Rather than halfheartedly trying to quote lyrics from “In the Heights” or some other thing written by this year’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, we’ll just skip ahead to: “Hey y’all, good morning!” It’s the 183rd Commencement at Wesleyan University, and we’re outdoors at Denison Terrace/Andrus Field/Foss Hill live-blogging all the speeches, processions, and every single name read (okay, none of the names) at today’s graduation ceremony.
Along with Miranda, Spellman College president Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75and Goodspeed Musicals executive directorMichael P. Price are receiving honorary degrees. Things should be getting started around 11 a.m.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and even more congratulations to all the many Wesleying editors and contributors who are graduating as well! You can watch a livestream of the ceremony here.
the football team on November 27, 1885 in New York, before losing to Yale 61-0 (from Wesleyan Special Collections & Archives)
Wesleyan isn’t really known for its athletics, despite our sports teams being pretty good. (I think… why–when I know nothing about sports–do I keep doing this?) This year’s scheduling probably isn’t helping matters: homecoming has been conveniently scheduled during fall break. In any case, in honor of tomorrow’s homecoming game against Amherst, wherever you are to experience/ignore it, here’s a look into Wes Football’s (pretty embarrassing) early history, including a spectacular 136-0 loss to Yale and a triumphant 26-0 win… against New Haven High School.
Set to Bear Hands’ “Belonging,” the video offers a bite-size overview of the dizzying array of music and public life (woah!) on display, with an admirable focus on all the groovy dancing happening during Bear Hands’ set, which somehow never manages to fall in sync with the “Belongings” soundtrack. It was screened for your parents at the unexpectedly political Parents’ Assembly during Homecoming Weekend, and now it’s floating around the Wesleyan main page and Connection, with this blurb attached to it:
Q: What’s more Wesleyan than a Commencement Eve Tent Party featuring cameos by Das Racist’s Himanshu “Heems” Suri ’07, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, and a wedding-style funk cover of “Kids”? A: Probably nothing. We’re late on posting this, but hey, it’s summer, we straight-chillin’.
We don’t have video of Heems dropping a brief verse before flailing around the back of the stage, but we do have a clip of a funkified “Kids,” as performed by Kinky Spigot and the Welders (Lillian Ruiz ’08, Nicole Tirado Strayer ’07, Amanda Facelle ’09, Marlon Bishop ’07, Vlad Gutkovich ’07, Yoni Rabino ’07, Jon Hutchinson ’07, and Tess Amodeo-Vickery ’07). Scroll through the gallery below for a key shot of Heems bonding with Wesleying’s own viral starKill-F Feinstein ’13.
In semi-related news, Miranda ’02 gave a talk to the Wesleyan Alumni Association. Watch it here.
Edit: An anonymous commenter writes in, “You forgot about the Party on Fountain girl, who I’m pretty sure stagedived during this song.” Yes! I didn’t spot her, but both A-Batte (via text message) and Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 (via Twitter) mentioned sightings of Molly ’06, the star of “Party on Fountain.” Can someone do a retrospective WesCeleb interview?
BJ Lillis ’12 wants you and your gender neutral snow sculpting skills:
Come out to Andrus Field this Saturday for a snowman/woman/creature making competition! Imagine, like Calvin and Hobbes come to life, an army of deranged snowpeople descending on campus. Winner gets bragging rights.
Brought to you by Well-Being House, Out House, Open House, Japanese Hall, and 200 Church.
Date: Feb. 5
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Place: Andrus Field
Wes is facing off against Colby on Saturday afternoon – come out and support the Cardinals on what looks like will be a beautiful autumn day.
Yes, this is Wesleyan, not a Big Ten school. But the football team is playing well this year, and the game two weeks ago was a spectacle worth seeing. Hundreds showed up to watch around Andrus field, Wes footballers brought their A-game, and the air of victory after the Cardinals’ upset win against Tufts was overwhelming.
So show your Wesleyan spirit in a way that’s counter-intuitive for most of us – supporting local sports team against visiting sports team. Whoo GO WES.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 10 Time: 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Place: Andrus Field
Andrus Field (along with the Wesleyan Cardinals) is featured in an article about New England college football in the Boston Globe. Apparently Andrus is the oldest college football field still in use, and Wesleyan is the only team in college football to have been undefeated against the powerhouse of Michigan:
Andrus Field (1881), Wesleyan University
This field is what it is, the oldest gridiron in college football. Oops, there we go, channeling Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Class of 1975 and king of the cryptic answer. Belichick’s ties to Wesleyan are strong; his daughter graduated from here last year. Eric Mangini, the New York Jets coach and a Belichick disciple turned adversary, was an All-New England defensive lineman for the Cardinals.
The shout “Go Birds!” rings out as the Wesleyan squad charges onto Andrus Field, which is in the heart of the original 1831 campus surrounded by stately College Row and the Olin Memorial Library, in the central Connecticut city of Middletown. Wesleyan is hosting Hamilton College, which despite its location in Clinton, N.Y., is also a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Hamilton fans have strung a “Go Continentals” banner across their side of the field, and their cheers match those of the home side, until you reach the end of the field.
Here some Wesleyan student-athletes lounge on the terrace below the library. Their catcalls and critiques of the officiating are enhanced by a bullhorn they trade back and forth. Hamilton drives deep into Cardinals’ territory as the third quarter ends, and as the teams walk to the other end, the guy with the horn goads Hamilton, “You better go to the other end!”
Once there, Wesleyan holds firm. A defender jars the ball loose on what appears a sure touchdown catch, another catch is ruled out of bounds, and a Hamilton field-goal try clangs off the right upright and bounces away.
The Cardinals’ momentum is short-lived, as Hamilton quickly regains the ball and connects for a 55-yard touchdown and an eventual 17-7 victory.
Wesleyan can take solace in its standing as the lone school to have an undefeated record against Michigan. The Big Ten power has the most all-time victories in college football, but it has an 0-1 record against the Cardinals, a 14-6 loss in 1883. Obviously, Michigan has been ducking them ever since.