Flattering: Huff Post has placed Wesleyan at number seven on its list of the nation’s best dressed colleges, accompanied by a Method Magazine photo from—wait, is that Zelnick? Anyone know the occasion? A “Party on Fountain” outtake still?
Embarrassing: The attached blurb reads like a 60-words-or-less Idiot’s Guide to Wes-in-the-News Clichés. No, Wesleying Is Not Making This Up:
Vassar has found itself embroiled in quite the legal morass(…er) — now that you’ve been sufficiently nauseated by that, you might be interested to learn of the comparably reproachable actions of former Vassar employee Arthur Fisher and his wife, Jennifer Fisher, who were arrested last Friday in connection with the embezzlement of approximately $1.9 million from Vassar College.
The good people of Mads Vassar have provided excellent coverage of the developing legal situation so far. For those of you not inclined to venture far afield in the blogosphere, here are the central details of the case:
Fisher, a construction project manager at Vassar, ostensibly managed to leech the money from the school’s construction capital budget under the pretense of funding a nonexistent project over the course of his five year tenure, which concluded last December.
Financial inconsistencies found during an examination of project reports tipped off administrators to Fisher’s withdrawals (no word has yet been issued on the precise methods used by the defendants to accrue the cash money flo’).
A search of the Fishers’ Ossining home turned up five vehicles whose total value hovers around half a million dollars, several Rolexes (appraised at around $50k), and perhaps most disturbingly, a staggering cache of unregistered firearms and forged government identification.
Links to further reportage (Washington Post, Huffington Post, Poughkeepsie Journal, Associated Press) can be found here.
Are you writing a thesis? Does it feel like the sun may never again shine on your pretty little overloaded head?
CAREFUL with your misery metaphors. It turns out that, in yet another instance of science fiction threatening to turn into fact, “scientists [are] debat[ing] risks of SUN-BLOCKING and other climate tweaks to fight [global] warming,” as reported by a Huffington Post article entitled “Geoengineering: Scientists Debate Risks Of Sun-Blocking And Other Climate Tweaks to Fight Warming.” The article, which describes a recent conference of various stripes of scholars who convened in England to discuss “the planet’s fate,” ends with a scientist addressing the conference as follows: “I don’t know how many of us can sleep well tonight.” So, maybe one day, the sun really won’t shine anymore!
Not directly Wesleyan related, but hey, it puts things in perspective. And another “hey,” who knows, Connecticut could go dark as quick as anywhere else.
President Roth’s supposedly been off campus lately on vacation, but it seems that he’s caught up pretty quickly. His latest Huffington Post piece definitely makes it seem that he’s aware of the activist events going on around campus lately.:
I was an undergraduate in the seventies, and my education included more than a little protest and activism. I was aware that my liberal arts school had a reputation for activism, and I was proud to be part of it. I returned to Wesleyan University as president more than four years ago, and even though now some of this activism is directed against me, I still take pride in this tradition of alma mater.
It’s subtle, but it seems like Roth might approve of activism even when he is the target of it (WSA Meeting @ Beta, Rally at Trustee’s Meeting). The statement is too indirect to tell whether that means Roth will respond positively to the student demands, but he seems to be actually encouraging the activism rather than shutting it down. So go put up your tents, sign your petitions, and rally in front of your trustees, ‘cuz Roth likes it.
Also, in case anyone was wondering how to explain their certificate program to their potential employers/parents, Roth sums it up as an “interdisciplinary minor.”
The rest of his post, focusing on the relationship between scholarship and public life, can be found here.
Bet you can’t guess which school takes the number one spot. Actually, you know what? Don’t bother. Forget I even mentioned it. Really.
Note: It’s worth pointing out that the list takes its student testimonies from Unigo.com—you know, that big helpful college review site started byJordan Goldman ’04, whom you may recognize as a major figure in Jacques Steinberg’s The Gatekeepers, and, later, creator of The Students’ Guide to Colleges, which is honestly partially responsible for my applying to Wes. Craziness.
In other college commencement news, NBC’s Ann Curry takes the commencement speech flub of the year award by a landslide. The news anchor spoke this past weekend at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and wisely lauded the accomplishments of its graduates, including evangelist Billy Graham, 9/11 hero Todd Beamer, and director Wes Craven—all of whom attended the other Wheaton College. You know—in Illinois. At least Obama was maybe probably jokingwhen he called us “Wellesleyan” in ’08.
Still, Curry was classy enough to apologize in full:
So it is with a heavy heart that I ask you to forgive me for mistakenly naming graduates of the other Wheaton College in my address. . . .
I am mortified by my mistake, and can only hope the purity of my motive, to find a way to connect with the graduates and to encourage them to a life of service, will allow you to forgive me.
I’m thinking it’s an all-too-familiar scenario for students and graduates of the twenty Wesleyan variations scattered around the country—I can only imagine the murderous glare you’d get if you mention MGMT to an Ohio Wesleyan alum. So if you’re out there, Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74: thanks for not mentioning Illinois Wesleyan alums Adlai Stevenson and Alfred O. Coffin (the “first African American man to receive a Ph.D in Zoology”—thanks, Wikipedia!) in your speech last week. We got your back.
This just in! The Huffington Post has named Wesleyan one of the “Top 10 Hipster Schools” in the nation. Thank you, Ariana–we will accept our position alongside Hampshire and Bard as a prestigious bastion of postmodern thought, tight pants, and indie rock.
Of course, no article about Wesleyan’s hipsterdom is complete without a description of Eclectic:
The school is home to perhaps the country’s sole “hipster fraternity,” the Eclectic Society, which produced MGMT founders Andrew Van Wyngaren and Ben Goldwasser as well as Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.
But a reference to the music department’s world music instrument collection seemed out of place:
The campus is also home to a Virtual Instrument Museum, which contains one of the largest collections of musical instruments in the world.
They got that last bit wrong–the “Virtual Instrument Museum” is a large collection of musical instruments from around the world, not one of the biggest collections of instruments in the world. It’s a resource for the ethnomusicology program–think Taiko drums and gamelans–and has a basic online catalog but hasn’t found a curatorial home yet. I doubt that many students draw on the collection’s influence when forming their ironic sensibilities and notions of gender as a social construct, but whatevs. Come to Wesleyan if you want to up your “coolness quotient!”
…and blessing a new crop of Brooklyn bands! 2008 brought MGMT and Santogold to the pop culture limelight and 2009 has the chance to be an even bigger year for the New England university. Fader Magazine, the current de facto guide to cool, recently profiled the university’s music scene and the numerous internet buzz bands nurtured by co-ed dorms and naked parties.
Not to say that the influx of Wesleyan bloodlines into the experimental music scene should come as a surprise. This is the same university that previously boasted the best acid labs in the country, employs experimental jazz pioneer Anthony Braxton as a professor, and is the alma mater of hip hop impresario Bobbito Garcia.
The article also highlights four Wesleyan bands to look out for in 2009 complete with sample tracks: Boy Crisis, Amazing Baby, Bear Hands, and Francis and the Lights. (Plus two songs by honorable mentions Bottle Up and Go and Das Racist.) Thanks for the free PR Huffington!