Law Professor and Author Patricia J. Williams
Is the 2005 Commencement Speaker at Wellesley College

For immediate release:
May 25, 2005
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Patricia J. Williams will address the 571 members of the Class of 2005 and their families and friends at Wellesley College’s 127th Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 3, at 10:30 am on Severance Green on the Wellesley, Mass., campus.

Williams is a professor of law at Columbia University School of Law. A 1973 graduate of Wellesley College and a graduate of Harvard Law School, she is a trustee of Wellesley and has served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, Harvard University's Women's Studies Program and the City University of New York Law School at Queen's College. She has held fellowships at the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College, the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California at Irvine and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.

She has written numerous articles for scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers including USA Today, Harvard Law Review, Tikkun, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Ms. and the Village Voice. Her book, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, was named one of the 25 best books of 1991 by the Voice Literary Supplement and one of the "feminist classics of the last 20 years" by Ms. magazine's 20th anniversary edition. She writes a column, “Diary of a Mad Law Professor,” for The Nation. Her newest book is Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and a Search for a Room of My Own.

This year’s student Commencement speaker is senior Rachel Isaacs of Manalapan, N.J. She continues a tradition that began with the college’s first student Commencement speaker, now Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a member of the Wellesley Class of 1969.

Wellesley’s Commencement will take place rain or shine in the center of the Wellesley, Mass., campus, under a tent on Severance Green. For travel directions, go to A campus map can be found at The following events are open to the public:

9:15 am: Senior Class Picture, Severance Hill, to the left of the Commencement tent.
9:45 am: Procession formation. Seniors line up on the Academic Quadrangle. Faculty line up outside Founders Hall on Jewett Road.
10:30 am: Commencement Exercises; ceremony ends between 12:30-1 pm.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more on Commencement 2005, go to