College Road

Reports from Around Campus

Michael Jeffries, associate professor of American studies and Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics

Photo by Richard Howard

New Dean of Academic Affairs

President Paula Johnson and Provost Andy Shennan announced this spring that Michael Jeffries, associate professor of American studies and Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics, will become the next dean of academic affairs. He succeeds Dean Ann Velenchik, who completes her service in June and will be returning to the classroom to teach economics and writing.

Jeffries is a sociologist whose research focuses on racism, sexism, exploitation, and the way marginalized people create meaning and build identities. His most recent book, Behind the Laughs: Community and Inequality in Comedy, was published in 2017. Currently chair of American studies, he serves on the Committee on Faculty Appointments, a position elected by the faculty, and from 2015 to 2018 was the inaugural chair of the Presidential Commission on Ethnicity, Race, and Equity.

Sharing Our PPE

As the coronavirus crisis intensified, faculty and staff members across campus identified various items of personal protective equipment (PPE) stored around the College. Gloves, goggles, face masks, lab coats, and disinfectant were collected and inventoried. Wellesley donated some of the PPE items to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health stockpile for distribution to health-care professionals. The College also kept a sufficient stock on campus to supply any needs to protect campus students and the staff supporting them.

Where’s My Class Tree?

Can’t remember where your class tree is? Kristine Meader ’21 has a solution! As an intern for the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative, she created an interactive map that shows the location of class trees back to 1879, lists their species, and even records how much atmospheric carbon dioxide they capture and store annually. Fun facts from the map: The purple class of 1990 is (appropriately) represented by a purple beech in front of the Science Center. It sequesters 43.8 lbs. of carbon per year. Visit the map at


‘Four years later and I still have to do alphabetical order in the quad to know where I am.’

By the Numbers /
Special Collections, Clapp Library

Total number of holdings

75 lbs.

Weight of the heaviest book in the collection, a Spanish missal bound with wooden boards and iron fittings

¾" by ½"

Dimensions of the smallest book in the collection, Dialoghi, by Giacomo Leopardi


Letters written between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning during their courtship


Life mask of Abraham Lincoln

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