A Sense of Place

A photo showing Alumnae Valley with a student sitting on top of a picnic table, head bent toward the notebook in her lap.
Image credit: Webb Chappell
Author  Catherine O’Neill Grace
Published on 

Anya Sheldon ’20 speaks of the Wellesley landscape as if it is a person. “I thought Alumnae Valley was really interesting because of its biography and how it had come from being a parking lot. It’s just so alive and full of energy,” she says.

Wellesley’s campus—its meadows and hillsides, its winding paths along Lake Waban, its ancient trees and stands of rhododendron—has inspired the community for generations. It’s well known beyond the College, too. In 2021, Wellesley’s 1998 landscaping master plan was awarded the top juried prize in the category of excellence in landscape architecture open space planning by the Society for College and University Planning. “This award is a testament to … our outstanding landscaping team, led by John Olmsted, whose efforts touch every corner of the stunning campus that we love so much,” said President Paula Johnson.

This is an excerpt from an article by Catherine O’Neill Grace that appears in the fall 2021 issue of “Wellesley” magazine. Read the full story on the “Wellesley” magazine website.