Film Capturing How Alumnae Define the Wellesley Effect And Its Impact In Their Lives Makes Digital Premiere

December 23, 2015
A picture of the campus from across Lake Waban introduces the full length campaign film

The celebration and public launch of Wellesley's Campaign to advance the Wellesley Effect in October included the premiere of a film directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker and friend of Wellesley Mary Mazzio. The film, This Is The Place, captures the powerful and moving stories of students and alumnae alike, reflecting on the ways in which Wellesley shaped the women they have become. Today the film makes its digital premiere and is now available in its full-length version on the Campaign website.

"We wanted to capture how people define the Wellesley Effect in their own lives in a poignant way," said Colette Porter, director of Campaign communications. "The film also serves as a powerful revelation of the broader impact of the Wellesley Effect on a more global scale."

Mazzio also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed documentary Underwater Dreams. "We wanted Mary for this project because of her portfolio of work as a documentary filmmaker and her focus on subjects that have strong social impact and meaning," Porter said. Mazzio, a graduate of Mount Holyoke, said she was thrilled to work on the film for a number of reasons and, "in particular to be able to articulate the extraordinary gift of a women’s education."

About Wellesley, Mazzio said there's "a DNA blueprint for Wellesley women. They're smart, articulate, opinionated, and strong." She added, "In the end, I think the piece really reflects the intelligence, elegance, and spirited, involved nature of Wellesley women."

Some of the faces you might recognize in the film include CNBC business news reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera '91, economist Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula '10, and astronaut Pamela Melroy '83, among many others.

Mazzio noted that several of the women she interviewed, including Madeleine Albright '59, credited another Wellesley woman with helping them on their path after college and in their careers. She said she hopes other alumnae who watch the film will recall a similar experience and "draw on that experience, celebrating the memory of the shared experience of being at a women’s college where the focal point is on not just achieving, but helping your sisters move forward."

"I get goose bumps when I watch the film," said Cameran Mason '84 who, as vice president for resources and public affairs, heads fundraising for Wellesley. "In my expert opinion, alumnae who see it will feel motivated to support the College—we all want to contribute to advancing the Wellesley Effect."

Wellesley has championed women's intellectual and social development and leadership for over 100 years, providing women with an exceptional educational experience and supporting their ability and determination to make a critical difference in the world.

From the chorus of voices in the film, this is the place "where you can transform yourself, and that can lead to transforming the world."

This is the place.