasquerella!

Yesterday was a celebratory day as Dr. Lynn Pasquerella became the 18th President of the oldest women's college in the US, Mount Holyoke College, which is part of the five college system, which also includes UMass Amherst (where I teach), Amherst College, Smith College, and Hampshire College, in beautiful western Massachusetts.

There was a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding her induction in South Hadley with students, staff, alums, dignitaries, and presidents and officials from other colleges and universities in attendance on a rather warm day.

Dr. Pasquerella was the first female in her family to graduate from college and her life story shows, how, despite significant odds (her parents divorced when she was 11 and her mother moved the family to South Hadley to work in a factory), through education, determination, and a winning personality, she has achieved so much. Dr. Pasquerella transferred to Mount Holyoke as an undergrad after receiving a degree from Quinebaug Community College in Connecticut. She then went on to receive her PhD in philosophy from Brown University (my alma mater as well), taught and administered at the University of Rhode Island, before becoming the Provost at the University of Hartford, where my husband teaches.

She has traveled far and wide in support of females globally and has spent significant amounts of time in Kenya over the past couple of years, during which she led groups of faculty and students from several universities and colleges.

This article in The Daily Hampshire Gazette
has nice quotes from President Harrison of the University of Hartford, who, like Pasquerella, is a lover of the sport of baseball, and who was in attendance at her inauguration. She has terrific energy and ideas and the festivities yesterday were called a love-fest, complete with fireworks.

We wish Dr. Pasquerella all the best in her new role as President of Mount Holyoke College.