I arrived at Wellesley as a graduate of a public high school in a small town in West Virginia, lured by the many options for students interested in pursuing careers in science. Many days and nights in the Science Center, during which many amazing professors mentored me in research projects and discussions of my life goals led me to a career in medicine---surgery in particular. At Wellesley I became self confident, well organized, hard working and resilient. I also learned leadership by observing and doing. All are traits needed in my career as an academic surgeon. I now serve on two Boards in Surgery and will be the third woman ever to chair the American Board of Surgery. I owe so much to my Wellesley years!