A Little Wellesley Fun

From the President,

From the President

We have spent much time this year talking about what it means to be a women’s college in the 21st century, and I am grateful to the many alumnae, students, faculty, and staff who shared their thoughts. I am proud that our board of trustees strongly reaffirmed our mission as a College dedicated to the education of women, while clarifying our admission policy. This decision allows us to remain true to ourselves, and true to the transcendent spirit of Wellesley.

I have written in these pages before about that spirit—the “magic”—that makes the Wellesley experience transformational. A large part of that magic is conjured by our exceptional faculty, who are committed to ensuring our academic excellence. Another large part of it is our incredible students, who dedicate themselves over four years to seizing and making the most of every opportunity available on campus, and off.

But I would add a third component: the social experience of college, or, the fun. Yes, Wellesley is serious, Wellesley is intense, but the Wellesley experience is also great fun. Let us all remember that.

I am not the only one thinking about fun at Wellesley. Last year, Hannah Ruebeck ’16 and Anne Dickinson Meltz ’16 started SMiLES (Spontaneous Moments in the Lives of Everyday Students) to bring some levity (actually, a lot of it) to campus. As Hannah explained, “Our mission has always been to enrich our fellow students’ Wellesley experiences through our key values of community, spontaneity, and the contagious nature of happiness.” Their “lighthearted events with long-term effects,” Anne says, have included a community lunch last fall (festive hats optional), flash mobs, and a treasure hunt in the Science Center.

Our most cherished Wellesley traditions are all rooted in fun: Lake Day, Hooprolling, Stepsinging, and the Scream Tunnel at the Boston Marathon, to name a few. I still have my “Kiss Me, I’m the President” sign that students made for me on my first Marathon Monday—a sign that I love (but have yet to use).

Certain Wellesley rites of passage always make me smile—students sledding down Severance Green in winter, or enjoying the swing on the Chapel Lawn. The swing was reinstalled last year in memory of Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’28, a quintessential Wellesley woman and generous supporter of the College, who often told me that her favorite Wellesley memory was swinging on the chapel lawn. Having now tried it, I agree—it is pure joy!

‘Our most cherished Wellesley traditions are all rooted in fun: Lake Day, Hooprolling, Stepsinging, and the Scream Tunnel at the Boston Marathon, to name a few.’


—H. Kim Bottomly

At the newly renovated field house, fun is the name of the game. I recently learned that our archery class has become increasingly popular—the number of students on the waitlist has doubled in recent years—thanks perhaps to the rise of female heroine archers like Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games.

Fun is to be found in the residence halls, too, of course. From game nights to cooking lessons to impromptu dance parties, each resident adviser organizes two programs a month. Multiply that by 70 RAs, and that’s quite a lot of fun.

Twice a year, House President’s Council organizes a student lip-sync competition. The event has grown so popular that it was moved to the Alumnae Hall Auditorium this past spring to accommodate 16 acts and the more than 600 students who attended.

My own favorite moments of Wellesley fun include joining students for the cherished tradition of residence hall teas, cheering on the Blue at home games, and walking the perimeter of Lake Waban.

I will always be proud of having been the president of Wellesley—but I will also always smile because the students nicknamed me KBot.

Make no mistake, Wellesley has been and always will be known for its exceptional academics. But the Wellesley experience is also about building friendships that last a lifetime, strengthening the bonds of our community, and encouraging experiences that connect us to one another and to this very special place.

Our students work very hard, they go on to make a difference wherever they are, and their Wellesley memories stay with them always. An important part of those memories is what fun it was to be here.

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