Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College (then called Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote. As the first of the Seven Sisters—the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League—Mount Holyoke has led the way in women's education.
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Mount Holyoke provides an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts and sciences through academic programs recognized internationally for their excellence and range. The college draws students from all backgrounds into an exceptionally diverse and inclusive learning community. The famous words of Mount Holyoke's founder Mary Lyon—"Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do"—continue to inspire Mount Holyoke students.
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Simmons College was founded in 1899 by Boston businessman John Simmons, who had a revolutionary idea — that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods and lead meaningful lives. It was this same spirit of inclusion and empowerment that produced the first African-American Simmons graduate in 1914, and made Simmons one of the only private colleges that did not impose admission quotas on Jewish students during the first half of the 1900s.
Points of pride
Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons is a private university, home to a respected women’s undergraduate program and coeducational graduate programs in fields that advance the common good. Simmons has established a model of higher education that other colleges and universities are only recently beginning to adapt: the combination of education for leadership in high-demand professional fields with the intellectual foundation of the liberal arts. The result is a Simmons graduate prepared not only to work, but to lead in professional, civic, and personal life - a vision of empowerment that Simmons calls preparation for life’s work.