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Rings and Roses: A Tradition for Sophomores at MHC

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

In the hierarchy of different class years, sophomores can often feel like the neglected middle child. Seniors are frantically preparing for graduation ceremonies and making sure they squeeze in that one science credit they neglected in their earlier years. Juniors are applying to graduate schools and can enjoy the privilege of being upperclasspeople. First-years are still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not yet burdened with many higher-level classes. So, where do sophomores fit in? 

Rings and Roses is an annual tradition for sophomores at Mount Holyoke. It’s a ceremony that commemorates the milestone of being halfway through our college experience, happening in the spring semester of our second year. Class rings are handed out to those who have ordered them, and fresh roses are given to everyone. It’s a semi formal occasion, an opportunity to bring out the sundresses and blouses hidden in the back of your closet, waiting for spring. 

My friends and I arrived at the event early so that we were able to have a quick photoshoot. Then, we headed into the auditorium where this year’s ceremony would be held. The 2026 class board was in charge of decorating, and they did a fabulous job. There were clumps of fake wisteria and fairy lights draped on the walls, and the tables were adorned with tulips and flower crowns. Mocktails and compliments flowed; students seemed giddy from the sugar and the atmosphere.

After the students had settled, the mic was given to the first of two alum speakers, Leslie Smith Green, Class of 1994. Leslie gave an account of her first and second years at MHC, and shared 10 important lessons that she learned, interspersed with personal anecdotes. After her speech wrapped up, the second alum speaker, Tinky Weisblat (Class of 1976) stepped up to the mic. Tinky shared some artifacts from her time at MHC, a poem that another alum had written, and a song that she and her friends created. The crowd was rapt, giving her a standing ovation after the final note of her song. Tinky was proof that MHC students march to the beat of their own drums and haven’t changed a bit.

After the alum speakers, we collected our roses and enjoyed the music. My friends and I made sure to speak to the alums, thanking them for their amazing speeches. We stopped by the photo-booth and mingled until the crowd dispersed. Making it halfway through your college experience is a big deal. I’m glad that Mount Holyoke hosts this ceremony to honor that, revitalizing the spirit of students who have worked so hard.

Eva Hanson

Mt Holyoke '26

Eva is a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, double-majoring in English and Sociology with a Nexus in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse. She grew up in Seattle, Washington and now lives in Massachusetts for most of the year. She mostly writes about music, books, TV shows, and feminism. You can often find her curled up with a book (and maybe a cat, too!)