Wellesley College, which looms large in Hillary Clinton’s political narrative, is hosting its annual alumnae reunion next weekend and rumors are swirling among other graduates that the former secretary of State will make a surprise appearance at events for her 45th reunion.
While the college said no plans are finalized, and Clinton’s people did not respond to requests for comment, Wellesley played a large role in shaping the one-time presidential candidate’s worldview. A visit now, as Clinton prepares for a book tour seen widely as a preamble to a potential 2016 run, would help underscore the school’s importance and be a rare opportunity to connect with old friends before the onslaught begins.
Madeleine Albright, a predecessor as secretary of State and close Clinton ally, is speaking Saturday at 2:00pm. Albright graduated from Wellesley 10 years before Clinton.
Clinton came of age politically at Wellesley, entering as a Republican and leaving as an antiwar Democrat. A commencement speech she gave decrying the Vietnam War garnered national attention and launched her political career.
She returned in 1992 as first lady to give the college’s commencement speech, and several years later to receive an award.
In November of 2007, Clinton came back once again, this time as a presidential candidate, to kick off her student-organizing effort. “When I came to Wellesley, I never in a million years could have imagined I would one day return as a candidate for the presidency of the United States,” she said at the time.
Might she reprise that role once again?
A spokesperson for the college said the school its crossing its fingers for a visit from the potential 2016 presidential candidate. “We hope Secretary Clinton will attend her reunion this year, but cannot confirm it at this point,” said Elizabeth Gildersleeve, Wellesley’s assistant vice president for communications and public affairs. “If she is able to attend, she will not be speaking, but will instead be participating in reunion activities that are not open to the public.”