Photo by Richard Howard
Dear Wellesley College Alumnae,
How did you first hear about Wellesley? How connected do you feel with people from your days at the College?
As I meet alumnae from all over the world, I continue to be moved by their stories of connection to Wellesley and to each other. Whether we had a neighbor who told us about Wellesley, or the College admissions team came to our high school, or we saw photos of the glorious campus (either online or in a brochure), we each have our own story about how we found our way to Wellesley.
One of our Alumnae Achievement Award recipients last fall, Nergis Mavalvala ’90, came from Karachi, Pakistan. After reading an outdated guide to colleges, she thought Wellesley seemed like a good fit. And then she met a Wellesley alumna living in Pakistan. “She was so articulate and accomplished, she strengthened my wish to go to Wellesley,” Nergis says. “My family did not have the means to support a U.S. college education on their middle-class Pakistani incomes, so a truly life-changing financial-aid package made it possible for me to attend Wellesley.”
As you may have read in the winter ’19 issue, Nergis has gone on to make great contributions in the field of quantum astrophysics (“A Cosmic Breakthrough,” page 34). When she came back to campus for the Alumnae Achievement Awards, she shared her stories of “breaking things” in the lab and experiments that didn’t work out as planned. But in the end, with perseverance and helpful mentors, Nergis prevailed.
Her amazing story mirrors those of so many of our alumnae in every field. We are not all astrophysicists, of course, but in so many circles, large and small, we keep trying until we succeed. I constantly hear about alumnae making a difference in local politics, the business community, and education, to name a few fields.
While our diversity is our great strength, we are also bonded together by the shared experience of a Wellesley education. I marvel at the unique Wellesley connections: across generations, within a local Wellesley club, at reunion, or wherever we come together, uniting over all that we learned while at Wellesley. If you haven’t recently done so, I encourage you to say “yes” to attending an event, or jump on the Hive and offer some career advice to a student, or have that coffee with a young woman you feel will make a difference in the world.
Aren’t you glad someone did that for you along the way?
Martha Goldberg Aronson ’89
President, Wellesley College Alumnae Association