“I was inspired to launch this challenge to help us name the Education Center at the Frances Perkins Homestead in honor of Mount Holyoke alums to recognize how much we value our alma mater and its tremendous influence on our lives. Mount Holyoke College was instrumental in shaping Frances Perkins’ values, drive, and sense of purpose —preparing her to be so effective, despite the huge obstacles she faced. She continues to inspire others to do important work in support of the ‘public good.’
Many Perkins Center award winners, including the three MHC alums whose remarks are excerpted in the video on this page, have spoken of how Frances inspired them to dedicate their lives to public service, and encouraged us to continue to share her story through our education programs. I want every visitor to the Frances Perkins Homestead to be reminded of that.”
—Susan Bateson ’76
Frances Perkins’ life changed forever as the result of an economic history course that she took while she was an undergraduate student at Mount Holyoke College.
President of MHC Class of 1902, Perkins has received numerous posthumous awards and honors: a USPS 15 cent stamp, the U.S. Dept. of Labor Washington D.C. headquarters is named the Frances Perkins Building, and Mount Holyoke College created the Frances Perkins Program for students over the age of 24 to pursue their education. She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Labor Hall of Fame.