Here are five elusive things about Wellesley that even the powers of modern technology cannot fully express—and yet we must try.
1. The alumnae network.
It’s global, it’s interconnected, and it is, frankly, awe-inspiring. It’s tens of thousands of women who graduated from Wellesley, know why Wellesley matters, and want to support the next generation of women here. But here’s the amazing thing: When you’re a student here, it feels very close, very real. You’ll see these women on campus, you’ll call them when you need an internship in Senegal or a place to stay in Seattle, you’ll ask them for advice or inspiration or a meal. And they will deliver. This is possibly related to elusive thing 5. See Alumnae Achievement Awards.
2. The community.
Forty percent of our students are people of color, 10 percent are international students, nearly 60 percent receive financial aid, and we’re home to more than 45 student-run multicultural organizations. The numbers matter, but the experience is what counts. And the experience, which includes working alongside people who don’t think or act like you, learning first-hand about other ways of living, and being part of an actual global community—the experience is transformative.
3. The liberal arts and sciences.
To say that Wellesley is a college of the liberal arts and sciences is merely to say that we offer more than 50 majors; hundreds of funded internships around the world; and hundreds of opportunities to do research, engage with communities, and collaborate with leaders around that same world–and that you have a free hand in deciding how all of those things fit together to become an education. Which isn’t so mere at all.
4. The faculty.
They’re more than just “the teacher who opened my mind” or “the person who wrote the recommendation that blew away the scholarship committee” or “the world-renowned neuroscientist who always seems to have time to talk about my plans” or “the person who showed me what it means to love, really love, what you do.” They’re just supernaturally talented people who are also grounded and generous and dedicated to your advancement. Is there an emoticon for that? There is not.
It’s partly about shared rituals like Flower Sunday, step-singing, and hoop rolling. It’s partly about the revelation that all the most courageous, most provocative, most accomplished people on campus are women. It’s partly about the simple, lifelong joy of being friends with those women. It’s mostly about 2,300 smart, singular women feeling the power of being 2,300 smart, singular women together, with the world (starting with Boston and Cambridge) before them.