Speeches and Letters to the Community

Tax on endowment income threatens financial aid opportunities

November 6, 2017

A letter to Congressman Richard E. Neal regarding the ways a tax on endowment income would threaten financial aid opportunities.

 

Update on NEASC site visit

October 30, 2017

A letter to the  Mount Holyoke Community regarding the recent site visit of the team charged by NEASC with the review of Mount Holyoke for reaccreditation.

 

Mount Holyoke stands with #MeToo

October 23, 2017

A letter to the  Mount Holyoke Community regarding the #MeToo campaign. 

 

Fall 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

October 2017

A letter summarizing the Board Meeting that took place October 12 through October 14, 2017. 

 

Statement on Title VII

October 5, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community on reversing the federal government’s stance protecting gender identity as a part of Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination, saying that the statute will no longer cover bias based on transgender status.

 

Draft Report of Sustainability Task Force

October 5, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community to request review of the Sustainability Task Force Draft Report.  

 

Statement on Title IX

September 25, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community regarding the new Title IX guidance issued by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and affirming our continued committed to Mount Holyoke’s current Title IX policy prohibiting gender and sex-based discrimination of any kind, including sexual misconduct.

 

Response to DACA Decision

September 5, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community in which Acting President Sonya Stephens expresses distress over President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Convocation 2017

September 5, 2017

In her 2017 Convocation speech, Sonya Stephens focused on the Mount Holyoke community that has endured—and celebrates—180 years of change.

 

A letter reaffirming support for DACA

September 1, 2017

 

A Statement on Charlottesville

August 15, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community in which Acting President Sonya Stephens reaffirmed Mount Holyoke's commitment to diversity and inclusion following the violence in Charlottesville, VA.

 

Spring 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

March 2017

A letter summarizing the Board Meeting that took place February 23 through February 25, 2017.  The meeting included setting the fees for 2017 — 2018.


A letter to President Trump

February 2, 2017

Acting President Sonya Stephens joined more than forty college and university presidents in signing a letter to President Trump urging him to “rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world.”

 

Response to Recent Executive Actions

January 30, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community in which Acting President Sonya Stephens reaffirmed Mount Holyoke's core values today writing, "More than a quarter of our students come to the College from outside the United States, and the excellence of our teaching and scholarship is predicated on global understanding and perspectives, and the freedom of movement, thought, religion, and speech. Like others, we are deeply concerned by the discriminatory nature of the executive order and the lasting effects it will have on members of our community, and on global understanding, research, and education."

 

Immigration Policy following Executive Order

January 28, 2017

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community in response the Executive Order suspending the admission of refugees and temporarily barring nationals from seven countries.  Students who are affected or concerned about their status should be in contact with the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.

 

Two New College-wide Initiatives beginning Spring 2017

January 20, 2017
A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community describing initiatives in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as Campus and Global Environmental Sustainability.

 

Response to Petitions

November 22, 2016

A letter to the Mount Holyoke Community in response to petitions calling for Mount Holyoke College to adopt a public written policy communicating specific protections and to declare itself “a sanctuary center of higher education.”

Embracing Difference as We Embrace Challenge

November 21, 2016

A post-election message to the Mount Holyoke Community.

An Open Letter to Stephen Bannon

November 21, 2016

Acting President Sonya Stephens, in conjunction with the presidents of the Seven Sisters colleges, released an open letter this morning to Stephen Bannon, the media executive recently tapped by the incoming Trump administration to serve as Chief Strategist in the White House. The letter affirms each college's respect for and pride in their students and alumnae, and takes exception to his disparaging remarks. 

Letter from Presidents to President-elect Trump

November 18, 2016

Acting President Sonya Stephens joined more than one hundred college and university presidents in signing a letter to President-elect Trump urging him to “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”

Fall 2016 Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

October 2016

A letter summarizing the Board Meeting that took place September 29 through October 1, 2016.  The meeting included the approval of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021.

Convocation 2016

In her first Convocation speech as acting president, Sonya Stephens explored the question of Convocation, and what it represents.