The whose names will be permanently etched on the walls of the new high school library got a new addition: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and internationally recognized philanthropist.
The School Committee May 24 approved the diverse list of names determined by school administrators, teachers and students that includes men and women from throughout history and around the world.
After receiving some input from the public, admittedly more through her inquiries, School Committee Member Suzy Littlefield said additional suggestions included Gates and Gamaliel Bradford, for whom the original high school was named.
But the new school library’s walls have room for just 431 and the submitted list of names already includes 422 characters.
Littlefield suggested the names of American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan and Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe be dropped in favor of Gates and Bradford, a Wellesley resident and biographer for whom the Wellesley High School newspaper is named.
“With no disrespect to Mr. Bradford, the folks who are included in this list have more international recognition,” School Committee Member Wendy Paul said.
School Committee Member Ilissa Povitch suggested a plaque honoring Bradford and his contributions be placed in the 1938 classroom in the new school being built to commemorate historically significant school and town events.
“There is a lot going on in there,” Littlefield said, referring to the historic classroom.
She said a plaque could be included somewhere in the new building to acknowledge Bradford’s accomplishments.
And since Gates’ name is just five characters, it could be added without dropping Dylan, who has been an important and influential figure in American music for five decades.
In addition, it wouldn’t have been right to erase Dylan yesterday, which happened to be his 70th birthday.