A Wellesley education has a tangible, lasting effect on women and, therefore, the world. This phenomenon is known as the Wellesley Effect. In October 2015, Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly announced the launch of a $500 million campaign designed to celebrate, strengthen and advance the Wellesley Effect.

“The campaign represents our unwavering commitment to Wellesley’s mission and to the idea that investing in women and women’s education is the surest way to improve the world,” said Bottomly. “It also represents the strongest possible endorsement of a liberal arts education and its power to prepare our students for any calling that inspires them.”

The campaign will focus on four priorities: Intellectual Community; Affordability and Access; A Sense of Place; and 21st Century Impact. Each of these priorities contributes to a specific, important aspect of the Wellesley experience.

Intellectual Community, the first priority, focuses on faculty, funding for students to participate in research, and on new, innovative academic initiatives. The second priority, Affordability and Access will support the College’s financial aid program, as well as admissions outreach, so that Wellesley can continue to attract the brightest, most promising young women from around the world, regardless of their financial circumstances. A Sense of Place, the third priority, will refresh the College’s beautiful campus and preserve and renew the spaces in which the campus community works and lives. The fourth priority, 21st Century Impact, will support the impact that Wellesley students have when they go in the world, and Wellesley’s work in advancing women’s leadership and empowerment.

The $500 million campaign goal is consistent with Wellesley’s leadership position; it would set a record among women’s colleges and place Wellesley in the forefront of all colleges. Today marks the start of the public phase of the campaign, which will extend through 2019. Thanks to the generosity of Wellesley’s alumnae in the three years leading up to the public launch, a period known as the quiet phase, the College received commitments totaling $291 million.

In October 2015, some 600 alumnae, parents, and friends of the College from all over the world gathered with our community for a celebration to mark the launch. The College’s last major campaign, which ended in 2005, raised $472.3 million, setting the record at the time for the most funds raised by a liberal arts college.