Immigrant Journeys: How Six Alumnae Came to the United States to Build New Lives

An illustration of people sitting in three boats on a dark ocean.
Image credit: Nicole Xu
March 5, 2018

This article was originally published in the winter issue of the Wellesley magazine and was written by Amita Parashar Kelly ’06.

When immigration enters the national conversation these days, it tends to fit into one of two narratives. On one side, a Hamilton-style rise to achieve the American dream. On the other, ever-growing fear surrounding the immigrants entering this country and how they will alter the fabric of society.

But the real stories—including those of the many immigrants who have made their way to Wellesley—are more complicated than either of those narratives. They are the stories of broken and repaired families, lost and found histories, plans upended, and constant impermanence. Joyful reunions and deep gratitude. Shifting ground endured to forge new ties and create a home.

Immigrants and international students have been part of Wellesley’s fabric since 1888, when the first international student arrived on campus. Since then, Wellesley has welcomed immigrants whose families fled war and political unrest, like Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59, economic hardship, like Ana Martinez ’17, and horrific tragedy, like Variny Yim ’90. The narratives of these alumnae are joined with the stories of Lulu Chow Wang ’66, Olga Shurchkov ’01, and Carol Corneilse ’84.

Full stories can be found on the Wellesley magazine website.