Class President's Letter


Letters from Karel Mortenson Koenig

Class President



Additional Updates from January and February 2024

Updates from the College February 13,  2024  Trisha Tanner, Executive Director of the Alumnae Association, President Holley and the leaders of College departments gave updates to Alumnae leaders.

President Holley spoke of her engagement with students and their engagement with each other especially around the Crisis in the Mid-East. In her role as a member of the Political Science Department she also announced that she teaches a case- study seminar on the United States Supreme Court.

The Provost, Lisa Sullivan, the chief Financial Officer, Karl Reis; Marcella Runell, VP for Enrollment Management; and Kasandra Jolley, Development Officer gave highlights about faculty recruitment, engagement with students, application statistics, finances, the geothermal infrastructure project that is projected to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2030, Mount Holyoke’s #1 ranking among women’s colleges for 28% alumnae giving, and our first time Endowment of $1B endowment.

More detailed highlights from the February 13th meeting are included in a message posted under Class Letters in Class Business which you can find to the left of this home page.

   Many MHC online opportunities are available by looking over the week by week events; see 

 January 2024 

President Danielle Holley's letter " Welcome to the Spring Semester" January 2024 (see welcomes us to the college activities planned for the current semester. 

   Karel Koenig

February 13, 2024 Highlights from the College 

President Holley leads in emphasizing the care, support, and engagement of students especially affected by the crisis in the Middle East. Although there are only 2 Palestinian students, they and Jewish, Arab, and Muslim students have been the focus of this outreach. Black students and students of color are also an on-going focus of these efforts. An online discussion about Christian Nationalism, White Power and American Antisemitism led by Dr. Riv-Ellen Prell Professor emerita at University of Mississippi is planned. 

    President Holley’s next college update for Alumnae will be held on April 8 and will include the opportunity to attend her class on the Supreme Court that each week is discussion of one past SCOTUS case.

Faculty is being “rebuilt” that includes a new Athletic Director, Andrea Ricketts-Preston; an event for children 5 -13 to learn and play various sports and skills was recently held

   Faculty are noted for their “incredible commitment” to students, with learning directed to their interests

   Emphasis is on well-being of body and mind and community 

   Applications are up as is early decision with interest from applicants in Mid-Atlantic and Southwest 

   Financial condition is positive according to Moody’s Bond rating (an industry standard) allowing the college to make a $65 million bond issue at a very favorable rate

  Infrastructure emphasis is on the new geothermal project – and 8 year project at $175 million – expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 80%

  Mount Holyoke annual giving is 28% and is therefore at #8 in the top 400 colleges and is first among women’s colleges

  The College annual budget is $155 million most coming from tuition

  The Endowment over $ 1 billion for the first time and earning 10% annually


Letter January 2024

   Danielle Holley Podcast Interview: In her first year as President of the College, Danielle Holley's enthusiasm and inspiration are energizing. In January she gave an interview about the way the college and she in particular are meeting the current moment. She talks to a journalist and podcaster, Mark Oppenheimer, about the Mount Holyoke community. The link is here and does require registering.  There is no charge:

On the podcast President Holley discusses:

1) current diversity in the student body

2) admissions and diversity in light of the Supreme Court's ruling against affirmative action 

3) the tenor of conversation on campus re anti-semitism, islamophobia, and Danielle's engagement with various student groups 

4) the definition of a gender diverse women's college: Mount Holyoke admits sis-gender females, transgender males, and persons born biologically female in transition to male.

  This interview helps understand and describe the college we are supporting today, and the culture of the college community, and the ways in which President Holley is shaping its future.

  I hope you will find it valuable.  Karel Koenig, Class of '63 President


September 4, 2023

Dear Classmates,

    Just a bit more than three months after our 60th Reunion we are going strong. Surveys from the Reunion all report how significant our time together in South Hadley was. Highlights were the opportunity to reconnect with classmates we knew well as well as with those we had never known previously. In the coming years, we want to keep these connections alive and meaningful. Please begin by joining our class website  Check in frequently.

     President Danielle Holley’s inauguration will be on Thursday, September 21. Some opportunities to participate are open to all alums; some are by invitation only. For more information about the inauguration itself and the many events that precede it on Wednesday, September 20, please email

    On a Zoom gathering of alumnae volunteers in late August, President Holley answered many questions. She spoke enthusiastically of a few aspects of her presidency: the college’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, Mount Holyoke’s continuing relationship within the Five College Consortium, Living and Learning opportunities for students in dorms, Mount Holyoke’s ongoing attention to the wider world: locally, nationally, and internationally, our welcoming of international students, and Mount Holyoke’s basic commitment to inclusivity.  As a guest on MSNBC during the last few weeks, President Holley responded to questions about the significance of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment for our current political climate.

    Notably, President Holley plans to be involved in the day-to-day life on campus and will teach classes. One course being planned is a semester about the U.S. Supreme Court. Each week the class will study a pivotal Supreme Court case.  Alums may participate in these classes virtually. There are no exact timelines at this point; the details will be fleshed out in the coming months. President Holley also plans a Podcast, “Made Here,” about Mount Holyoke students and graduates who have made notable national and worldwide achievements. 

    We, the Class of ’63, have plans for the next five years, too. Knowing that as we age we face challenging life situations, we hope to nurture our connections. Our common experiences of caring for and supporting ourselves, our spouses, our partners, and our friends are often valuable to share. Please stay in touch with your friends and reach out. We plan to place a link on our website to provide a forum for anyone inclined to give support or ask for connection.  We also look forward to the many ways our lives are enjoyable and the opportunities we have to share those with each other.

    As we step into the coming years, Nancy White and her committee have started us off with a beautiful 60th Reunion Book available to everyone who wrote an entry including those who might not have picked up a book at reunion. Our book is also available in full on our class website.

    Our class scribes, Paula Bruice, Jenni DeWolf, Edie Dulles, and Diane Demont Rapp, are ready for us to report our doings, get-togethers, and connections for the Alumnae Association Quarterly. Their first entry has already been submitted. We are very eager to highlight times of individual and general importance in the Quarterly. Do not hesitate. Contact any scribe with your news: Paula Bruice,; Jenni deWolf,; Edi Dulles,; Diane Demont Rapp,

    Our Class Movie Discussion will continue virtually on Zoom in the late fall or early winter. As you may recall, each discussion is previewed briefly, and then everyone participating is randomly assigned to a small group of 4 or 5. In each group, the agenda is open, with time for every person to speak as she wishes. We then return to the larger group for a short “debriefing.” 

     Mini reunions are also on our minds. Paula Bruice and Barbara (Robin) Hauter have offered to head up a 2–3-day mini reunion in Santa Barbara, California, either in the spring or fall of 2025. A New York City area reunion, also for 2 or 3 days, is also being planned for the spring or fall of 2024.

    A list of Class Officers can be found on our class website under Class Business. Please be in touch as you wish. Also, do take advantage of ongoing college events; regular Laurel Chain emails are our best source.

   As we head into fall, may your days be enjoyable and your life be healthy and warm with the care and support of family and friends.



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