Last night, Senior Class Officers Kate Leonard and Mariana Vanin had the honor of making the big announcement: this year’s Commencement speaker will be Melissa Harris-Perry—professor, political expert, and MSNBC host.
The announcement was part of Senior Soiree, an annual tradition that reveals the Commencement speaker—a highly-guarded secret up until last night—and formally begins the countdown to Commencement (56 days and counting!). Senior Soiree also marks the mid-point in the Senior Gift Campaign. This year’s class hopes to achieve 75 percent participation. After witnessing their enthusiasm and energy last night, I have no doubt that they can do it!
I am continually impressed by how our Commencement speakers are selected each year. It is a thoughtful process, driven by students. It goes without saying that their selection this year is a fabulous one. Dr. Harris-Perry is a distinguished academic and political expert, and she is an engaging speaker. I look forward to welcoming her to campus in May.
At Wellesley, leadership isn’t just another buzzword. But what do we mean when we talk about leadership? This initiative will begin to explore the leadership qualities that are inherent in a Wellesley education.
I look forward to this dialogue and to seeing the outcome of this yearlong initiative.
I feel strongly that we need more women in public leadership roles. After all, the global challenges of the 21stcentury must be addressed by women and men alike—they are too substantial to be handled by only half of our talent pool.
As I have blogged about before, Wellesley is helping to address this disparity through The Women in Public Service Project, an important new initiative with our sister colleges and the U.S. State Department.
I recently had the opportunity to write an opinion piece for The Washington Post on this very topic.