We want to know why Wesleyan graphic

In February, we asked all alumnae to answer the question Why Wesleyan? With fewer than forty women’s colleges in existence today, we thought it would be good to look back and invite alumnae to share experiences, thoughts, insights, and memories that reflect the greatness of a women’s college education. We also asked alumnae and students to answer the question, “Why should we fight to save this women’s college?” Some of the answers can be found here. 

“We should fight for Wesleyan’s future because Wesleyan has become integral to the lives of thousands of alumnae around the world and several more thousands who have been touched by these women. There is no diversity like the diversity and inclusivity on our beautiful campus.”  Micah Davidson ’20

BEST. DECISION. EVER. Not only did I find my voice in my WISe 101 class, but I made long-lasting and cherished friendships with so many people. Sisterhood is what made Wesleyan so great for me. By having that special PK/GK bond, I had automatic sisters that had my back no matter what.” Joi Raushan ’18

“Wesleyan was where I first experienced freedom and independence.” Kendra Rhoulhac ’02

“We should fight for Wesleyan’s future because she was the first ever women’s college. Wesleyan offered women an education at a time when it was barely accepted. The world has been forever changed because Wesleyan provides women with the tools they need to succeed and fill leadership roles. If we don’t fight for Wesleyan now, what does the future hold for women’s education? What does the future of the world hold for women?” Chy Brown ’20

“… the scholarship aid has made it possible to become a Wesleyan Woman, one who is proud, strong, intelligent, and confident. I am especially inspired by just such a Wesleyan alumna – my own grandmother – Dyleane Tolbert Taylor ‘72. As one of Wesleyan’s “First Five,” the first black women to graduate from Wesleyan, my grandmother was instrumental in breaking down barriers to ensure all women have equal opportunity for a higher education. 

“Whichever path I ultimately choose, I am determined to give back to the Wesleyan Women of the future, just like the donors here today have done for us. This is my commitment to you – and to my grandmother’s legacy – to keep Wesleyan always ‘First for Women’.” Rachel Solomon ’20

“I have been an educator for eighteen years and I have taught in three different states. Yet, when I think about the most intelligent people that I have ever been surrounded by, I think of the young women of Wesleyan College. They came from all over the world - valedictorians and salutatorians from everywhere. I learned just as much from my peers as I did from my professors. My peers elevated me. The small classes engaged me, and the curriculum changed me completely. Wesleyan makes leaders out of women who don’t even aim to become leaders. The Black Student Alliance was pivotal in making me feel that I belonged. Twenty years later, I use my experiences to shape the minds of my students and colleagues. When I left Wesleyan, I felt liberated, and that is what it’s all about”. Shana Underwood-Stephens ’00

“Wesleyan allowed and encouraged me to be bold, try new things, stumble and learn from those setbacks, meet interesting people, and participate in new experiences. I saw women leaders - in and out of the classroom - women who respectfully challenged ideas, conquered goals, and embraced femininity in all forms and expressions. I made lifelong friends, women who are sisters of the heart. Wesleyan allowed me the stage to become the best version of myself with the humble confidence to share those gifts with the world.” Lisa Shiveler ’87

“(My scholarship has) given me the opportunity to attend the Oldest and Best, and in doing so, you gave me the tools I needed to be a strong, self-assured woman capable of taking on the world. I will carry this gift with me for the rest of my life, and I will pass it on by becoming a role model to other women, inspiring the next generation of scientists.” Melissa Rey’ 20

“I come from a poor family who did not value education. My mother assumed that I would graduate high school and get a job at Woolworth’s. I had other ideas. My drama teacher arranged an audition with a representative of Wesleyan who was impressed by my scene from Our Town. I was offered a partial drama scholarship from Wesleyan and my whole life changed. Wesleyan is a physically beautiful campus and I loved it. But it was the lifelong friends I made, the fantastic professors who were such a positive influence on my life, the roles I was able to play onstage and most of all the continuation of the friendships I made with my Wesleyan sisters sixty years ago that have remained a beacon of love and hope in my life. We all still turn to each other for affection and support. I shall be eternally grateful to Wesleyan for taking a chance on me.” Linda Maria Willson ’60

 

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