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).
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.
Joss Whedon ’86 won’t be the most controversial honorary degree recipient at Commencement this May.
A recent New York Times article, Hero of the Bronx is Now Accused of Betraying It, details the rise of our very own (and this year’s lesser-publicized Honorary Degree recipient) Majora Carter ’88. Carter founded the program Sustainable South Bronx, supporting local food production and urban revitalization in the South Bronx. Now she is consulting for corporations like FreshDirect, which has recently occupied a huge lot in the South Bronx, but serves clients mostly in Manhattan and none in the neighborhood around it. That’s not to mention the $500 fee Carter reportedly charges for initial consultations. Journalist Winnie Hu gives the overview:
Ms. Carter’s meteoric rise also made her a polarizing figure. Many former allies and neighbors say that Ms. Carter trades on the credibility she built in the Bronx, while no longer representing its interests. They say she has capitalized on past good deeds in the way that politicians parlay their contacts into a lobbying career, or government regulators are hired by the companies they once covered.
“You can’t have it both ways,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “Either you’re an honest broker and accountable to the community, or you’re working for a business interest and accountable to that.”
Carter is accused of betraying her ideals and becoming a fallen hero of sorts. (When Wesleying tweeted out a link to the article, South Bronx Unite and other critical parties were quick to weigh in on the situation as it’s perceived. Carter herself briefly joined in with a YouTube dedication of her own.) Some fellow alumni are making the connection to Wes:
It seems like only a few months since playwright and In The Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 was last on campus, tweeting his every move up and down College Row. Last night, Miranda made his way to the Rooks’ Eclectic show and had this to say:
He also brilliantly references “Party on Fountain” in #hashtag form (and as if referencing “Party on Fountain” isn’t Wesleyan enough, he also quotes MGMT):
This morning, Miranda continues live-tweeting his escapades on Foss (“Listening to a cocktail of MGMT, Das Racist & Professor Neon on Foss Hill”), at Athenian Diner (“won these in the claw machine at Athenian”), and in the Chapel, where he will speak at noon at the Wesleyan Assembly and Alumni Association Annual Meeting (and where he claims to be writing his speech right now). He urges you to attend:
Taylor: “We’ll definitely come back some time in the future, but when we do none of us will be students.”
The Rooks: rookies no more, eh? Vocal-savvy frontman and campus friend-at-large Garth Taylor ’12 sends word of one last time to support your local funk band:
As for the Eclectic show, it’s listed in the Reunion & Commencement Events as “Eclectic Party Featuring The Rooks.” The whole party goes from 10 PM to 2 AM. There will be a “cash bar” where ID is required. We will go on when things start to jump off around 11:30PM, we hear there will be an awesome DJ before and after our hour-long set. We’ll be performing a lot of the material we performed at our shows in the ’92 so if anyone missed that, they can get acquainted with our new songs.
This may well be the Rooks’ last show as students, so act fast. For more on the band, click here, here, or here.
Date: Friday, May 25
Time: 10:00 pm – 2:00 am
Cost: Cash Bar
It’s Friday, and that means that Reunion & Commencement Weekend is finally underway. The full schedule of events can be found here, but the bulk of the readers of this blog are not reun-ing. Here are some of the highlights of that schedule for current students and soon-to-be graduates.
Aubrey Courville ’13 has totally figured out a way for you to get paid to bum around during Senior Week and occasionally give golf cart rides to 97-year-old alums from the Class of 1937 (okay, that was just me last year):
Do you want to:
- Stay on campus for senior week?
- See your senior friends graduate?
- Make lasting connections with alumni?
- Help with registration/event prep?
- Drive a shuttle (if you are over 21)?
- Spend all day playing with kids as a Camp Cardinal counselor?
Then apply to work for Reunion & Commencement Weekend, May 24th-27rd, 2012! The application can now be accessed here. You will have until Friday, April 20th to submit your application. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail interns(at)wesleyan(dot)edu.
Due: 4/20, yo