Fun Facts About Wells College


Wells College, located in Aurora, New York, is a small liberal arts college that has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1868. With just over 500 students, Wells College offers a unique and intimate academic experience. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some fun facts about Wells College.

Fun Facts About Wells College

A Brief History of Wells College

Wells College was founded in 1868 by Henry Wells, the founder of Wells Fargo and the American Express Company. Wells had a passion for education and wanted to create a college that would provide young women with the same opportunities for higher education that men had at the time. The college started as a seminary for women but quickly grew into a four-year college. The first graduating class in 1875 had just six students, but today the college has over 500 students.

The College’s Campus

Wells College’s campus is located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The campus is known for its beautiful architecture and stunning views of the lake. One of the most iconic buildings on campus is Main Building, which was built in 1890 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building houses the college’s administrative offices, classrooms, and dormitories.

The campus also has several other historic buildings, including the Louis Jefferson Long Library, which was built in 1929 and is modeled after the library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The library has over 200,000 volumes and is known for its stunning stained-glass windows. Other notable buildings on campus include the Macmillan Hall Science Center, the Schwab Hall art and music building, and the Boathouse, which is located on the shore of Cayuga Lake.

The College’s Academics

Wells College is a small liberal arts college that offers a wide range of majors and minors. The college is known for its strong programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Popular majors at Wells College include biology, psychology, business, and creative writing.

The college also offers several unique programs, including a program in Book Arts, which allows students to study the art of making books and other printed materials. The program includes courses in printing, typography, bookbinding, and papermaking.

Wells College is also home to the Wells Center for Sustainability and the Environment, which offers a range of programs and initiatives related to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The college is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has implemented a range of measures to promote sustainability on campus.

The College’s Traditions

Wells College has a rich tradition of community events and celebrations. One of the most popular events on campus is the annual Boat Burning, which takes place on the last day of classes each spring. Students build a wooden boat, which is then set on fire and pushed into Cayuga Lake as a symbol of letting go of the past and moving on to the future.

Another popular tradition at Wells College is the Head of the Lake regatta, which takes place each fall. The regatta is a rowing race that starts at the north end of Cayuga Lake and finishes at the Wells College boathouse. The regatta attracts rowing teams from colleges and universities throughout the region.


Wells College is a unique and vibrant institution with a rich history and a strong commitment to academic excellence and environmental stewardship. The college’s beautiful campus, strong academics, and rich traditions make it an ideal place for students who are looking for a small, intimate, and personalized college experience.