Light My Way
You may have a Wellesley lamp hanging from your earlobe—or tattooed on your shoulder—but do you know where they came from? After College Hall burned, architect Ralph Adams Cram was called in to supervise College architectural development. Cram proposed a campus lighting design that combined a lantern and a shepherd’s staff, based on Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “That’s a typical Cram idea of working meaning into something mundane, a thought-trigger to something larger than simply a street light. Admirable,” says Peter Fergusson, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art, emeritus. The lamps were installed in 1926. Over the last few years, the College has (so far) retrofit 80 percent of the 500 lamps for LED.
Go green! That was the message the green class of ’57 sent Wellesley at the time of their 50th reunion in 2007, with the establishment of a fund to support sustainability-related efforts across campus. In the last decade, the class’s ongoing gifts have funded a wide variety of projects, from “low flow” showerheads and recycling containers, to BPA-free water bottles for first-year orientation, to solar panels and solar-powered street lights. Students are encouraged to develop projects and apply for funding. “In addition to instilling a sense of ownership of sustainability on campus, the Green Fund provides an outstanding educational opportunity that teaches students how to identify sustainability-related issues and act on them,” says Associate Professor Yui Suzuki, chair of the College’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability. “Learning how to design and implement a project is a useful skill that they can take beyond Wellesley.”
Photo by Richard Howard