From the Editor

Photograph of a large gold trophy

Last fall, after Kate Erickson ’05 sent me an EndNote essay (“Lessons in Parenting,” winter 2023) that she wrote on a phone in “a haze of sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones, while nursing two babies and still bleeding,” she asked if the magazine would ever consider a regular column on caregiving. “Despite [Wellesley’s] focus and pride in careers, achievement, etc., it is true that many (most?) alums are balancing or focusing entirely on caregiving,” Erickson wrote.

Just a few weeks earlier, Anne Mostue ’03 sent me a letter on similar themes in response to a call for Alumnae Achievement Award nominations (see “Letters to the Editor,” winter 2023). “So many women are doing incredibly hard things in their personal lives for which there aren’t awards and honors,” Mostue wrote. “And they capture that sed Ministrare spirit as much as the very famous Wellesley alums of the world.”

Catherine O’Neill Grace, senior associate editor, noted that many of the class notes she has edited over the last nine years have been about the challenges (and the rewards) of caregiving in its many forms. Would alums be interested in a regular column devoted to the subject? We suspect so. Our first installment of “Ministrations,” a series of stories about the ways in which alums care for others and themselves, is about Shani Evans ’96 and how her “healing hands” inspired an artist to make her the subject of a mural in East Harlem, NYC, that aims to destigmatize mental illness by making it visible.

Our cover story, “Firebrand for Reproductive Freedom” is also about bringing untold stories into the light of day. In 1969, Nancy Stearns ’61 was part of an all-women team representing some 350 women in a class-action suit challenging New York state’s restrictive abortion laws. “Until then, we didn’t have women going into court and saying, ‘Hey, I’m the one impacted by these laws. And I want you to hear the story from me and understand my perspective,’” Stearns said. Ultimately, the case was rendered moot when the New York legislature changed the state law. But Stearns continued fighting anti-abortion laws in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; the Connecticut and Rhode Island cases ended up being cited in Roe v. Wade. As the legal landscape post-Roe continues to shift, Stearns spoke with us about her hard-won perspective on what it takes to effect change.

The Wellesley community is full of nationally recognized changemakers and people who are just trying to get by, taking care of themselves and their loved ones as best they can under challenging circumstances. Often, those alums are one and the same. At Wellesley magazine, we firmly believe that both kinds of stories are important to tell and make for compelling reads. If you have a suggestion for another alum to highlight in “Ministrations”—or to nominate for an Alumnae Achievement Award, or both—please reach out to

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