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Wellesley College is a
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
women's A woman is an adult female human. The term ''woman'' may also refer to a girl (a female child or Adolescence, adolescent). The plural ''women'' is sometimes used for female humans regardless of age, as in phrases such as "women's rights." Typi ...
liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-aw ...
in
Wellesley, Massachusetts Wellesley is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin a ...
, United States. Founded in 1870 by
Henry and Pauline Durant
Henry and Pauline Durant
as a
female seminary A female seminary is a private educational institution for women, popular especially in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when opportunities in educational institutions for women were scarce. The movement was a signi ...
, it is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges, an unofficial grouping of elite current and former women's colleges in the northeastern United States. Wellesley's endowment of $2.2 
billion A billion is a number with two distinct definitions: *1,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 (one billion, short scale; one thousand million or milliard, yard, long scale) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for ...

billion
is the largest out of all women's colleges and the 49th largest among all colleges and universities in the United States in 2019. Wellesley is home to 56 departmental and interdepartmental majors spanning the liberal arts, as well as over 150 student clubs and organizations. Wellesley athletes compete in the
NCAA Division III NCAA Division III (DIII) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athletes from up to 1,268 North American instituti ...
New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
. Its 500-acre (200 ha) campus was designed by and houses the Davis Museum and a
Botanic Garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a ...
. Notable alumnae and affiliates include two U.S. Secretaries of State; the first female nominee for
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

President of the United States
from a major party; noted academics, journalists, writers, politicians, diplomats, activists, businesspeople, filmmakers, and entertainers; and recipients of
Emmy The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the television industry. It is considered one of the four major entertainment awards in the United States, the others being the Grammy The Grammy Award (stylized ...

Emmy
, Tony,
Academy An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociol ...

Academy
, and Peabody Awards, the
Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, busines ...
, and the
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
.


History

Wellesley was founded by Pauline and
Henry Fowle Durant Henry Fowle Durant (February 22, 1822 – October 3, 1881) was an American lawyer and philanthropist, as well as the co-founder, with his wife, Pauline Durant, of Wellesley Female Seminary, which became Wellesley College Wellesley College is ...

Henry Fowle Durant
, believers in educational opportunity for women, who intended that the college should prepare women for "...great conflicts, for vast reforms in social life". Its charter was signed on March 17, 1870, by Massachusetts Governor
William Claflin William Claflin (March 6, 1818 – January 5, 1905) was an American politician, industrialist and philanthropist from Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in ...
. The original name of the college was the Wellesley Female Seminary; its renaming to Wellesley College was approved by the
Massachusetts legislature The Massachusetts General Court (formally styled the General Court of Massachusetts) is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state ...
on March 7, 1873. Wellesley first opened its doors to students on September 8, 1875. At the time of its founding, Wellesley College's campus was actually situated in
NeedhamNeedham may refer to: Places United States * Needham, Alabama * Needham, Indiana * Needham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston ** Needham Line, a commuter rail line in Greater Boston * Needham (Farmville, Virginia), a historic house United Kingdom * ...
; however, in 1880 residents of West Needham voted to secede and in 1881 the area was chartered as a new town, Wellesley. Wellesley College was a leading center women's study in the sciences. Between 1875 and 1921, Wellesley employed more female scientists than any other U.S. institution of high education. After
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, hi ...
, it was the second college in the United States to initiate laboratory science instruction for undergraduates. In early 1896, , the first professor of physics and astronomy, was among the first U.S. scientists to conduct experiments in
X-rays An X-ray, or, much less commonly, X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Moti ...

X-rays
. The first president of Wellesley was Ada Howard. There have been thirteen more presidents in its history: Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer, Helen Almira Shafer, Julia Josephine Thomas Irvine,
Caroline Hazard Caroline Hazard (June 10, 1856 – March 19, 1945) was an American educator, philanthropist, and author. She served as the fifth president of Wellesley College Wellesley College is a Private college, private historically Women's colleges in t ...
, Ellen Fitz Pendleton, (later Mildred McAfee Horton),
Margaret ClappMargaret Antoinette Clapp (April 10, 1910 – May 3, 1974) was an American scholar, educator and Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition wi ...
, Ruth M. Adams, Barbara Warne Newell, Nannerl Overholser Keohane (later the president of
Duke University Duke University is a Private university, private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity, North Carolina, Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, t ...
from 1993–2004),
Diana Chapman Walsh Diana Chapman Walsh was President of Wellesley College from 1993 to 2007. During her tenure, the college revised its curriculum and expanded its programs in global education, internships and service learning, and interdisciplinary teaching and lea ...
, H. Kim Bottomly, and current president Paula Johnson. The original architecture of the college consisted of one very large building, College Hall, which was approximately in length and five stories in height. It was completed in 1875. The architect was
Hammatt Billings Charles Howland Hammatt Billings (1818–1874) was an artist and architect from Boston, Massachusetts. Among his works are the original illustrations for ''Uncle Tom's Cabin'' (both the initial printing and an expanded 1853 edition), the Nationa ...
. College Hall was both an academic building and residential building. On March 17, 1914, it was destroyed by fire, the precise cause of which was never officially established. The fire was first noticed by students who lived on the fourth floor near the zoology laboratory. It has been suggested that an electrical or chemical accident in this laboratory—specifically, an electrical incubator used in the breeding of beetles—triggered the fire. A group of residence halls known as the Tower Court complex are located on top of the hill where the old College Hall once stood. After the loss of the Central College Hall in 1914, the college adopted a master plan in 1921 and expanded into several new buildings. The campus hosted a Naval Reserve Officer Training program during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and began to significantly revise its curriculum after the war and through the late 1960s. In 2013 the faculty adopted an
open-access policy An open-access mandate is a policy adopted by a research institution, research funder, or government which requires or recommends researchers—usually university faculty or research staff and/or research grant recipients—to make their published ...
to make its scholarship online. The school has admitted transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer students since adopting an inclusive admissions policy in 2015.


Campus

The campus overlooks Lake Waban and includes evergreen, deciduous woodlands and open meadows. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., Boston's preeminent landscape architect at the beginning of the 20th century, described Wellesley's landscape as "not merely beautiful, but with a marked individual character not represented so far as I know on the ground of any other college in the country". He also wrote: "I must admit that the exceedingly intricate and complex topography and the peculiarly scattered arrangement of most of the buildings somewhat baffled me". The campus is adjacent to the privately owned Hunnewell Estates Historic District, the gardens of which can be viewed from the lake's edge on campus. The original master plan for Wellesley's campus landscape was developed by Olmsted, Arthur Shurcliff, and
Ralph Adams Cram Ralph Adams Cram (December 16, 1863 – September 22, 1942) was a prolific and influential American architect of collegiate and Church (building), ecclesiastical buildings, often in the Gothic Revival architecture, Gothic Revival style. Cram and ...

Ralph Adams Cram
in 1921. This landscape-based concept represented a break from the architecturally-defined courtyard and quadrangle campus arrangement that was typical of American campuses at the time. The site's glaciated topography, a series of meadows, and native plant communities shaped the original layout of the campus, resulting in a campus architecture that is integrated into its landscape. The campus offers multiple housing options, including Tower Court, which was built after College Hall burnt down, the Quad (Quint, including Munger), the “New Dorms”, referring to the east-side dormitories erected in the 1950s, and multiple “Branch Halls”, including both a Spanish and French-speaking house. In total, Wellesley offers 17 different residence halls for students to live in. The most recent master plan for Wellesley College was completed in 1998 by
Michael Van Valkenburgh Michael Robert Van Valkenburgh (born September 5, 1951) is an American landscape architect A landscape architect is a person who is educated in the field of landscape architecture. The practice of landscape architecture includes: site analysis, ...
Associates. According to the designers, this plan was intended to restore and recapture the original landscape character of the campus that had been partially lost as the campus evolved through the 20th century. In 2011, Wellesley was listed by
Travel+Leisure Travel + Leisure Co. (formerly Wyndham Destinations, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation) is an American timeshare A timeshare (sometimes called vacation ownership) is a property with a divided form of ownership or use rights. These prope ...
as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. Wellesley is home to Green Hall, completed in 1931, the only building bearing the name of famed
miser A miser is a person who is reluctant to spend, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts and some necessities, in order to hoard money or other possessions. Although the word is sometimes used loosely to characterise anyone who ...
Hetty Green Hetty Green (November 21, 1834 – July 3, 1916), nicknamed the Witch of Wall Street, was an American businesswoman and financier known as "the richest woman in America" during the Gilded Age. She was named by the '' Guinness Book of World Rec ...

Hetty Green
; the building was funded by her children. Part of the building is the Galen L. Stone Tower, housing a 32-bell
carillon A carillon ( or ; ) is a Pitched percussion instrument, pitched percussion idiophone that is played with a keyboard instrument, keyboard and consists of at least 23 bellfounding, cast bell metal, bronze bells in fixed suspension and tuned ...

carillon
instrument which is routinely played between classes by members of the Guild of Carillonneurs. Houghton Chapel was dedicated in 1899 in the center of the college campus. The architectural firm of
Heins & LaFarge Heins & LaFarge was a New York-based architectural firm composed of the Philadelphia-born architect George Lewis Heins (1860–1907) and Christopher Grant LaFarge (1862–1938), the eldest son of the artist John La Farge. They were responsi ...
designed Houghton of gray stone in the classic
Latin cross A Latin cross or ''crux immissa'' is a type of cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique l ...
floor plan. The exterior walls are pierced by stained glass windows. Window designers include ;
John La Farge John La Farge (March 31, 1835 – November 14, 1910) was an American artist whose career spanned illustration, murals, interior design, painting, and popular books on his Asian travels and other art-related topics. La Farge is best known for ...

John La Farge
; Reynolds, Francis & Rohnstock; and
Jeffrey Gibson Jeffrey A. Gibson (born March 31, 1972) is a Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee painter and sculptor from the United States, based in Hudson, New York. Background Early life Born in Colorado, as a child his famil ...
. The chapel can seat up to 750 people. Houghton is used by the college for a variety of religious and secular functions, like lectures and music concerts, and is also available for rental. The lower-level houses the Multifaith Center. In 1905
Andrew Carnegie Andrew Carnegie ( , November 25, 1835August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American Scottish Americans or Scots Americans (Scottish Gaelic language, Scottish Gaelic: ''Ameireaganaich Albannach''; sco, Scots-American) are Americans whose ancestry ...

Andrew Carnegie
donated $125,000 to build what is now known as Clapp Library, on the condition that the College match the amount for an endowment. The money was raised by 1907 and construction began June 5, 1909. In 1915 Carnegie gave another $95,446 towards an addition. This renovation added a recreational reading room, offices, archives, a reserve reading room, added space for rare books and additional stacks. The building underwent renovations from 1956–1959, that doubled its size. From 1973 to 1975 a major addition was added to the right-hand side of the building. In 1974 the building was renamed for Margaret Antoinette Clapp, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and member of the 1930 class who served as the 8th college president from 1949–1966. The Davis Museum, opened in 1993, was the first building in North America designed by
Pritzker Prize The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually "to honor a living architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with th ...
-winning architect
Rafael Moneo José Rafael Moneo Vallés (born 9 May 1937) is a Spanish architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of bu ...

Rafael Moneo
, whose notion of the museum as a “treasury” or “treasure chamber” informs its design. The Davis is at the heart of the arts on the Wellesley campus adjacent to the academic quad and is connected by an enclosed bridge to the Jewett Arts Center, designed by Paul Rudolph. The collections span from ancient art from around the world to contemporary art exhibitions, and admission is free to the general public.


Administration

The current president of Wellesley College is Paula Johnson. With a remarkable track record of accomplishments—she founded the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at
Brigham and Women's Hospital Brigham may refer to: Places * Brigham, Cumbria, England * Brigham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England * Brigham City, Utah, USA * Brigham, Wisconsin, USA * Brigham, Quebec, Canada People * Brigham (surname), including a list of people with the s ...
—she has led in the field of women's health, taking an interdisciplinary approach to biology by integrating insights from sociology, economics, and many other fields. Paula Johnson was the Grace A. Young Family Professor of Medicine in the Field of Women's Health at
Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School (HMS) is the graduate medical school A medical school is a tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the ...
, as well as professor of epidemiology at the
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is the public health school of Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard C ...
. Johnson succeeded H. Kim Bottomly to become Wellesley's 14th President in July 2016. Wellesley's fund-raising campaign in 2005 set a record for liberal arts colleges with a total of $472.3 million, 18.1% more than the goal of $400 million. According to data compiled by
The Chronicle of Higher Education ''The Chronicle of Higher Education'' is a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and ...
, Wellesley's campaign total is the largest of any liberal arts college. In late 2015, the college launched another campaign, with a goal of $500 million. Many notable alumnae including
Madeleine Albright Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937) is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 64th United States Secretary of State The United States secretary of state is an officer of the United State ...

Madeleine Albright
,
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state The United States secretary of state is an of ...

Hillary Clinton
,
Diane Sawyer Lila Diane Sawyer (; born December 22, 1945) is an American television broadcast journalist known for anchoring major programs on two networks including ''ABC World News Tonight ''ABC World News Tonight'' (titled as ''ABC World News Tonight ...

Diane Sawyer
,
Susan Wagner Susan Lynne Wagner (born 1961) is an American financial executive. Wagner is one of the co-founders of BlackRock, an American multinational corporation, multinational investment management corporation, and served there in the capacities of vice c ...
, and
Cokie Roberts Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne "Cokie" Roberts (née Boggs; December 27, 1943 – September 17, 2019) was an American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for NPR, National Pu ...

Cokie Roberts
collaborated on the campaign video and launch festivities. As of Fall 2017, over $446 million has been raised.


Wellesley Centers for Women

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is one of the largest
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women A woman is ...

gender
-focused
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
research-and-action organizations in the United States, and a member of the National Council for Research on Women. Located on and nearby the Wellesley College campus, WCW was established when the Center for Research on Women (founded 1974) and the Stone Center for Development Services and Studies at Wellesley College (founded 1981) merged into a single organization in 1995. It is home to several prominent American feminist scholars, including Jean Kilbourne and
Peggy McIntosh Peggy McIntosh (born November 7, 1934) is an American feminist Feminism is a range of social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are ...

Peggy McIntosh
. The current executive director of the Wellesley Centers for Women is Layli Maparyan. Since 1974, the Wellesley Centers for Women has produced over 200 scholarly articles and over 100 books. The Wellesley Centers for Women has five key areas of research — education, economic security, mental health, youth and adolescent development, and gender-based violence. WCW is also home to long-standing and highly successful action programs that engage in curriculum development and training, professional development, evaluation, field building, and theory building. Those programs include the National SEED Project, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Open Circle, the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, and ''Women's Review of Books.''


Academics

Wellesley's average class size is between 17 and 20 students, with a student-faculty ratio of 8:1. More than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors are offered. Wellesley offers support to nontraditional aged students through the Elisabeth Kaiser Davis Degree Program, open to students over the age of 24. The program allows women who, for various reasons, were unable to start or complete a bachelor's degree at a younger age to attend Wellesley. Wellesley offers dual degree programs with the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, aft ...
and the Olin College of Engineering, enabling students to receive a Bachelor of Science at those schools in addition to a Bachelor of Arts at Wellesley. Wellesley also has a joint 5-year BA/MA program with
Brandeis University , mottoeng = Truth even unto its innermost parts , established = , type = Private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singe ...
's International Business School, which allows qualified Wellesley students to receive a Masters of Arts degree from the school as well as a Bachelor of Arts at Wellesley. Wellesley College offers research collaborations and cross-registration programs with other Boston-area institutions, including
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, aft ...
,
Babson College Babson College is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decade ...
,
Olin College Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin College of Engineering, Olin College, or simply Olin) is a private college focused on engineering and located in Needham, Massachusetts. Olin College is noted in the engineering community for its yo ...
, and
Brandeis University , mottoeng = Truth even unto its innermost parts , established = , type = Private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singe ...
.


Admissions

The 2020 annual ranking of ''
U.S. News & World Report ''U.S. News & World Report'' is an American media company that publishes news, opinion, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis. Founded as a news magazine in 1933, ''U.S. News'' transitioned to primarily web-based publishing in 2010, although it ...
'' categorizes admission to Wellesley as "most selective". For the Class of 2023 (enrolling fall 2019), the middle 50% range of SAT scores was 680–750 for evidence-based reading and 680–780 for math, while the middle 50% range for the ACT composite score was 31–34 for enrolled first year students. For the incoming class of 2025, Wellesley received a record 7,920 applications and (16%) were offered admission.


Transgender applicants

The college's admissions policy was updated in 2015 to allow
trans women A trans woman is a woman A woman is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the Sperm, male gamete during ...
and
non-binary Non-binary or genderqueer is an umbrella term for gender identities Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender.''Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice'', edited by Deana F. Morrow and Lori Messinger ...
people assigned female at birth to be considered for admittance. While transgender and non-binary students have attended the college since its inception, media outlets recognize that the first Wellesley students who applied as out transgender women enrolled in Fall 2017.


Nontraditional age applicants

Wellesley began its program for
non-traditional student A nontraditional student is a term originating in North America, that refers to a category of students at colleges and universities. The National Center for Education Statistics The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the part of ...
s in 1971, when the Continuing Education Program was launched. This program was renamed in 1991 for Elisabeth Kaiser Davis, a member of the Class of 1932. Wellesley allows applicants older than 24 who had begun but have not completed a bachelor's degree to apply to the Elizabeth Kaiser Davis Degree Program. Davis Scholars are fully integrated into the Wellesley community; they take the same classes as traditional students and can choose to live on campus. According to the Wellesley web site, Davis Scholars' "diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives enrich the lives of the whole student body."


Rankings

In its 2021 rankings of national liberal arts colleges in the U.S., ''
U.S. News & World Report ''U.S. News & World Report'' is an American media company that publishes news, opinion, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis. Founded as a news magazine in 1933, ''U.S. News'' transitioned to primarily web-based publishing in 2010, although it ...
'' ranked Wellesley tied for 4th best overall, 1st for women's colleges, 13th for "best value", tied at 11th for "best undergraduate teaching", and tied at 63rd for "top performers on social mobility". In 2020, ''
Washington Monthly ''Washington Monthly'' is a bimonthly nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public ...
'' ranked Wellesley 13th among 218 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. based on its contribution to the public good, as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service. In addition, ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
2019 "America's Top Colleges" ranked the institution 44th among 650 U.S. colleges, service academies and universities. Wellesley College is
accredited Accreditation is a third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body (such as certification body Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply ''certification'' or ''qualification' ...
by the
New England Commission of Higher EducationThe New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), previously the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), is an Higher education accreditation in the United Stat ...
.


Student life

Approximately 98% of students live on campus. Some cooperative housing is available, including a sustainable living co-op and a French language house located slightly off-campus. Wellesley offers housing for Davis Scholars as well, though not for their children or spouses, which is a point of frequent debate on campus. The college has five dining halls, one each in Pomeroy, Tower Court, Stone-Davis, and Bates Halls, and another in the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. Additional food options on campus include a
convenience store A convenience store, convenience shop, corner store, or corner shop is a small retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Pr ...
/coffee shop in the Campus Center, a bakery in Claflin Hall, Collins Café outside the movie theater, El Table, a student-run sandwich shop in Founders Hall (an academic building housing many of the humanities classes), and Café Hoop, a student-run cooperative cafe in the basement of the Campus Center that is known for its late hours and queer-friendly environment. Next to Café Hoop is the pub, Punch's Alley, which serves alcohol to those over 21. For more than 30 years, Wellesley has offered a cross-registration program with
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, hi ...

MIT
. Students can participate in research at MIT through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). In recent years, cross-registration opportunities have expanded to include nearby
Babson College Babson College is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decade ...
,
Brandeis University , mottoeng = Truth even unto its innermost parts , established = , type = Private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singe ...
, and Olin College of Engineering. To facilitate cross-registration, the Wellesley College Senate bus connects Wellesley to the Harvard University and MIT campuses in Cambridge, Massachusetts; additionally the college also operates a shuttle to the
Babson College Babson College is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decade ...
and
Olin College Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin College of Engineering, Olin College, or simply Olin) is a private college focused on engineering and located in Needham, Massachusetts. Olin College is noted in the engineering community for its yo ...
campuses. It is also a member of a number of exchange programs with other small colleges, including opportunities for students to study a year at Amherst College, Amherst, Connecticut College, Dartmouth College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke College, Mount Holyoke, Smith College, Smith, Trinity College (Connecticut), Trinity, Vassar College, Vassar, Wesleyan University, Wesleyan, and Wheaton College (Massachusetts), Wheaton.


Organizations

The college has approximately 180 student organizations, ranging from cultural and political organizations to community service, publications, campus radio, and college athletics, club sports. WZLY is the college's campus radio station. It is entirely student-run and plays on 91.5 FM in the town of Wellesley and some surrounding areas. Founded in 1942, it holds claim to the oldest still-running women's college radio station in the country. In the 80s, it earned the nickname "Electric Ladyland" after the Jimi Hendrix album of the same name. Wellesley College does not have any Sororities, fraternities or sororities; it does, however, have a number of societies centered around common academic interests. There are currently six active societies on campus: Alpha Kappa Chi (the "history" society), Alpha Phi Sigma (the "lecture" society), Tau Zeta Epsilon (the "art and music" society), Zeta Alpha (the "literature" society), Agora Society (the "political science" society), and Shakespeare Society. The societies sponsor many lectures and events on campus, and contribute funding to events sponsored by other departments and organizations. They have an application process called "tea-ing", and organize on-campus parties. The majority of students are not members of societies. Publications on campus include ''Counterpoint'', the monthly journal of campus life; ''The Wellesley News'', the campus newspaper; ''International Relations Council Journal,'' the internationally oriented campus publication; and ''The Wellesley Review'', the literary magazine.


Athletics

Wellesley fields 13 varsity sports teams – basketball, crew, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Wellesley does not have a mascot in the traditional sense – its sports teams are referred to both individually and collectively as "the Blue" (the school colors are royal blue and white). Wellesley's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is composed of representatives from the athletic and club teams. Wellesley is a member of the NCAA Division III (NCAA), NCAA Division III and the Eastern Conference Athletic Conference (ECAC) and competes primarily as a member of the
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(NEWMAC). Additionally, the fencing team competes as a member of the Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) and the golf team became an associate member of the Liberty League during the 2012–2013 school year. In 1951 Barbara Bruning won women's individual intercollegiate golf championship (an event conducted by the AIAW, Division of Girls' and Women's Sports (DGWS) — which later evolved into the current NCAA women's golf championship). Wellesley is also a member of the Seven Sisters (colleges), Seven Sisters consortium of women's colleges, and participates in competitions in cross-country, volleyball, crew, swimming & diving, squash, and tennis. Wellesley Athletics is headquartered out of the Keohane Sports Center (the KSC), named for former college president Nannerl O. Keohane, Nannerl Keohane. Built in 1985, the KSC features a field house, a pool, squash and racquetball courts, a 200m track, a climbing wall, four indoor tennis courts, and various other exercising areas. It also houses the administrative offices. The campus also has four outdoor playing fields and an outdoor track, as well as eight outdoor tennis courts and a boathouse. The Wellesley College Crew Team, affectionately known as "Blue Crew", was founded in 1970 and was the first women's intercollegiate rowing team in the country. In 2016, "Blue Crew" won the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship as a team for the first time in Wellesley history, with their 1st Varsity boat coming in first place and their 2nd Varsity 8+ boat coming in second place. This historic win marked the first time a team from Wellesley College won a national championship, and also marked the first time a women's college won the NCAA Rowing Championships. Wellesley also fields club teams in archery, alpine & Nordic skiing, equestrian, ice hockey, rugby, sailing, squash, Ultimate Frisbee, and water polo. Squash was originally a varsity sport but was downgraded to a club sport status in 2017. In addition, there is a Quidditch team that competes with teams from other colleges and universities in the area. From 1943 to 1946, Judy Atterbury won multiple national NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship#Singles and Doubles Championships (1922–1982), intercollegiate women's tennis championships in both singles (1943, 1946) and doubles (1943, 1944). Wellesley has taken home one team national championship (Blue Crew's win at the NCAA Championships in 2016), three individual national champions, and one individual boat champion in its history. In 1991, Karyn Cooper was the NCAA Tennis Singles Champion. In 2011, Randelle Boots was the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Champion in the mile. In 2015, Maura Sticco-Ivins was the NCAA National Champion in the 3 meter diving competition and runner-up in the 1 meter diving competition. Sticco-Ivins was named the 2015 NCAA Division III Diver of The Meet. Wellesley College Diving Coach Zach Lichter was voted the 2015 NCAA Division III Female Diving Coach of The Year. In addition to these three individual champions, in 2016, Wellesley College's 1st Varsity 8+ boat became a national champion in its event at the NCAA Rowing Championships in Gold River, CA. Wellesley College Crew Team's head coach, Tessa Spillane, was voted the 2015-16 NCAA Division III Rowing Coach of The Year (after having also won the honor in 2010-11). Additionally, Wellesley College Crew Team's coaching staff (Tessa Spillane, Hannah Woodruff, and Seth Hussey) received the 2015-16 Division III National Coaching Staff of the Year award.


Traditions

As is the case with all of the Seven Sisters (colleges), Seven Sisters, Wellesley College has many traditions, many of them carried over from the late nineteenth-century. Some have been adapted and modified over time, but the original focus and fun remains. Hoop rolling is a highly anticipated annual tradition at the college dating back to 1895. Each upperclasswoman has a wooden hoop, often passed down to her from her "big sister". Before graduation, the seniors, wearing their graduation robes, run a short race while rolling their hoops. The winner of the race is said to be the first woman in her class to achieve success, however she defines it. This was changed after the 1990 Commencement speech by then first lady, Barbara Bush. In the early 20th century, however, the winner was said to be the first in her class to marry; in the 1980s, the winner was said to become the class's first CEO. The winner is awarded flowers by the president of the College, and then tossed into Lake Waban by her classmates. The tossing of the winner into the lake began several decades ago when a Harvard University male, dressed as a Wellesley student, won the race. When, upon his victory, it was discovered that he wasn't a Wellesley student, he was thrown into the lake. The night before the race, many "little sisters" will camp out on the racecourse near the Library to save a good starting position for their "big sisters". Some other traditions include step-singing, dorm and class crew races, "Lake Day", "Spring Week", "Flower Sunday", and "Marathon Monday". Class trees are one of Wellesley's more visible traditions; each graduating class plants a tree during its sophomore year. Class trees, as they are called, can be found all over the campus, marked with each class year on a stone at the base of the tree. During sophomore year, students also design and purchase class sweatshirts. The Wellesley campus is just before the halfway mark on the Boston Marathon course, and students come out to cheer runners in what has become known as the "Scream Tunnel". Student have been cheering on runners since the first running of the marathon. In 1966 the school heard word that a woman was running in the race and turned out in numbers in cheer her on. Bobbi Gibb claims to have heard them from half a mile away. The women ran out into the road and raised their arms to form a tunnel.
Diana Chapman Walsh Diana Chapman Walsh was President of Wellesley College from 1993 to 2007. During her tenure, the college revised its curriculum and expanded its programs in global education, internships and service learning, and interdisciplinary teaching and lea ...
, who would later serve as Wellesley president from 1993 to 2007 was present for the 1966 race. “The word spread to all of us lining the route that a woman was running the course. We scanned face after face in breathless anticipation until a ripple of recognition shot through the lines and we cheered as we never had before. We let out a roar that day, sensing that this woman had done more than just break the gender barrier in a famous race.” Once women were officially allowed to register for the 1972 race the campus cheer tradition became more popular. Before current crowd control techniques that only allow students to cheer from the south side of the street, students would form a tunnel anywhere from 5 to 8 feet wide. The Alumnae Achievement Awards, begun in 1970, are another annual tradition; each year, three alumnae are recognized for outstanding achievements in their respective fields. Recipients have included Lynn Sherr,
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, Pamela Melroy, Judith Martin, Nora Ephron, Ophelia Dahl,
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state The United States secretary of state is an of ...

Hillary Clinton
, and Madeleine Korbel Albright, among many others. The Ruhlman and Tanner Conferences, supported by Wellesley alumnae, are held every year for students to share their learning experience within the college community. Classes are canceled on these days. The Tanner Conference is held in the fall to celebrate outside-the-classroom education, including internships and summer or winter session research projects. Ruhlman, in the spring, is a chance for students to present projects they've been working on in courses or independent research during the year. Both conferences encompass panels, readings, and multimedia projects.


Student body

Fifty-eight percent of all Wellesley students receive financial aid. Not including outside scholarships, the average grant awarded is $39,000. In February 2008, the college eliminated offering financial-aid loans to students from families with incomes under $60,000, including international students and Davis Scholars, and it lowered the total amount of student loans by one-third (to a maximum of $8,600 total over four years) to students from families with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000. The maximum loan level for other students on aid is $12,825 total for four years. Of Wellesley's student body, as of 2019 less than half of students are Caucasian, with roughly a third of the student body identifying as Asian, and a significant number of Latina and African-American students. Students come from over 60 countries and all 50 states, with 90% of students hailing from outside of Massachusetts.


Notable alumnae and faculty


Notable alumnae

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Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state The United States secretary of state is an of ...

Hillary Clinton
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Madeleine Albright Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937) is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 64th United States Secretary of State The United States secretary of state is an officer of the United State ...

Madeleine Albright
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Cokie Roberts Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne "Cokie" Roberts (née Boggs; December 27, 1943 – September 17, 2019) was an American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for NPR, National Pu ...

Cokie Roberts
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Diane Sawyer Lila Diane Sawyer (; born December 22, 1945) is an American television broadcast journalist known for anchoring major programs on two networks including ''ABC World News Tonight ''ABC World News Tonight'' (titled as ''ABC World News Tonight ...

Diane Sawyer
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Wellesley's alumnae are represented among business executives and also work in a variety of other fields, ranging from government and public service to the arts. They include the first woman to be named professor of clinical medicine Connie Guion, class of 1906; architect Ann Beha, class of 1972; author Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (author and publisher) class of 1914; astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, class of 1884; archaeologist Josephine Platner Shear, class of 1924; astronaut Pamela Melroy class of 1983; screenwriter Nora Ephron, class of 1962; composers Elizabeth Bell (composer), Elizabeth Bell and Natalie Sleeth; and professor and songwriter Katharine Lee Bates. Journalists Callie Crossley,
Diane Sawyer Lila Diane Sawyer (; born December 22, 1945) is an American television broadcast journalist known for anchoring major programs on two networks including ''ABC World News Tonight ''ABC World News Tonight'' (titled as ''ABC World News Tonight ...

Diane Sawyer
,
Cokie Roberts Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne "Cokie" Roberts (née Boggs; December 27, 1943 – September 17, 2019) was an American journalist and bestselling author. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for NPR, National Pu ...

Cokie Roberts
, Lynn Sherr, and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Michele Caruso-Cabrera also graduated from Wellesley as did Sandra Lynch, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and political scientist Jane Mansbridge, class of 1961. Rebecca Lancefield, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, graduated from Wellesley, as did Alice Ames Winter (B.A. 1886; M.A. 1889), president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Both
Madeleine Albright Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová; May 15, 1937) is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 64th United States Secretary of State The United States secretary of state is an officer of the United State ...

Madeleine Albright
('59), and Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton ('69), have spoken about the formative impact their Wellesley experiences had on their careers. Secretary Albright also returns annually to campus to lead the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs, a month long pedagogical seminar where students learn more about global affairs through analysis and action. Additionally, three U.S. ambassadors (Julieta Valls Noyes, Anne W. Patterson, Anne Patterson, and Michele J. Sison, Michele Sison) are Wellesley alumnae. Soong Mei-ling (also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek), the former First Lady of Republic of China (1912–1949), China, graduated from Wellesley. Other notable Wellesley graduates who have received the college's Alumnae Achievement Award include: Anna Baetjer, Anna Medora Baetjer '20, public health expert, physiologist, toxicologist; Marian Burros '54, journalist, food writer; Sally Carrighar '22, writer, naturalist; Elyse Cherry '75, an entrepreneur, financial, and social equity activist; Suzanne Ciani '68, electronic music composer, recording artist; Phyllis Curtin '43, opera singer; Jocelyn Gill '38, astronomer; Marjory Stoneman Douglas '12, environmental activist, author; Persis Drell '77, particle physicist; Nora Ephron '62, writer and director; Helen Hays '53, ornithologist; Dorothea Jameson '42, psychologist; Jean Kilbourne '64, media educator; Judith Martin '59, (pen name Miss Manners) author; Nergis Mavalvala '90, a quantum astrophysicist; Lorraine O'Grady '55, conceptual artist and cultural critic; Santha Rama Rau '45, writer; Marilyn Yalom '54, historian, feminist scholar; and Patricia Zipprodt '46, costume designer.


Notable faculty

Notable Wellesley faculty include: * Myrtilla Avery, art historian and a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, Monuments Men * Emily Greene Balch, Emily Green Balch, Nobel Peace Prize-awarded economist and peace activist. * Katharine Lee Bates, award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, and the author of "America the Beautiful", a Wellesley College alumna and the namesake of Bates Residential Hall. * Frank Bidart, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. * Karl E. Case, economist who researches real estate and developed the Case-Shiller index with Robert Shiller from Yale and Allan Weiss. * Dan Chiasson, poet and New Yorker writer *
Margaret ClappMargaret Antoinette Clapp (April 10, 1910 – May 3, 1974) was an American scholar, educator and Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition wi ...
, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the namesake of the main library. * Katharine Coman, economic historian credited with creating the field of industrial history; she was the first female faculty member to teach statistics in the US. * Rose Laub Coser, sociologist, a former vice president of American Sociological Association (ASA) and a former president of Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), credited with creating the fields of medical sociology, role theory, and sociology of the family. * Jorge Guillén, Spanish poet and literary critic * Charlotte Riefenstahl, Charlotte Houtermans (born Charlotte Riefenstahl), physicist * Jonathan B. Knudsen, History professor who published books on German Enlightenment * Frances Lowater, physicist and astronomer * Mary Kate McGowan, Luella LaMer Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Philosophy, notable for her work in the feminist philosophy of language *
Peggy McIntosh Peggy McIntosh (born November 7, 1934) is an American feminist Feminism is a range of social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are ...

Peggy McIntosh
, women's studies scholar whose 1988 published works on the concept of privilege led to the identification of various privileges and laid the foundation for the current "check your privilege" movement. * Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-American novelist, who is best known for his novel ''Lolita''. He taught Comparative Literature and Russian at Wellesley. * Susan Mokotoff Reverby, Women's and Gender Studies professor who uncovered the American Guatemala syphilis experiment, 1946–48 syphilis experiments in Guatemala. * Alan Schechter, former Chairman of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Fulbright and mentor to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her years at Wellesley. * Paul K. MacDonald, Political Scientist in the field of International Relations * Adrian Piper, the first Black female philosophy professor to receive tenure in the U.S, and a renowned conceptual artist. * Helen L. Webster (1853-1928), philologist and educator * , physicist and astronomer


See also

*Wellesley College Botanic Gardens *Wellesley College Tupelos, singing group *Women's colleges in the United States


References


External links

*
Wellesley College Athletics website
{{authority control Wellesley College, 1875 establishments in Massachusetts Educational institutions established in 1875 Liberal arts colleges in Massachusetts Seven Sister Colleges Universities and colleges in Norfolk County, Massachusetts Wellesley, Massachusetts Women's universities and colleges in the United States Private universities and colleges in Massachusetts