‘I’m heartbroken’: Wells College alumni remember alma mater ahead of graduation

AURORA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Unlike the usual excitement on a college campus before commencement, Wells College was quiet as it prepares for its last graduation ever. Not only disappointing to the students but all the alums.

“Deep down, I hope during graduation Pleasant Rowland comes over and says, ‘I’m buying the college. We’re going to keep going,’” said 2022 alum Ellie Beavers.

As an artist, Beavers has a unique way to say goodbye.

“I kind of want to hide my artwork on campus somewhere, somehow. For my thesis, it’s all hand carved linoleum stamps,” she said. “I always find a way to hide something of my art. Even if I just bring a stamp and just paint and label everything, I will.”

With the doors closing, so do opportunities for future students.

“I’m heartbroken that this isn’t going to be there for future generations,” said Marett Seymour, who graduated in 1998. “I have friends with little kids, with little girls who have said to me, ‘I want to go to Wells.’”

When the announcement was made, while disappointed, Laura Mauro wasn’t surprised.

“In 2010, we had a lot of meetings that last year, and we were all convinced they weren’t going to last past graduation,” she said. “I was convinced I was going to be the last graduating class. We had a lot of intense meetings.”

Those meetings were about the school’s finances. A problem 14 years in the making. Now, these alums wonder what’s next for campus.

“I wish it would stay something educational,” said Jessica Robinson, who graduated in 2005. “Something that people can use to learn, to grow as a human being.”

And there is one last message for the class of 2024.

“Your time at Wells will always be priceless,” Robinson said.

“They can take Wells from you, but they can’t take away the fact that you are a Wells student,” Mauro said.

A message for every student wherever they go next.

From Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, June 1, over 900 alumni will be coming to Wells College for a final goodbye with festivities those three days.

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