Wellesley, you see, is not just a place ... but an idea ... an experiment in excellence in which diversity is not just tolerated, but is embraced.
The essence of this spirit was captured in a moving speech about tolerance given last year by a student body president of one of your sister colleges. She related the story by Robert Fulghum about a young pastor, finding himself in charge of some very energetic children, hits upon a game called "Giants, Wizards, and Dwarfs." "You have to decide now," the pastor instructed the children, "which you are ... a giant, a wizard or a dwarf?"
At that, a small girl tugging at his pants leg, asked, "But where do the mermaids stand?"
The pastor tells her there are no mermaids. "Oh yes there are," she said. "I am a mermaid."
Now this little girl knew what she was and she was not about to give up on either her identity or the game. She intended to take her place wherever mermaids fit into the scheme of things. Where do mermaids fit into the scheme of things?
--- Barbara Bush, Commencement Address to the Wellesley College Class of 1990