Save Our Sisterhood (S.O.S)
Important Links
A Wells Alumnae Coalition (Including the alumnae petition against the Board's Decision to go coed)
Save the Liberal Arts at Wells

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Please Read the S.O.S. Report

SOS's Report on the State of the College in plain text (.txt) formal

SOS's Report on the State of the College in Word format

*S*ave *O*ur *S*isterhood



They can't silence us anymore
Gagged Students (Courtney Rice)



"Five to Thrive" campaign aims to help defray legal expenses

Aurora, NY [November 29, 2004] --"FIVE TO THRIVE" aims to help the "Wells for Women Legal Fund" defray the $30,000 legal bill students will acrue in a lawsuit filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Wells College.

The Board of Trustees of Wells College voted October 2, 2004 to admit men to the college and many Wells students felt that they had been the victims of a "bait and switch." Today, they took their complaint to court. In a suit filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, these students seek an injunction against the college to allow them to graduate from the women's college they bargained for.

To support this worthy cause go to Save Our Sisterhood at , and click "Make A Donation" to be a part of the "Five to Thrive" campaign. You can make a contribution of $5 (or more) via PayPal. Or send a check to "Wells for Women Legal Fund," 12975 House Rd Clayton, NY 13624.

Wells College for women in Aurora, NY was established 1868. Each time an historic women's college succumbs to co-education the overall strength of women's education in this country is weakened.

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Rachel J. Dickinson, 607-844-4475

For more information, go to

Students File Law Suit Against Wells College

On Monday, November 29, 2004, a legal challenge to the recent decision by Wells College to admit men in the fall of 2005 was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Cayuga County. This suit, brought on behalf of two students (a freshman and a sophomore) at the college, alleges, among other things, that Wells College violated New York State General Business law by engaging in deceptive acts. The students' claim is that they were led to believe that they would be attending a women's college for four years.

"The fact is, the college deceived the students," said Pete Carmen, of the Syracuse firm MacKenzie Hughes LLP and lawyer for the plaintiffs. The suit alleges that while the college was actively recruiting students for an all-women's college, the college's Board of Trustees had been developing its plan to admit male students. The campus tour guides were specifically instructed in their 2003-2004 campus tour guide training manual to say "no" when asked if "Wells was going co-ed."

"I am totally confident that the students will prevail," said Pamela Purcell, attorney and mother of a current Wells student. "The college's deception of these and countless other students was inexcusable."

The plaintiffs are asking for a preliminary injunction enjoining the school from admitting men until the fall of 2008 (the fall after the graduation of this year's freshmen class).

"We're asking for very limited relief," says Pete Carmen. "We just want the women who applied to and were accepted by a women's college to be able to graduate from a woman's college."

The Wells for Women Legal fund is collecting donations for the legal challenge. Donations may be sent to 12975 House Road, Clayton 13624. For more information see the alumnae-run website

A group of parents, students, and alumnae also allege gross mismanagement on the part of the college's current administration, including the anticipated loss of a $14 million endowment from the Richard U. Light Foundation if the college becomes

co-ed. The Light Foundation money has been used to fund scholarships for leaders for the past several years.

Wells College is a four-year liberal arts college of about 400 women located in the tiny village of Aurora, New York. It was founded as a women's college in 1868 by Henry Wells, founder of American Express and Wells Fargo.

Protests against the co-ed decision have disrupted the normally quiet campus for several months. Within days of the announcement by the Board of Trustees, 217 of the 302 students resident on campus had signed a petition supporting the protest against the decision. Dozens of students occupied the administration building for a week. Alumnae from all over the country came to campus to support the student protest, and nearly 800 have signed a petition challenging the decision.

Many parents joined the students for a protest march during "Family Weekend," and a majority of parents support the continuation of the protest through legal action.

For more information, please contact Rachel Dickinson, at 607-844-4475 or


S.O.S. is a group of concerned students and supporters that have been fighting the ill-informed decision of the Wells College Board of Trustees to hastily transition Wells into a coed institution for the 2005/2006 academic year.

Please refer to our archived updates of the student protest for details or to the S.O.S. report.  Currently, our fight has shifted into a legal battle.  We are in need of funds to help with the fight.  Exact details cannot be released publicly right now, but please email for more information.

Please check out a list of companies that have lent a hand in the fight: CLICK HERE                           

Please send donations to the "Wells for Women Legal Fund" (Please do not make the checks out to S.O.S.):
Wells for Women Legal Fund
12975 House Rd
Clayton, NY 13624

Donation can be sent through Paypal as well: 


Search for "Wells for Women" on eBay to see auction items (a live auction, silent auction and benefit dinner is also being planned)

Personal donations from alums, parents, students, friends, etc:  Contact Sara Floor Miller '00 at

Commercial donations from businesses, including businesses run by alums, parents, students, friends, etc:  Contact Karin Wikoff '86 at