Wellesley Honors Seniors Who Have Completed Classes in December

December 13, 2019

On December 12, 47 Wellesley seniors who completed their degree requirements this December were honored during a reception at the President’s House. The newly minted alumnae listened to remarks and enjoyed conversation with Wellesley’s senior leadership.

President Paula A. Johnson urged the group to maintain their bonds to Wellesley. “Whatever you do in your life, stay connected to your friends and to Wellesley,” she said. “When you need to, seek out help from this amazing community of women; and most importantly, be active, lend your voice, your talents, and your support to your fellow alumnae. The ties you have to Wellesley, and to the friends you have made here, are some of the deepest and most meaningful connections you can have.”

Check out a few scenes from the reception and learn more about the class of 2020’s December graduates.

A student in a red sweater talks to another woman with her back to the camera

Thea Louis ’20 (left) majored in environmental studies and health and society. She performed with the Moscow Ballet while in high school and she danced with the Boston Ballet early in her time at the College.  “The teaching I have had here was great, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “I feel smarter, and I enjoyed my classes and the challenge.”

Louis will visit her family in Trinidad during the holidays before traveling to Egypt, France, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. She is considering two job offers—one at Gap Inc. in California and another abroad. She may also attend the University of Michigan to earn dual master’s degrees in environmental studies and business. “I feel prepared to get things done, meet deadlines, be a professional, or be a student again. I like learning,” she said.

Students sit in the president's house, taking a selfie

Before the graduates settled in to hear remarks from senior leadership and officially become alumnae, Luisa Reyes ’20 snaps a selfie with Daphka Alius ’20.

A student in a red shirt laughs with a dean and another student.

In coming to Wellesley, Nicole Gates ’20 (center) followed her two older sisters, Vael ’15 and Leslie ’18. “My sisters were very happy here, so I arrived very familiar with the College and its traditions, plus I wanted to study computer science in a setting where women were in the majority,” said Gates, a computer science major.

Gates, who will return home and plans to look into law schools, said she’ll be saving her parents money. “I’ve completed my required courses for my degree so I looked at this as a way to cut costs, which my parents really appreciate,” she said. “It’s a practical decision.”

Five students pose for the camera wearing "grad glasses" and holding Wellesley alumnae pennants

Nothing says celebration quite like “grad” glasses!

Three women stand in front of a Christmas tree which is decorated in yellow and purple.

Linda Arena ’20 (right) poses with Reyes (left), a fellow classmate, and class dean Susan Cohen (center).

Arena, an architecture major, enrolled at Wellesley as a Davis Scholar after working and raising two children. She had attended MIT and later MassBay Community College but never obtained her degree. “I always regretted not completing college, and now I feel like I’m on the verge of this lifelong dream,” she said. “Wellesley gave me the opportunity to take this leap of faith and accomplish what I started but couldn’t finish years ago.”

Arena, who lives in Westborough, Mass., plans to devote more time to her home organizing business, and she’ll step up her job search with help from Wellesley’s Career Education. “Without classes to attend and papers to write, I can turn more attention to the job search,” she said. “Completing my coursework gives me the opportunity to move on to the next phase of my life. I’m thrilled.”