2020: Wellesley Year in Review

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With the start of 2021, we take a look back at Wellesley’s top news stories from the extraordinary year of 2020.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024

On March 21, 2020, Wellesley offered admission to 19 percent of the top candidates from a pool of 6,627 applications—the second-highest total and the largest number of regular decision applicants in College history.

Wellesley Alumnae on the Front Lines of Health Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Wellesley College alumnae worked across the country and around the world as doctors, nurses, EMTs, public health officials, and volunteers.

How Wellesley Students Are Serving Their Communities Across the Country

Service takes many forms for these Wellesley students, who helped their communities in Indiana, Texas, Maine, and Rhode Island during the pandemic.

Op-eds by Wellesley President and Faculty Address COVID-19 Health Disparities, George Floyd’s Death, and Riots

President Paula A. Johnson; Michael Jeffries, Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics, professor of American studies, and dean of academic affairs; and Kellie Carter Jackson, Knafel Assistant Professor of Humanities and assistant professor of Africana studies, joined the public conversation about the pandemic and police brutality.

Wellesley College Celebrates the Class of 2020 Virtually

On May 31, Wellesley conferred the degrees of 569 members of the class of 2020 and celebrated its seniors in a virtual ceremony.


Keeping Wellesley Healthy was the message the College reinforced for several months before students returned to campus for the fall semester. Wellesley administrators hosted webinars to answer questions about safety protocols, and signage throughout the campus reminded students of best practices for staying safe and healthy.

The New Camilla Chandler Frost ’47 Center for the Environment Encourages Student Environmental Leadership in the Wellesley Community and Beyond

President Paula A. Johnson and Provost and Lia Gelin Poorvu ’56 Dean of the College Andrew Shennan announced the launch of the Camilla Chandler Frost ’47 Center for the Environment on September 18 and, with it, new leadership opportunities for students.

Faculty Discuss the Significance of Kamala Harris as the First Woman of Color on Major Party Presidential Ticket

Brenna Greer, associate professor of history, and Maneesh Arora, assistant professor of political science, talk about the significance of Joe Biden naming Kamala Harris as his vice president.

A Roundup of #WellesleyVotes Stories to Read on the Eve of the Presidential Election

The 2020 election on November 3 was historic for including a woman of color on a major party ticket for the first time, and because it took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. We shared a collection of #WellesleyVotes stories in which faculty, students, and alumnae discuss the issues important to them during the election year.

In 2020, Athlete Activists Take Center Court

Professional and collegiate athletes spoke out in 2020 against various injustices in the United States, from COVID-19 health outcomes to structural racism and economic inequality. At Wellesley, many student-athletes found ways to bring about changes on their own teams and within their own organizations.