While pandemic restrictions have meant the cancellation or postponement of many cherished Wellesley alum traditions, from summer send-offs to mini-reunions to holiday parties, there has been a silver lining to that cloud. The use of Zoom for multiple club events around the world has meant that alums can participate from just about anywhere, expanding the clubs’ reach beyond city, state, and regional borders.
Wellesley spans the globe, with over 100 clubs, chapters, and groups. Virtual events offered to alums from any location saw fantastic turnouts. From flower arranging hosted by the Wellesley Club of Silicon Valley to speed networking run by the Chicago Wellesley Club, more than half of the attendees tuned in from outside the host club’s region—including places without clubs, such as Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Ontario, and British Columbia.
“The Wellesley Club of Silicon Valley is very sharing-minded, and asked about ways to open up its events in the earliest months of the pandemic,” says Darcy Kupferschmidt ’12, associate director of alumnae engagement.
The Wellesley College Club of Los Angeles invited other area clubs, including Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, to a talk by Professor of Art Jacki Musacchio ’89 entitled “Like a Great Roman Ruin: The College Hall Fire of 1914.” The Wellesley-in-Pasadena club opened up its presentation by Missy Price, the College’s head soccer coach and a sports psychologist, who offered a lecture on mental skills and personal performance. The Cleveland Wellesley Club invited Cincinnati and Columbus alums to an event at which Sharona Hoffman ’85 interviewed novelist Angela Phillips Thomas ’05 (who writes as Angie Hockman) about her recent novel, Shipped, a romantic comedy. The Chicago Wellesley Club hosted virtual trivia and the very popular “Wellesleyscapes” paint party. And Erin Corcoran ’13, president of the Washington Wellesley Club, devised a Peppermint Pie Zoom featuring Victoria Lai ’01 of Ice Cream Jubilee, and opened it up to all. Clubs and shared interest groups (SIGs) have partnered up as well. Last fall, Wellesley Alumnae of African Descent (WAAD) and the Washington Wellesley Club joined forces for a well-attended discussion with NAACP Interim General Counsel Janette McCarthy ’83.
Clearly, Wellesley alums will find ways to connect, pandemic or no pandemic. To locate a club or SIG in your area, visit alum.wellesley.edu/clubs.