Chief Justice's Speech

Julianna Kenny-Serrano ’22

Remarks by Chief Justice Julianna Kenny-Serrano ’22

As I stand here today, I confess that a year ago, I didn’t think it would be possible for us all to share the space we do now. But two years ago, I would have taken it for granted. 

There are many things we take for granted. The class of 2022 assumed we had the assurance of a senior year like any other. The class of 2023 imagined they’d ring in their first year as they started it—in person. The class of 2024 couldn’t have foreseen beginning college as they did, and I can only imagine that the class of 2025 hoped that by their turn, the world would be righted. Through it all, each and every one of us has shown incredible perseverance and grit. This fills me with hope for the time we will share.

What lies ahead? Undoubtedly a bittersweet year as we reflect on all that our community has been through, but also a year dedicated to rekindling connection for seniors and first-years alike. And I hope I can speak for us all when I say that celebrating time-honored traditions as we do today is truly meaningful. 

Ever since 1919, which we still remember as the year of the world’s last pandemic, each and every Wellesley class has renewed their commitment to living and pursuing a life of honor. As we prepare to continue what they began, let us remember that this renewal marks the beginning of a truly exceptional time, and let us be reminded never to take for granted what makes Wellesley special: our community. 

The principles of honesty, integrity, and respect are the pillars of the Wellesley experience. But I like to believe that, by extension, kindness, compassion, and gentleness follow suit. 

So, give and receive kindness. Be gentle with one another. Open yourselves to the possibilities this year brings, and embrace each connection you make along the way. 

And now, I hope you’ll join me in the ceremonial recitation of the Honor Code, which you can find on your programs: “As a Wellesley College student, I will act with honesty, integrity, and respect. In making this commitment, I am accountable to the community and dedicate myself to a life of honor.” 

Thank you all, and good luck.