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The Way A Wellesley Gal Should

Written by two students from the class of 1946, "The Way A Wellesley Gal Should," describes the duality of Wellesley students who studied feverishly into the night and relished a vibrant social life on their weekends. Barbara "Chappy" Chapline '46 wrote the music and lyrics (with lyrical assistance from TZE president Mary McCrea '46) for her class's junior show, and the song was such a hit that it lives on in today's songbook. While some of the locales and pastimes mentioned in the song may be unfamiliar to today's students, the "work hard, play hard" attitude is all too familiar.


You'll see her Monday at eight straggling to class
The weekend was terrific, but now, alas
She's got to start to study
The way a Wellesley gal should

You'll see her Wednesday at lab, in blue jeans, no doubt
Her saddle shoes are grimy, her shirttail's out!
She's working like a beaver
The way a Wellesley gal should

You'll see her at the Well and at the Art Libe 
Or burning up the midnight oil
She's just grinding away the live-long day
Leading a life of toil

But then comes Saturday night, the tables are turned
She's dining at the Statler, and books are spurned
She's looking like a million
The way a Wellesley gal should!

The Hotel Statler

The hotel mentioned in the song is the Hotel Statler, known today as Boston Park Plaza. It was a popular location for date nights and dancing. A letter to home written by Virginia Veeder Westervelt '35 reads, "...Friday night I had gardenias - Dick was very nice & while Prom rather puts anything else in the background, I did have an awfully good time Friday - it was at the Statler, & they had Isham Jones - who was marvelous. Each Fraternity had its table, we traded dances with them mostly - & the place was thronged. My red dress was quite adequate, & while I usually don't like gardenias very well, they went beautifully with it.

Photo of the Palm Room at the Hotel Statler Boston

A letter to home from a Wellesley student describing a night at the Statler


Where is "The Well?"

The Well was a student-run snack bar and cafe in the 1940's and 1950's. In the Wellesley magazine's Fall 2013 "Letters to the Editor," Ann Winslow '44 describes her memories of the student hangout: "In 1940, the Well was located in the west end of the Alumnae Hall Ballroom. Here we had "double" ice-cream cones for 10 cents and Cokes for five, as well as other snacks and drinks. In 1943, Naval officers headquartered at Harvard Business School were given the use of two Quad dorms, and the Alumnae Hall Ballroom became their mess and the Well their kitchen. AKX [Alpha Kappa Chi], a society house, was converted into the new "Well" and years later became Harambee House." 

Click through the slideshow below to see images of the Well, including murals of Wellesley traditions painted by Peggy Bonsal '45

Ad for The Statler in the 1937 Wellesley News

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