March 29, 2007

Below is the latest issue of WellesleyWire, an occasional e-mail digest of noteworthy news and announcements from Wellesley College. For more frequent news and events from the College, visit the News & Public Affairs page at . Included in this issue are the following items:

Madeleine Albright to Speak at 2007 Commencement

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will address the members of the Class of 2007 at Wellesley's 129th Commencement on Friday, June 1. In keeping with Wellesley tradition, Jacqueline Hu, president of the senior class, announced the selection of the speaker to her classmates at a reception earlier this month. A member of the Class of 1959, Albright last gave the commencement address in 1995.

More information about Commencement, including a list of key events, is available online at Commencement/index.html


President Diana Chapman Walsh has announced steps aimed at addressing the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. “Wellesley neither has, nor anticipates having, any direct investments in Sudan,” said Walsh in announcing a plan developed with student leaders and the College’s investment office and supported by the trustee investment committee. “We want to go beyond that simple statement and raise awareness in the larger investment community of the mounting crisis in and beyond Darfur. We also want to provide opportunities for our students to work for change.”

Beginning this spring, Wellesley’s investment office will distribute a letter developed by the Wellesley Darfur Committee to its investment managers of commingled international funds. The college will ask those managers to inquire about policies related to operations in the Sudan whenever they meet with representatives of multinational and foreign companies identified by the student activists as potentially generating revenue for the Sudanese government. In addition, to help students work directly on Darfur-related initiatives in the United States or abroad, the College will provide stipends for summer internships in non-profit organizations working for change in Darfur. “Wellesley students can be formidable advocates for change,” said Walsh. “Through these internships, their efforts will amplify Wellesley’s opposition to the atrocities in Sudan.”

More information is available online at Releases/2007/032807.html


Alia Gurtov has been awarded a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship for a year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States. One of 50 college seniors of unusual promise to be awarded the fellowship, Gurtov will receive $25,000 to support her travels and research. An anthropology major at Wellesley, Gurtov will travel to some of the world's most prominent paleosites in Ethiopia, South Africa, Spain, France, Germany and China. "The whole project is designed so I can excavate on site," said Gurtov, who is from Portland, Oregon. "It's my dream to spend my life in the dirt."

Read more in WellesleyWeek WellesleyWeek/WWeek%20April%202-9.pdf


Frank Bidart, Wellesley's Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English, has been awarded the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry, one of the art's highest honors. The prize is awarded biennially by the Yale University Library to an American poet for the best book published during the previous two years or for lifetime achievement in poetry. The prize jury described Bidart as “a poet whose work exemplifies consistent originality of theme, sustained linguistic and formal explorations and a strong sense of the profoundly serious and adventurous nature of the poetic calling.”

Calling Bidart “one of the most important, influential poets in the country," William Cain, chair of the English Department, said, "only a small number of the many fine poets in the United States have been awarded the Bollingen Prize." Previous winners include Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, e.e cummings, Louise Glück and Adrienne Rich.

More information, including two of Bidart's poems, can be found online at Releases/2007/022207a.html

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Mary Ann Hill
Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs

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