SOUTH HADLEY, MASS - This year, 2016, marks the 40th year of MHC Rowing, which was first sponsored by MHC in 1976. Festivities to celebrate this milestone anniversary began on Friday September, 23 with an alumnae reception at the MHC boathouse. Many alumnae and their guests made their way back to South Hadley, Massachusetts to celebrate this extraordinary legacy, which includes three Olympians and multiple conference titles.
Saturday kicked off with a morning row. Alumnae marveled in the natural beauty of their home on the Connecticut River that holds so many memories. Many of the alumnae dreamed of one day having their own boathouse, which is now a reality for the current team members. In 2009, MHC opened its own boathouse on the Connecticut which is also home to a community rowing program.
The festivities continued Saturday evening with a boat dedication and dinner that saw three women eloquently reflect on a storied experience at Mount Holyoke that proved the value and worth of such a strong bond though the years. Among those speaking included the former head rowing coach from 1992-2014 Jeanne Friedman, Mary Mazzio (class of '83), and Hannah Arbach (Class of '15).
The evening was capped off with remarks from the current head rowing coach Heather Putnam who gave thanks to those in attendance, and urged them to keep their Mount Holyoke connection strong. Putnam stated, "We couldn't have asked for a better celebration weekend. People had a wonderful time reconnecting and sharing stories. The reunion row was a blast. And perhaps most importantly, the current student-athletes and alumnae really had the chance to connect."
The evening marked the public launch of the 40th Anniversary Endowment fund. This fund will enhance the student-athlete experience and support a variety of initiatives, such as defraying the cost of the spring break training trip and supporting leadership opportunities. At the time of launch, the fund had already raised $56,000 in gifts and pledges toward the $100,000 goal.