from the wesleyan photo tumblr, probably by Will Barr ’18
The time is here, the time is now: Wesleyan’s class of 2016 is graduating today! Over the course of the past weekend, the median age on Foss has gone up to something like 30, an old dude asked one of my friends where to find drugs, and everyone is hungover. The ceremony begins at 11am and features commencement speaker Bryan Stevenson.
You can watch a livestream here, and read our liveblog after the jump:
After months of hilarious gossip circulating about Bernie Sanders being our commencement speaker, MRoth is putting rumors to rest: Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and a professor at NYU Law School (and owner of an impressive AF Wikipedia page), will be delivering the commencement address. Stevenson will also receive an honorary degree from the university.
Some other cool news (that astag_rocky is currently shitting his pants over): Patti Smith (yes, THE Patti Smith) will be attending and receiving an honorary degree, as will Kwame Anthony Appiah, renowned philosopher whose long list of amazing accomplishments include winning the National Humanities Medal in 2012.
And no surprise here: John Usdan of the Usdan University Center Usdans is receiving the Baldwin Medal, the highest honor from Wesleyan’s alumni association, which recognizes “outstanding service to Wesleyan.”
You can read MRoth’s full email after the jump (it’s hella long).
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 ’75 and Goodspeed Musicals executive director Michael 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.
Update: You read all the speeches and watch Miranda’s address below. And here’s the official Wesleyan newsletter article on the event.
From Jenna Starr ’15:
Join your fellow graduating class for a special ceremony the evening before graduation! And of course, bring your family! We will be having senior student speakers Jenna Starr, Camille Casareno, and Jasmine Masand as well as a special speech by Robert Steele, Professor of Psychology.
Robert Steele earned his B.A. in biology from Whitman College in 1968 and his Ph.D., in 1973, from Harvard University, in Psychology and Social Relations. His research interests are broad, ranging from his book, Freud and Jung: Conflicts of Interpretation, to his work as Director of Diversity Connections, the interactive digital data base, for the Ford Foundation’s Initiative on Diversity in Higher Education.
He was honored as the first recipient of the Edgar Beckham Helping Hand Award for his “outstanding work” and “commitment to social justice” in 2013 and in 2014 with the Binswanger Prize for Excellent in Teaching.
For thirty years, in classes ranging from Cultural Psychology to Myth, Magic and Movies (Harry Potter class), his teaching has focused on working with students to understand the ways in which sexism, racism and classism shape our society’s representations of differing demographic groups and warp our individual preferences and prejudices.
Date: Saturday, May 23
Time: 6-7 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel
From A.N. Kini ’13:
In an event benefitting financial aid, Freestyle Love Supreme comes to campus during Reunion & Commencement. Tickets are $25 for this hiphop improv show–buy them before May 13! Performing are Andrew Bancroft ’00, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Arthur Lewis, and Chris Sullivan.
Deadline to buy tickets: Wednesday, May 13
Performance Date: Friday, May 22
Time: 9-11 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall
Cost: $25 (for financial aid!!!)
From Melissa Leung ’16:
Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2015 is fast approaching (May 21st-May 24th), and we need student employees! Aside from getting paid, you’ll also have the unique opportunity to help out with one of Wesleyan’s biggest events, make lasting connections with alumni, and represent the student body to hundreds of visitors and guests. Potential jobs include working at the Registration site, being a Camp Cardinal Counselor, escorting guests around campus in shuttle vans, and much more!
To apply for a position, please fill out and submit the student employee application, available here. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 10th at 5:00 PM, and we will notify you of your employment status no later than Wednesday April 14th.
There will be a mandatory student employee meeting on Tuesday, May 19th in Exley Science Center 150, at 5:00 PM. If you are hired, you must attend this meeting to receive your work schedules, event staff T-shirt, and other important event information.
If you have any questions, please contact us at aprinterns[at]wesleyan[dot]edu or 860-685-2802.
Application Deadline: Friday, April 10 at 5 PM
Place: the web
If you’ve never stayed for Reunion & Commencement weekend, the idea of a party in a tent might have raised an eyebrow; but those who are familiar with the event surely know better. The annual tent party was located in a ginormous tent on Andrus, which, to my terribly inaccurate estimation, felt even larger than a football field. The music was performed by a band featuring several Wes alums, Kinky Spigot and the Welders, known as “an unstoppable cosmic force of booty-crunching goodness” who certainly didn’t disappoint.
Image via HartfordBusiness.com.
Changes are coming to Reunion and Commencement. Instead of plastic water bottles this year, you will find two water filtration systems, called the “Wishing Wells,” where students can fill a reusable water container.
As you probably have noticed by now, Wesleyan implemented a campus-wide ban on water bottles this past year that has been met with a pretty positive response. Plastic water bottles create environmental waste and, in the words of Melodious, the product “privatizes a public commodity.” Why pay for something you could get for free from the tap in your sink? (And your tap water is probably cleaner and more highly regulated to boot).
In keeping with this new campus policy, R&C will go water-bottle-less. In lieu of selling plastic water bottles, the two student-made Wishing Wells will provide water. Nina Gerona ’15, Tavo True-Alcalá ’15, Brent Packer ’15, and Mads O’Brien ’16 created the winning design and then worked closely with the Wesleyan Machine Shop to build the filtration systems.
Sustainability intern Rebecca Sokol ’15 offers you an opportunity to be on campus this senior week to take advantage of all the Wescam requests you’ll receive:
Want to stick around for Senior Week? Want to celebrate Reunion & Commencement? Apply to volunteer for WasteNot!
WasteNot is Wesleyan’s student-organized answer to the Spring semester student evacuation. It is run and maintained entirely through the commitment of the Wesleyan community, and truly exemplifies the incredible power in reusing. Fourteen volunteers, working about 5 hours each day from 5/18 – 5/27, will help facilitate clothing and furniture collection in preparation for the Fall Tag Sale. To apply, email wesustainability(eat)gmail(deat)com with your response to the question: “Why is Waste Not! important for the Wesleyan community?”
Deadline: April 19
Contact: Email wesustainability(oat)gmail(doat)com or visit our website.