Wellesley College Receives $2.7 Million Gift for Financial Aid
March 17, 2006
Mass. -- In one of her class notes, Virginia Webbert, Wellesley
College Class of 1935, wrote she “had
fulfilled a major career goal of using [her] Wellesley training
in economics to work in foreign countries.” Throughout the
40-year career with the federal government that followed, a path
that took her to several countries in Southeast Asia, Webbert never
forgot the importance of her Wellesley education.
month, Wellesley received $2.7 million from Webbert’s
estate, a bequest that will help future generations of Wellesley
women realize their goals. Webbert, who died in 2004, expressed
her wish that the money be used for financial aid for students
majoring in economics or music. The endowment fund will be named
for Webbert and her parents, Harry and Emma.
An economics major at Wellesley, Webbert began her international
career during World War II as an intelligence officer in India
and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). When the war ended, she spent 15 years
as an intelligence research analyst in Burma and Thailand, moving
between the U.S. and those countries. From 1961 until her retirement
in 1983, Webbert was Indonesian Desk Officer in the Commerce Department
where she worked closely with U.S. businesses and the Indonesian
government on economic development and investment opportunities
in the country. After her retirement, she remained physically active,
traveling and swimming regularly, sang in her church choir, and
enjoyed the many cultural opportunities in Washington, D.C., where
Wellesley has a long tradition of need-blind admission, making
admission decisions without regard to a family's financial situation.
Last year, the College provided $29.5 million in scholarships.
The College is one of the few most selective institutions that
also meets 100 percent of a student's demonstrated financial need.
Wellesley College is a prominent liberal arts college and a leader
in the education of women for more than 120 years. Its 500-acre
campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from
all 50 states and 66 countries.