Originally known as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, Mount Holyoke College was founded by chemist and educator Mary Lyon in 1837 as an institution designed to advancing women's academic knowledge and professional education during a time when many women did not attend college. Mount Holyoke became the founding member of The Seven Sisters, a group of elite women's colleges that included Vassar, Smith, Wellesley, Barnard, Radcliffe and Bryn Mawr. It wasn't until 1893 that the school settled on its current name. Though there are only five of the original Seven Sisters remaining, Mount Holyoke continues to function as a women's school.
According to its mission statement, Mount Holyoke "reaffirms its commitment to educating a diverse residential community of women at the highest level of academic excellence and to fostering the alliance of liberal arts education with purposeful engagement in the world."
Those living in student housing or an off campus apartment at Mount Holyoke have access to the school's distinguished academic programs and fields of study. Students may pursue undergraduate concentrations in majors such as economics, astronomy, dance, English, engineering, statistics, religion, physics, film studies, computer science, gender studies, international relations and more.
Student living and university living at Mount Holyoke revolve around a bevy of traditional campus student activities and organizations. The school's Lyons athletic programs compete in the NCAA Division III in sports such as basketball, field hockey, riding, swimming and diving, lacrosse, crew, golf and volleyball.
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