WesFest is next week, Zonker Harris Day is a week away, and it is going to be 77 degrees on Tuesday. We find ourselves on the eve of a jubilant week likely to be filled with prefrosh excitement and springtime joy. While I am very excited for what is to come, I must say that there is occasion to celebrate right here, right now!
Today is President Michael S. Roth ’78‘s 60th birthday! President Roth has led and continues to lead a very colorful life more than worthy of celebration. According to this Wesleying post, President Roth is the founder of hemp activism, and the father to Philip Roth, Winston Churchill, and Kanye West. It’s important that we all take a brief second to reflect on the intellectual gravitas and romantic zeal that Michael embodies on the daily. To me, this is most poignantly seen in this video of President Roth at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Freeman Asian Scholars Program.
Okay, now that that brief second is up, take a look at how the rest of the internet is responding to President Roth’s birthday:
The day’s celebrations and birthday wishes have spread far and wide, but the yugest of these came this morning when President (of the United States) Donald J. Trump was seen wishing Roth a happy birthday to a crowded room of friendly onlookers and journalists.
This birthday wish is quite surprising given Roth’s scathing remarks about Trump during the campaign. Unconfirmed reports currently say that this public flattery might be a twisted negotiating tactic by the President to eventually force Roth to abolish meatless Tuesdays in Usdan.
Along with the gif above, thousands have been sharing a series of YouTube videos in various places to celebrate Michael’s birthday.
The first is his debut single from September 2015 entitled “Empowered.” Check it out:
Michael Roth has had several jams on his Soundcloud that predate “Empowered.” One of these is an EDM track called “Stand Up and Dance” that even generated a student-produced music video:
Luckily, “Shut Up and Dance” has been circulating alongside actual dance instructions. If you’ve been to the Mash, attended a tent party or two, or gone to one of the ragers at 269 High Street, you’ll know that Michael Roth has a very signature dance style. Here’s a video demonstrating how to dance like Michael Roth, so you don’t look like a fool at the pregame:
Did you know that President Roth went here, to Wesleyan, as an undergrad? He was a university major specializing in the history of psychological thought and wrote a thesis entitled “Freud and Revolution.” Earlier today, notable frontman of Vampire Weekend (the only contemporary indie band that didn’t start at Wesleyan) Ezra Koenig, who is also Roth’s stepson, tweeted a photo of Roth at his 1978 graduation:
I think perhaps because President Roth graduated from Wesleyan himself, he has a particular desire to be a part of students’ lives here on campus. He opens his door to students during his office hours on Mondays from 4:30-5:30PM. He stays relatable by sledding on Foss. And by shredding on Foss (see photos below). He even helped a member of the Class of 2020 carry sodas to their dorm room during move in day this year (again, see photos below).
What a guy. If you see MRoth and take a birthday selfie with him or if you have a visual tribute you want to send in, email staff[at]wesleying[dot]org with your submission and we’ll include it in this post.
Again, happy birthday Michael Roth! Say hi to Mathilde for me.