LITS has been inspired by Mary Lyon and her green bag, and so have other students and faculty.
By asking “what’s in your bag” we ask students, staff, and faculty to reflect on the tools they use to succeed in the world.
These objects, both physical and metaphorical, act as a mechanism to encourage discussion and reflection on the qualities that the MHC community embodies.
In a LITS blog post we ask you to:
Imagine for a moment that you have just quit your job. You will now abruptly transition from being an assistant principal at Ipswich Female Seminary to spending all of your time and energy raising money to found Mount Holyoke, one of the first institutions of higher education for women. You travel for three years seeking donations, despite the severe economic depression. According to common legend, you collect these funds in a small green velvet bag.
You single-handedly circulate advertisements for the school, convince influential people to support your mission, and conduct research on various other forms of education. Once you have raised the funds and support, you oversee the foundation of the seminary, from the construction of the building and purchase of equipment to the hiring of teachers and selection of students.
Mary Lyon accomplished all of this when she worked from 1834 to 1837 to found Mount Holyoke Seminary. Despite the many critics who told her that higher education was not suitable for women, and despite her constant exhaustion from her busy life, Mary Lyon persisted in her mission.
Feel inspired? Tell us what is in your bag by going here!