Caroline Glenn Irvine ’10 makes $1.5 million pledge to financial aid

It all started with a compass and a map in her guidance counselor’s office. When Atlanta native Caroline Glenn Irvine ’10 began looking at colleges, she drew a circle around her home city with a 1,000-mile radius and focused on opportunities outside of that circle. On her first trip to the Wellesley campus she was fascinated by the mounds of snow on the ground. She also sat in on a class that made quite an impression. “I had never heard a group of women so confidently talk about anything,” she recalled. “And it was a room full of such diverse women.” From that moment, she knew she wanted to go to Wellesley.

As a student Caroline double majored in sociology and women’s and gender studies, played Ultimate Frisbee with the Whiptails, read with Society Zeta Alpha, and worked in the departments of sociology and anthropology. After graduating, she moved on to law school and a successful career as a trust and estates attorney back home in Atlanta.

In recent years, as she reflected on her memorable college experience and the close friends she made along the way, Caroline hoped more students in the South would learn about Wellesley and about its commitment to providing financial aid. During her time at Wellesley, she acknowledged that she was one of many students who did not have to worry about the cost of college, but a number of her friends would graduate with significant debt. “Wellesley is so far out of reach without that financial aid,” she says.

To reduce barriers to a Wellesley education for the best and brightest students from her home state, Caroline pledged $1.5 million from her family foundation, to establish the Georgia’s Women Who Will Scholarship Fund. This endowed fund provides scholarships for admitted students from Georgia who have demonstrated financial need. It has also made Caroline the youngest seven-figure donor to Wellesley in the College’s history. She does not take the distinction lightly: “It is imperative that we put the resources on the table to attract those students who are going to change Wellesley and the world,” she says.

Caroline decided to create the fund after she successfully managed some complex family business and real estate challenges as a recent graduate, a hurdle for which she believes Wellesley prepared her. “I couldn’t have gotten through my situation without what I had learned at Wellesley,” she says. Caroline’s Wellesley education gave her the confidence and skills she needed, and she was grateful for the help she received from her Wellesley friends and the wider alumnae network. So when she started her family foundation, supporting financial aid at Wellesley was a priority and central to cementing her legacy. The Georgia’s Women Who Will Scholarship Fund is a way to open the doors to a Wellesley education for other students from the South. Plus, “it’s a great return on investment!” Caroline says. “Wellesley graduates go on to do amazing things.”