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 ’97, Carter 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
The Douglas Cannon, a 140-pound brass cannon that is periodically stolen and returned to Wesleyan for a cult ritual I don’t understand, has resurfaced. I got an e-mail on Friday with the photo above and the following message:
The official base of the Douglas Cannon is between South College and the Memorial Chapel, though it’s never actually there. The last time the Douglas Cannon was on campus was in 2012 in the Zelnick Pavillion. Before that, it was briefly on campus in 2010 and at President Roth’s inauguration reception in 2007.
Continuing a recent Finals Week tradition of sorts, the Cannon Society sends word of a special cameo in Zelnick this week:
Happy Holidays! We know finals can be a stressful time, but we thought we’d spread a little holiday cheer. Please visit Zelnick sometime before Wednesday for a spirited surprise.
All the best,
The Cannon Society
For some information on the last Cannon sighting on campus, click here.
According to Wesleyan’s Facebook page, the famed Douglas Cannon made a surprise appearance on campus earlier this afternoon. Thirty-one years after being baked into Wesleyan’s sesquicentennial birthday cake in 1981—and about 18 months after this Douglas Cannon holiday card—the 140-pound, 29-inch long instrument sat on display in Zelnick Pavilion for a few quiet hours. According to Tim O’Brien of University Relations:
The note came to Dean Mike Whaley during the Senior Gift Lunch. The note indicated that it would be on display in Zelnick Pavilion until 3pm today.
For history, see Wikipedia or “A Short History of the Trials, Travels, and Travails of the Douglas Cannon.”
Have at it. Douglas is lookin’ fly, next to a fireplace. Pretty sure he has something to say. (Link is here in case the embed doesn’t work for you.)
From Douglas Cannon (yes, the cannon hirself emailed us):
DouglasCannon is back.
DouglasCannon wants to speak to you.
DouglasCannon says, come hither, and I’ve missed you, Wesleyan.
The Douglas Cannon has historically been a powerful symbol in Wesleyan history and has been involved in a variety of historical events and pranks around the country. For a short history, see Noel Garrett’s recent post on the Class of 2015 blog, and for more, see this online exhibit from Olin’s Special Collections and Archives. Douglas is going to be available to speak with Wesleyan students via video chat tonight, so start brainstorming questions you would like to ask a retired military weapon that has been an integral part of the history of your very own university.
Are you wondering, like me, why Douglas has chosen to come forward now? Do you think ze has some kind of role in the future of Wesleyan? Where do you think ze’ll be broadcasting from? Is ze just, like the rest of us, procrastinating starting hir final papers? Start discussing in the comments if you have ideas.
Time: 9:30 – 10:30 pm
Place: Your computer, wherever you are. Get in touch with a particularly animated piece of metal and the lore of Wesleyan!
Link: Will be posted later, as soon as Doug provides hir cyber whereabouts
Exciting news: the Douglas motherfuckin’ Cannon has made a triumphant return to campus for the first time since 2007! Full tip, from the artifact itself:
To Whom it May Concern,
I’m back on campus after a brief hiatus and I just wanted to let the Wesleyan student body know that I’ve returned. It seems that this is a stressful time for most students, so here’s a little bit of holiday cheer. Would you be so kind as to post this to your blog so that as many people as possible receive my message?
If you have no idea what we’re talking about, educate yourself here:
The Douglas Cannon has seen fit to grace Wesleying with another e-mail regarding the upcoming Girl Talk concert:
Where: Bacon Field House, Freeman Athletic Center
When: This Saturday, December 6th at 11:30pm
- Be there on time! The show will start without you and won’t last long.
- “Wesleyan ONLY” really does mean Wesleyan Students ONLY. There will be an I.D. check at door. So, stop hoarding tickets for friends. Instead, please sell them to Wesleyan students that do not have one.
- This is a fundraiser for Financial Aid Scholarships. Thus, Scalping for profit = really messed up.
- Need Tickets/Have Extra?? Visit WesGirlTalk.Blogspot.com if you NEED/HAVE Girl Talk tickets to BUY/SELL.
Honorary Degree recipient Alan Dachs ’70, P’98 speaking in front of the Douglas Cannon at commencement. Photo credit: Bill Burkhart
Taken from The Wesleyan Connection website.