Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak at this year’s Wellesley College commencement, returning after a hard-fought presidential campaign to the alma mater that she has long cited as a crucial influence on her life and political outlook.
Clinton has twice before given the address that welcomed Wellesley women into the post-college world — at her own graduation in 1969 and again in 1992, the year her husband Bill Clinton was elected. Since then, she has been a US senator, secretary of state, and the first woman nominee for a major party.
Amal Cheema, co-president of the senior class, said the announcement Tuesday of Clinton’s appearance created excitement across campus — “My Facebook newsfeed blew up,” she said.
“Regardless of politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton is an inspiration to any female looking at politics and looking at a high leadership position,” Cheema said. Students participated in the selection.
In a statement, Wellesley College president Paula A. Johnson said Clinton “joins a long line of women history-makers, including fellow Wellesley alumnae, who give us all a profound sense of hope that the future is ours to define.”
“A true force of nature, Clinton inspires women of all ages to find their voice, to defy expectations, to reject stereotypes — to match their competence with confidence in pursuing tangible, positive change in the world,” Johnson added.
Clinton, whose campaign benefited from the fund-raising efforts of the school’s board of trustees, has said Wellesley is “an essential part of my own life experience and journey.”