Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Welcome to the Wellesley Alum Community!
On May 31, Wellesley College conferred the degrees of 569 members of the class of 2020 and celebrated its seniors in a virtual ceremony. Due to the pandemic, the College was unable to host in-person commencement exercises this year and plans to hold an in-person celebration next year.
The ceremony concluded with video messages of love, congratulations, and appreciation for the seniors from members of the Wellesley community—faculty, staff, and alumnae, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59. And there was one last surprise in store: a message from Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Via video, Clinton shared her wishes and advice for the class of 2020.
“You know, fear is always with us, but we just don’t have time for it. Not now. And over the last 50 years, I’ve seen just about every response to fear that a person can have. And what I’ve learned is we always have a choice. Fear can paralyze us, or mobilize us,” she said. “Hold on to what you’ve learned during this challenging period, and keep doing what brings you joy....Keep your eye on what is important to you. And you can always do, as everybody I know can, with a little more kindness and compassion.”
The 50th Reunion Class of 1970 also wrote a heartfelt letter of encouragement to our newest alums. Elizabeth Trimble ’70, currently serving as Class President, and her fellow classmates recently wrote a letter—on the eve of what would have been their commencement, and ahead of the class of 1970’s 50th reunion, both milestones disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In it, they said that they too graduated “with dim prospects for employment—but determined to change the world for the better.”
“We want to assure you that you are ready to enter this new world and to make it better in all the ways that you had planned,” the alumnae wrote. “As it did for us, your time at Wellesley has helped you to hone the innate talents you brought to college, taught you new skills, and set you on paths that you might not have foreseen when you entered. The timelines that you planned for yourselves may be altered but your intellect and creativity are needed in this new world environment more than ever.”
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