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Wellesley Club of Northern CA
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News from the College
(To view articles on Wellesley in the press, click here.)

Renovated Pendleton East Wins Design Award
"Soft colors, classic design. Great use of lighting fixtures. Up-to-date classrooms." These are some of the words used to describe the renovated Pendleton East by the academic design jury that awarded the building a bronze citation. The award was part of the 2001 Educational Interiors Showcase Competition, a competition for education design projects, sponsored by American School and University magazine. More information can be found at http://schooldesigns.com.

Clapp Library Statues Get Face Lift
After nearly ninety years of weathering the elements, Wellesley's Greek Goddesses have been scrubbed clean and given full body 'face lifts'. The bronze statues that flank the front entrance of Clapp Library were restored over the summer by Rika Smith McNally, conservator of objects and sculpture. "Athena and Hestia have been restored to their original beauty," said Dale Katzif, the library's Access Services Manager. "The transformation is striking and reveals details long hidden by damage from acid rain and graffiti."

Wellesley Again Ranked Fourth Among Top Colleges
Wellesley College has been ranked fourth among national liberal arts colleges for the fourth consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report magazine in its annual "America's Best Colleges" issue. This is the tenth consecutive year that Wellesley has placed among the top five liberal arts colleges. More information can be found at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/libartco/tier1/t1libartco.htm.

Tanner Conference Shares Off-Campus Study and Insights
Life on Mars, ecology in Russia, women's rights in Morocco, poverty in our cities: What do such diverse topics have in common? The answer is Wellesley's multifaceted Tanner Conference, to be held for the first time Wednesday, October 24th.

Established through the generosity of Wellesley trustee emerita Estelle "Nicki" Newman Tanner '57, the day-long conference celebrates the relationship between the liberal arts classroom and student participation in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.

"The conference is premised on the belief that a greater understanding of the learning that takes place off campus combined with critical inquiry into the purpose, value and effect of such learning serves to enrich the liberal educational experience," said Lee Cuba, Dean of the College and co-chair of the Tanner Conference Committee.

Representing the work of more than 300 Wellesley students, alumnae, faculty and staff, the conference is organized around seven themes: Community and Society; Science and Technology; Gender and Social Relations; Politics and Economics; Decisions of Consequence; Wellesley in the World; and Conversations about New Directions. The conference concludes with an exhibition featuring information in internships, service learning opportunities, international study programs and the opportunities available during Wellesley's January Wintersession. More information can be found at http://new.wellesley.edu/CWS/TannerConference.

125 Years of Dorm Life
In celebration of Wellesley's anniversary, the College website has posted a series of pictures entitled "125 Years of Dorm Life." The pictures are online here.

Alumnae Connections Community
Please visit and register to be a member of the Alumnae Connections Community. The Alumnae Connections Community lets you search the on-line directory for fellow alumnae, register for permanent e-mail forwarding, communicate with fellow alumnae via message boards, search for and post notices of available goods and services on electronic yellow pages and much more. Visit the alumnae page today.

Wellesley in the Press
(To view news from the College, click here.)

"Wellesley College, state agree to cleanup of paint pollution on campus"
Read about this settlement and cleanup effort at Boston.com.

President Walsh on NPR
Listen to Diane Chapman Walsh discuss women's colleges on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" by following this link.

"One hundred girls for every boy"
Read alumna Theresa Rusho's essay on her Wellesley experience at Salon.com.

"The old-girl network"
From The Economist print edition

MENTION Massachusetts and higher education in the same breath, and most people most men, at least will think of Harvard and MIT. But ask the gals, and they will tell you that Wellesley has been just as much a shaper of modern American society.

This all-female liberal-arts college, set in gorgeous grounds outside the town of the same name, has produced a string of notable firsts: America's first female secretary of state, Madeleine Korbel Albright (Wellesley insists on acknowledging maiden names), the first First Lady elected to the Senate (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and the first female black judge (Jane Bolin). And although Wellesley does not like to boast, which is such a male thing to do, other alumni include television presenters (Diane Sawyer and Cokie Roberts), film directors (Nora Ephron) and even Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the founder of modern Taiwan which helps explain why a quarter of the college's 2,300 students today are of Asian descent.

Last weekend, Wellesley's women returned in force to celebrate the 125th anniversary of their alma mater. They were greeted like rock stars, a warning to any man thinking that the sting has gone out of feminism. During speeches by Mrs (Rodham) Clinton and Mrs (Korbel) Albright, girls screamed, surged forward to take photographs and cheered their every word, especially suggestions that they had succeeded in spite of their husbands. (Mrs Albright's scuppered her dream of becoming a journalist by refusing to let her join a newspaper that competed with his own: "For 40 years, I have been working out what I should have said to him.")

Certainly Wellesley has plenty to be proud of. Its graduates believe that the college gave them a degree of ambition and confidence that would have been impossible with men around. "The opportunity to have my gender not matter was a huge relief," says Martha McClintock, a professor of biology and psychology famous for discovering that women living together menstruate at the same time. (Her male counterparts had seen the phenomenon in mice, but believed Ms McClintock when she presented data from the women living in her Wellesley dormitory.)

Andrea Dupree, the first astronomer to get an ultraviolet picture of a star using the Hubble telescope, was shocked when a male teacher at graduate school asked her if she would stay in her profession or have children: "No one at Wellesley had ever doubted I was serious." Sandra Lynch, today an appeals-court judge, had never encountered discrimination until she left Wellesley and heard a male law-school professor, triumphant after catching a female student out, remark: "Well, class, now we know why women are not known for their beautiful minds."

All agree, though, that Wellesley's main advantage is its network of lasting friendships. Mrs Clinton chose the college in part because she was told that "wherever you are in the world, a Wellesley woman will help you." She decided to run as senator on the encouragement of a Wellesley suffragette, Ruth Dyk, who told her that the Senate needed more women.

Wellesley feminism has not always been so hardline. Mrs Albright, who tells women to do what she didn't when young, and interrupt speakers in meetings, recalls that, in the late 1950s, the height of ambition instilled by the college was "to stay at home, become fascinating wives and raise smart sons." In her day, clicking sounds in class were not from lap-tops but from knitting-needles, as students made socks for their boyfriends.

Even then, however, Wellesley women did not take many things lying down. According to tradition, a student could test her beau's love by walking him around Lake Waban, the centrepiece of Wellesley's campus, three times. If he did not propose by the third lap, push him in.

An article on Wellesley graduate Sheila Wellington found at cnn.com:
'You've got to deliver'
Mentor in the mirror: Sheila Wellington
June 12, 2001
By Stephanie Morris, CNN

(CNN) -- You pass them in the halls on their way to corner offices.

You see them having power lunches with others at their level and you read about their latest accomplishments on the company Intranet.

But how do you get to be a part of the upper echelon of management in your company?

Sheila Wellington, CEO of Catalyst, lays out what she says are the tools in her new book, "Be Your Own Mentor: Strategies from Top Women on the Secrets of Success."

Wellington has been with Catalyst -- a nonprofit research firm that works to advance women in business -- since 1993. That's when she left her job as the first woman secretary of Yale. She says the time had come for her to give something back.

"I felt (that) aside from writing checks, I'd never really paid my dues. And I felt, 'If I'm ever going to do it, this is the time and the place.'"

"Be Your Own Mentor" strives to be a guide-on-paper to the maze of politics, policies and people in the workplace. Some research indicates, in fact, that women in business tend to have fewer mentors than men. Wellington's book is particularly useful for women without mentors.

Wellington takes the time to instruct others on how they can succeed -- and she also lets some of those at the top know how to give back and help others.

"The critical issue is to have a mentor, period," Wellington says. "You want a mentor who has clout and who can be helpful to you."

The search

Mentoring sounds great on paper, but in the real world of work, a lot of people don't understand what a difference it can really make. Wellington says an advantage that mentors bring to the table is access to informal networks.

And she says one of the best parts about hearing what mistakes a mentor has made is that you can then avoid them.

Once you're sold on the idea of having a mentor, it's time to find one.

Wellington says her favorite example of how not to go about seeking out a mentor is reflected by a quote in her book.

Carol Bartz, CEO, chairwoman and president of Autodesk says that when someone asks her directly to be a mentor, "I don't know what that means: Be their mom? Be responsible for their career success? Share my life secrets with them? I advise women to build a mosaic of experts and guides that will cover each of the areas where you need specific information and advice. Someone who's good at office politics, someone who's a good time manager, and so on."

In Wellington's opinion, "It's a little bit like a stealth mission."

The underlying message in the book is that not only do you have to be strategic about your career, but you also have to be strategic about picking a mentor.

"You have to think about what you need advice in, what in your long term do you most need help with, and who is the person who sat in the chair you want to sit in? Then think about someone who's got it, who's been friendly and where there's a good vibe."

With the changing economy and widespread fear of layoffs, having multiple mentors can only be a good career investment.

"In these days with career change and job turnover, you don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket."

Three tips from Wellington for your mentor search:

  • Think about if someone has reached out to you
  • Ask them a question or two, and then ask them for advice
  • Let the relationship flourish from there

The negotiating table

Wellington draws on her own experiences to help others succeed without having to jump the same hurdles. She focuses on the skill she considers to be a necessity in women: negotiating.

"Women are frequently afraid of negotiating and you've got to not be afraid of how to do it. It's something that I've learned the hard way --- that money matters. You've got to know when you've reached your break point and you've got to understand what your bottom line is."

When Wellington went out for her first real professional job in 1968, she had a degree in public health and she took the job for $12,000 a year.

"I said it was awfully low, and the guy that I was going to work for said to me, 'I can get anybody with your qualifications for $10,000 a year and a hot lunch."

Wellington has career advice for women at all levels of the game.

"I think one thing women just entering the work force have to know is that performance is key. You've got to deliver. One thing both entry-level and middle managers have to know is if you don't blow your own horn no one else will. Don't sit around and wait to be noticed, make sure people know about the great work you're doing.

"For the top-level women, time is of the essence. This is about balancing work and personal life. If you have 20 things you have to do in a day, figure out the top 10 that are really critical and let the rest go."

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Created 6/01. Last updated 7/1/01. Contact webmistress.

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