Today: SpringFest Brings the Community Together, Celebrates President Bottomly’s Leadership

May 6, 2016
SpringFest 2016

The College community will gather today to celebrate SpringFest, an event that offers an opportunity for the campus to thank President H. Kim Bottomly for her leadership before she steps down at the end of June, and to connect with each other before heading into finals week and then out for the summer. Faculty, staff and students are invited to gather from 11:30am to 1:00pm today on the Chapel Lawn.

Bottomly, a renowned immunobiologist, the first scientist to lead Wellesley, and the first president to be inaugurated in the 21st century, assumed the presidency on August 1, 2007. Throughout her career, she has received recognition for her work as a strong proponent of women’s leadership in higher education, and in particular STEM education, and as a champion for the benefits and value of a liberal arts education. Throughout her tenure at Wellesley, she has worked to broaden the impact of science education that produces not only leaders in science, but cultivates scientifically literate leaders in all fields.

Bottomly has led the College through a time of extraordinary change in higher education, and in the world, while focusing on strengthening the College’s core educational enterprise: the academically rigorous liberal arts education that distinguishes Wellesley and prepares students for the challenges and opportunities ahead. Bottomly’s leadership has helped strongly position Wellesley as the premier college for women and a global center for women’s leadership.

A special presentation honoring President Bottomly will start at 12:15pm, but you’ll have to attend to find out what that presentation will entail. "That's a surprise,” said Wahito Njau '18, a member of the SpringFest planning committee. "We are looking forward to honoring President Bottomly at the event in a way that really captures who she is as a leader and what she values as a person. We have some very fun things planned for the day."

Among the announced attractions are student performances, inflatable games, "cool swag," and, of course, food. "I think the students are going to love the food trucks!" said SpringFest planning committee member Tyler Duerson '16.

The food trucks, which will include Gogi on the Block, Heritage Truck, Jamaican MI Hungry, Sheherazad and Indulge India, will offer choices like burritos, rice bowls, pulled pork sandwiches, curry vegetable stew and samosas. There will also be Kosher, vegetarian and gluten-free food options. Food truck tickets are free for all Wellesley students, faculty, and staff, and $10 each for guests. To promote sustainability, attendees are encouraged to bring a water bottle.

"I've planned quite a few student events and food trucks are definitely a crowd pleaser," said Duerson. "Plus, there will be some inflatables that are going to stay up throughout the afternoon on Friday, which will be a great way to de-stress during reading period."

"We rarely give ourselves collective permission to relax and experience the beauty of this landscape, especially during the reading period," said Phyllis McGibbon, professor of art and a member of the SpringFest planning committee. "I'm looking forward to seeing how we might come together outside of our normal patterns of activity as the campus really starts to bloom."

The SpringFest planning committee, which included students, faculty and staff, has been working throughout the semester to make this grand celebration a reality. "Our goal was to have many different voices and ideas represented on this committee to make sure this was truly a fun, campus-wide celebration," McGibbon said.

Corinne Frazer, director of Summer Session and assistant director of Campus Services, said that planning the event has been a lot of fun. The challenges, she said, are mostly logistical, like obtaining permits for the food trucks and organizing a backup plan should it rain -- and, by the way, they do have one. "If it rains," Frazer said, "we will hold SpringFest inside the Chapel."

Please follow the SpringFest Facebook page and the College's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates. Attendees are encouraged to share photos on social media using #HKBSpringFest.