PMC at the Democratic National Convention

A number of faculty, staff, and students took advantage of the Democratic National Convention held in Boston in July, participating in many of the events either as invited guests or volunteers. The greatest number participated in a symposium featuring former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeline Allbright. Held at the city’s new convention center, the event was organized by Barbara Lee, principal of the Lee Family Foundation, who was awarded a PMC honorary doctorate at this year’s Commencement. More than 5,000 women attended.

In attendance were President Gloria Nemerowicz, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Susan Webber, Sociology Professor Christa Kelleher, History Professor Kristen Petersen, Financial Resources Counselor Sophia Henderson, Special Events Director MaryJane Walsh, and students Rachelle S. Camille ‘03, Nadege Manigut ’05, Katiana Noel ’06, and Ashley Randall ’05.

12-Year-Old Daughter of PMC Alumna Speaks at Democratic National Convention

Twelve-year-old Ilana Wexler, daughter of Jonathan and Heidi Neipris Wexler ’82, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, in July, at the invitation of Teresa Heinz Kerry, who had met the unabashed Kerry supporter during a campaign stop in Oakland, California. As a result of her speech, Ilana was invited to appear on both the David Letterman and Jay Leno shows.

Seventh grader Ilana caught political fever last spring and founded kidsforkerry.org. She converted her birthday party in March into a Kerry fundraiser. With 15 of her friends, Ilana raised more than $1,000 for the campaign in less than four hours. Her chocolate birthday cake read, “A vote for Kerry is a vote for kids.”

Since the end of school in June, Ilana has been working eight hours a day, five days a week at the local Kerry campaign headquarters. Ilana was introduced to campaigning by her politically active parents when she was only ten months old.

Ilana’s mother, Heidi, is a drama therapist working with senior citizens with dementia, and her father, Jonathan, is an accountant. She also has an eight-year-old brother, Mori.