Hello Wheelock Alumni,
My name is Lois Barnett Mirsky. I graduated from Wheelock in 1954 (a very long time ago). Over these many years I have stayed active at the college as Alumni Director, Director of the Annual Fund, Trustee and currently as a Member of the Corporation.
There have been dazzling and spectacular changes at Wheelock since I was a student. The college has grown in the number of students enrolled. It added a graduate school, a school of Social Work and a plethora of programs that make me long to return to school. I would have loved to have helped children and families in Haiti, studied in Singapore, and welcomed foreign students to our campus.
Beautiful new buildings on the Riverway make a strong statement to passersby that Wheelock has presence and stature in the neighborhood and beyond,
When I was a student at Wheelock, we barely knew about the war in Korea and world affairs did not seem to impact our lives. We had curfews on Wednesdays (8:00 p.m.) and on the weekends (1:00 a.m.). Young men were not allowed past the first floor
We studied, smoked in a large room aptly named the Smoker, and knitted argyle socks for our boyfriends. Believe it or not, we had to wear stockings, not socks, to dinner every night. And, we waited our turn to talk on the only telephone located in a booth on the first floor.
We made our way to our student teaching assignments by subway or with luck with a junior or a senior who had a car. Working in settlement houses was also part of our learning experiences. On Fridays we had tea in the living room of our dorm with our house mother and talked about our week.
As I now curtail writing about my days as a student, I invite you to read my monthly blogs. I'll be writing about what's going on at the college, about students who now travel to foreign countries, about alumni professionals who work with children and families in a variety of settings.
I will also be writing about advocacy and social policy and how we can influence legislation that positively affects children and families. I believe that Wheelock alumni can be the best advocates for children. I would love to hear from alums who are advocates today.
As we celebrate Wheelock's 125th, I will remember that Lucy Wheelock's mission of improving the quality of life for children and families is the very heart and soul of Wheelock today.
You will be hearing from me again and I hope I will be hearing from you.
The 2012 Wheelock World Service Weekend − held in April − united students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College in fun and productive service to their communities. The Alumni Relations Office facilitated volunteer activities that not only provided help to those in need but also made a powerful public statement about the College's commitment to improving the lives of children and families.
The Wheelock College Alumni Association Board thanks everyone in the extended Wheelock community, in the U.S. and internationally, for their enthusiastic participation! With your help, we were able to:
- Collect 47 usable pints of blood for the American Red Cross, which could potentially save 141 lives! (Almost 80 Wheelock community members participated.)
- Collect 196 signatures on a petition about discriminatory blood donation policies that will be sent to both the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services
- Donate more than 170 canned food items to Rosie’s Place
- Walk a total of 36 miles in support of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (Fourteen Wheelock community members participated in the Walk for Change.)
- Raise more than $3,600 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the 16th annual Make-A-Wish Talent Show
- Construct garden beds at the Watertown Community Gardens to grow produce that will be donated to the Watertown Food Pantry
- Run a 5K marathon in support of Jassmine Cobb and the Children's Organ Transplant Association in Ohio
- Collect supplies for classrooms in Jacmel, Haiti
- Collect six bags of trash on the Fellsway in Stoneham, MA
- Collect 20 bags of trash and eight bags of recycling at the Annual Muddy River Cleanup (More than 65 Wheelock and COF community members participated!)
- Read to young children at the Riverview High School Cyesis Teen Parent Program in Sarasota, FL.
For details about leaders, participants, and each project, go to the Alumni tab on Wheelock’s website.
It has been an amazing fall semester here at Wheelock. Our largest-ever incoming class and our returning students enjoyed not only the many physical improvements we made to our beautiful campus over the summer, but also an abundance of programs and events that celebrated both academic excellence and the spirit of social commitment that makes Wheelock such a special place.
Two highlights of the semester included our annual International Week, featuring thought-provoking lectures plus a joyous performance by South Africa’s Sharon Katz and the Peace Train, and the screening of Education Under Fire—a film about the right to higher education—which included a live panel discussion led by human rights activist and actor Rainn Wilson.
There has also been an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes activity at Wheelock this fall, all designed to ensure the College remains strong and vibrant well past its upcoming 125th anniversary. We are nearing completion of our 10-year Strategic Plan, a truly collaborative process that involved students, faculty, alumni, and staff at all levels. In addition, the College kicked off an unprecedented capital campaign in October that will allow us to create our first-ever endowments for student scholarships, professorships, technology, and innovation. The response to this appeal has been extremely gratifying; we have already raised $54.8 million toward our $80 million goal.
We will be hosting many more exciting programs and events in the spring semester, including a not-to-be-missed Half-Year program focusing on diversity and featuring a keynote address by Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, one of the founding members of the influential hip hop group Run-D.M.C. and a practicing minister.
We are also looking forward to a spectacular Commencement 2012, which will feature Oscar-nominated actress Jane Alexander as keynote speaker. For the first time, we will be holding separate ceremonies for our undergraduate and graduate classes, allowing our amazing students to share this special event with more family members and friends.
Wheelock is a truly unique institution, full of people who are driven to make a difference in society. Based on the stellar applications we’ve received for fall admission, Wheelock’s Class of 2016 will be as inspirational a group of student leaders as their predecessors.
The best way to get a real feeling for what Wheelock is all about is to visit our Boston campus. We hope to see you on campus soon.
On Oct. 12, 2011, Wheelock began the public phase of The Campaign for Wheelock—the largest capital campaign in the College’s history—with a kickoff event at WGBH studios in Allston. The event celebrated Wheelock’s many outstanding accomplishments and brought students, faculty, and staff together with alumni and friends of the College to share information about programs and activities that are flourishing at Wheelock. It was an informative and fun way to envision new opportunities for the College to advance its mission in the near future and learn how the Campaign will lead to more growth and recognition for Wheelock.
Nearly one-third, or $25 million, of the $80 million Campaign goal is designated for faculty and student programs and unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund, essential support which provides for scholarships and the financial flexibility that allows the College to maintain its day-to-day quality of operations and to respond to new opportunities and challenges as they arise. The remaining amount of the Campaign goal – $55 million – is dedicated to five first-of-their-kind endowments for Wheelock: endowments for Student Scholarships, Professorships, Innovation, and Technology Enhancement and Innovation, and a fund for Campus Facilities Projects.
The Campaign for Wheelock will prepare more Wheelock graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to change the world. Join in on this historic endeavor and follow the Campaign’s progress at its Wheelock website page: WWW.WHEELOCK.EDU/CAMPAIGN
“As we plan for the future, we are building upon a century of innovative thinking about children and families rooted in the inspired vision of Lucy Wheelock.”
— Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President of Wheelock College