Category Archives: Alumni

Guest Post: In Remembrance of Alex Hartley ’10

“She was a fierce and loving friend to me and many others. She didn’t take shit but knew how to be silly. We all miss her so much already.”

Last week, we received some sad news about the passing of Alex Hartley ’10. We’re publishing some words of remembrance from Lena Solow ’12, who was a close friend of Alex. There will be a formal gathering to remember Alex in Boston on Saturday, October 7th from 1:30-3:30PM at the The Humanist Hub.

From Lena:

Text Wes Back: An Interview with Cade Leebron ’14

Wesleyan solicits donations from alumni year-round to support the many fundraising campaigns that keep Wesleyan afloat (but somehow still not need-blind…). Over the summer, I spoke with Cade Leebron ’14 about her own campaign for alumni to speak up about the many issues that students and alumni alike see at the school. She began Text Wes Back to collect actual responses that she and other alumni sent back when Wesleyan texted them to donate money to the school.

Read below the jump for the full interview.

Content warning: This interview discusses sexual assault.

New Music Video from Class of ’17 Alumni Band Phatrabbit

Phatrabbit was a band known for their Westco triple shows and shows in the meadows behind Long Lane. Recently, they’ve gotten attention for their hit #1 single “Seventeen.” And they have an album coming out soon! It’s called This is Enough and I’m sure it will be lovely.

The band has already released a music video for “Seventeen,” from their self-titled release from 2016. Following this success, they also had an NPr TiNY dESK cONCeRT, W0W!

The MASH: Interviews with Good Morning CT, Bonanza, and Johnnie Gilmore ’18

The Mash at Wesleyan University, Sept. 9. (Photo by Caroline Kravitz)

As you probably know by now, there is a fun event coming up this weekend called The MASH. The MASH is a performance event that happens every year during the first week of classes. It provides spaces and resources for different bands, singers, and artists to share their talent. Shoutout to Harrison Nir ’19, the student intern who has done a ton of work to make this event happen this year, and also Hanna Orovec, the staff member in the CFA that oversees the event. Give Josh‘s post a read if you want to know more about how this all came together. All of the groups that perform are Wesleyan affiliated, whether it be alumni bands like the one Michael Roth ’78 is in, faculty artists, or new ensembles like Good Morning Connecticut (GMCT). Below are some short interviews of student bands, including the aforementioned group GMCT, and another called Bonanza. We’ve also got some words from bassist Johnnie Gilmore ’18.

Douglas Cannon Spotted in the Career Center

It’s Reunion & Commencement Weekend, which means campus is crawling with wealthy alumni; nervous soon-to-be-graduates; underclassmen working temp jobs as ushers or golf cart drivers or squatting in their senior friends’ houses; and, of course, Wesleyan dads.

In between all the snoozing on Usdan couches, schmoozing on Foss Hill, engaging in Senior Week shenanigans, chasing after famous alumni currently on campus (shoutout to Joss Whedon ’87, Matthew Weiner ’87, Craig Thomas ’97Carter Bays ’97, Santigold ’97), and packing up your life’s belongings with your parents (godspeed), you may have missed an important piece of Wesleyan history reemerge in the Gordon Career Center.

That’s right: after a multi-year absence, the Douglas Cannon has made an appearance once more. Read past the jump for more details

Listen to Trot Fox’s “Do You Realize?” with Lead Vocals from Claire Randall ’12

December was a somber time for many in the Wesleyan community in the light of news of Claire Randall ’12‘s untimely passing due to a horrific act of gun violence. Around a week ago, Nate Mondschein ’12 posted a public status on Facebook announcing the release of Trot Fox’s cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” The rendition is led by Claire as lead vocalist, and is truly a poignant reminder of the talents that she shared with so many.

Back in the spring of 2016, Claire, Nate, and other members of Trot Fox Gabe Gordon ’11 and Declan O’Connell recorded the first version of the cover during a one-day session at Converse Rubber Tracks Studio in Brooklyn. The initial recording was recorded in a single take and, according to Nate, “Claire delivered what remains one of the most honest, astonishingly powerful performances I have ever heard her give.”

The final version of the “Do You Realize” was produced after Claire’s passing, with the help of 30 of her friends and family.

What’s Going On in the Film Department?

“There has long been an inequality of opportunity within the film industry, and we know diversifying the film industry begins within our education at Wesleyan.”

On March 28, students from the University’s College of Film and the Moving Image released a letter, along with a list of signatures and testimonies, expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of Wesleyan’s Film Studies department. The letter called for systematic changes to the ways in which the department operates, including hiring three tenure-track professors (prioritizing women and POC), offering more diverse courses within the department, and reforming disciplinary procedures so that they are less reliant on “blanket threats” to drop students from the major or drop their theses.

The letter, which has been in the works since February, was a collaboration between a group of current film students – both majors and minors – as well as prospective film students. Before it was put into wide circulation on March 28, the letter was shared amongst students and alumni of the Film Studies department, along with a call for signatures and personal testimonies to present to the CFILM faculty. (From email circulation and tabling in Usdan, the letter received 175 signatures and eight accompanying testimonies.)

Read the full letter and testimonies after the jump:

Kool A.D. Brought His Kid to Wesleyan and Performed and There Were Lots of Zines at the Concert

“My Liberal University Cemented My Loyalty to Show Ponies” – Zine title

koolad

It has been 5 years since Das Racist broke up. And it has been almost 2 months since Heems added Wesleying on LinkedIn (see screenshot), and only 22 days since he started working for AGW Group, a Brooklyn-based marketing company. But this post isn’t about him.

heemsIt’s about Kool A.D., a different third of Das Racist. He’s coming off an exceptionally prolific 2016. He released 10 mixtapes in 2016, one of which had 100 tracks, as I previously mentioned on this website. He also published a book of 100 vignettes. 

Kool A.D. (or Victor Vasquez ’06) came back to campus this past Saturday to perform in Malcolm X House for the 2017 Disorientation Guide release party. His wife, Saba Moeel (aka CULT DAYS) opened for him, and they also brought their kid. This post is a retelling of what happened. I am really not fooling you. That’s all that it is.

Oh and also: there are 9 startlingly radical zines (which I received at the concert) that are embedded in this post as html flipbooks.

Overcoats Perform on NPR’s All Songs Considered

Overcoats perform a Tiny Desk Concert on March 1, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

As the electronic duo OvercoatsHana Elion ’15 and JJ Mitchell ’15 are quickly making a name for themselves in the indie music world. Yesterday they performed on NPR as part of All Songs Considered‘s Tiny Desk Concert series, which is a pretty big deal given who else has been featured. They also performed at this year’s South By Southwest festival earlier this month.

In their Wesleyan days, Overcoats played everywhere from Earth House’s intimate living room to the Spring Fling stage. Even as undergrads, their combination of sparse electronics and warm vocal harmonies allowed them to occupy a unique space in the campus music scene. Now, they’re looking forward to their debut album, Young, which comes out April 21.

You can watch Overcoats’ full Tiny Desk concert after the jump:

Screening of “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA”

making a killingFrom the Center for Film Studies:

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA examines how guns, and the billions of dollars made from them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It exposes the ways powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit. Producer Tara Vajra ’10 will host a Q&A after the screening.

Date: Tomorrow – Tuesday, March 7th
Time: 8pm
Place: The Center for Film Studies