On September 3, the Wellesley community came together for convocation to mark the start of the College’s 145th academic year. Below are some highlights from this year’s celebration, which included the procession of students, faculty, and staff from the Academic Quad, remarks from President Paula A. Johnson, Provost and Lia Poorvu Dean of the College Andrew Shennan, College Government President Diana Lam ’20, and College Government Chief Justice Nimo Suleyman ’20, and students reconnecting after the summer break. In keeping with tradition, the ceremony was followed by Stepsinging in the Hay Outdoor Theater.

      In her remarks, President Johnson said, “Of all the goods that we serve, none is more important than fostering the capacity to bridge divides—of politics, race, economic class, immigration status, and all the other fault lines of 21st-century life. This is an essential tool of leadership—and the foundation of democracy. It will go far to determine what the future looks like. In every conflict, every dispute, lies an opportunity. Differences can tear us apart or they can make us stronger—but only if we learn to use them wisely. To listen to each other. To assume the best. To seek out common ground. To be that bridge.”