What’s the deal with POWERED by Mount Holyoke?

BY ANNA SHORTRIDGE ’19

The slogan “Powered by Mount Holyoke” can be seen across campus — it’s found on water bottles, the charging ports in the library, posters around campus and even a baby onesie in the Odyssey Bookshop’s campus store. Many have wondered where this slogan comes from and what it means.

According to Taylor Scott, director of Communications and Marketing for the Alumnae Association, the “Powered by Mount Holyoke” campaign was launched in Jan. 2017. The Alumnae Association’s marketing and communications team and the Alumnae Communications Committee came up with the idea for the campaign in the fall of 2016. 

Scott explained that the idea behind Powered by Mount Holyoke is based on alumnae. “The aim of ‘Powered by Mount Holyoke’ is to inspire alumnae to recognize their role as the legacy of a Mount Holyoke education by promoting the College in their communities and workplaces,” she said. 

According to Scott, the Alumnae Association team wanted to launch a digital-first campaign, one that leverages online channels, such as social media, videos and websites instead of print channels, like magazines, postcards or brochures. This digital-first campaign would take initiative of social media by creating captivating, shareable content that alumnae would be proud to share on their social media feeds. Such content would include stories, statistics about a Mount Holyoke education and highlights of prominent alumnae throughout history. 

“Since its launch, ‘Powered by Mount Holyoke’ has gained incredible traction, resonating with alumnae across generations,” said Scott. 

Although the slogan began as a campaign for the Alumnae Association, it’s already in use by other departments across campus. 

“We have begun collaborating with departments across campus to use the tagline in different places,” she said. “We are hopeful that we can continue our collaboration in other ways, which would include student profiles and student-focused communications.” 

However, with the increased use of “Powered by Mount Holyoke” around campus, there have been speculations that the college’s current slogan “never fear / change” is being replaced by “Powered by Mount Holyoke.” 

This new campaign, in fact, is not the replacement for “never fear / change.”

“‘Powered by Mount Holyoke’ is a campaign tagline, which aims to brand and succinctly capture the spirit of the campaign’s goals and will not replace ‘never fear / change,’ which is a brand tagline. It is broader and aims to capture the spirit of the entire organization,” explained Scott. 

Some students on campus are excited by “Powered by Mount Holyoke” because it helps to give alumnae a place at Mount Holyoke after they’ve graduated. 

“I, for one, love this slogan,” said Amelia Benich ’20. “It promotes the alums often forgotten because too often in this world we only promote someone’s alma mater if it’s an Ivy League school or Stanford.” 

Though the slogan has received positive responses from the Mount Holyoke community, there has been some confusion over its exact meaning. Some students feel that the new slogan was never explained and therefore, has an ambiguous meaning.

 “I was so confused by this to be honest, the only place I’ve seen this slogan is on the charging ports in the library,” said Abigail Boak ’20. “I thought it was just a good pun about charging your electronics.”

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