The Green Purse Legacy Circle welcomes small and medium bequests from classmates and combines them into our lasting gift to the College from the Class of 1964.
No bequest is too small.
Everyone invited to join!
Supporting excellence in women's
education for years to come and
ensuring the legacy of Mary Lyon's green purse.
Mount Holyoke is nothing short of a miracle considering its founding during the Financial Panic of 1837. In the three years prior to opening the doors of her College, Mary Lyon collected donations ranging from six cents to one thousand dollars, with an average donation of $15.
"She (Mary Lyon) took on the fundraising job herself and spent years riding through the countryside in a carriage, placing all her donations in a green velvet bag. Many donations were just a dollar or two, sometimes not even that. But, in the end, Lyon raised $27,000 from 1,800 donors-many of them poor, hardworking men and women whom she visited at their farms, at churches, at sewing circles or other social gatherings." November 8, 2015 Writer's Almanac
These small donations from many people established the foundation of the College we know today.
At a meeting on campus a year ago, your class agents heard Sonya Stephens speak to the financial status of the college. She described Mount Holyoke as a modern day miracle: we remain competitive with Smith and Wellesley for superior faculty and outstanding students despite our significantly smaller endowment. (MHC's endowment is $710 million; Smith's and Wellesley's endowments are more than double in size, at $1.7 and $1.8 billion respectively.) President Stevens made clear that for Mount Holyoke to thrive in the future, we need to significantly increase the endowment.
The Class of 1964 proudly inaugurates the Green Purse Legacy Circle.
The Circle focuses on the future with bequests to the endowment. The Mount Holyoke Fund focuses on annual giving for current operating expenses. Both are important.
The purpose of the Circle is to endow student internships by pooling classmates' bequests - an idea unique to our class. Student internships are increasingly important in attracting students, especially internships that are paid by the College. Our class has a special opportunity to help fund internships, a gift from the Class of 1964 that will be felt long into the future.
Everyone can join the Circle! No gift is too small. Individual bequests will not be disclosed, only the combined total and the names of those who have joined the Circle. Together, our collective bequests will combine to make a grand gift to fund student internships.
In the coming months, you will learn more about the Class 1964 Green Purse Legacy Circle. How do I join? How will the Circle work? Why does my gift matter? Does my situation allow me to be a bequestor? Is there an easy (neither lawyerly nor expensive) way to make a bequest? Can I add to a bequest already made, putting a little more into the Green Purse?
Between now and our 55th, we will be passing the purse. We hope you will drop your bequest in. We plan to have lots of fun with this idea and leave a gift to the College that reflects our class spirit and love for Mount Holyoke.
Copyright © 2022 MHC Class of 1964 - All Rights Reserved.