Tea at the Taj

Tea at the Taj

Photos by Tina Xu ’17

When the organizers of the Wellesley College Alumnae of Boston (WCAB) chose a venue for the celebration of the club’s 125th year, they had no idea that their keynote speaker had held her wedding there. But when President Paula Johnson took the podium, she paused to gesture around the elegant, red-and-gold ballroom of the Taj Boston Hotel, saying it held a special place in her heart.

And then Johnson told the gathered Boston-area alumnae, “You were one of the magnets that drew me [to Wellesley]. Thank you for your legacy, your service, for what you do for each other and for our students.”

WCAB president Lauren Flamer ’05 remarked that the venerable WCAB was founded before the Boston Public Library, before South Station, before the Boston Marathon. And it has been a locus of connection for Wellesley women ever since.

Among the 240 attendees, who enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea complete with cucumber sandwiches and scones, were more than a dozen former WCAB presidents, from the ’50s to the present. Journalist Callie Crossley ’73 moderated a lively panel of five alumnae from the ’60s to the teens, who considered “Our Wellesley Effect,” discussing how the College helped them find their voices and focus their lives.

Missy Siner Shea ’89, executive director of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, concluded the program, offering a prosecco toast to honor one of the oldest, largest (at 4,700 members), and busiest groups in Wellesley’s bright constellation of alumnae clubs—part of “the world’s most powerful women’s network,” as the WCAB vision statement declares.

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