Facilities

Location
Wellesley, MA
Undergrads
2,368
Tuition
$39,420
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: There are enough events happening on campus that can cater to everyone. Usually, it's not necessary to go off campus to engage in fun activities. Traditions are well-kept.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: It's a women's college, which seems difficult to get used to at first but is actually really great. There's something about an all-women liberal arts college that allows the education and student life to be very eye-opening. You'll definitely learn a lot about things you've never considered.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Our campus is the most beautiful campus I've ever seen in my life. I feel like I go to Hogwarts, but at the same time, the student center is new and modern.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: We are (obviously) all women's, but aside from that we have a physical education requirement.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The Science Library, the Clapp, the academic buildings, and the Lulu are all amazing! So many of the spaces on campus have an awesome historic feel to them! But they don't feel old and dusty. They are extremely well maintained and they provide great study spaces. Also, the campus itself is gorgeous. The grounds are extremely well maintained.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 42nd
    Best Student Centers
  • 86th
    Best Library
  • 123rd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 226th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 1304th
    Best Athletic Facilities

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lauren Foster
Hometown
Safety Harbor, FL
Major
English & Cinema and Media Studies
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

The Keohane Sports Center is well maintained, with all that one would expect from a gym. The lack of exercise equipment, however, is a big complaint among students, particularly with those who trek over to the sports center to find a line for one of the few working treadmills. Runners might be better off taking to the path around the lake, a less-crowded and prettier, yet more rugged, option. The relatively new Lulu Wang Campus Center, in all of its modern architecture glory, is gorgeous and loved by students—a popular place for students to eat, study, and chill.

The computer labs are all very nice, and most are also stocked with comfortable couches and armchairs. Classrooms in Pendleton and the Science Center tend to be well laid out and high tech, though those in Founders are cramped and stuffed with Wellesley's signature big, wooden straight-backed chairs from what seems like long ago. The Science Center is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, with its Mondrian-esque exterior encasing the remains of the old brick building inside. The campus is indisputably gorgeous, and walking up to Tower Great Hall or the Quad can take your breath away. The East Side dorms (Bates, Freeman, McAfee), on the other hand, may make you break out in a cold sweat, but they serve their purpose—and they're mostly hidden by trees, anyway.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
239
Campus Size
450 acres
Student Centers
Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center
Campus Library?
Yes
Main Libraries
  • Art Library
  • Clapp Library
  • Music Library
  • Science Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Dining halls
  • Dorm rooms and living rooms
  • El Table
  • The Hoop
  • Lulu Chow Wang Center
Bar on Campus
Punch's Alley Pub in the Wang Center
Bowling on Campus
None
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Collins Café in the Davis Museum Plaza
  • El Table in Founders Basement
  • The Hoop in the Wang Center
Movie Theater on Campus
Collins Cinema in the Davis Museum Plaza
School Slang
  • "That" girl: The precise definition of this Wellesley type is regularly debated, but she seems to be the girl who either does all the class reading three weeks ahead of time or who doesn't do the reading but spouts off in class anyway. She tends to disturb everyone else's learning experience, but she always seems to be having a great time. She's a regular in office hours, on FirstClass (particularly Community), and in campus organizations. She is ubiquitously mocked and despised.
  • BDOC: Big Dyke On Campus, voted on each year at Dyke Ball; an on-campus celebrity who makes even the straight girls swoon
  • CE: Continuing Education (see Davis Scholars)
  • Community: An online forum with the stated purpose of keeping the college community in touch; tends to disintegrate into flamewars in reality
  • CWIS: College-Wide Information System, Wellesley's Intranet system
  • CWS: Center for Work & Service, the career-counseling office
  • Davis Scholars: Non-traditional aged students
  • F$#* Truck: The Senate Bus, the $2 weekend campus-to-campus bus that shuttles between Wellesley, Harvard, and MIT
  • FirstClass: Wellesley's email and conferencing system
  • Firsties, FYs: First-years, Wellesley's gender-neutral term for freshmen
  • Flamewar: An online argument, usually conducted on a public forum that degenerates into insults
  • Gen Judic: General Judiciary-the student, faculty, and staff enforcement body of the Honor Code
  • Honor Code: Wellesley's trust-based code of conduct
  • Hoopies: Students who work at the Hoop, an on-campus café
  • LUG/BUG: Lesbian/Bisexual Until Graduation, a term illustrating some students relaxed approach to sexuality
  • New Dorms: Residential complex on the East Side area of campus, including Bates, McAfee, and Freeman halls
  • Prospies: Prospective students
  • Quad: The Hazard residence complex, including Beebe, Caz, Pom, and Shafer halls
  • Quint: The Quad with the addition of Munger Hall
  • SBOG: Schneider Board of Governors, a student board that organizes on-campus social events
  • Schneids: Schneider Student Center
  • Sci Center: Science Center
  • Shakes: Shakespeare Society's Tudor house, where performances are held
  • Stalkernet/Stalkhernet: Online photo directory
  • Swells/Hells/Wells: Varyingly affectionate nicknames for Wellesley College
  • Tunnelling: Going on an expedition into the series of campus steam tunnels
  • The Ville: Town of Wellelsey
  • Wendy Wellesley: Used by the administration as the Wellesley version of "Jane Doe"; used by students as "That" girl
Traditions
  • "Fifty Things to Do at Wellesley Before Graduation": A list printed annually by the Wellesley News and followed religiously by many students. Items on the list range from predictable to gutsy and can include: see the campus from the top of Galen-Stone Tower; skinny dip in Lake Waban; read a book that isn't required and that doesn't have anything to do with your major; have a little too much to drink at a department party and start a sing-along with your favorite professor; let a prospective student sleep on your floor; swing next to the Chapel; attend Senate and say something; and take a day off and be a tourist in Boston.
  • Carillon: The carillon, a kind of organ that plays bells, has a place of honor at the top of the Galen-Stone Tower. Whenever a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs has a few minutes to spare, the campus is treated to unearthly versions of classical works like "The Pink Panther," "America the Beautiful" (written by a Wellesley alum), or even "Happy Birthday."
  • Class Colors: There are four class colors: red, green, purple, and yellow. The Class of 2012 is red, Class of 2013 is green, 2014 is purple, and so on. It may seem like a trivial detail, but it determines the color of class T-shirts (and, in the mid-20th century, the color of the class beanies), the color of balloons at key events like Spring Open Campus and Commencement, and the color of streamers when the graduating class decorates the campus. After a few years, the sight of a certain colored balloon bobbing in the Lake Waban breeze has a Pavlovian effect, conjuring up pride and sentimentality.
  • Class Tree: On Family & Friends Weekend every fall, the sophomore class holds a ceremonial tree planting. The elected Tree Mistress and chosen assistants plant the tree with a ceremonial shovel used since 1879. A plaque commemorates the tree, and it is possible to walk around campus and find the tree of every class year.
  • Dyke Ball: This is one of the biggest parties of the year, held in February. Sponsored by WLBTF (Wellesley Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Friends), Dyke Ball evolved from "alternative black tie" to "alternative clothing"; that is, party-goers wear everything from Saran Wrap to glittery, feathered Vegas showgirl-style costumes. Men must be in drag or on S&M-style leashes. Though it sounds intimidating, Dyke Ball is a feel-good (but not necessarily feel-up) chance for the community to celebrate all forms of sexuality.
  • Flower Sunday: Dating from 1875, Flower Sunday is one of Wellesley's oldest and most girly traditions. The first Sunday of the school year is given over to a multi-faith service at which upperclasswomen (Big Sisters) give designated underclasswomen (Little Sisters) flowers. Upperclasswomen who want to be Big Sisters sign up within their dorm or choose a Little Sister. Though some relationships are forgotten by the time the flowers brown, many women stay close with their Sisters for years.
  • Graduating Class Decorating: Every spring, the graduating class, after months of planning, buys up all decorating supplies in their class color in the metro Boston area. These decorations-including streamers, balloons, little plastic animals, and much more-are plastered over the academic buildings. Science majors tend to be particularly enthusiastic vandals, and it's usually safe to assume that the Sci Center's taxidermied animals will be dressed up. The fountain next to Clapp Library, Paramecium Pond, and the Offices of the Class Deans are hit hard, as well. Faculty, staff, and students all look forward to this tradition, and it's about as close to actual vandalism as Wellesley students are likely to get.
  • Hoop Rolling: Now immortalized in the film Mona Lisa Smile, Hoop Rolling is another one of Wellesley's age-old traditions. Little Sisters (see Flower Sunday) camp out the night before this May event to hold their Big Sisters' spots on the Hoop Rolling starting line on Tupelo Lane. Come morning, seniors dressed in their commencement caps and gowns use wooden sticks to roll big wooden hoops down Tupelo Lane. Back in the day, it was said that whoever won would be the first to get married; in the go-get-'em '80s, she was the first to be CEO. Now, in this enlightened and liberal age, the winner is said to be the first to achieve happiness and success, whatever that means to her. As much as students make fun of the tradition, many participate, some not entirely sober.
  • Lake Day: Lake Day is a secret Wednesday in the fall when SBOG (Student Board of Governors) "cancels" classes and students gather on Severance Green. Free fried dough, french fries, a moon bounce, and live music should be a huge draw, but Lake Day has suffered in recent years from low attendance, a victim of Wednesday science labs and other "unskippable" classes. It's still a nice chance to sit on the Green, peruse organizations' tables (a good time to buy a "Wellesley Supports Women" sports bra), and scarf fried food.
  • Naked Party: The party that titillated Rolling Stone-and hence the nation-is actually quite a small affair (at least compared to Dyke Ball). Seventy or so people gather annually in the basement of Instead, the feminist co-op, with the stated purpose of celebrating the human body, an activity best done while naked. Attendees pay per item of clothing (the event is also a fundraiser for various causes) and then get down with their bad selves, as well as everyone else's.
  • Primal Scream: Students have a chance to release their stress with a campus-wide scream at midnight on the night before exams start.
  • Ruhlman and Tanner Conferences: These conferences, both sponsored by alums, are chances for students to share their learning with the college community. Tanner Conference, held in the fall, celebrates outside-the-classroom education, including internships and summer or winter session research projects. Ruhlman, in the spring, is a chance for students to present projects they've been working on in courses during the year. Both conferences encompass panels, readings, multimedia projects, and excellent food.
  • Scream Tunnel: If the sound of thousands of females hollering their heads off doesn't appeal to you, don't run the Boston Marathon or come within a few miles of Wellesley on Marathon Monday. Every spring, students line up on the road in front of campus and cheer on the marathon runners, from the wheelchair racers to the final stragglers. This is more fun than you'd expect, particularly since a token portion of the student population gets drunk enough to make kissing a sweaty stranger sound fun. Popular among students are marathon T-shirts that read, "The Faster You Go, the Louder We Scream" (following another Wellesley tradition, the sexual innuendo slogan).
  • Spring Weekend : An SBOG-sponsored, event-packed couple of days, Spring Weekend boasts a concert (in the past Wellesley has hosted Michelle Branch, Sugar Ray, and Busta Rhymes), a carnival, and a big party on Tupelo Lane. And, per another Wellesley tradition, everything is free.
  • Step Singing: Several times a year since 1899, students have assembled on the Chapel steps with their classmates to sing college songs. Though most of these songs have fallen into obscurity, each class' Song Mistress is charged with dredging them up, photocopying them, and making sure the members of her class sing louder and clearer than the others.
  • Walk Around the Lake: One of the more outdated traditions-legend has it that if you walk around the lake three times with your beau, you're bound to get married.
Urban Legends
  • Almost every dorm at Wellesley has its own ghost story, and every story is told several different ways. There are lots of suicides, boarded-up rooms, roommate murders, and mysterious footsteps.
  • Claflin Hall's living room is decorated with an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, supposedly in honor of a founder's daughter, Alice, who was crushed by a beam during construction. It's said she plays there still.
  • Every theater has its ghost, and Wellesley is no exception. The Ruth Nagel Jones Theater has Rob, either a young boy or a shadowy man in a top hat, who is apparently not a dead person at all, but a character cut from a play. The ghost plays with the lights and sound system. The Barstow Theater has a ghost with a more sinister aspect, whom some believe to be Rob in a bad mood.
  • In Tower Court, students reportedly hear the elevator go up and down the shaft all night. It's reportedly the maid who fell down the shaft early in the 20th century.
  • The academic building Founders Hall is purportedly haunted by a Revolutionary War messenger boy who was killed in the woods that the campus now covers. He is said to wander the halls, an undelivered note in his hand.
  • The Beebe ghost, whom many students claim to have sensed, is a former house president who either killed herself or was taken by a mysterious woman in black.
Favorite Things To Do
During the week, students tend to run around from activity to activity all day, hoping to have enough time to eat a long drawn-out dinner with friends until the dining hall workers start putting up chairs around them. Late night brings nacho runs to the Hoop, sitting in the Knapp and complaining about how much work you have to do, or popping into friends' rooms for a movie or a chat. In their free time, students flow into Boston to shop or grab something to eat. SBOG and other clubs organize activities such as film festivals, parties, and lectures.

Looking for something to do? Relax on Severance Green or Green Beach. Grab a coffee in the Wang Center, El Table, or the Hoop. Go for a swim in the pool or the lake. Browse the Davis Museum. Rent a movie for free from Knapp. Or walk out to Tupelo Point and admire the lake.
Student Newspaper
The Wellesley News
www.wellesleynewsonline.com
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
Wellesley offers more than 180 clubs, organizations, and activities for student involvement. Clubs range from club sports, political groups, a cappella groups, Speech & Debate, Sexual Health Educators, Cooking club, Freestyle Dance, Asian Student Union, Wellesley College TV, Wellesley News, Outing Club, Multicultural Council, Schnieder Board of Governors, Senate and College Government, Pre-Law, Pre-Veterinary, Pre-Dental, and Pre-Business Societies just to name a few...
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Yearbook
ROTC
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 36 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 3% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 30% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 67% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 30 responses

  • 3% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 13% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 37% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 47% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

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