Alumnae Quarterly, Spring 2006

The Spirit Moves in Different Ways

I had to write in response to Judith Vickers Andrews' letter (winter) about her disappointment in how Mount Holyoke has lived out Mary Lyon's legacy. Far from being "an abomination unto God," Mount Holyoke was, for me, the perfect environment for examining and strengthening my faith. It was at Mount Holyoke, with its diversity of religious expression and its intellectual challenge, that I first discerned a call to ordained ministry. The religion department and chaplains of all faiths nurtured and encouraged me in this calling. I have always been proud of MHC's history as a seminary. Interestingly, there were four of us from the class of '01 who all entered Yale Divinity School straight out of college. I consider my time at MHC a significant part of my spiritual formation.

Rev. Jennifer Creswell '01
Millbrook, New York

A Different Time

Some of the letters in your winter issue amused, saddened, or outraged me. No one was offended by compulsory chapel? Nonsense. But there was hardly any point in complaining about it or about the restrictive curfews and weekend privileges. When I married at the end of junior year and came back to campus to live with the same roommate I'd had for three years, the college sent a letter to her parents asking permission for their daughter to room with a married woman. It was a different time. The student body was more homogeneous, very conservative politically and socially, and the college stood "in loco parentis."

Mary Lyon was a remarkable woman, but she was also a woman of her time, formed by and reacting to the ideas and values of her day, as are we all. I would hope that those who were the recipients of the splendid education Mount Holyoke offers might recognize the arrogance of assuming that any one person or institution possesses the whole truth. Mount Holyoke "an abomination unto God" indeed!

Diane Finn Sherman-Levine '50
Princeton, New Jersey
© Mount Holyoke Lyon's Pride
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