Wellesley College is a private women’s liberal arts college located west of Boston in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, it is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges. Wellesley is home to 56 departmental and interdepartmental majors spanning the liberal arts, as well as over 150 student clubs and organizations. The college is also known for allowing its students to cross-register at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Wellesley athletes compete in the NCAA Division III New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.
The Wellesley College Library is in partnership with the Wellesley College community to provide excellent library and technology resources, services, and support to enhance teaching, learning, research, and administrative efficiency. The Library’s collections range in form from incunabula and manuscripts to print and digital books and journals; from rare books to databases; from music scores to tactile and streaming media; from artists books to data sets, photographs and student scrapbooks.
Everything about Wellesley College bespeaks its commitment to women, and to providing them with an unexcelled educational experience that honors and cultivates not only what is best about each of them, and their own potential, but about what women offer our world.
As of 2016, Wellesley was ranked the third best liberal arts college in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and first on The Princeton Review Best Professors list. Also, Forbes magazine in 2015 ranked Wellesley 26th among all US colleges and universities. As of 2017, Wellesley is the highest endowed women’s college in the world, with an endowment of nearly $1.8 billion, and had a Fall 2017 first-year student acceptance rate of 21%.
The college’s robust alumnae base has been widely viewed as the “most powerful women’s network in the world,” and its graduates are often recognized as among the most accomplished of any institution and most responsive to fellow alumnae. Notable alumnae include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Katherine Lee Bates, Cokie Roberts, Diane Sawyer, and Soong Mei-ling.
The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is one of the largest gender-focused, social science research-and-action organizations in the United States, and a member of the National Council for Research on Women. Located on and nearby the Wellesley College campus, the WCW was established when the Center for Research on Women (founded 1974) and the Stone Center for Development Services and Studies at Wellesley College (founded 1981) merged into a single organization in 1995. It is home to several prominent American feminist scholars, including Jean Kilbourne and Peggy McIntosh. The current executive director of the Wellesley Centers for Women is Layli Maparyan. Since 1974, the Wellesley Centers for Women has produced over 200 scholarly articles and over 100 books.
The WCW has seven key areas of research: Education, Child and Adolescent Development, Childcare, Work, Family and Society, Women’s Human Rights, Gender Violence and Social-Emotional Well-Being.