Wellesley College Senior Sophie Kim of Alameda, Calif.,
Serves as 2006 Student Commencement Speaker

For immediate release:
June 7, 2006
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College senior Sophie Kim, a native of Alameda, Calif., has been selected as this year’s student commencement speaker, continuing a tradition that began with Wellesley’s first student Commencement speaker, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a member of the class of 1969. In her speech, given under sunny skies at Wellesley’s 128th graduation ceremony on June 1, Kim emphasized the continued importance of women’s colleges in today’s world.

“Gender equality is more of a reality today than it was even in our parents’ generation, but there is still more progress to be made, particularly in promoting the advancement and visibility of women in all sectors of society,” she said.

Global public health activist Ophelia Dahl also addressed the 544 graduating seniors, their families and friends.

Kim, the daughter of the late Yung Bin Kim, who passed away earlier this year, is a 2002 graduate of Alameda High School. She has been a proponent of Wellesley College as a place where women leadership is nourished.

“Wellesley is a place that inspires passions and cultivates leadership,” she said. “I speak for myself as well as many of my friends and peers when I say that I have developed a passion during my time here at Wellesley. For me, my passion is politics, and that has translated into my strong commitment to my major, department and related extracurricular activities. Wellesley fueled this passion and inspired me to commit my life to public service.

“Wellesley is also a place where women occupy all (student) leadership positions. This is a rare opportunity and unique feature of the College that the outside world does not resemble. I love the fact that Wellesley encourages women’s leadership and does not challenge a woman’s ability to lead.”

A political science major, Kim has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. She is also a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. She has served as chair of the Committee for Political and Legislative Action, which presents issues of local, national and international importance to the student body in a nonpartisan manner, and has been a member of the 2005-2006 College Government Cabinet. She has been active in the Political Science Majors Council and as a tutor for the department, and has served as a research assistant for her major adviser. She is also active in the Phi Sigma Lecture Society.

Last summer, she participated in the Wellesley in Washington internship program in Washington, D.C., where she interned for a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Following her graduation from Wellesley, she will serve as a fellow in the California State Senate for the 2006-2007 term and prepare for law school.

To read Kim’s entire speech, go to www.wellesley.edu/PublicAffairs/Commencement/2006/SKim.html

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.