A Foundation for Our Future

November 19, 2018

As you read in this issue about the historic success of the College’s comprehensive campaign—the largest ever undertaken by a women’s college, and completed a year early—take a moment to think about the stories behind the banner headline. Our remarkable achievement has much to tell us about ourselves as a College, a community, and about what we must do next, as a leader in educating and empowering women.

First, when I think about the campaign’s success, I see a dedicated and visionary community and what it can accomplish together. More than 85,000 gifts were $100 or less, and alumnae giving spanned the generations, from the classes of 1928 to 2022. These numbers send a truly inspiring message: We are unified in our shared hopes for Wellesley. The campaign has strengthened and will continue to strengthen the Wellesley experience for students, both current and future, from our academic program to our ability to offer more financial aid than ever before.

Second, you may be interested to know that “Intellectual Community,” as a campaign priority, attracted the most support. This affirms one of our most deeply held beliefs, that a liberal arts education can transform a student’s life and open up new possibilities.

Now, we must also recognize that the campaign’s conclusion starts a new story—positioning us to address critical priorities as we move forward.

We must create a more fully inclusive and equitable campus experience, from the core academic program to the many aspects of residential life that shape students’ four years. Though more work lies ahead, progress in this area has already begun. For example, faculty across campus are seeking new and effective ways to promote the success of all of our students—and at the same time maintain the most rigorous standards for a liberal arts education.

Next, we must ensure that all students can take advantage of the promise of Wellesley’s unique and empowering residential experience. We will accomplish this through a reimagined approach to residential life at Wellesley, expanding and simultaneously linking health and wellness resources so that all students can make the most of their time here. They will leave Wellesley with the resilience and sense of balance that will serve them no matter what path they take. Connected to this goal is the continued need to sustain, improve, and steward the campus students call home—and from which alumnae draw strength.

It is essential that we continue to invest in our extraordinary faculty and innovate where it matters most, across the entirety of the academic program, reaffirming our commitment to the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, and the intersections of these fields. We are already an academic leader in many respects, through our Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing and the Wendy Judge Paulson ’69 Ecology of Place Initiative, to name just two examples. With our new science center on the horizon, we will be even better able to advance STEM education for women. Our Career Education program, recognized as a leader by our peers, will continue to evolve in the many ways it supports students and alumnae alike as they negotiate their futures.

Our commitment to need-blind admission remains strong, ensuring that our student body is composed of every admitted student who wishes to attend, no matter their financial background. Finally, we must continue to progress toward a sustainable operating budget model in order to ensure the brightest future possible for Wellesley.

To be sure, meeting these priorities head-on offers us important opportunities as well as significant challenges. We must be forward-thinking, creative at every step, and strategically nimble. Ongoing support from the entire Wellesley community will be crucial. At this moment, when women hold the greatest promise for change and progress, we simply cannot achieve our greatest potential without you. In very real ways, you are key to Wellesley’s future and to the change it will catalyze in the world through its students and alumnae. You will help us build the foundation for our next chapter.