Wellesley College President Kim Bottomly is leading a discussion at the school this year regarding exactly what it means to be a women’s college during a time when gender definitions are in flux.
There’s no indication that the college, founded in 1870 as a women’s school, is going to open its doors wide to males. But the school does accept transgender students (such a student’s hoop rolling expertise was celebrated this past Spring) whose needs can differ from those of the majority of the student body.
Bottomly writes in part:
Wellesley remains steadfast in its mission, investing its considerable resources to awaken the potential of individual women and to give them the tools they need to make a meaningful difference. Wellesley is likewise committed to maintaining a community of individuals who embrace the College’s mission of educating women.
That said, there is great diversity today in the ways individuals experience and express their gender identity. Gender fluidity has implications for women’s colleges in general and for Wellesley College in particular.
We recognize that the issues of gender identity and transgender experience are relevant and complex. We must build a better understanding of these issues and determine what current policies and practices might need revision in light of this understanding
A committee, consisting of students, faculty, staff and alums, will investigate the matter and report its findings in the Spring.