Vera Wells ’71 B.A. will join President Peter Salovey on Monday, Feb. 20 in in a conversation open to members of the Yale community. The discussion is part of the President’s Women of Yale Lecture Series.
The event will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Henry R. Luce Hall auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.
Wells, a member of the first Yale College graduating class to include women, went on to study organization management at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; consulted on education programs and conducted field research in Africa in the 1970s for international development projects; and spent 20 years as an executive at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
As an undergraduate, Wells was instrumental in the creation of a residential college seminar for which Sylvia Ardyn Boone — an eminent scholar of African and women’s art — was first recruited to teach at Yale. Wells and Boone, who would later be the first black woman granted tenure at Yale, then collaborated to organize the “Chubb Conference on the Black Woman,” which brought Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Henrik Clarke, and Shirley Graham DuBois to campus in December 1970. As director of the Sylvia Ardyn Boone Memorial Project, Wells oversees and provides funding for a number of initiatives that honor her longtime faculty mentor.
An active and committed alumna, Wells was the recipient of a 2007 Yale Medal. She has served on the University Council, the Yale Development Board, and the Yale Tomorrow Campaign, and was a founding council member of YaleWomen, Inc. She is a fellow of Timothy Dwight College, where the Sylvia Ardyn Boone Project is based.
The President’s Women of Yale Lecture Series showcases the accomplishments of women who graduated from the university — particularly women of color — and whose leadership reflects on the success of coeducation at Yale. According to Salovey, “these lectures provide the Yale community with opportunities to celebrate the rich heritage embodied in the half-century since women first enrolled in Yale College and the more than 150 years of women’s academic affiliation in Yale’s graduate and professional schools.” They will continue through 2019 with a grand capstone celebration.