Wellesley College

Wellesley College
Formal Seal of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA.svg
Latin: Collegium Wellesleianum
Former names
Wellesley Female Seminary
MottoNon Ministrari sed Ministrare (Latin)
Motto in English
Not to be ministered unto, but to minister
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Women's college
Established1870 (chartered)
1875 (commenced classes)
Endowment$1.97 billion (2017)[1]
PresidentPaula A. Johnson
Academic staff
347 (FT & PT)
LocationWellesley, Massachusetts, US
CampusRural / Suburban (College town), 500 acres (200 ha)
ColorsWellesley Blue and Black [2]
AthleticsNCAA Division IIINEWMAC
Sports14 varsity teams
Formal Logo of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA.svg

Wellesley College is a private women's liberal arts college located west of Boston in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, it is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges. Wellesley is home to 56 departmental and interdepartmental majors spanning the liberal arts, as well as over 150 student clubs and organizations. The college also allows its students to cross-register at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.[4] Wellesley athletes compete in the NCAA Division III New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference.

As of 2018, Wellesley was ranked the third best liberal arts college in the United States by U.S. News & World Report[5] As of 2017, Wellesley is the highest endowed women's college in the world, with an endowment of nearly $2 billion, and had a Fall 2018 first-year student acceptance rate of 19%.[6]

The college's robust alumnae base has been widely viewed as the "most powerful women's network in the world,"[7] and its graduates are often recognized as among the most accomplished of any institution and most responsive to fellow alumnae. Notable alumnae include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Katharine Lee Bates, Cokie Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Nora Ephron, Pamela Melroy, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Soong Mei-ling and Bing Xin.[8]


Campus of Wellesley College as it appeared circa 1880

Wellesley was founded by Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant, believers in educational opportunity for women, who intended that the college should prepare women for "...great conflicts, for vast reforms in social life".[9] Its charter was signed on March 17, 1870, by Massachusetts Governor William Claflin. The original name of the college was the Wellesley Female Seminary; its renaming to Wellesley College was approved by the Massachusetts legislature on March 7, 1873. Wellesley first opened its doors to students on September 8, 1875. At the time of its founding, Wellesley College's campus was actually situated in Needham; however, in 1880 residents of West Needham voted to secede and in 1881 the area was chartered as a new town, Wellesley.

The first president of Wellesley was Ada Howard. There have been thirteen more presidents in its history: Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer, Helen Almira Shafer, Julia Josephine Thomas Irvine, Caroline Hazard, Ellen Fitz Pendleton, Mildred H. McAfee (later Mildred McAfee Horton), Margaret Clapp, Ruth M. Adams, Barbara Warne Newell, Nannerl Overholser Keohane (later the president of Duke University from 1993–2004), Diana Chapman Walsh, H. Kim Bottomly, and current president Paula Johnson.

The original architecture of the college consisted of one very large building, College Hall, which was approximately 150 metres (490 ft) in length and five stories in height. It was completed in 1875. The architect was Hammatt Billings. College Hall was both an academic building and residential building. On March 17, 1914, it was destroyed by fire, the precise cause of which was never officially established. The fire was first noticed by students who lived on the fourth floor near the zoology laboratory. It has been suggested that an electrical or chemical accident in this laboratory—specifically, an electrical incubator used in the breeding of beetles—triggered the fire.[citation needed]

A group of residence halls known as the Tower Court complex are located on top of the hill where the old College Hall once stood.

After the loss of the Central College Hall in 1914, the college adopted a master plan in 1921 and expanded into several new buildings. The campus hosted a Naval Reserve Officer Training program during the Second World War and began to significantly revise its curriculum after the war and through the late 1960s. In 2013 the faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.[10]

Other Languages
العربية: كلية ويليسلي
تۆرکجه: ولزلی کالجی
Bahasa Indonesia: Wellesley College
Nederlands: Wellesley College
پنجابی: ویلسلے کالج
português: Wellesley College
Simple English: Wellesley College
slovenščina: Wellesley College
српски / srpski: Велсли (колеџ)
українська: Коледж Веллслі