El Table names sandwich after Madeleine Albright
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 21:02
Sporting a green apron over a black pantsuit, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright '59 stood proudly behind the deli counter at El Table on Jan. 24 in order to introduce the student-run co-op's most recent addition to their menu, "The Madeleine All-Bite." The Madeleine All-Bite, which is comprised of hummus, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, mixed greens, sprouts and whole-grain bread, is the first sandwich in El Table history to be named after someone who is not a current El Table employee or who has served as a professor at Wellesley.
According to El Table Manager Claire Grossman '12, Albright's visit was the first time that she had returned to the co-op since she worked as an El Table manager herself, back when she was a student at Wellesley. Albright did not, however, make sandwiches back when she worked at El Table and instead only sold snacks.
Albright was accompanied to the honorary sandwich ceremony by two former Wellesley classmates, something that Grossman found uplifting.
"I hope that I'm still hanging out with my Wellesley friends in fifty years—secretaries of state or not," Grossman said.
When asked how the name and the sandwich ingredients were decided upon, Grossman explained that they looked for advice from Albright's staff members.
"Her staff said that she liked hummus, so we decided to upgrade an existing sandwich on the menu (The Vegan) and rename it," Grossman said. "The El Tablers came up with a bunch of possible names including The All-Brie, the BLTT (Balla' Lady Think Tank), The Kids Are All Bright, Madeleine's Choice, The Notorious MKA and The Madame Secretary. However, regarding The Madame Secretary, the Media Relations office pointed out that the name could also refer to the College's other favorite alumna and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton '69. Wellesley problems, I tell you."
While there may have been a long list of possible sandwich names, many students expressed their approval for the name that was ultimately chosen.
"I think that [the name] was so clever," Hayden Broberg '14 said. Broberg added that she found the honorary sandwich naming to be inspirational to her as she looks to her future career.
"As a political science major, it adds an incentive to grow up and have a sandwich named after me," Broberg said, joking that she would love to someday have a sandwich named The Broburger. "You know you've made it when you have a sandwich named after you."
El Table staff members expressed that it was a special experience to see Secretary Albright simultaneously making sandwiches and sharing her expertise. According to Caroline Bodager '14, "[Albright] engaged the entire group and spoke to all of us. It was very special to witness her signing our wall, joining El Tablers dating back to the '60s." Bodager also added that, "Secretary Albright was approachable and interacted with the El Tablers in a very friendly way that made her seem to fit right in."
"It was sobering to see how far you can go as a Wellesley woman," said Madeline Furlong '14. "Madeleine Albright started out at Wellesley—as an El Tabler—and went on to become one of the most powerful women."
"It was heartening to see her behind the counter, rolling up her sleeves like that," Grossman echoed.
"Our school has this ideal of the professional Wellesley woman, which can be wonderfully encouraging, especially with Secretary Albright as a paragon of career success," Grossman continued. "What they don't emphasize—but perhaps should—is that Albright was at Wellesley on scholarship, folding laundry for extra cash and managing El Table in addition to her schoolwork. She didn't come by her grit through internships or by having the right business-casual attire, but by taking all kinds of hard work seriously."