Wellesley celebrated the opening of the 137th academic year Tuesday, August 31, 2011, in the Hay Amphitheatre.
Convocation marks the official start of the academic year. It is an important tradition at Wellesley-- not only does it celebrate the beginning of the new year, but it provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to gather together and participate in the College's vibrant intellectual community. Convocation is a special time for the Wellesley community, calling for academic dress: faculty wear robes depicting their fields of study and alma maters, and seniors dress-- for the first time-- in the robes that they will wear on Commencement Day.
Watch the proceedings or read remarks by President H. Kim Bottomly, Provost and Dean of the College Andy Shennan, and College Government President Kirstin Dorozynski. The program is also available for download.
College Government President Convocation Remarks
Wellesley College Convocation August 30, 2011, Hay Amphitheater
Kirstin Dorozynski '12
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” I will try to be short and sweet.
To begin, I want to say thank you to Dean Kazanjian, Provost Shennan, President Bottomly, and Liz Hecht for their words today. I would also like to thank all of you for being here today, but more than today thank you for being at Wellesley and for making and shaping my time here. Three years have gone by more quickly than I could have imagined. If not for you—and by you I mean my sisters, my siblings, faculty, staff, and free delivery from Lemon Thai, life would just not be the same. My mind would not be as open, my eyes would not be as clear, and my spirit would not be as strong. My heart would not have as much love.
I believe that love is a defining characteristic of Wellesley. Love for knowledge, of womankind, of mankind, of our sisters and siblings here, of the institution. My love for Wellesley prompted me to stay at Wellesley over the summer to appreciate the campus in a different way than during the more hectic school year. It was absolutely beautiful on campus, but something was missing. Wellesley isn’t the beautiful buildings or the lake or the trees or its proximity to Boston. Wellesley is all of us, here together.
I think that’s why Wellesley is so successful in the world, because we bring pieces of Wellesley with us wherever we are. Without each and every one of us, our individuality, our spirit, our dedication, Wellesley would not be the same. The strength and beauty of the whole is made stronger and more beautiful by the strength and beauty of every individual piece.
My charge to you is to preserve that strength and that inner beauty. Sleep this year. I dare you to get eight consecutive hours of sleep in one night. Walk around outside—around the lake, to the Davis museum, to visit your friends across campus. Appreciate your moments here by living in them and seeing the beauty all around. Also, as beautiful as Wellesley is—take a break from it some time. Look outside the Wellesley bubble to the world beyond—you can take the Exchange Bus into Boston or explore the trails around the town of Wellesley. Read the news. Read a book. I also dare you to read one book. For fun. Not for class.
We need to take care of ourselves first and foremost before we can take care of others. Explore your interests. This applies to absolutely everyone here. We grow, we change, and we learn. We’re in the perfect place to do all of those things, whether first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, faculty, or staff
We’re each in charge of our own education. Non ministrari sed ministrare—not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Our motto applies not only to life after Wellesley and to the changes we will make in the world, but to our time here. Think about your legacy, think about our legacy. How do we want to be remembered? I know it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but look beyond that—and don’t lose sight of the big picture. Also, speaking of looking beyond…
There is another part of our motto that is less well-known. If not for last year’s Cabinet, and specifically last year’s College Government President, Perry Hodgkins, I wouldn’t know it, so I want to thank her and them for passing it on to me. Please bear with my Latin once again—Incipit vita nova. Here begins a new life. We are all here with a new year, a fresh start. Individually and collectively. We are a community together. Good luck this year! It’s going to be great.