College Road

Reports from Around Campus

College Road

Nora Ephron. Oil on canvas, 28 by 18 in.

Nora Ephron. Oil on canvas, 28 by 18 in.

First Lady of Comedy

For those waiting in the Green Room of the Barstow Stage in Alumnae Hall, there’s new inspiration to go out and kill: a portrait of Nora Ephron ’62. The oil painting was donated by artist Byron Dobell, former editor of Esquire, New York, and American Heritage, who left publishing in the 1990s to paint full time. His paintings—including those of Betty Friedan and Ted Kennedy—hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Dobell, a longtime friend and colleague of Ephron’s, painted the portrait after her death using photographs chosen by her husband, Nicholas Pileggi. The Theatre Studies Department will be featuring Ephron in a new course this year taught by Marta Rainer ’98, That’s What She Said: Trailblazing Women of American Comedy.

Italian Lessons

Last summer, 560 people—including alumnae—signed up for the College’s first-ever SPOC (Small Private Online Course), Beginning Italian Language and Culture, taught by Daniela Bartalesi-Graf, lecturer in Italian Studies. To design the course, “I tried to place myself in the shoes not just of our college-age learners, but retired alumnae, working people, high-school students occupied with summer jobs and other activities,” says Bartalesi-Graf. One happy student was Bates/Hart Professor of English Kathryn Lynch, who says, “It was hard work (really hard work), but any student giving the course her attention would rapidly learn to speak and understand Italian …. I loved the lighthearted video skits that show fictional Wellesley students and Italian exchange students engaged in their ordinary life on campus—doing laundry, jogging around the lake, hanging out in the Slater Center, making plans to go into the ville or to Boston—all in perfect idiomatic Italian!”

Reuse, Repurpose

Call it Sed Ministrare at the institutional level. Local nonprofits have been the beneficiaries of Wellesley’s Campus Renewal program. Kitchens in Beebe, Munger, and Cazenove were recently upgraded; old stoves, prep tables, and a warming unit went to local food pantries, a homeless shelter, and a church. When McAfee received new furniture, its old beds went to Casa Esperanza, a facility that responds to drug and alcohol abuse; to Volunteers of America, which runs a residential treatment program; and to Old Colony YMCA.

For updates on Campus Renewal construction projects, visit The Dirt,


Nothing brings a community together like their hatred of the new printers in the library. I’ve never felt closer to my #Wellesley siblings.

@SBHudson108 (Sarah Hudson CE/DS ’16)

By the Numbers /
Whitin Observatory

Weight in pounds of the observatory’s rotating dome over the 12-inch telescope


Number of observatory directors since its founding


Members of the public who attended “open observatory” nights in a recent year


Number of six-inch telescopes for students to use on piers outside the building during labs


The year the observatory was built (1899), inscribed in the dome over the 12-inch telescope

You Might Like
  • The Renovations Begin
    Though still in its early phases, the Campus Renewal program is already transforming and preserving some of the most beloved spaces on campus.More
  • Call Me Navigator
    Professor of Astronomy Dick French sits in his office in Whitin Observatory and delicately pulls out a sextant, dating from the late 1800s. The brass instrument was used to determine latitude and longitude by measuring...More
  • The Complexity of Gender
    What does it mean to be a women’s college in the 21st century, particularly at a time when gender definitions are more complex than just male and female? Earlier this fall, President H. Kim Bottomly...More

Post a CommentView Full Policy

We ask that those who engage in Wellesley magazine's online community act with honesty, integrity, and respect. (Remember the honor code, alums?) We reserve the right to remove comments by impersonators or comments that are not civil and relevant to the subject at hand. By posting here, you are permitting Wellesley magazine to edit and republish your comment in all media. Please remember that all posts are public.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.