Clinton Backers Gather At Wellesley College To Watch Returns

Nov 9, 2016
Originally published on November 9, 2016 1:43 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, and let's hear from one group very disappointed in those results this morning, graduates and students of Wellesley College, the elite women's institution that is Hillary Clinton's alma mater. Thousands of people were on campus last night. So was NPR's Tovia Smith.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: They came to what Wellesley women call the Mothership to party.

(LAUGHTER, CHEERING)

SMITH: From around the nation and the world.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I mean, can you feel this energy? It's amazing.

SMITH: Dressed in suffragette white, they supported Hillary T-shirts, tattoos and toy hammers to celebrate a shattered glass ceiling.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: You know, a lot of little girls are going to grow up being like, wow, I could actually be president.

SMITH: Alums, like Saosan Suhrawardy and Hannah Goldberg could taste it.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: She's literally shattering the glass ceiling right now.

SMITH: But as results rolled in, so did the doubt and worry.

ROVAIRA DASIG: What if it doesn't work out? It's like really bad news could land at any moment.

SMITH: As alumna Rovaira Dasig headed for the bar, another Wellesley alum, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Skyped in to try and buoy the crowd.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: It's going to take a while, but I think we're going to pull this one out. And we all know that nothing comes easy for women. And everything...

SMITH: But Clinton's prospects continued to slide, and tears started to pour.

KATHLEEN ZHU: (Crying).

SMITH: Recent grad Kathleen Zhu couldn't even talk about it. Current students Sydney Robertson and Maura Johnston said they were as devastated by Clinton's loss as they were by Trump's win.

SYDNEY ROBERTSON: I look at that map. And I look at a country that doesn't see a place for me, when quite honestly, my ancestors built it. I'm really - I'm really sad.

MAURA JOHNSTON: We thought we had already made so much progress and so many strides. And we were eating shards of sugar glass in our cupcakes. It's really, really awful - awful feeling.

SMITH: Her mom, Wendy Salz, also a Wellesley grad, tried to console her. If not Clinton, she said, it would be another qualified woman soon.

WENDY SALZ: There are thousands of us.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: It's very possible, yeah - absolutely.

JOHNSTON: Yeah.

SMITH: Indeed, by the wee hours of the morning, many of these women were asserting what they call the Wellesley will, even the still wailing Kathleen Zhu.

ZHU: We wake up the next morning. We put on our pantsuits, and we fight on because there is no other choice but to fight on for our values.

SMITH: She'll do it, Zhu said, for her grandmother and her own kids to come. Tovia Smith, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.