Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am so very grateful for the love that Wellesley alums have shown over the last year. More than half of you, in fact 53.4 percent of our alumnae, donated to Wellesley during the last fiscal year, making it the highest “participation rate” that the College has seen in 12 years.
That percentage is a wonderful statement both about our strong and committed alumnae network, and about the value of—and appreciation for—the exceptional education that Wellesley offers. On a practical note, the high percentage is important because it is a metric used to calculate college rankings; it also puts Wellesley in a good position to be able to receive grants from corporations and foundations.
I also want to give a special shout out to the Class of 2009 and the Class of 2013, for their incredible dedication to Wellesley. The Class of 2009 had an extraordinary 59 percent of alums contribute to Wellesley last year. (Wellesley hasn’t seen such a high participation rate for a 5th reunion year since the Class of 1956’s fifth reunion in 1961.) And 50 percent of the Class of 2013 contributed to Wellesley, which is a wonderful and impressive accomplishment for any class, but especially for one just one year out of college.
Wellesley is Wellesley because of the dedication of our alumnae, parents, and friends. Thank you for all that you do to support this special place.
What a fabulous day for the members of the green Class of 2013 and their families! I am proud of our newest class of alumnae and all they have accomplished so far, and know that they will continue to make Wellesley proud in the years ahead.
The Class of 2013 will never forget this day. I know I won’t. (And not just because we all melted under our academic regalia, thanks to the 90-degree weather!) The day will long remain in our memories because it represents Wellesley at its best—coming together as a community to celebrate our students for their achievements and recognize our faculty whose work over the last four years has contributed to the education of this class.
It was also wonderful to have Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, join us today as our Commencement speaker. Though she isn’t a Wellesley woman, she embraced the College as her own, with her most salient remarks. “Our country needs you,” she said. “In fact, the world needs all you have to offer. Our challenges are great, but so too are the opportunities for the positive change that you will create, if you remember not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
Congratulations, Class of 2013! Enjoy this moment and come back to visit often.