Author and journalist Dorothy Wickenden speaks and signs books at Wells College for the 2024 Community Read

April 2024 Message from the President

In Aurora, winter feels like it has finally melted away once again. It’s hard to believe the semester is almost over, and I hope you are as ready for those warmer spring and summer temperatures as I am. I’m pleased to once again share some highlights from the past month.
April 22, 2024

We had wonderful activities planned for our Solar Day that people participated in. Despite the clouds obscuring most of our view of the Sun and Moon, I was grateful to be on Main Lawn, witnessing a celestial moment and being surrounded by many members of the Wells community as we all stood in awe of the sky. Wherever you were that day, I truly hope you enjoyed your own eclipse experience.

Speaking of new experiences, our Visiting Artists Program had the privilege of inviting d/Deaf visual artist, filmmaker, and educator Alison O’Daniel to Wells for a screening and panel discussion of her film “The Tuba Thieves” this month. It was the last event of our Filmmaker-In-Residence series that our colleagues in the English and Visual Arts departments spent the whole academic year promoting and coordinating. Bringing unique and talented artists into our community through this program is made possible by funding through the New York State Council of the Arts. The film was wonderful, and I’m very proud of the work our faculty have put into this programming.

In line with invitations, I wrote last month about our annual Community Read and the public talk with Dorothy Wickenden on her book “The Agitators.” Dorothy is a best-selling author, accomplished journalist, graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and former executive editor of The New Yorker. It was such a pleasure to meet her, and I want to thank everyone who joined us for her discussion. If you missed the event in-person, the livestream is still available on our YouTube channel. I also want to thank our Long Library staff, Advancement Office, and IT Department for coordinating this event and welcoming Dorothy to Wells.

I would also like to more formally welcome someone back to our campus, although it may be that she never truly left. Dr. Tina Post ‘99 has accepted my invitation to be our Commencement Speaker this May. To give you a little background, Tina graduated from Wells a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. She received her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska-Anchorage and completed her doctorate in African American studies and American studies from Yale University. Tina is originally from the Finger Lakes region and has regularly returned to Wells since graduating, remaining a valuable representative of our mission to engage, educate, and inspire our community. You can read more from our official announcement online. I am pleased she has agreed to offer her insights as a part of our celebration. Our planning for Commencement is well underway, and we are excited to include Tina on May 18.

Some other excitement on-campus comes from our student athletes, admissions, and activities. I’m happy to report that our women’s lacrosse team is having an incredible season this semester. The Athletics Department has shared that this winning streak is unprecedented in the history of our teams. I’m looking forward to seeing where their success takes them, and I’m proud of the Wells Express for their hard work and dedication. We also had our annual Spring Weekend this month, and the Even/Odd teams held their dance-off and cornhole game. You can follow our website and social media for more photos of these events. In addition to those traditions, our Admissions Office has coordinated Admitted Students Days and Open Houses this spring, which have been well-attended so far. I’m glad the weather has held out for them, as they show new Wellsians our lovely campus this time of year.

Thank you so much for your time and support. As the semester draws to a close, I’m appreciative of the opportunities Wells has provided our students and the bright future that awaits our graduates as they prepare for Commencement next month.


president's signature

Jonathan Gibralter

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