StoryCorps: Three Generations of Wellesley Women on their Experiences at the College, Spanning 50 Years

April 25, 2016
Katie Johnson '03, Georgia Murphy Johnson '75, Katherine Barrett Murphy '53

Our StoryCorps series, presented weekly on Mondays this semester, is devoted to sharing conversations about Wellesley's effect on the lives of its students and alumnae. This week, we present a conversation among three generations of Wellesley College alumnae, grandmother Katherine Barrett Murphy '53, mother Georgia Murphy Johnson '75 and daughter Katie Johnson '03. The trio reflected on their experiences at Wellesley College, spanning 50 years.

Talking about her friends and classmates, Katie Johnson said, "everyone is unbelievably glad that they went to a single-sex school. I think it’s had a profound impact on all of us."

"...what really impresses me is how amazingly supportive they are of one another and so pleased with the other ones’ successes," said Murphy Johnson.

"...Everyone is successful in very, very different ways, and is very supportive, and tends to pick paths that aren’t as traditional. And they've all kind of taken risks that I don't think they would've taken if they hadn’t gone to Wellesley and had that experience," Katie Johnson said.

Barrett Murphy later asked, "Have you guys ever found that when you walk into a group of women that after somebody speaks that you could figure out that they went to Wellesley?"

Listen to an excerpt of the conversation.

This conversation, and other stories representing a rich mix of anecdotes, insights, and memories, will be preserved for future generations to serve as a lasting record about the women of Wellesley. The stories will be posted to the Campaign microsite and added to Wellesley's archives. StoryCorps, known as "America's oral history project," will also add these stories to the national archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Alumnae are invited to record their own stories by using the StoryCorps app or add their voice by submitting their written stories directly to the Campaign website.