Sonya Stephens named president of Mount Holyoke College

Sonya Stephens has been named Mount Holyoke College’s 19th president.

Stephens, who has served as acting president since July 2016, was appointed by a unanimous vote of the board of trustees of the liberal arts college for women.

“I am truly honored by the board’s decision, by the confidence that they and the broader community have placed in me, and by this opportunity to lead Mount Holyoke College,” Stephens said in a statement Monday. “The shared commitment to the success of our students, the intellectual vibrancy of this community, the freedom to think, speak, and engage in ways that are always candid, challenging, and fulfilling, and the traditions and connections across generations all make this an exceptional place to live and to learn.”


The South Hadley college will hold a formal inauguration for Stephens in September.

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Stephens has overseen a number of key campus initiatives during her tenure as acting president, including the development and implementation of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021, a strategic document outlining the college’s priorities, school officials said.

Stephens previously served as chairwoman of the department of French and Italian and vice provost for undergraduate education at Indiana University, Bloomington. She arrived at Mount Holyoke in 2013 as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, according to the college’s website.

Mount Holyoke has an enrollment of 2,210 students who come from 45 states and 69 countries.

Abigail Feldman can be reached at