Wellesley College Completes Record-Setting Fundraising Campaign, Raises More Than $500 Million—One Year Ahead of Schedule

Wellesley College campus
Image credit: Richard Howard
July 18, 2018

WELLESLEY, Mass. (July 18, 2018) — Wellesley College, the leading liberal arts college for women, today announced a historic conclusion to its record-setting fundraising effort, completing the largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken by a women’s college, and doing so a year early.

The College raised more than $500 million to support its mission to educate and empower the next generation of women who will shape their communities and change the world. “This campaign will touch the lives of countless Wellesley students, present and future,” said Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College, “and strengthens the College across all dimensions.”

“Thanks to the unflagging support of the global Wellesley community, this historic achievement is a remarkable testament to the critical leadership role Wellesley continues to play in the world,” Johnson added. “As the number of applicants continues to rise year after year, we know that bright, promising young women believe a Wellesley education will help them find their voice and realize their dreams. And the world has never needed Wellesley women more.”

With millions of women taking part in marches and the #MeToo movement, and amid an explosion of unprecedented numbers of women running for political office, Wellesley College’s success adds to a transformational moment for women’s leadership, women’s public engagement, and the ongoing fight for women’s rights.

Intellectual community and academic innovation
With the success of the campaign, and building on the College’s long tradition of academic excellence, Wellesley advances its world-class academic program. This includes supporting faculty as they create curricular and pedagogical innovation across disciplines and engage students in forward-looking research—often with global impact. Through path-breaking initiatives like the Wendy Judge Paulson ’69 Ecology of Place Initiative and the Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing, also made possible by the campaign, students are connecting their learning to the wider world. A state-of-the-art science center on the horizon fortifies Wellesley’s position at the forefront of STEM education for women. 

Career Education
Wellesley’s groundbreaking new career education initiative has been embraced by students and alumnae and admired by peers. By complementing an outstanding liberal arts education with in-depth career counseling and mentoring, as well as the support of the most powerful women’s network in the world, Wellesley College Career Education empowers students and alumnae to envision and achieve their full potential in every field imaginable. This important resource multiplies the effect of Wellesley’s graduates while bringing Wellesley into the world more intentionally, strengthening the College’s voice and influence on behalf of all women.

Access and equity
By contributing to the College’s financial aid, the campaign has made Wellesley more accessible to more women from every background. The campaign has also helped paved the way for the College to fully realize its promise of inclusion, equity, and excellence.

“I will never forget the electrifying Friday evening in October 2015 when we launched this campaign. We listened to alumnae from across the generations speaking directly and lyrically about Wellesley’s impact on their lives.” said Provost Andrew Shennan. “We committed ourselves to advancing the College’s work for the generation ahead, and we laid out the most ambitious set of fundraising goals in our history. That we have now realized those ambitions, and done so a full year ahead of schedule, is miraculous and should fill everyone at the College with pride and with gratitude, in equal measure.” 

About Wellesley College
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from 49 states (and Puerto Rico and Guam), the District of Columbia, and 48 countries.

Press Contact:
Casey Bayer, Wellesley College, 781.283.3321, casey.bayer@wellesley.edu

Chief Communications Officer:
Elizabeth Gildersleeve, Wellesley College, egilders@wellesley.edu