Wilson College President Barbara Mistick welcomed the community to convocation. “We come together today to honor our past for what it has accomplished for so many, and to celebrate together how we can grow as a community to retain the traditions as we grow and as we change,” said Mistick.
Disturbance at Convocation
There was a slight commotion when Mistick started to speak. About 10 seniors sitting in the two front rows held up newspapers and read them while Mistick was speaking. According to one senior, the action was to make a point about how several students felt disregarded during the process leading up to the vote by the Board of Trustees to admit men as residential students. The protesters put their papers away once Mistick finished speaking.
Guest Speaker Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of Wells College
Mistick went on to introduce and welcome the guest speaker Ryerson. Ryerson is an alumnae of Wells College, is serving her seventeenth year as President of her alma mater, and was involved in Wells’ transition process from a single-sex to a co-educational institution. Ryerson spoke about the changes Wells underwent during the transition between single-sex and co-educational. The process created controversy within the community, but when the college came together harmony was achieved. “The chance to come together in a respectful dialogue helped bring us together,” said Ryerson.
Ryerson ended her speech with some advice for the Wilson community. “If I can leave you with just one thought today, it is that if you respect and continue to care for each other, you trust in the integrity of your community, and you continue to speak up for what you believe in, you’ll be fine,” said Ryerson.