Wellesley Students Among the Thousands Attending This Week's Democratic National Convention

July 28, 2016

The Republican National Convention (RNC) wrapped up last week with Donald Trump receiving the party's nomination. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is underway this week in Philadelphia where Wellesley alumna Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 has been named the party's first woman nominee; she will officially accept the nomination in a speech this evening. Some Wellesley students are experiencing the excitement of this historic Democratic National Convention first hand.  

Linnaea Honl-Stuenkel '17, co-communications director for Wellesley Students for Hillary, is among the thousands at this week’s convention. She’s attending the convention as part of her summer internship with a Washington, D.C., based Democratic fundraising firm. "It means a lot to me to be able to attend because as a political nerd I have always wanted to go to a convention and witness leaders mobilizing their party and relatively unknown figures entering the nation stage. But being able to go this year is almost too good to be true," she said.

Honl-Stuenkel, who said she has been volunteering for female candidates since high school, said she believes this convention is "a huge moment for women" and that the Wellesley connection is an "added bonus." She said, "I really believe that we won't have gender equality until women are represented at all levels of government, so 'excited' is not a strong enough word to express my feelings about the history being made at the convention this year."

Arielle Mitropoulos '19 is working backstage at the DNC preparing speakers. "I am so unbelievably thrilled and grateful to be attending the convention in Philadelphia. To witness history in such a way is the experience of a lifetime, and it is particularly for me, as I hope to pursue a career in the field of politics," Mitropoulos said. "Being a Wellesley student watching a Wellesley woman become the first female candidate for president is incredibly powerful and emotional for me. I am really looking forward to hearing the lead speakers and to see who will be attending as well as to observe the democratic process in action."

Mitropoulos, a rising sophomore with plans to double major in Political Science and French, is a summer Fellow for Hillary for America in Boston. Mitropoulos said she first became interested in government and politics when she volunteered for the Ready for Hillary grassroots campaign in 2013. She later interned as a general and press intern for Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This past spring, I took political science classes with Professor Marion Just and Professor Nancy Scherer which made me even more interested in the electoral process." she said.  

She reports that she has had the opportunity to meet several celebrities and public figures, including Meryl Streep, Corey Booker, Joe Kennedy, D-MA (who represents Wellesley, MA), Sarah Silverman, Alicia Keys, Al Franken and Madeleine Albright '59 (she and Albright discussed field hockey— Mitropoulos is on the Wellesley field hockey team and Albright played as a student). Mitropoulos said she has high hopes that she’ll be able to connect with another alumna while she’s at the convention. "I would love more than anything to meet Diane Sawyer '67—she is actually one of the reasons I chose to attend Wellesley. I would like to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism, focusing on politics, and Diane Sawyer is someone I really admire," she said.

Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 will deliver her acceptance speech tonight after receiving the Democratic Party's nomination for president on Tuesday. Clinton began a decades-long public service career with leadership roles at Wellesley. Her career has since included roles as First Lady, U.S. Senator from New York, and U.S. Secretary of State. She is expected to deliver her acceptance speech tonight around 10pm, capping off the four-day convention.

Editor's note: We attempted to locate Wellesley students who attended the RNC but were unsuccessful. If you’re a Wellesley student who attended the RNC and would like to share your story, we would love to hear from you! Please email publicaffairs@wellesley.edu.