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.
Not too long ago, Sharon Wade – one of the Bon Appetit employees that we all know and love – agreed to meet me in Usdan for an interview. She greeted me with kind blue eyes and a genuine smile. I knew she had been here a very long time and I wanted to pick her brain about her experiences at Wesleyan. She had warned me in advance, the week before at work, about how she’s prone to going on and on and reassured me that I shouldn’t be afraid to cut her off if necessary. As we got into the flow of the interview, which was not very difficult with Sharon’s enthusiasm, I certainly knew what she meant, but by no means was I going to stop her. Sharon sat with me in Usdan for approximately an hour, during which she told me about what she’s learned during her time at Wesleyan, expressed both her loves and her qualms with campus issues, and shared some wonderful anecdotes about students. The following is a transcript of our conversation, edited for clarity.
How long have you been working at Wesleyan?
Probably… around 29 years. A long time – flown by, just like that. It has flown by!
Has it been at Weshop the whole time?
No, this is my second time at Weshop. Because we can move all around. We just have to bid on jobs, awarded by seniority, throughout the campus. We’ve all done probably most everything. I’ve been a cook. For overtime, I did tons of utility. That took me around the world… I’ve done register at the old campus center, I’ve done it [at Usdan], I’ve done at Weshop, so everybody has really moved around, which is a great part of the job because [you can say,] ‘you know what, I think I’ll do that.’ As long as you’re qualified and you’re the most senior person signing – and everybody signs – you get to the job.
If you have no idea what I’m referring to then you might want to read this first. Or this. Or this, or this, or this. Also this. And maybe this, too.
Anyway, the point: this story has been getting a good deal of news coverage, all the way from Wesleying and The Argus, to the Hartford Courant, to HuffPost, Salon, and more. In addition to this post on the coverage, keep an eye out for a more substantive post from pyrotechnics this weekend. Round-up with brief sketches of coverage below:
BuzzFeed is the first source to challenge some of the contentions of the lawsuit, in particular the campus identity of Beta Theta Pi as a “Rape Factory.” BuzzFeed contacted several current and former students, including our very own Zach, to inquire after the use of this particular term around campus. Some commenters on our earlier piece questioned its use, as did many quoted in the BuzzFeed article, but most do note a stigma around Beta that isn’t exactly positive. All in all, BuzzFeed seems to have done some proper research before writing, taking the time to discuss Beta’s historical image, Beta’s relationship with the University, and some of the confusion surrounding events of the 2010-2011 academic year.
By and large the primary audience of Wesleying is comprised of current students, alumni, faculty and staff. However, as a once-prospective transfer student myself, I read Wesleying on a daily basis beginning around the time I first considered the possibility that I might transfer to Wesleyan. This post is intended for the handful of readers who find their way to Wesleying while themselves considering whether to transfer here.
Wesleyan’s official information page for prospective transfer students contains a heap of helpful information. Below I will give my take on some of the topics it covers:
- The Application Process — The important thing to note in this section is that the deadline is March 15.
- The Essay — In my opinion, the essay required for transfer applicants is awfully short. Last year when I applied, the essay was limited to 600 words, which was barely enough to articulate why I wanted to come to Wesleyan — and being that I transferred from a 2-year school, I didn’t have to tactfully explain why I wanted to leave my current institution.
- Interviews — Do an interview. Especially if you can do one on campus.
However, there are some things that you will not typically learn about until after you’ve been accepted and plunked down your admission deposit. Below I have tried to address some of the things (good and bad) that I learned after I made my decision:
- How will your credits transfer? It depends. At Wesleyan, a typical course meets for three hours per week, and counts for one Wesleyan credit. At the school I transferred from, and from many other schools, a typical course that meets for three hours per week counts for three credits. Those three credits will transfer as .75 Wesleyan credits. It is entirely possible to take eight courses in the first year at your original college and only have six credits at the start of your sophomore year at Wesleyan. 32 Wesleyan credits are required for graduation, which assumes four per semester over the course of four years. As I understand it, you must earn a minimum of 16 credits at Wesleyan to be eligible for a degree from Wesleyan.
- General Education Expectations (info at this link) Though your transfer credits may be devalued, the “Wesleyan credit” value of your transfer courses has no bearing on their acceptance for fulfillment of the General Education Expectations. If you took “Elementary Statistics” at your school for three credits, it will count as .75 credits at Wesleyan, but for the purpose of fulfilling one of your NSM General Education Expectations, it is an even match. Take a look at all of the courses you’ve taken so far, and track down their Wesleyan equivalents in WesMaps. This will help you transfer your credits over to Wesleyan (they may not accept everything) and help you determine what General Education Expectations you’ve already met when you fill out the Transfer Credit Evaluation Form for General Education Equivalency.
- Transfer Connections — There are a lot of things at Wesleyan (and in college generally) that you have to figure out or deal with on your own, but Wesleyan doesn’t leave transfers high and dry. If you are transferring here you will have the opportunity to be matched up with a transfer connection. You should sign up for this. Transfer connections are students who transferred to Wesleyan from other schools and who understand the transition process. My transfer connection was an invaluable resource, not to mention that it was really nice to have a fellow student available to answer the kinds of questions that one might hesitate to ask of the class dean.
- Orientation — The official programming is really skewed toward first year students, but that’s because transfers and frosh arrive at the same time, typically a few days in advance of the continuing undergrads. However, the events that were geared toward transfers were worthwhile.
Transferring to Wesleyan was (and you’ll hear this a lot) one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Knowing what I know now, I would do it all over again, and I offer the information above (especially the disheartening news about credit value on transfer) in the hopes that it helps prospective transfers in their planning.
If you’re thinking about transferring to Wesleyan in the fall, you’d better hop to it. The application deadline is March 15th. Good luck!