On February 15th, President Roth emailed an announcement of this year’s commencement speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients. The 186th Commencement Address will be delivered by Daniel Handler ’92, also known under his pen name Lemony Snicket. Fellow degree recipients are Anita Hill, Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, and Joshua Boger ’73, scientist and chair emeritus of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Commencement will be Sunday, May 27, 2018.
The decision has sparked conversation among students, both in light of Handler’s past controversial remarks and the ongoing #MeToo movement, for which Anita Hill laid the foundation when, in 1991, she testified against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination on the basis of sexual harassment. Sarah Chen Small ’18 has written in with a response to the commencement decisions, which you view below along with President Roth’s original announcement email:
Wesleyan Fossil Fuel Divest held an action directed at the board of trustees Friday evening. Students gathered in the UOC at 6pm to go over the details of the symbolic action, which would force the board of trustees to informally vote on divestment from fossil fuels.
The board, among other university administrators, were gathered in Allbritton for a naming ceremony for Wesleyan’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships. Just as the ceremony was ending, demonstrators formed a semi-circle around the front of Allbritton with two openings, one marking a “yes” vote and the other a “no” vote. Board members gradually filtered out of Allbritton. Almost every single board member, including chairman of the board Joshua Boger ’73, walked through the “no” gap. Boger can be seen looking smug as hell here:
For those of you who are confused (and don’t spend a ton of time on Twitter or email), here’s what’s up: For the past several years, we’ve been attending classes in 41 Wyllys, which older alumni reading this probably remember as the former squash courts building. For whatever reason, it took almost half a decade to name this piece of real estate, but as of May 2016, that’s about to change.
Today, President Michael Roth announced that 41 Wyllys is to be renamed Boger Hall after Joshua Boger ’73, who has served as the chair of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees since 2009. Student and alumni reaction has already been mixed, with lots of comments about boogers, Boger’s interactions with students during the need-blind protests, Boger being a pharmaceutical magnate, and the fact that Boger chaired a fundraising event with Bill Cosby in 2010 (#womp).
Only time will tell if this re-naming will be as controversial as that of Bennet Hall (renamed after Douglas Bennet ’59, the dude who was in office before Roth and incredibly disliked, apparently), but for now, congrats to Bogus—I MEAN BOGER.
Anyways, you can read Roth’s email after the jump.
Reveal yourself, Trustee-Candidates-Who-Didn’t-Make-It-Onto-The-Ballot. We know you’re out there.
Andrew Bleeker ’07 was one of 40 nominees for the Board of Trustees—and is now one of six candidates on the ballot for the Board of Trustees.
You know what it’s like to run for the WSA (it’s okay, we were all freshmen once), but do you know what it’s like to run for the Board of Trustees, Wesleyan’s most elite secret society?
According to a recent post on WesConnect, six alumni are in the process of finding out, each vying for a chance to spend sunny weekends in September, November, and May perched up in the Daniel Family Commons sipping Dom Pérignon, Making Important Decisions About Relle Important Stuff, and occasionally asking Public Safety to kick out uninvited student activists. (Or maybe they’re just running for the opportunity to kick it with West Wing star and Wesleyan trustee Bradley Whitford ’81.) The candidates on the ballot, as they present themselves on WesConnect, include: