Thank you for helping us Meet the Moment!
In true Mount Holyoke fashion, we not only met our ambitious goal, we far surpassed it, with over $41.5 million raised toward endowed financial aid for our students.
Visit this page again soon to learn more about the success that has been made possible by these generous gifts.
Scholarship aid has never been more important in the lives of Mount Holyoke’s exceptional students and in the College’s ability to grow and evolve to meet the moment. To support this priority, generous donors have come forward in an unprecedented way to encourage the community to increase the College’s ability to provide critical scholarship and financial aid for talented and deserving students and ensure the future of Mount Holyoke.
“With this gift, my husband Phill and I hope to inspire others to invest. We need to ensure students with diverse backgrounds and from a wide variety of economic circumstances have the opportunity to join the Mount Holyoke community and thrive as student scholars and change agents.” — Liz Cochary Gross ’79
Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge
Endowment gifts in support of scholarship aid are integral to helping the College attract and support the best and brightest students from across the economic spectrum. To support this priority and grow critical endowments for financial aid, incredible champions of Mount Holyoke initiated a historic Meet the Moment Challenge. Trustee Liz Cochary Gross ’79 and Phill Gross pledged a record-breaking $10 million gift in support of scholarship aid, and Nancy Nordhoff ’54 made a generous $1 million gift.
This challenge offered donors the opportunity to double — or triple — their impact with their endowment gifts. The College aimed to raise at least $20 million in new gifts and commitments, including the $11 million matching funds, over the 18 months.
- 2:1 Match — Triple the impact for first-time donors to endowed financial aid: Every first-time donor to endowed financial aid who made a gift or pledge between $50,000 and $250,000 would receive a two-dollar match for every one dollar contributed.
- 1:1 Match — Double the impact for repeat endowed financial aid donors: The challenge offered a dollar-for-dollar match for all new gift commitments between $50,000 and $250,000 made to endowed financial aid from donors who exceeded their typical annual giving to endowed scholarship. Matching funds could be added to a repeat donor’s gift to create a new named fund, or to continue building an existing fund.
- Donors were strongly encouraged to include an increased Mount Holyoke Fund commitment in their giving plans for the corresponding number of years.
Since the launch in January 2021, the College has received $41.5 million for financial aid endowments with the establishment of 79 new scholarship endowments, generous additions to 21 existing scholarship endowments and the establishment of a permanent Student Safety Net Fund endowment.
Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Match
In January 2021, Mount Holyoke trustee Bess Weatherman ’82 issued a special $250,000 match in support of the College’s scholarship fundraising initiative. The Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Match was a tremendous success — in just four weeks, 34 donors rose to the challenge, bringing in $250,000 in new gifts and pledges for the Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Program.
Inspired by the tremendous response, trustee Monica Landry ’90 issued a new $250,000 challenge so even more people can directly support our talented students. This opportunity once again matched, dollar for dollar, all new gifts between $5,000 and $25,000 made to The Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Program.
Each Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars gift provides a one-year named scholarship in the amount of the gift to a student with demonstrated need. As a unique benefit of this challenge, we are offering a special opportunity to support a Mount Holyoke Fund Scholar with a minimum gift of $5,000.
In less than six months, over $500,000 in new gifts and pledges was directed to the Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Program, resulting in $1 million for this important program. Thank you!
Financial aid at Mount Holyoke College
Among the Seven Sisters, Mount Holyoke admits the highest percentage of low- and middle-income students. We meet 100% of demonstrated need. In 2020-2021, 73% of our students received financial aid, with an average aid package of $31,111. Three-quarters of our financial aid — a total of $47.8 million was awarded in 2020-2021 — comes from our operating budget. But our endowment, while healthy, remains one of the smallest among our peers. It only covers a quarter of that cost, about $13 million in 2019-2020. Unlike some of our peers, our financial aid packages include student loans.
A robust endowment is a crucial indicator of the College’s financial health and a reflection of the dedication and trust of the generous donors who invest in the College’s long-term success. A larger endowment helps us offset educational costs and provide access to more talented students. It allows Mount Holyoke to broaden its support for other critical priorities, such as career development and enhancing the college experience. And welcoming new donors adds to the pool of individuals whose support allows Mount Holyoke to thrive.
“This is kind of corny, but when I came to Mount Holyoke, I couldn’t have imagined who I would become. I had a lot of ideas but I didn’t know how to make space for them. I do here. At Mount Holyoke, I have become a more genuine version of myself.”
“Mount Holyoke has changed me. I am from Turkey and my calculus professor, Lidia Mran, is from Lebanon and she is so inspiring. For women from the Middle East, it’s not always easy to study at a university and to be a STEM major. She’s a role model for me because she’s really strong. She shows me how to do what you believe is important.”
Noel Robbins Congdon Scholarship
“Before Mount Holyoke, I could not imagine being a religion major — and now I am applying to seminary for religious leadership. What’s great is the diverse environment, the fact that 30% of our students are international. I take pride in knowing that I go to a diverse college. Mount Holyoke is truly unique, the only place in the world of its kind. I feel so blessed and lucky that I get to spend four years here.”