Philanthropist and Businesswoman Pleasant Rowland '62 to Deliver 2014 Commencement Address

04-24-14 - Wells alumna and founder of American Girl will speak to the graduating class of 2014.

pleasant rowland

Wells College is pleased to announce that alumna Pleasant Rowland ’62 will be the speaker for the College’s 146th Commencement ceremony, held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, in front of Macmillan Hall on the Wells campus in Aurora. An innovative and dedicated educator, award-winning business woman and highly respected philanthropist, Ms. Rowland’s career and life reflect the substance and values of the liberal arts education she received at Wells—the same received by the graduating class of 2014 that Ms. Rowland will address in May.

Pleasant Rowland is a successful business executive best known for her creation and leadership of American Girl, the collection of books and dolls lauded for teaching history to millions of girls over the past 30 years. She is the author of reading and language arts textbooks for primary grade students used widely throughout the country today and chairman of the Rowland Reading Foundation, publisher of innovative curriculum materials and provider of training and professional development for classroom teachers. Through the Pleasant Rowland Foundation, her philanthropy focuses on her lifelong interest in the arts, education and historic preservation.

In a speech delivered when she received the College’s Alumnae Association Award, Ms. Rowland noted that her liberal arts education “gave me a breadth of knowledge that I have used as a constant resource in a variety of very different jobs; the ability to think as a generalist, the written and verbal skills to clearly and accurately express my thoughts, a standard of excellence, and the self-confidence to tackle the rocky terrain in the roads that lay ahead.”

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will move to Phipps Auditorium inside Macmillan Hall.

Learn more about this year's Commencement events.



David Foote, communications associate, 315-364-3460,