On Thursday February 24, I attended the Black History Panel Discussion in the Burden Parlor. This discussion was sponsored by the Lane Center and included the first women to integrate the Wesleyan Campus in 1968. These women are Carolyn McClinton Woodard, Marvette Baldwin Jenkins, Sonya Tomlinson Holland, and Dyleane Tolbert Taylor. In addition to this first group there was a graduate from the class of 1979, Gail Bacon Ford, and a graduate from the class of 2001, Pilar Wilder.
All of these women have gone on to great careers and the convocation focused on that aspect of their lives as well as personal stories. Following from these stories, it was most interesting to hear about what some of the women believed was the most important characteristic that one could have and what they learned at Wesleyan. Two lessons that stood out were “Being positive” which was stated by Sonya Holland and knowing that “Failure is not an option”, which was first stated by Pilar Wilder but was then echoed by some of the other women on the panel.
As we move into the post-STUNT era of midterms and the beginning of the end of the semester, it becomes very easy to take on a negative attitude. School work is increasing, large projects are looming over you, tests and papers are due that will decide your future at this college. Therefore, I think it’s wonderful that these older Wesleyannes were able to give some words of wisdom to us newer Wesleyan students. Be Positive and know that Failure is not an Option. Those two outlooks can change the entire way that you think of the rest of this school year and your life.
By being positive you will not get stressed out as easy because you will be able to approach all obstacles with a clear head. In addition, not accepting failure as an option means that you are willing to reach your goals no matter what. If you put those two things together there is no way that you will not succeed. Just like those women from the class of 1972 were the first black women to stay at Wesleyan for the whole 4 years it took to graduate, we can also accomplish great things. So, as we enter into midterms and you begin to feel stressed remember what those six women of Wesleyan said, Stay Positive and know that Failure is never an Option.