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Emily Howland
Emily Howland from American Women, 1897.jpg
Portrait of Emily Howland from American Women
Born (1827-11-20)November 20, 1827
Sherwood, New York
Died June 29, 1929(1929-06-29) (aged 101)

Emily Howland (November 20, 1827 – June 29, 1929) was a philanthropist and educator. Especially known for her activities and interest in the education of African-Americans, she was also a strong supporter of women's rights and the temperance movement. Howland personally financed the education of many black students and contributed to institutions such as the Tuskegee Institute.[1]

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  • Wellesley College Commencement 2016 ( Full-Length)
  • Law School Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, 530th Convocation
  • Wellesley College Commencement 2016 Addresses


Please be seated. As Tiffany Steinwert, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, delivers the invocation. Let us be together. Pausing in the midst of celebration and an eager, electric anticipation, we await the culmination of our time here, but let us not hurry this moment. Let us stay with it. Be present for just this moment. So breathe. Go ahead, breathe. Mindful that this ending is but a beginning, we affirm our belief that higher education is not a race to be one. It is not a fallacious facade of perfection, but rather it is an offer unfolding journey of discovery, known in the beauty and joy of cultivating a life well lived. And so in this moment, call to our mind's eye all those who made today possible. Renew in us our deeply held values of intellectual inquiry, dynamic diversity, inspirational leadership, and compassionate service. Grant us a life, love, long truth, love of truth, of fierce commitment to justice, and an unquenchable thirst for peace. And remind us always to look beyond the world's measure of success, to discover our own sense of accomplishment rooted not in what we do, but in who we are. Gifted, graced, beloved, perfect, exactly as we are in this very moment. And so when the ceremony ends today we will go our separate ways, but for this sacred time let us stand once more as the beloved community united in our pursuit of wisdom so that we may go out and create a better, more just world. So may it be. Thank you. On behalf of the trustees, faculty, staff, alumnae, and the Wellesley College Class of 2016, it is my privilege to welcome you to the college's 138th commencement exercises. Assembled here in the academic quad are the guests of our graduates. The proud mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and extended family members and friends, and for the 11 Davis scholars, partners, spouses, and children. Also assembled here today are the graduates themselves. The Wellesley Class of 2016. They are excited and proud and probably a little nervous. Seniors, as you look around at those congregated here, recall how much you have experienced and learned during your time at Wellesley. I know you have great appreciation for the people who have supported you here during your time at Wellesley. Family and friends, faculty and staff. Seniors, I invite you to stand and express your gratitude to them. Please be seated. I would also like to take a moment for us collectively to acknowledge and show support for your classmates who are missing today's ceremony, including the seven students who are representing Wellesley College at the NCAA National Championships and crew this weekend. This marks the seventh straight season that the Wellesley Blue has earned a team appearance at the NCAA. Now I am pleased to invite Delia Arias De León, co-president of the Class of 2016 to the stage to introduce our student speaker. Oh, this is tall. Hello, everyone, and thank you for coming to this year's commencement ceremonies. It has been an honor to serve you and I am so excited to be graduating along side you. We have passed our classes. Whew! Horticulture scared me for a second. Served our time, and we are graduating. On behalf of the red class of 2016, I would also like to take this moment to extend the thank you to the faculty and staff of Wellesley College who have helped us get here. Without your invaluable support, encouragement and love over the past four years, I don't think almost any of us would be here. From explaining concepts recording grasp to answering panicked emails and acting as surrogate mentors when life outside of Wellesley got just a little too hard, you have been there every step of the way, and as we step into the real world, we will cherish the lessons, words of advice, and office hours that you all provided. With that said, I am now extremely humble to present our student speaker, a student that as co-president, I've had the honor to get to know well this year. She is a BP of CA, the financial manager of Cafe Hoop, that has wowed us all with her natural making skills, and as of yesterday a second lieutenant for the United States Army. Please join me, please join me in wide applause in welcoming Grace Park to the stage. - Ooh. I'm tip-toeing. I want you to know that. Distinguished members of the Board of Trustees, President Bottomly, faculty, staff, family, friends, and the Class of 2016, welcome. This commencement is just as much a celebration of all those who helped us get here as it is of us. But first, my fellow graduates, let's talk about us. Rewind four years to August of 2012. It's the first day of orientation. A day kind of like today. Beautiful, chaotic, and a little bit sweaty. Perhaps you remember the theme. Our orientation coordinators encouraged us to start our stories here at Wellesley. Maybe some of you came in with a five or 10 year plan. Or maybe some of you were like me and decided to wing the whole thing. Either way, four years later, each of us has a unique story to tell. And though I wouldn't call myself a hopeless romantic, the story I'm going to share with you today is a story about love. About my love for Wellesley, the important work of love, and how love can change the world. Perhaps it seems out of place for someone like me, and officer in the United States Army, to speak of love. But in the Army, a profession of arms, love is the thing that holds soldiers together. It's the only reason a soldier would lay down her life for another. But I first learned the power of love here. I met Wellesley online. A solid profile picture and the enticing tagline that Boston was just 20 minutes away had me at first swipe. When I first stepped foot on this beautiful campus I knew she was the one. See, Wellesley wasn't just beautiful. Wellesley was challenging. Wellesley had a curious way of asking life's toughest questions. What kind of person do I want to be? Does political correctness infringe on freedom of speech? And of course, which dining halls have the best ice cream flavors this week? But the reason I love this school is that Wellesley doesn't just ask us these questions, it equips us to answer them. In one of my favorite classes at Wellesley, Professor Hahrie Han of the Political Science Department encouraged a small group of students to embark on the unruly task of changing the world. She said, "Imagine the world, "imagine the world not as it is, "but as it could be." Here, more than any other place, we had the opportunity to imagine the world as it could be. A world without sexism. Here, we could be loud. We could be angry. We could be a complete mess. And we would be celebrated for it. And it was here where I learned that feminism must go beyond the work of equality between genders. It must extend to imagining the world free of racism, ableism, classism, homophobia and transphobia. And in some important spaces here we were able to start imagining that world. While preparing this speech, I asked myself what sets our class apart from the others? Besides our ridiculous good looks, we, the members of the red class, have uniquely led the important work of love on this campus. Members of our own class have organized sit-ins, die-ins, protests and marches, to create change. Since they have walked these halls, since we have walked these halls, trans women will now be accepted to Wellesley. House presidents and RAs will receive compensation for their work. And people of color will finally have a multi-cultural space in Acorns. We did that. And we didn't start these movements because we hated Wellesley. We started them in the hope that Wellesley would answer the promise which was made to us. That while the outside world may not be so kind, at Wellesley we would be taken seriously. That in this place we are powerful. We started these movements in an inter-generational love that extends beyond our four years here because none of us will be here to enjoy these things. Instead, we leave behind these opportunities for Wellesley students to come. A better Wellesley than the one we found. When we leave campus today, we leave with a bit more privilege and a lot more debt than which we began the start of the story. We leave joining just 6% of people in the world with four-year college degrees. We leave entering a world mired in increasing hatred and violence, but I am not afraid, because I have all of you. With this newfound privilege we have the opportunity and the responsibility to love the world, and in doing so, change it. Whether you define your world as a nation, family, or even just yourself, fellow alumna of a women's college Dr. Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, "committed citizens can change the world. "Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Sitting before me today are by far that most thoughtful, the most committed, the most compassionate people I've ever known. In this next chapter I believe that we, the small group of Wellesley alums, can change the world. Indeed, we already have. Thank you, and congratulations Class of 2016. Thank you, Grace. Now we have the opportunity to recognize and congratulate outstanding members of the faculty, recipients of Wellesley's teaching prize and named chairs, and those who are retiring. In my time here, I've observed the dedication of the faculty and the power of their teaching. In my conversations with alumni around the world, they all have stories of special professors who influence them. And I know that as the seniors reflect back on their time here, they all recall when they were challenged and inspired by members of our faculty. So from all of us assembled here today, to the Wellesley college faculty, thank you for your commitment to the education of the Class of 2016. Thank you. The Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching is awarded each year to honor members of our faculty who have demonstrated excellence as teachers. Now given how outstanding our teaching faculty at Wellesley are, it's very significant to be recognized in this way. According to the rules for the prize, the finalists are selected by a student faculty committee on the basis of nominations from students, faculty, and staff. Today we recognize these three teachers: Irene Mata, Women and Gender studies. Casey Rothschild, Economics. Carla Verschoor, Chemistry. I will know read excerpts from Irene Mata's citation. When you take a class from Professor Mata, you can expect that your view of the world will be forever changed. Professor Mata teaches students to critically analyze film and literature through a number of lenses and apply that to their own lives. As one student said, "I was challenged to re-access my own understanding "of the world in order to come to a more "conclusive, critical, yet positive assessment." In the class Professor Mata facilitates thoughtful and critical conversations connecting textbook theory with real-life social change, and gives students constant opportunities to discuss and consider many different perspectives. And though she may be leading the class, Professor Mata is also a fully engaged student, opened to the ideas of those around here with what one student called an unfaltering willingness to grow and learn alongside of her students. Out of class Professor Mata is passionately supportive of her students, especially those from underrepresented groups. She can often be seen at student events and her extended office hours are legendary. One student commented on Professor Mata's willingness to meet with her to talk about her post-Wellesley plans. That student said, "She has reminded me "to see my life after Wellesley as one of "entire possibilities." For her dedication to teaching and for opening student's eyes to the world, it is a pleasure to present Irene Mata with the Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize. I will now read excerpts from Casey Rothschild's citation. Economics professor Casey Rothschild freely admits that his problem sets are hard. Hard to do, but also hard to put down. They're designed to encourage students to be active and engaged participants, not just in class, but in the study sessions and office hours that he holds. Office hours that do not end until all of his student's questions have been answered, sometimes going on late into the night. Professor Rothschild has a deep and unwavering commitment to supporting his students, giving seemingly unlimited personal attention to each one of them. As one student said, "Casey always pushes "every student to learn as much as they can." As rigorous as his courses are, students commented on how much they learned from Professor Rothschild, even going so far as to call his finals fun in economics. One student described his style as excellence in teaching with just the right amount of challenge. A brilliant economist and a rising star in his research field, Professor Rothschild is a tireless advocate for his students. He is the quintessential liberal arts professor whose teaching informs his research and whose research enriches his teaching. For his steady and inspired dedication to his students, we are pleased to present Casey Rothschild with the Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize. I will now read excerpts from Carla Verschoor's citation. One by one Carla Verschoor has been changing student's lives. That's because she makes chemistry come alive. She doesn't just teach chemistry, she helps students become more knowledgable and curious about the discipline. One student said, "Her passion and dedication "to teaching and to her students have helped "many learn chemistry, "and to navigate through the Wellesley experience." Professor Verschoor is a trusted advisor and mentor to students and faculty alike, in official and unofficial ways. As one colleague described it, "Her door is always open and her office is often full." One of her faculty colleagues said, "I know of particular students who feel "far more comfortable approaching her "with their academic or other issues "than any other faculty in the department, "even when they have never actually "had her in a course." Faculty also commented on Professor Verschoor's deep commitment to work toward ensuring the success of students from underrepresented groups. She has held regular office hours in Harambee House to actively catalyze a chemistry community within underrepresented groups in the sciences. As one faculty member said, "Among all the faculty in the department, "she has been one of the most successful "at helping all students reach their full potential." For her commitment to her students and her colleagues, we are proud to award the Anna and Samuel Pinanski Teaching Prize to Carla Verschoor. You may return to your seats. It is our tradition at commencement to announce the names of faculty being recognized with new appointments to endowed chairs. Today we recognize nine faculty members who I will ask to stand and remain standing. I will ask you to hold your applause until we have recognized all of the professors. Charles Bu, the William William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics. Claire Fontijn, the Phyllis Henderson Carey Professor of Music. Simon Grote, the Wellesley faculty Assistant Professorship. Joe Joyce, the M. Margaret Ball Professor of International Relations. Peggy Levitt, the Luella LaMer Slaner Professorship in Latin American Studies. Phyllis McGibbon, the Elizabeth Christy Kopf Professorship. I have to say that Phyllis's car broke down on the way here today, so I'm really sorry that she's not here. Of all the days. Craig Murphy, the Betty Freyhof Johnson Class of '44 Professor of Political Science. Orit Shaer, the Class of 1966 Associate Professor. Nina Tumarkin, the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Professorship of Slavic Studies. Congratulations to each of you. In the life of every institution there is a moment when we must bid farewell to members of our community who have made the decision to retire. This year seven faculty members are retiring and transitioning to emeriti status. I want to say a few words about each of them, and I will ask them each to stand when their name is called. Bunny Harvey. Since 1976 Bunny Harvey has inspired students to explore their voices and their identities through painting. The Elizabeth Christy Kopf Professor of Art and a brilliant and renowned painter herself, Professor Harvey always created an accepting yet demanding studio art environment, challenging her students to do their very best work. In 2004, when she was recognized with Wellesley's Pinanski Prize for Teaching, one student commented, "She pushes me to see art not as something I just do, "but as something that is connected "to everything else I am learning and experiencing." This past September the Davis Museum curated an exhibition that offered a comprehensive look at Professor Harvey's work over four decades, which included not only her own aspirational and evocative artwork, but also materials sent in tribute to her inspirational standards by over 100 former students. Wellesley College thanks Professor Harvey for her unflagging commitment to her students and to Wellesley. Lois Wassersping. Lois Wasserspring, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, has long been committed to introducing students to the challenges and rewards of cross-cultural experiences. During her 35-year career at Wellesley, she founded and for many years co-directed our Latin American studies program. She also established the college's internship program in Costa Rica, as well as our winter session program in Mexico. Professor Wasserspring's scholarly work lies at the intersection of political science, anthropology, and women's studies. She has focused her research on issues of rural development and the effect of development and inequality on women's lives. We are grateful to Professor Wasserspring for the inelible mark that she has made on Wellesley and on our students. Thank you so much. The following five retiring faculty members could not be here today, but I wanted to recognize them for their longstanding dedication to their students and to Wellesley. Gary Harris. Actually, I should ask if Gary is here. No. When biological sciences professor Gary Harris taught cellular and molecular biology, he always taught the fundamentals, of course, but he would also relate the subject matter to diverse aspects of society and student's lives. Students in his intro courses could count on participating in discussions about flu epidemics, bio ethics, and bio technology. A versatile educator who has taught at Wellesley since 1976, Professor Harris received an important NCF grant in 2011 that enabled Wellesley to purchase a new mass spectrometer, exposing students to the latest technology. Wellesley College has been fortunate to count Professor Harris as among our distinguished faculty. Thomas Hansen. Since 1977, German professor Thomas Hansen has been a central figure in the department, teaching such staples as introductory German for which he co-authored the course textbook, which is now in it's 8th edition. He is well known for his translations of such critical work as Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, which was published in 2012, both in print and as an ebook. Most recently he and his wife translated Letters of a Mass Murderer, the Private Heinrich Himmler. Professor Hansen has served Wellesley in a number of critical capacities, including as department chair and as director of former Wellesley and Vienna program. We are grateful for his longstanding commitment to Wellesley and to advancing the field of German studies. Simone Helluy. Simone Helluy always saw her role as Senior Instructor of Biological Sciences Laboratory not just as a teacher, but as a catalyst for facilitating student learning and discovery. Her labs were structured as communities of inquiry where students were encouraged to participate in hands on activities and experiments. Since 1988 Professor Helluy taught intro courses to 300 level labs in both biological sciences and neuroscience. She published widely, co-authoring papers with students and served for many years as a member of the Medical Professions Advisory Committee. We are deeply grateful to Professor Helluy for her dedication to the college. Phil Kohl. Without a doubt, Phil Kohl's greatest strength as a teacher over the last 41 years has been his ability to mentor and guide students, urging them to follow their dreams. Innumerable students can look back at their time on campus and point to Professor Kohl, the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Professor of Slavic Studies and Professor of Anthropology. He helped them change their paths. He won a Pinanski Prize for Teaching last year, a testament to his longstanding dedication to his students. Professor Kohl focused his research doing archaeological excavations in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucuses, and he has long supported and lead Wellesley's winter session program in the Republic of Georgia. Professor Kohl has written or edited seven books, as well as more than 160 articles and reviews. We are grateful for Professor Kohl's unflagging commitment to his students and for deepening our cultural understanding of the world. Jens Kruse. German professor Jens Kruse has been a dedicated Wellesley faculty member for the past 33 years, focused on his student's education and on serving the college well. Professor Kruse was chair of the German department and coordinator of foreign language chairs, and from 1992 to 1999, he served as Associate Dean of the college. As a member of the dean's office, Professor Kruse led the college's global education initiative, stewarded the faculty appointment and tenure processes, and helped design a new weekly academic schedule. Professor Kruse has published numerous articles and a book on Goethe and Kafka. Most recently he published four electronically notated works by Kafka. We thank Professor Kruse for his dedication to the college. It is my great privilege and honor to introduce our commencement speaker, Lulu Chow Wang, Wellesley Class of 1966. Or as we simply know her, Lulu. There are very few Wellesley alumni whose first name alone evokes so much Wellsesley. For our students and alumni, especially those who graduated within the last 10 years, her name is synonymous with our gorgeous campus center for which she and her husband Tony gave a generous gift, and which we affectionately call the Lulu. For our alumni working on Wall Street and elsewhere in the financial world, and there are many, mention of Lulu's name instantly evokes images of one of the most powerful women in the business. Lulu began her career as a financial editor on Wall Street, a role she credits to having been an English literature major at Wellesley. Yeah. Her passion for lifelong learning led her to earn and MBA from Columbia Business School and her unbreakable determination enabled her to jumpstart an astonishing career in the male dominated field of investment banking, uh, management, excuse me. In 1998 she founded the Tupelo Capital Management, now a leading New York-based investment management firm. She has shattered glass ceiling after glass ceiling, and forever changed the landscape of investment management. Many of our alumni living in New York undoubtedly also associate Lulu with the outstanding leadership she has demonstrated there in philanthropic, educational, cultural, and charitable endeavors. Throughout her distinguished career, Lulu has been recognized for her trailblazing achievements and for her mentoring of young women. She was the first woman honored at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts corporate dinner and at the Asia Society's entrepreneur dinner. She has also been recognized by Girls, Inc., the New York Women's Agenda, the New York City Commission on the Status of Women, and the American Women's Economic Development Corporation. Today, Lulu lends her business acumen and wisdom to many corporate and philanthropic boards, including MetLife insurance Company, Columbia Business School, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockefeller University, Asia Society, and the Chazen Institute of International Business. For me, when I think of Lulu, I think of her incredible warmth, kindness, generosity, and grace, and her amazing baking skills. All of which I had the good fortune to experience when I first met her in 2007. No matter how you know Lulu, and no matter the lens through which you view her, there is one common thread that is unequivocably clear. She has a genuine and unwavering dedication to Wellesley College. Over the past several decades, Lulu has given countless hours to her alma mater. She served on our Board of Trustees for 18 years and was the first woman to chair our board's investment committee. She remains very active in Wellesley's Business Leadership Council and with our New York City alumni club, and is always more than happy to connect women to each other, especially Wellesley women. Lulu has likewise been dedicated to many Wellesley initiatives that support our students, including our new College to Career initiative, to encourage and empower women to explore their passions and contributions to their chosen fields. All of Lulu's support is testimony to her belief in Wellesley's mission and in the imperative of investing in women and women's education as the surest way to improve the world. She herself represents the strongest possible endorsement of a liberal arts education and its power to prepare students for any calling that inspires them. Lulu has been a trailblazing leader in investment management, a dedicated philanthropist, and a champion for women's education as an unabashedly loyal alumna of our alma mater. In her spare time she and her husband Tony collect vintage sports cars, which they restore and race. And so today as our seniors prepare to cross this finish line, we have the distinct pleasure of hearing from Lulu Chow Wang. Lulu. - Thank you, President Bottomly, Provost Shennan, esteemed trustees, faculty and staff, and the phenomenal Class of 2016, and also your proud and loving families and friends. It is a special honor to be invited to be your commencement speaker because in just next week I return for my 50th reunion. And from here on we will reunion together. Since leaving Wellesley, I have had the pleasure of speaking to a number of audiences, but today to speak to you, my Wellesley sisters, is really meaningful to me. Even my wonderful husband who is here today and usually a bit cynical when he hears that I'm going to give a talk, to him any speech over five minutes is way too long, he took note. When I broke the news of being your commencement speaker, he surprised me. He looked up from his crossword puzzle and my resident cynic said, "Now that is a big deal." He knew that it is a big deal because he knows that I, as you all, really love this place. So my dear Class of 2016, you have been an impressive class from the day you set foot on campus. You use your intelligence and your energy to advance the hallmark actions on Wellesley. On gender, pluralism, and pay equity. And during a time of rapidly changing and often uncertain standards, you weighed in and you made a big difference. There is no question we live in a time of unexpected and often confusing change. It has often been so disruptive that some just choose to sit it out, but we know Wellesley women never sit anything out. And so we have to meet this challenge and here at Wellesley we are being prepared to lead in this time of change. Our liberal arts education is more relevant than ever. We are challenged to think critically, to manage seismic as well as nano trends with the intellectual nimbleness essential to succeed in today's changing world. Central to this intellectual and social agility are two key attributes. First, an open mind. Second, resilience. An open mind. An open mind allows us to explore all the options before us. Not just the ones that are comfortable and familiar. It allows us to imagine ourselves and lives that truly excite us, that demand more from us than we had ever imagined. At Wellesley we are not only encouraged to discover these options, but challenged to pursue them. And it was Wellesley which gave me the courage to do just that. Now I know that your class has loved to share stories with each other, and so today I would like to share my story with you. When I first arrived at Wellesley in the fall of '62, long time ago, my aspirations were quite traditional. I thought that I was already daring in choosing to major in English literature. It was not the science or practical major that my family, the first generation immigrants from China, might have preferred. But they were very permissive with me. I assumed that I would earn a Master's and work a few years before marrying and starting a family. This was pretty standard for women in the '50s and early '60s. However, life and love upset these plans. I left Wellesley after my junior year to be with my husband Tony, who had just graduated from Yale and was heading for Cornell Law School. So, love survived the frigid winters of Ithaca. Very cold up there. But despite the joys of motherhood and home crafts that would have impressed even Martha Stewart, I felt adrift. Something was really missing. Wellesley had inspired ambitions that I felt helpless to pursue at that time. When Tony finished his degree and had a job offer in New York City, he understood my restlessness and good husband as he was, he said, "Okay, now it's your turn "to finish your education and do whatever it takes "to make you happy." I did just that, completing my Wellesley degree at Barnard, I received my Wellesley degree in 1969, but with a young family in New York City, I did not make it up for my commencement. So you can see I especially appreciate this opportunity to share your commencement with you. Now with my Wellesley degree under my belt, I reassessed my options. The world had changed in just three years. It was the early days of women's liberation and the choices for women were exploding, so I looked around. I was intrigued by my husband's work as a securities lawyer. It seemed challenging and also far too much of a male enclave. It needed some women in there. So I looked into law school, but then on further examination I thought I might really prefer the securities rather than the law side of what he did. Since I had no experience then in securities, I applied to a securities firm for a financial editor position which Kim mentioned. It required an MBA, which I did not have at that time, but I went into the interview with a secret weapon. It was a wealthy paper I had written at my sophomore year, and I thought I could bring it along as evidence that I could really write and edit. I was also emboldened when I learned that most of the analysts at this firm were primarily Harvard Business School graduates. I felt confident that my Wellesley BA would be certainly equal to their Harvard MBAs. My apologies to the HBSers out there. So I got the job on a three-month trial basis. I did well and they offered me a permanent position as an editor. Of course by then, Wellesley women are always thinking, it was clear to me that the upward path in a securities firm was on the investment, not the editorial side. I understood I was taking a risk, but I took the chance and I asked them to make me an analyst. I knew that with some hard work, I was confident I could develop stock recommendations, which 'til then I had just been editing for other people. I was lucky. The firm was growing fast. They needed analysts, so they gave me a shot. Although it could've been a total disaster, I never regretted that leap. The more I learned about investing, the more I loved it. And I knew that this was the intellectual challenge that I had been missing. So this was the humble beginning of a lifelong love affair with investing. A path I would never have taken if I had not had the confidence and open mind that Wellesley encouraged in me. As I advanced to larger firms and more senior positions, I earned an executive MBA at Columbia. Now, my career was not one without forks in the road. When I was a mid-career senior securities analyst, I was approached by the CEO of a large Fortune 100 company who offered me an attractive operating position in his firm. I was very flattered. I considered the offer. As in the short term it would have been a nice increase in pay and title, but on reflection, for me I realized it would have been far less stimulating. I would have missed the daily intellectual challenge of looking for those great companies and testing myself against other investors. It was also a time when I, as an emerging leader in the investment management field, could now begin to help other women, as women were just beginning to enter the still very male-dominated industry. For each of us, we need to listen to our own inner voices to know what we really want, not what seems most impressive at the time, whether to others or even to ourselves. So by staying with the investment management field, I was able to help forge the way for women in a profession that is an absolute natural for all of us, especially if we have had the benefits of a robust liberal arts education. Wellesley has trained us to view the world multi-dimensionally, to grasp transformative trends and then have to the confidence to act on them. For me, this was the perfect fit with investing and I love my work and I love it as excitingly as now as when I started 40 years ago. Having helped to lead two major investment firms, I ultimately formed my own firm, Tupelo Capital Management. The name came from Tupelo Point, on our own Lake Waban, populated by tupelo trees known for their strength and resilience. Tupelo trees originated in China, you may not have known that, as did my family. Tupelo trees, like my family, has lent strength and resilience to my life. I have four Wellesley women in my family here today. Mei Mei Tuan, class of '88. Nancy Wong, class of '97. And Carina Chen, class of '17. Now that's three. And the fourth is my beloved mom whom we lost last year. You see her name every day on the dining room in the campus center. Bae Pao Lu Chow did not have the opportunity to attend Wellesley, but she and my father sacrificed so I could, and she was a wealthy woman in every sense of the word. Today I, and her wealthy granddaughters, and great-granddaughter, know that she is very much here with us. Resilience. My mother had resilience in abundance. She did not waste much time equivocating or on regrets if things didn't turn out. Well before Nike, she always said, "Just do it." She, as Wellesley later did, also prepared me to know that life would not always be as expected or even fair, but we had to rise to the challenges and in her favorite saying she said, "Do your best and leave the rest." Now there were challenges. Many years ago when I first began to serve on not-for-profit boards, I was invited to be a trustee at a prestigious institution and its renowned investment committee. it was populated by the great minds of Wall Street. I was the first woman ever to serve on this investment committee, but I felt qualified. As Kim mentioned, I had already chaired the investment committee at Wellesley, as well as that of the largest community trust in the country, and in both cases I was the first woman on the investment committee. Now the challenge in this particular situation was that the longstanding and respected chair of this investment committee was a retired CEO and a septuagenarian who had never had a woman on his committee and frankly had not worked much with woman in his senior ranks. It was really nothing personal, but he just didn't know what to do with me. He did not ask me to weigh in on investment decisions as he did of the other men. I was truly invisible to him. I thought this all very foolish and unfair, but rather than protest, or worst yet question my own ability, I just politely offered my views in each discussion. I did not wait for him to call on me. I contributed what I thought was important at each investment meeting. When the chair finally retired some years later, I was greatly touched when he turned to me and in very quiet, respectful tones, he said that, "Lulu, over these years you have "become one of the most important voices "to me on this committee." My mother was right. My mother was right. She said, "Do your best." And in doing so I was not only able to be a fully contributing member of this important committee, but I was also able to open doors for women on other important board committees. The lesson learned here is save your energy for the real battles. As the Trojans knew, battles are far more easily won from inside the gate than from outside. Resilience. Resilience is also being able to balance a whole lot of imbalances. It sounds ironic, but it's true. One of my Wellesley nieces, Mei Mei Tuan, '88, who is actually written up in the current issue of our alumni magazine. She's sitting over there. Mei Mei is a very successful entrepreneur, her own company, a fabulous mother of two gifted children, and a pillar for a community and local wealthy group. She seems to have arrived at this also effortlessly, achieving an enviable balance between her work and personal life. But she is the first to say it has not been easy. The balance that we all seek is just the result of many imbalances in the life that she has had to tune and retune, and what you will all be doing as you proceed. Her resilience to know when to lean in, when to lean out, and when faced with disappointment, when to press on, and when to walk away. These have been honed into her during her life as a Wellesley woman. During a particularly stressful time in her work and family, I said Mae Mae, how are you doing? She grit her teeth, smiled, and said, "It will work out. "I'm a Wellesley woman." I also see her Wellesley spirit in my other Wellesley nieces. After a long, successful career in teaching, Nancy just went back to school to earn her doctorate degree and will be starting up and leading a charter school for low income students. Corinna, who graduates next year, just completed her third successful year at Wellesley juggling a very heavy schedule of competitive tennis, classes, and volunteer in mental health. Now when all of us need a break, we all indulge in a favorite Wellesley pastime. We sit down and have some s'mores. I think you may know, but Mei Mei is our alum who underwrites the s'mores night at the Lulu. We hope you enjoy them. Finally, as Wellesley women, we can't end any story without talking about making a difference. From my perspective, we should all strive to succeed in whatever we do, but success is so much better if shared with others. Not at the end of our lives in our wills, but throughout our lives. All of us can do good by doing well. Doing good by doing well. It can be in any field, whether non-profit or for-profit, we can give back in material ways. But just as importantly, we can share our achievements by opening doors for other women, by setting leadership examples of excellence, but achieving it with openness, fairness, and respect for others. In this way our success will be passed on to the generations after us. To other generations of wealthy women and all women. All who will make a difference. So congratulations, my very dear Class of 2016. I look forward to seeing you at your red and my purple reunions, and to celebrating our shared successes. Thank you. - Thank you, Lulu. Now I'd like to say a few words directly to the seniors. Seniors, today is your day. You are the ruby red class of 2016. You have been a wonderful class. You were never afraid to make your voices heard. You helped refine and add nuance to our discussions of critical issues on our campus and in the world. Racial inequality and equity, gender identity, academic freedom, sustainability and climate change, and others. Earlier this month you made a visible statement on campus when you decorated the campus with red. So much red. The enormous volcano that spewed red lava balloons, spewed those balloons in the science center was especially impressive. Today is a happy day. You have earned your wings. You're ready to soar, but there's plenty of time for flying. Today I want you, I want to see those beautiful new wings outspread. Flap them, strut about, and celebrate. You have earned this celebration. You've worked hard. Enjoy the day. You have accomplished much. i know your families are proud of you and they are right to be. This is a watershed moment. It is as if you have successfully passed a gigantic multiple choice exam. Your life today has required choices. You needed not just intelligence, but wisdom. There are many decisions to be made, and the best ones, best one was not always transparent. But in a broad sense they were preordained paths that were laid out for you. That is why I refer to it as a multiple choice test. Now it's time for you to move on to the essay portion. The assigned essay, you know, is a daunting one. It's entitled How I Lived My Life and What Kind of Difference Did I Make? No, wait, wait, wait. There are no pre-printed choices. And my job today is to give you a charge that will offer some hints as to how to begin that essay. And I offer this simple charge. Appreciate your capabilities. Know what you can do and understand the power of your education. Use this to write that essay in a way that will make you proud. It's a simple charge, but there are three aspects to it. First, have the confidence to be patient, the confidence to know that you can do it, because you can do it, and you will. You might find it daunting to pass all those photographs in Alumni Hall. You might look at the faces of our Alumni Achievement Award winners and think how can I possibly match their achievements? I'm not even sure what I want to achieve. In my nine years at Wellesley i have met many of these remarkable women and they are remarkable, and impressive, and inspiring. But here's something I heard them say over and over again about how they came to achieve those remarkable things. They didn't set out to do remarkable things. They all set out only to do what they thought was important to do. Important to them. Sometimes it made them famous, but they didn't know it would, and that wasn't their goal. I want you to reflect on the early years of our award winners before they accomplished great things, before they knew they ever would. Those remarkable women lived those early years. They lived them one day at a time. They lived them without knowing what they would accomplish, but they lived them with the confidence in their capability. They kept at it through false starts and fraught times until they succeeded, until they did what they wanted to be doing. They were Wellesley women. Your early years will be like theirs. You will do what you must. You will have some uncertainty. You will try different things. You will find those places that engage your mind and test your abilities. You will arrive where you want to be and accomplish what you want to do. You will figure it out. Of course you will. You are from Wellesley. The second part of the charge is this. You have been given a rare opportunity in attending Wellesley. You have been advantaged by attending one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country. You will be graduated today from the most prestigious women's college in the world. A college that has prepared women to be leaders in almost every aspect of human endeavor. You have been connected to a vast and valuable network around the world. Your education here will give you an advantage as you set out into the world. I charge you today to always make good use of your education and your influence. Use it to make a difference, and not just for yourself. Be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Be the hand up for those who need a hand in life. Be the legs that lead the march to a better world. Our motto, Non Ministrari sed Ministrare, is not just a catchy Latin phrase written in fancy script. It should be the script for your life. Use your capability. When you finish that essay of your life, those paragraphs that deal with accomplishing things for others will shine far more brightly than those dealing with your personal accomplishments. The final part of the charge is this. Remember some things need to be changed, and you can lead that change. Right now you must emerge into a pre-made world and make your way successfully in it. That will require much effort and attention on your part, but you are capable of more. The world and how things are done seems chiseled in granite, something only to react to, something to master, something to fit into, but always recall these words from George Bernard Shaw. "You see things and you say, 'Why?' "But I dream things that never were "and I say why not?" The world is not carved from granite. It is shaped by individuals, those individuals who do not assume the status quo is forever, those individuals who ask why not, those individuals who persevere, those individuals who make a difference. As you leave Wellesley, you may not know where you will go from here, and that's okay. I don't know exactly where I will go from here, either. Let's just take a deep breath and recognize that we're okay. Let's just take what we've learned here into the world. Let's be absolutely certain that we will figure it all out in good time. And let's agree on this. It's going to be great. Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2016! All right, students. I can call you this one last time. The time has come. President Shennan will now present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Will the candidates, oh go first. - Did I just get promoted? - What did I say? - You said president. - Oh! The Provost. - In the commencement program we have listed honors and prizes earned by many of our seniors. Although we will not read honors as we call names for diplomas, we draw the attention of families and friends to this list and invite you to share our pride in the many achievements of these students. In addition, we recognize seven student athletes who are unable to be at today's ceremony because they are representing Wellesley at the NCAA National Championships in crew. And they are Alessandra Marie Zaldívar-Giuffredi, Sydney Jean Dollmeyer, Sahar Shams Ibrahim, Frances Grace Howland, Loren J. Lock, Megan N. Roberts, and Olivia Thayer. - Will the candidates for degree of Bachelor of Arts please rise. - Madam President, it is the privilege of my office to present to you on behalf of the faculty of Wellesley College these candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. - By the authority of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, vested in the Board of Trustees and by them delegated to me, I confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Arts and admit you to all the rights, dignities, and responsibilities of that degree. - Riley Shelby Abeles. Leah Chloe Abrams. Chandler Marie Abshire. Meredith Kyna Accum. Solange Flora Elizabeth DuPlante Adamson. Crystal Kwabea Adu-Poku. Andrea Patricia Aguilar Diaz. Tania Ahmed. Emily Ahn. Mary Lou Elizabeth Akai-Ferguson. Jazlyn Akaka. Ayotimoni Akindolie. Charlotte Ayer Albright. Abigail Blake Aldridge. Kelly Elaine Alexander. Erin Elisabeth Altenhof-Long. Emma Katherine Ambrogi. Leily Amirsardary. Lucy-Téa Marie Anderle. Ayesha Anwar. Dina Aouani. Elizabeth Anne Argy. Delia María Arias De León. Caroline Fay Arnold. Apoorva Arora. Anicia Arredondo. Rachel Paloma Arrey. Laura Muldowney Ascher. Victoria Elizabeth Ashe. Hero Ashman. Meredith Ausenbaugh. Rianna Elspeth Aylward. Wenbo Bai. Caitlin Petersen Bailey. Emma Bailin. Sarah Bailin. Ana Balcells. Catherine Elizabeth Baltazar Canahui. Caroline Isabel Bandurska. Julianne Karimi Barron. Suzanne Kingsbury Barth. Clara Marie Bartlett. Gillian Dora Beltz-Mohrmann. Carina Aiello Belvin. Charlotte Benishek. Grace Esther Bennett Pierre. Maggie Benoit. Angellena Berberich Eerebout. Caleb Harold Bercu. Alexandra Martin Berman. Sarah Elizabeth Berry. Meredith Berry-Toon. Cassandra Lynn Besso. Tracy Biaco. Elizabeth Marie Bilsborough. Amanda Marie Bishop. Anna Amy Blige. Alexi T. Block Gorman. Ximena Bobadilla. Oluwapelumi Ogheneero Amy Botti. Simona Stanislavova Boyadzhiyska. Fiona Maeve Harrison Boyd. Kaitlyn Brady. Amber Aspen Braun. Mariana Breña. Carly McCoy Bresee. Laura Eva Brindley. Alyssa Nicole Brody. Mika Maybelle Broocks. Nina Rosalyn Broocks. Nancy Chance Brothers. Samantha Brown. Mackenzie Thorne Bruce. Andrew Budway. Catherine Burnett. Sara Anne Burns. Katherine Miriam Kohlmeier Bussert. Laura Cabral. Carey Allison Cabrera. Sydney Moriah Cadiz. Carole Calderon. Allison Michelle Carbonaro. Susabelle Carovillano. Sian Tait Carr. Maria Marcela Castaño Dorado. Huiying Bernice Chan. Karina Si-Woon Chan. Caroline Lihue Chang. Julie Olivia Chang. Zena Chatila. Tahani Chaudhry. Carolyn Chelius. Emily Chen. Jenny Chen. Lily Chen. Melanie T. Chen. Rebecca Ying Chen. Xueying Chen. Lucille Cheng. Yiran Cheng. Sabrina Zirui Cheng. Michelle Zixuan Cheng. Eileen Cho. Elizabeth Cho. Yoonyoung Choi. Margaret D. Christie. Jamie Christy. Michelle Sumi Chung. Beba Cibralic. Jenny Clauson. Eloisa Owen Cleveland. Adele Marie Clifford. Cindy Emefa Coffee. Ruby Cilda Finda Conton. Stephanie Contreras. Kimberlee Coombes. Lindsay N. Cooper. Anne Corbett. Naomi Cormier. Caitlin Coyiuto. Taylor Jackson Cranor. Caitlin Megan Crawford. Nikita Crofton. Diana Guadalupe Cruz. Fernanda Cruz-Limón. Alejandra Cuin Miranda. Helen Cumberbatch. Devanshi Dabriwal. Darlene Q. Dang. Blair Katherine Daniel. Hannah Catherine Liguori Davelman. Tamar Sarai Davis. Pauline Odile Day. Hanna Grace Day-Tenerowicz. Nicole Mary Decanio. Saraphin Dhanani. Magdelaine Dickinson. Anne Dickinson Meltz. Kaitlin Anne Doherty. Dedo Doku. - Kathleen Elizabeth Donlan. Sophie Katherine Donohue. Abigail Duck. Virginia Tyler Duerson. Marilis Elisa Dugas. Elizabeth Frasier Durham. Layla Ariana Eastep. Anna Egeland. Toyin Egharevba. Leila Elabbady. Jacqueline Elise. Muna Muhammad El-Taha. Sarah Elizabeth Tausta Ertle. Abby Rena Esrock. Ilhan Abdulkadir Esse. Anna Calliope Everett. Mengyi Merrill Fang. Amanda Blair Fath. Zhixing Won Won Fei. Maggie Meijun Feng. Leah Emma Ferguson. Hannah Flesch. Rachel Fletcher-Slater. Cassandra Flores-Montaño. Julia Wells Foster. Priyanka Fouda. Emily Anne Frisella. Catherine Anne Fromm. Juliette Persons Fry. Hope Fuller-Becker. Ashley Kay Funk. Ieva Galinyte. Jeanne Gallée. Greta Lynn Gangestad. Ruohan Gao. Antoinette Angelica Garcia. Alessandra Gina Gavin. Alexandra Suzanne Gazzolo. Emery Gerndt Otopalik. Stephanie Gesang. Talin Ghazarian. Sophia Holland Gibert. Rose Katherine Gibson. Kimberly Gill. Celeste Ann Glober. Delanie Nykole Goerig. Katherine Brady Goldsmith. Samantha Ariel Goldstein. Dulce María González Rodríguez. Karina Alexandra González del Real Stuit. Madeline Eugenia Gorchels. Genevieve Converse Gordon Molly Grace Gorman. Meredyth Belay Grange. Jihelah Greenwald. Jasmin Arianna Griggs. Briana Morgan Grisby. Fiordaliz Guerrero. Caroline Guild. Mia Amau Guild. Bristol Lauren Gunderson. Broti Gupta. Diksha Gupta. Tara Gupta. Irene Guzman. Jennifer Guzman. Deborah Gyamf. Allison Haaz. Kimiya Elika Haghighi. Orli Hakanoğlu. Rachel Hyeun Han. Jordan Rochelle Hannink. Tinsa Ann Harding. Mary Harrington. Charlotte Louise Floro Harris. Hannah Elizabeth Harris. Anne Marie Hartt. Shannon Hasenfratz. Elizabeth Hau. Savannah Rose Hauge. Marina Anne Talve Heaney. Mackenzie Donnay Hempe. Rita Mary Hennigan. Avery Lynn Herman. Estela Hernández. Abigail Johnson Hess. Catherine Ho. Kailin Ho. Isabella Margaret Holland. Chesley Colbert Hooker. Emma Rose Howey. Lisa Yu-Ya Hsieh. Katherine Hu. Helen Huang. Kyra Huertas. Kristin Huizenga. Marlena Idrobo. Michaela Katherine Jackson-Smith. Nusrat Jahan. Mollee Jain. Ye Eun Jeong. Hayley Jewett. Sophie Xi Jiang. Catherine Gao Jin. Ali Nicole Johnson. Catherine Jean Johnson. Kathryn Stephanie Johnson. Lauren Johnson. Abigail Mary Jones. Desiree Jones. Christiana Tamika Joseph. Nianqiao Phyllis Ju. Scarlett Kao. Jasmyne Rae Keimig. Mashadi Kekana. Jessica Kelemen. Caroline Brumfield Kelley. India Kerle. Olivia Claire Wolcott Kern. Sophie Alexandra Kerwin. Houda Khaled. Brienna Lea Kightlinger. Anni Kaeum Kim.


Emily Howland was born at Sherwood, Cayuga County, New York,[2] on November 20, 1827.[2] She was the daughter of Slocum and Hannah Tallcot Howland, who were prominent in the Society of Friends.[2] She was educated in small private schools in the community, and the Margaret Robinson School, a Friends school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[3]


An active abolitionist, Howland taught at Normal School for Colored Girls in Washington, D.C. from 1857 to 1859. During the Civil War she worked at the contraband refugee settlement of Camp Todd in Arlington, Virginia, teaching freed slaves to read and write as well as administering to the sick during a smallpox outbreak and ultimately serving as director of the camp during 1864-1866.[3]

Beginning in 1867, she started a community for freed people in Heathsville, Northumberland County, Virginia, called Arcadia, on 400 acres purchased by her father, including a school for the education of children of freed slaves, the Howland Chapel School.[4][5] She continued to maintain an active interest in African-American education, donating money and materials as well as visiting and corresponding with administrators at many schools.[5]

Returning to Sherwood NY after her father's death in 1881, she ran the Sherwood Select School until 1926 when it became a public school and was renamed the Emily Howland Elementary School by the state of New York.[5]

Howland became one of the first female directors of a national bank in the United States, at the Aurora National Bank in Aurora, New York in 1890,[6] serving until her death, at age 101.

Howland was also active in women's suffrage, peace, and temperance movements and was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. When the suffrage movement split into two groups, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman's Suffrage Association, Howland did not take sides, but attended meetings of both groups.[7] She has been credited with persuading Ezra Cornell that, as a Quaker, he should make Cornell University a coeducational institution.[7]

In 1926 she received and honorary Litt.D. degree from the University at Albeany, SUNY, the first woman to have this honor conferred upon her from this institution.[5] Her papers are held by several universities, including: Cornell University,[8] Haverford College,[3] and Swarthmore College.[9]

She was also the author of an historical sketch of early Quaker history in Cayuga County, NY: Historical Sketch of Friends in Cayuga County.[10]


  1. ^ Locke, Mamie E. (February 2000). "Emily Howland". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Obituaries". The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association. 10: 346–348. October 1929. JSTOR 43565516.
  3. ^ a b c "Finding Aid for the EMILY HOWLAND PAPERS,1926-1975 (Haverford College Library Special Collections)". Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Jeffrey M. O'Dell and Carolyn E. Jett (June 1989). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Howland Chapel School" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  5. ^ a b c d "United States Department of the Interior OMB No. 1024-0018, National Park Service. NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES.CONTINUATION SHEET. Section 8: Significance. (Property Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District. Location Cayuga County, New York)" (PDF). Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  6. ^ "Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life (Moulton, 1893)". Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Hope., Bacon, Margaret (1989). Mothers of feminism : the story of Quaker women in America (c1986) (1st paperback Harper & Row ed.). San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0062500465. OCLC 21550452.
  8. ^ "Emily Howland Papers,1797-1938. Collection No.2681 (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library)". Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "An Inventory of the Emily Howland Family Papers, 1763-1929 (Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College)". Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Judith Colucci Breault (1981). The Odyssey of a Humanitarian: Emily Howland, 1827-1929. Ayer Publishing. ISBN 0-405-14076-2.
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