Over twenty classmates braved the zero degree temperatures and three feet of snow to watch Jean Kilbourne receive the Alumnae Achievement Award on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at Alumnae Hall.
Eighteen of us gathered the following day for lunch at the Wellesley College Club in celebration of her achievement.
A good time was had by all even though many of us did not know each other well. A favorite moment of the day was when two classmates sitting next to each other at lunch discovered that they had had their babies the same day, in the same hospital in Boston. Not all of us remember our days at Wellesley as an undilutedly wonderful experience, At the lunch, Bette Cartwright, as part of a toast to Jean, summed it up perfectly as she reflected on the definition of Alma Mater and the vicissitudes of the maternal relationship: how a mother could be sweet, harsh, incomprehensible and mean. There were lots of heads around the table nodding in agreement with this description of Wellesley ... and their mothers.
Click here to watch the awards ceremony. Although the entire ceremony is very moving, Jean's acceptance speech starts at 42:06 on the video. (It is only 12 minutes long.) Perhaps many of us can relate to her remarks: on her experiences at Wellesley, her crooked career path, the differences between our lives, the lives of our daughters and the current students at Wellesley.