Wellesley College announced Wednesday that it has chosen one of its most esteemed graduates, Hillary Clinton, to give this year’s commencement address in May.
“Secretary Clinton has changed the face of American politics, showing the country and the world that there must be no limit to the heights to which women can rise,” Wellesley President Paula A. Johnson said in a statement. “She 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.”
Students at the women’s college led the selection process, according to the school. Months ago, thousands of Wellesley students had gathered at the school in expectation of seeing Clinton become the first woman elected president, and were devastated once the possibility slipped away. The former secretary of state has kept a low profile since the hard-fought election, with few public appearances.
This will not be the first time Clinton has addressed a graduating class at Wellesley. She took the stage in 1969 as the first student at the school to ever deliver a commencement speech. In that address, a 21-year-old Clinton encouraged her fellow graduating classmates to make “what appears to be impossible, possible.” Decades later, in 1992, Clinton gave another commencement speech at Wellesley as first lady.
“She is the best person to represent who we have become at Wellesley and who we strive to be in the world,” said Amal Cheema, co-president of Wellesley’s senior class. “Her tireless push for progress embodies the spirit — and the courage — we seek in breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings of all kinds.”