Impact Albright

D16007F017We all know that it takes just one determined woman to change the world. Now imagine what 280 of them can do. Actually, we don’t have to imagine it—it is already happening.

Since 2010, our Madeleine K. Albright Institute ’59 for Global Affairs has had a transformative effect on the 280 Wellesley women who have participated in the Institute as Albright Fellows. We saw this in action on campus last weekend during Impact Albright—a Reunion of our Albright Fellows—especially during a series of “Maddy Talks,” in which seven past Albright Fellows spoke about how they are making a difference in the world. It was powerful to see each speak about their work—in health care, sustainable development, and the media—and I was inspired to hear these alumnae and students talk about the importance of women and women’s networks in their lives.

On Sunday, we held a symposium on Addressing Global Inequality, which included a public dialogue with an all-star panel (as seen in photo): former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ’59; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank; Mark Malloch Brown, former Deputy Secretary General and UNDP Administrator; and moderated by Heather Long ’04, of CNNMoney.

I was pleased to celebrate with many alumnae and friends all that the Albright Institute has meant, and continues to mean, to Wellesley and to the world. The world is a better place because of what our Albright Fellows contribute to it.

This is the Place

In thousands of ways, in every corner of the world, Wellesley is a transformative force for tangible good.

Wellesley is where women find their passion, and their lifelong friends. It’s where students are challenged and encouraged to make their difference in the world.

The effect of this place—and the effect of Wellesley women in the world—is legendary. For 140 years, Wellesley has supported and championed women’s leadership, providing a rigorous learning environment that enables women to become, as I often like to say, the best versions of themselves.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Wellesley friend Mary Mazzio has found a way to capture all that Wellesley is and all that Wellesley does. Today marks the digital premiere of This Is The Place, a film that debuted at the public launch of our campaign in October. I invite you to watch the full-length version of the film online for the first time.

Multicultural Spaces at Wellesley

Earlier today, Provost Andy Shennan, Interim Dean of Students Adele Wolfson, and I announced plans to enhance existing multicultural space and create a network of multicultural spaces at Wellesley.

Since the beginning of the semester, we have been working to address the shortage of space—concerns that have long been raised by students as well as by the President’s Commission on Ethnicity, Race, and Equity (CERE), a committee composed of faculty, staff, and students that I created last January.

As you can read in the announcement, our vision for multicultural spaces was framed by principles that reflect our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion. I very much look forward to working with students and members of this community on this new endeavor.

This plan is a part of our ongoing effort to make Wellesley a more equitable place. I am grateful to the many members of our community, including CERE and other campus groups, who are actively engaged in this work.

We Support You

Last night, the Ethos Political Action Committee at Wellesley wrote a letter in solidarity with the many students around the country, most recently at the University of Missouri, whose activism is bringing to the forefront issues of racism that have long persisted in our society. The letter also called attention to matters of race, inclusion, and equity at Wellesley.

I support our students. Provost Shennan, Dean St. John, Dean Wolfson, and I responded to the Ethos Political Action Committee with the letter below.

Dear Students of the Ethos Political Action Committee at Wellesley:

We join with you in drawing attention to issues of racism and equity at campuses across the country.

As the announcement of the president acknowledged in January, Wellesley is not immune: people of color and others from non-dominant groups who live, study, and work here have suffered from racial injustice. For the past six months, members of the President’s Commission on Ethnicity, Race, and Equity (CERE) have been meeting with groups and constituencies on campus to identify policies and practices in need of change. With the Commission, we are focused on issues such as enabling Wellesley to attract and retain more faculty of color, on addressing inequities in students’ educational experience, and on coordinating the existing diversity programming at the College. CERE will continue to explore other issues of concern and develop recommendations based on what it learns. We are committed to supporting and advancing this critical work.

While progress has been made and many of the items mentioned are priorities at Wellesley, we acknowledge that much more work remains to be done. We have an unwavering commitment to a diverse community, and to building a Wellesley in which every member feels they fully belong, and each member feels secure and respected. And we have an unwavering commitment to you, our students. We hear you and stand with you.

Kim Bottomly, President
Andy Shennan, Provost and Dean of the College
Joy St. John, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Adele Wolfson, Interim Dean of Students

The Buzz About the Wellesley Effect

StoryCorpsThere’s a buzz on campus this week (more so than usual!).

Perhaps you saw the StoryCorps MobileBooth that is parked in front of our Physical Plant. Perhaps you saw banners being hung across College Road and around campus that read “The Wellesley Effect,” or the creative new fencing around the construction site outside Pendleton West. And if you peeked inside the Field House, perhaps you saw that it looks nothing like the Field House.

What’s this all about?

We’re rolling out the blue carpet this week (literally!) as we get ready to celebrate Wellesley—and the positive, lasting effect that Wellesley has on women and, through them, on the world. We call this the Wellesley Effect, and tomorrow, we are launching a comprehensive fundraising campaign dedicated to advancing the Wellesley Effect.Wellesley Effect Banner

Our campaign has been a long time in the making, and I am excited about it. The campaign for Wellesley will make it possible for more generations of women to benefit from Wellesley’s unique learning environment—and that is something worth celebrating!

Even if you’re not on campus tomorrow or this weekend, you won’t be able to miss the Wellesley Effect. So stay tuned—more great things are coming.



Field House

Blue Pride

tree plantingThis past weekend, I enjoyed welcoming over 800 parents, family members, alumnae, and friends to campus for Family and Friends Weekend and Homecoming.

The main event for the weekend is always the opportunity for parents to visit their daughters and to experience Wellesley through their eyes. This weekend is also always full of Wellesley traditions, and people enjoying them.

Every year at this time, our sophomore class plants their class tree—a tradition dating back to the College’s earliest days. This year, we joined the Class of 2018 at Green Beach to plant a lovely magnolia tree. I look forward to seeing the tree in bloom this spring, adding a burst of color to the shores of Lake Waban. The Class of 2018 wasn’t the only one planting trees this F&F class of 1983weekend. Wellesley welcomed back to campus about 30 members of the Class of 1983, who came together for a mini reunion and replanted their class tree, a sugar maple, which had been compromised over the years. These alumnae made the most of their tree re-planting by dressing up and singing songs out of the Wellesley songbook, as Wellesley women did back when the tradition of Tree Day was first established.

Not far from the Class of 2018’s new magnolia tree, a little farther down on the shoreline, we celebrated the newly renovated Butler Boathouse—renovations that were made possible through the generosity of Alice Lehmann Butler ’53 and her husband, John. Wellesley has a strong tradition of rowing on Lake Waban, a tradition that, like so much of Wellesley, spans generations of students. Rowing has been a part of our culture boathouse dedication 2since the late 1800s (we were the first college in the U.S. to establish a women’s crew team), and, since 1963, our Boathouse has been home to class and dorm crew, another longstanding Wellesley tradition. It is no wonder that rowing in dorm or class crew is on the list of 50 things to do at Wellesley before you graduate!

It also was a great weekend for the Wellesley Blue, including games and alumnae-athlete events on Saturday, and a Blue Nation Fun Run on Sunday.

It was a pleasure to share the past few days with members of Wellesley’s extended family, and to join them in keeping our Wellesley traditions alive and well.


Welcome, 2019!

The start of the school year is the best time of year. That’s because with every new class, there are more Wellesley women for the world—more women who will become leaders, more women who will drive change, more women who will make a difference.

I’m not the only one who is excited about the newest members of our sisterhood. All of Wellesley is! I hope you’ll watch this video that our Orientation student leaders recently put together, to see why.

I have enjoyed seeing our first year students—and student leaders wearing their bright orange shirts—on campus this week for Orientation. It was a pleasure to formally greet members of new Class of 2019 earlier this week in Alumnae Hall, and I hope to have the opportunity to meet each of them personally this year—whether out and about, or in the dining halls at lunch, or during my open office hours.

It’s going to be a great year. Welcome, Class of 2019!

Celebrating You

The last few weeks have been fun—with many moments to celebrate our students and alumnae. Commencement_Adichie

There was Senior Lunch, a wonderful rite of passage for our graduating class, in which the yellow Class of 2015 was welcomed into the Alumnae Association. Following the time-honored tradition of students selecting a faculty member to speak at the lunch, Stacie

Goddard, the Jane Bishop ’51 Associate Professor of Political Science, drew on international relations theory to provide some wonderful life advice to seniors: all units are sovereign, and none are sovereign over them; you will need allies; and choose your battles carefully.

Just a few days later, we were celebrating our seniors once more at Commencement. It is always a meaningful day, assembled on the Academic Quad and surrounded by family (biological and Wellesley) and friends as we send our graduating class off into the world. Our speaker, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, told our seniors: “Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get-your-hands-dirty way.” Reunion

And then, this past weekend, campus was abuzz with alumnae and friends (2,700 of them!) who were here to celebrate Reunion. It was a weekend of reconnecting with old friends, laughter, and traditions such as Stepsinging and the All Class Dance Party.It was also a weekend to recognize alumnae who have dedicated themselves to Wellesley. Congratulations to Shirley Young ’55, who received this year’s Syrena Stackpole award! As one alumna said to me last weekend, “the Wellesley spirit was contagious.”

No matter if they graduated in 1940 or 2015, it was clear that the core of what it means to be a Wellesley woman endures.

Meet The Future Leaders of the Academy

MMUFReceptionI recently had the opportunity to spend time with some of higher education’s future leaders. They are smart, ambitious, and talented. They are committed to their disciplines and to the pursuit of knowledge. And they are Wellesley women (of course!).

More specifically, they are our 16 students who are part of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program. MMUF is a highly selective program that supports students from underrepresented populations who wish to go on to earn advanced degrees and teach at the college level. This national program has been in existence since 1988, and Wellesley has participated in it since 1989, having now graduated 109 fellows. The goal of the program is simple: to increase the number of underrepresented faculty at colleges across the country. With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, these fellows are able to work on original research in the humanities and social sciences.

Last week, at this year’s Ruhlman Conference, I enjoyed attending a panel session in which four of our Mellon Mays fellows presented their work. Research included: the ways women of color use online social networks to thrive in the real world; the role of race and religion in college students’ perceptions of mental health; race relations in political protests in this country; and the role of gender and the Brown Berets during the civil rights movement. This past Tuesday, I had the privilege of recognizing our Mellon Mays fellows, as well as their Wellesley faculty and staff mentors, during a reception at my home.

What’s remarkable about the MMUF program is that our students are supported not only by Wellesley faculty and staff who care deeply about them, but by Wellesley faculty who are MMUF alumni themselves.

MMUF is making a quantifiable difference in increasing the diversity of college faculties around the country. It is and will remain an important program to Wellesley and to the future of higher education.

Hooprolling 2015

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I love Wellesley traditions. This morning, members of the golden Class of 2015 joined generations of Wellesley women before them by rolling their hoops down Tupelo Lane for the chance to win some serious bragging rights. The winner is said to be the first in her class to be successful—however she defines success.

Sophia Garcia ’15 not only crossed the (yellow) finish line first, she was a great sport as her classmates threw her into Lake Waban on such a chilly spring morning.

Congrats, Sophia!

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