2022 Year In Review
Welcome to 2023! To start the new year, we take a look back at some of our favorite Wellesley stories from 2022.
Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59, a refugee who became the first female U.S. secretary of state and was the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. government at the time of her appointment, died March 23 at the age of 84. Albright embodied her love for Wellesley and the leaders it shaped by opening the Albright Institute for Global Affairs in 2010, with the goal of educating and inspiring a cadre of women committed to creating a more just world.
On April 1 and 2, Wellesley College, Spelman College, and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London brought together researchers, business leaders, advocates, and national and local policymakers for The Economy She Deserves, a virtual summit to develop an agenda for building an economy that supports women and works for all.
From working at a biotech company, to preparing for medical school, to creating a vibrant arts program at a historic amusement park, members of Wellesley’s class of 2021 are already well on their way to making a difference. Ninety-eight percent were employed, enrolled in graduate school, engaged in a volunteer experience, or serving in the military six months after graduation, as reported in Career Education’s Class of 2021 First Destination Report.
WZLY began 80 years ago as the Wellesley Broadcasting Station, or WBS; the first program aired April 20, 1942, after the father of a Wellesley student donated $1,000 to the College so that his daughter could pursue her interest in setting up a campus radio station. “
“There’s a kind of anger and fear, a disconnect and aggression and violence all around us, and people aren’t hearing one another, and this problem creates inequality and injustice at levels that are really difficult to understand,” lawyer and criminal justice activist Bryan Stevenson said when addressing members of the Wellesley College community during a lecture on April 28. “What I’ve seen happen over the last half-century is devastating.”
On June 30, less than a week after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the College hosted a webinar featuring six Wellesley alums who work in law, advocacy, and reproductive health to discuss the landmark decision. Jennifer Musto, associate professor of women’s and gender studies and the incoming director of the Knapp Social Science Center, moderated the event, which drew over 900 attendees.
Wellesley formally opened its reimagined Science Complex on October 3 with a celebration that included state officials, alumnae, current and emeriti faculty, staff, and students. “This new building is a tribute to your future,” said keynote speaker Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, CEO and president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the first female CEO of a large biotech company. She said she is committed to helping others break barriers because she believes society’s future depends on it. “We all share this responsibility to reverse the status quo,” she said. “The absence of diversity will undermine technology, medicine, and our society.”
“I absolutely adore McNair. I love the people, and I love what they are doing for students on campus,” said Oluwatosin (Tosin) Banjo ’23, a biochemistry major and Posse scholar who has been a McNair scholar since her sophomore year. Banjo is one of 34 Wellesley students who are part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which supports first-generation college students and students from underrepresented backgrounds who aim to earn Ph.D.s in a STEM-related discipline.
The renovation of half of Severance Hall last summer marked the beginning of a $250 million plan to preserve Wellesley’s beloved residence halls and make them greener and more accessible.
Rocky Horror Picture Show shadowcast performances, where actors mimic the 1975 film while it plays on a screen behind them, have been a Wellesley Halloween tradition since 2012, but this year’s directors wanted to do things differently. Co-directors Demeter Appel-Riehle ’25 and Julien Barriere ’24, along with SJ Stephens ’23, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter, intended to make the October 29 event, co-sponsored by the Shakespeare Society and the Film Society, more thoughtful and inclusive by acknowledging and rejecting the bigotry present in both the film and the culture surrounding Rocky Horror, at Wellesley and beyond.