The Five College News Brief: Mount Holyoke College announces the appointment of new President
By Elaine Teng '12, Editor-in-Chief
Step aside, Tony Marx. There’s a new sheriff in town.

On Sept. 24, Mt. Holyoke College formally met its new president, Lynn Pasquerella, in a series of events themed “The Promise of Women’s Leadership: Uncommon Women for the Common Good” and included her inauguration, a reception and a fireworks show.

Pasquerella, who replaces Joanne Creighton, is a 1980 Mt. Holyoke graduate who earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University. She then became a philosophy professor at the University of Rhode Island for 19 years after which she became the associate dean of their graduate school in 2004. Four years later, in 2008, she moved to the University of Hartford to be their provost and chief academic officer and was then tapped by her alma mater for her newest position.

Her time at Mt. Holyoke and her experience as an academic have made Pasquerella the perfect fit for the position, according to the Chair of the Mt. Holyoke Board of Trustees, Leslie Anne Miller.

“Lynn represents the ideal of a Mt. Holyoke education,” she wrote to the college. “She embodies academic excellence, leadership and a deep-seated commitment to the liberal arts and educational access. Colleagues laud her energy, compassion, and integrity. She is in the vanguard of a new generation of academic leaders who are taking the helm at a time of great challenge and opportunity for top liberal arts colleges. For Mt. Holyoke, she is the perfect choice to lead us as we expand our presence on a global stage.”

Pasquerella’s background lends itself to this international focus; she has spent the past three summers in Kenya promoting the education and advancement of women with a group of researchers dedicated to improving the daily lives of villagers. They help provide clean water facilities, sustainable agriculture methods and entrepreneurship ideas for women there. Pasquerella also headed a research team that worked with 32 HIV-positive women and 120 HIV-positive orphans who had shunned the traditional practice of widow inheritance, in which a widow is passed on to her brother-in-law after her husband’s death. To Pasquerella, these endeavors are a perfect use of a Mt. Holyoke education and they will help her in her new role as head of the college.

“Many of the women in this rural area have no means to support themselves, because even though the women do the work, the men control the money,” she said. “At Mount Holyoke, part of our mission is to use liberal learning for purposeful engagement in the world,” she said. “This trip allow[s] me to have hands-on experience in carrying out our mission.”

Issue 04, Submitted 2010-09-29 03:05:09