I want to congratulate those who in very recent years have transformed Wellesley magazine into a “must-read” for me along with a very few other publications. The timeliness of the main articles, the content and layout of the minor, won’t let me skip a page. And the recent cover, “Flight to the Arctic” (winter ’15) literally stunned me.
But it’s Ashley Funk ’16, and the others of her generation, I want to comment on (“Portrait of an Activist as a Young Woman”). Congratulations to her and every activist for environmental sanity in our country. They’re the ones who are going to live with the results of an unsustainable lifestyle that we have allowed to develop.
The proposal by Fossil Free Wellesley (FFW) to the Board of Trustees to stop getting income from any of the largest 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies needn’t have been an innocent plea rejected outright. The board might have made Wellesley proud by deciding to recognize the problem by cutting back even 1 percent. The first step is the hardest.
Martha Gummere Little ’50, Baltimore
At first, I had quite a time remembering that the article I was reading was not in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Living Bird magazine, the best-written natural-history magazine I read. I’m talking about “Flight to the Arctic” (winter ’15). I’m so glad Deborah Cramer ’73 put it in Wellesley.
Margaret S. Rusk ’48, Syracuse, N.Y.
Best article ever about the red knot (“Flight to the Arctic”)—but birding is a big interest! I’m glad to be part of a college that has great science departments and encourages students to be proactive in making the world better. Deborah Cramer ’73 is a great alum.
Gretchen Stifel Larson ’54, Cleveland, Ohio
Deborah Cramer’s article (“Flight to the Arctic”) was a fascinating exploration of an increasingly important geopolitical region. The U.S. is poised to assume chairmanship this year of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of eight Arctic nations seeking to address the economic and environmental issues facing the vital region and its populations today. Hopefully we can all become more educated as our country takes the lead on policy-making in the Arctic.
Yaffa Frederick ’11, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Fantastic story by Deborah Cramer (“Flight to the Arctic”). I sat right down and read it start to finish. I can’t wait to see her book. Her writing reminds me a bit, because of its meditative observation of nature, of one of my favorite books, The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.
Debora Gilbert Ryan ’73, Craryville, N.Y.
All About Adaptation
“Flight to the Arctic” is wonderful! Deborah Cramer ’73 paints quite a picture of the area, the plight of the red knot, global warming, and personal challenge. It’s all about adaptation and resilience, isn’t it? Very sad that we humans force that upon so many species.
Lynne Johnson Lipcon ’72, Wayland, Mass.
MLK on Campus
I am inspired to write you because of two articles in the winter ’15 issue of the Wellesley magazine: “Going Off Air, but Rocking Online” and “The Man Behind the Icon.” When I was at Wellesley, I had the honor of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he came to speak on campus, and as one of the announcers who participated in broadcasting from WZLY 91.5, I had the idea of recording his speech.
I rushed around campus to find a tape recorder (the old eight-track type) and recorded the speech after getting Dr. King’s permission. I hope that in some old cabinet at Wellesley there still remains that wonderful oration he gave over 50 years ago. I will never forget the thrill of meeting with Dr. King and shaking his hand.
Lucy Brodman Lehman ’63, San Diego
Thanks From France
I would like to take the opportunity to say how much I enjoy receiving Wellesley magazine. I was a Slater Fellow (on loan from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford) in 1977–78. My time here was extraordinary, and I haven’t forgotten it. It’s with a great pleasure that I read the magazine—so thank you!
Fiona McKenzie, Albi, France
A Place for Women
I have zero problems with trans people at Wellesley (“Gender at Wellesley,” winter ’15). I have huge problems with gender-neutral language replacing woman-centric language. Too much of my life is spent in a male-centric, male-dominated, males-rule world. I need to know that there are still a few (less than 50 women-only colleges!) places that lift women up for the sole reason that they are women. That say, “Yes, you are a woman and your womanness is special and valuable and we are here to help support you as the best woman you can be.”
My years after Wellesley have opened my eyes to how much women are still deprived chances of success because they are women. Had it not been for the time spent in the Wellesley bubble of sisterhood, knowing my girls had my back and that I had theirs and that every single person on that campus—from our cafeteria staff to our professors to the administrators and coaches—understood that our mission as a community was to promote women, I would not know that it is possible to have a world where women are so valued.
For persons who grew up presenting as female to the world, they have those experiences as part of the sisterhood. For persons who are going to spend their adult lives presenting as female to the world, they will gain those experiences. The time spent collectively at Wellesley is a female-centered one. It needs to stay that way.
Alice Kunce ’05, Little Rock, Ark.