I am honored to serve as Wellesley’s new board chair and humbled by the example of the great chairs who preceded me. In particular, thanks to my immediate predecessor, Laura Daignault Gates ’72, for her truly significant body of work.
I’m excited to work closely with Paula Johnson. We all see what a gifted leader she is in celebrating the College’s strengths, pursuing improvement in all things, and promoting community among students, alumnae, faculty, and staff.
Completing our comprehensive campaign a year early and exceeding our goal is a moment to celebrate, but not to rest. With historically high applications demonstrating Wellesley’s recognized value, it is a great time to set our sights high for the College to do an even better job meeting the challenges all liberal arts colleges face in 2018 and seizing opportunities from which Wellesley is uniquely poised to benefit.
My fellow trustees are, to a person, insightful and committed to tackling the most consequential issues. In that spirit, the board held a retreat in June with administrators and faculty who participate in board committees to identify key focus areas for the board’s oversight and inquiry. We affirmed our aspiration that each student receive an unsurpassed 21st-century liberal arts education as part of an inclusive, engaged community that is respectful of diverse points of view, and to which women are accepted through need-blind admission with a commitment to meet their financial needs.
Essential to this aspiration is supporting our superb faculty and continuing our work on financial sustainability and campus renewal. Notably, we are also increasing the attention we give to enhancing Wellesley’s profile in the outside world to improve opportunities for our students and alumnae. Yes, these are quite general concepts, so we also identified specifics for attention. The committee chairs, the senior leadership team, Paula, board vice chair Tom Faust, and I are refining these into board and committee agenda items. As agenda items become work product, you will learn more about them.
As the daughter-in-law of a ’41 alumna and mother of an ’07 alumna, I know our alumnae experience in their own eras both a very different Wellesley and one with fundamental continuity. I believe what makes Wellesley great has been its ability to provide our students with an education and an experience that derive unique worth from melding learning and circumstance current to their times with timeless values particular to Wellesley.
Please write on any matter of interest to WellesleyBoard@wellesley.edu.
Debora de Hoyos ’75