Alixandra Binney

Alixandra Binney
Major: History and Art History double major
Hometown: Pasadena, CA

Alixandra Binney '14

What made you choose Wellesley?

When I was applying to college, it seemed like an overwhelming void until I happened across Wellesley during a visit to my grandma's. I wanted to be on the East Coast and close to her so we drove over.  I knew I wanted a liberal arts education but I wasn’t so sure about the all-women environment. However, during my tour, I just felt like I already had been here. The bucolic setting was absolutely gorgeous and offered the campus I so wanted. I finally understood what people meant about finding the right “fit.” I also sat in on history and English classes that were really interesting and ended up swaying my choice for majors.

Volleyball was also a huge part of my college decision. I wanted a school that understood that "student" came before "athlete," but also had a strong athletic program and a great team dynamic. During my visit, I felt adopted by the volleyball team. More than at any other college I'd visited, I just felt comfortable with the women on the team. I knew I could be myself with them. They celebrated their quirks and were such a family; I realized this is what I’d need if I was going to be 3,000 miles away from home for four years. (The coach even woke up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning so I could make my flight home.) I also knew that Wellesley’s alumnae network would really help me in the long-run, and just in my two years here, I’ve already experienced the help that alumnae can offer! And as for grandma, she’s become the volleyball team’s substitute mascot and biggest fan.

What has been your most memorable course thus far?

Southern Literature, which focused on New Orleans. My family recently moved to New Orleans and I’ve always loved English, so the course caught my attention right away. My professor, however, made the course! Professor Tyler is not only a literary genius, but also is down-to-earth, passionate about the subject, and truly cares about his students. He pushed me as a writer and opened my eyes to a completely different part of New Orleans history and character. I loved the course so much that I took his English Literature to 1865 course the next semester.

What’s your favorite Wellesley memory thus far?

Definitely the moment the volleyball team beat Springfield this fall. The team spends a lot of time together and we are a crazy bunch. Before every game, we assign “Secret Psychers,” where basically the job of two teammates is to pump up the team before a game. We all knew we wanted to beat Springfield—our biggest competition and major rival. We made a huge sign to run through before the game and created cheers for every teammate. We beat them in four games—a huge accomplishment. After the game, we were all so excited that none of us could go to bed, so we all  hung out in our PJs eating junk food, doing homework together, and having impromptu dance parties in one of the common rooms. It was a great night.

What has been a fun event you attended?

My favorite event so far has been Marathon Monday. I just love that we get to cheer on the runners during this famous event, then picnic on Munger Meadow. There’s also dancing and fun rides. It provides a really nice break from school towards the end of the semester. And the sign-making is always fun!

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The Art Library and the Archives. I always get lost in either place! I love sitting in the bowels of the library doing homework surrounded by old collections and books. It’s the best place to study and reflect. And although you need to schedule an appointment, the Archives are just flat-out cool. Last time I was there, I found a hand-written note from Tiffany himself, writing to the Board of Trustees about the construction of the Chapel. It was insane!

What are you passionate about?

My first year, I was looking for something new to try. I ran across spam for Wellesley College Television. After thinking I bombed my interview and screen test, I got a call back and was asked to join the new organization as Sports Anchor. Two years later, I’m still Sports Anchor, I’m mentoring younger students in the studio and editing suite, and I'm becoming Producer and Features Host of our new sketch-comedy news show. It's a great organization. You meet other students who are passionate about broadcast journalism, and you get to show your work to others. Our episodes appear on the TVs in the campus center. It’s great having a growing following of fans! It gives me a huge sense of pride and accomplishment, and it's a nice break from academics and athletics.  It’s also made me realize journalism is definitely the career I’d like to pursue. I will be working in the industry this summer and interning at a Boston-based news station in the fall. Note: See Ali's article entitled "Final Four 2012: The Four Women Covering the Men's National Championship Basketball Games."

Where do you go and what do you do when you leave campus?

Depending on volleyball season and my workload, I usually leave campus at least one day every week. During the day, my teammates (and best friends) and I will explore Boston. We celebrated a birthday at Quincy Market, walked the Freedom Trail, went on a Duck Tour, and explored Beacon Hill, to name a few day trips. At night, I usually visit friends at Harvard or MIT. It’s really nice to be so close to such a vibrant, historical city and be in a place with so many colleges. In addition to Harvard and MIT, I now have friends at Boston College, Boston University, Emerson, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Holy Cross!

What advice would you give a prospective student who is considering Wellesley?

I’d say try to get to know your tour guide or find someone on campus (me!) you can become pen pals (or email pals) with. We’re more interactive than pamphlets from the Admission Office and there are so many unique people here, we’re bound to be able to answer questions and provide some perspectives about the College.