Monthly Archives: May 2010

Wesleyan Holds 178th Commencement Ceremonies

Wesleyan University held its 178th annual Commencement ceremonies on Andrus Field at 11 a.m., May 23. Complete coverage can be found here.

The address by the 2010 Commencement Speaker Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74, M.A. ’80, can be found here.

President Michael S. Roth’s address to the graduates can be found here.

The Senior Address by Latasha Alcindor ’10 can be found here.

Photo galleries are available here and here, and are being periodically updated.

Hickenlooper ’74 Tells of Beating Expectations on the Way to Success

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper '74 '80 M.A., delivers the 178th Commencement Address. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Address by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74 ’80 M.A,, on the 178th Commencement at Wesleyan University, May 23, 2010:

Well, first I want to thank Wesleyan for inviting me. I want to thank President Michael Roth. Rarely do you see an individual, in his third year, who is the right person at the right time for the right institution. This is one of the great universities in America, and we have a great, great president. Board Chair Joshua Boger and University Marshall Suzanne O’Connell, and certainly all the family and friends who’ve supported these students through their college careers.

This is the single most important honor I have ever received. It says a lot about this institution and all of you.

Certainly, if anyone had polled my class 35 years ago, I would have been unanimously selected as the last person to ever receive an honorary degree or give a commencement address at Wesleyan. Actually, it’s not my first time in consideration for an honor at Wesleyan – the geology faculty once voted to give me tenure –

President Roth: Rejection of Conformity Can be a Pursuit of Happiness

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth delivers the President's Remarks.

Address by Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth ’77 on the 178th Commencement at Wesleyan University, May 23, 2010:

Members of the board of trustees, members of the faculty and staff, distinguished guests, new recipients of graduate degrees and the mighty class of 2010, I am honored to present some brief remarks on the occasion of this commencement.

It is thrilling for me to stand here before you in such distinguished company. I am joined today by the very honorable Mayor John Hickenlooper, who has an undergraduate and a graduate degree from Wes. This gives me an occasion to remind all of us how lucky we are to have graduate programs on campus to enrich the educational experience for everyone. John’s administration in Denver has demonstrated idealistic passion and practical effectiveness, whether in public education, health care or on environmental issues. His team has attacked intransigent social problems like homelessness and unemployment, while also stimulating the growth of major cultural organizations and the civic pride that goes along with them. At a time when many politicians have retreated from the very idea of the public sphere, John Hickenlooper has reminded the citizens of Denver, and of Colorado more generally, that one of the joys of the modern polity is a robust and creative common life. His demonstration of authentic political engagement on behalf of the common good reminds me of the extraordinary work done by members of this class of 2010 in promoting opportunity through education from Middletown to Kenya.

Promoting opportunity through education has been a significant part of the life of my colleague and honoree Ruth Simmons. As president of Smith College and now of Brown University,

Alcindor ’10 Addresses Fellow Graduates in Verse

Latasha Alcindor '10 delivered the Senior Class Welcome. (Photo by Nick Russell '09)

Latasha Alcindor ’10, delivered the following Senior Class Welcome at Wesleyan’s 178th Commencement Ceremonies on May 23, 2010:

Today is the first day of my presentation.
Today is the first day of your presentation.
Today is the first day of our presentation.

Jonna Humphries ’10 Senior Voices Address

“Senior Voices” Address by Jonna Humphries ’10, delivered at Memorial Chapel during the 178th Wesleyan University Commencement:

How I Have Changed Because of My Experience at Wesleyan.

When I was younger, perhaps around 10 years old, my Mom would always ask my brothers and I at the end of a school day “What did you learn?” We’d give her responses filled with details on topics ranging from what happened on the playground between so-and-so to a full recap on the letter in cursive we’d learn to master that day. We did this until one day, my older brother Alexander, completely changed the dynamics of these after-school discussions. My mother asked, with innocence and inquisition, “What did you learn?”

Rebecca Lee ’10 Senior Voices Address

“Senior Voices” Address by Rebecca Lee ’10, delivered at Memorial Chapel during the 178th Wesleyan University Commencement:

I would like to talk today about communities.

The village I grew up in, on the outskirts of Cambridge, England, was an international community composed of families affiliated with the university. The children of these expatriate families, including myself, led a blissful childhood, playing street hockey and holding water fights in our neighborhood. At the end of each day the families gathered for a potluck dinner of cuisines from all

Satrio Wicaksono ’10 Senior Voices Address

“Senior Voices” Address by Satrio Wicaksono ‘10 as delivered at Memorial Chapel on the morning of Wesleyan University’s 178th Commencement ceremonies, May 23, 2010:

It all started more than four years ago, when a big red envelope sent via FedEx arrived at my boarding school, a modern madrasah, in the suburbs of Jakarta, Indonesia. Inside the envelope was a congratulatory note from the Dean of Admissions at Wesleyan University, saying that I had been selected to receive the Freeman Asian Scholarship to attend Wesleyan.

The Freeman Foundation decided to send a group of incoming Freeman Scholars, myself included, to attend the English

Student-Run School, Clinic in Kenya Highlighted

The Kibera School for Girls and The Johanna Justin Jinich Memorial Clinic of Kibera were featured on Channel 3 News. The story discusses the facilities created by a small group of Wesleyan students their organization Shining Hope for Communities. The school was built last year and the clinic will go up this summer. Shining Hope for Communities has received more than $100,000 in grants and awards this year alone.

Shining Hope for Communities and the Kibera School for Girls were founded and created by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09; they were joined by Leah Lucid ’10 and Arielle Tolman ’10 in their efforts to create the Johnna Justin Jinich Memorial Clinic. Robert Rosenthal, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, serves as the president of their board of directors. More information can be found at

Work by McCloughan ’10 Previews Eiko WESeminar

Watching this short video of a project by Mark McCloughan ’10 gives viewers a sense of the type of dance and movement taught and performed by Artist-in-Residence Eiko Otate P ’07, ’10. McCloughan, is Phi Beta Kappa and the recipient of a Theater Department award for his work.

Otake is presenting a WESeminar titled “Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement Workshop” on Sat. May 22, 3 p.m., at the Bessie Shonberg Dance Studios on 247 Pine St.

A full schedule of all WESeminars can be seen here.

Hickenlooper ’74 Returns as Commencement Speaker

Bill Husted ’70, writes in The Denver Post about Denver Mayor and current Colorado candidate for governor, John Hickenlooper ’74, who will give the Commencement address at Wesleyan on Sunday, May 23. Hickenlooper briefly discusses his time as a student at Wesleyan, which spanned nine years, and gives a few hits about his speech.

Alumni Gift Supports CAAS Lounge Renovation

The first-floor lounge of the Center for African American Studies will be renovated thanks to a $50,000 gift from Michelle ’84 and Kurt ’87 Lyn P’12 of Houston, Texas.

Their gift honors the 40th anniversary of the establishment of CAAS and is intended to make the lounge a more attractive venue for the entire campus community.

Ashraf Rushdy, professor and chair of the African American Studies Program, professor of English, expressed deep gratitude to the Lyn family for their generosity.

“The money will be used to make the lounge even more welcoming

Basinger’s Memory a ‘Paradise’ for Prof. Seamon

The Hartford Courant reports on how Professor of Psychology John Seamon became intrigued by a feat of memory achieved by local resident John Basinger, who decided in the late 1990s to celebrate the coming of the millennium by memorizing a poem – one that was more than 60,000 words long: John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Seamon, who is also a professor of neuroscience and behavior, studies memory and recall, among other subjects. He was amazed at Basinger’s ability to learn and recite the entire 12-book epic poem verbatim. He knew other researchers would be intrigued, as well, and Basinger agreed to sit for a battery of tests and queries. Basinger, a retired local educator, said that he committed the poem to memory an hour a day while working out at a local gym. He needed somewhere between “3,000 to 4000 hours” to get Paradise Lost completely memorized.

Basinger is the husband of Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin Fuller Professor of Film Studies.