Two current state governors who proudly call Wes their alma mater will be back on campus during Reunion & Commencement Weekend, May 22-25. Both Gov. Peter Shumlin ‘79 of Vermont and Gov. John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80, Hon ’10 of Colorado will be celebrating their reunion years, and giving talks during the weekend.
On May 24, Hickenlooper will give a WESeminar from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., titled “An Inside Look Into the Legalization of Marijuana.” He will address how the decision by voters to legalize small amounts of marijuana for adult use is affecting his state of Colorado, and potentially the nation. The talk will be at the Center for the Arts Hall (formerly the CFA Cinema).
Hickenlooper was elected Colorado’s 42nd governor in 2010. A self-described “recovering geologist now on loan to public service,” he left the oilfields of western Colorado in the late 1980s and opened the state’s first brewpub. He went on to serve as mayor of Denver for eight years before running for, and being elected to, the governorship. Hickenlooper earned a BA in English and a MA in geology from Wesleyan.
Also on May 24 from noon to 1 p.m., Shumlin will speak at the Wesleyan Assembly and Alumni Association Meeting. At this annual meeting of the Alumni Association, chair Megan Norris ’83, P ’17 will share brief updates from the year on association priorities and Wesleyan fundraising. This year, the association also will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to Shumlin, David W. Knapp ’49, Russell Hardin, Jr. ’64, Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, II ’69, John M. Shapiro ’74, Karen E. Donfried ’84, Miguel Arteta ’89, and Jessica Posner Odede ’09. In addition, Stephen H. Oleskey ’64, P ’00 will be honored with an Outstanding Service Award.
Shumlin is the 81st governor of Vermont, elected in 2010. His public service career dates back more than three decades, when he was first elected to the Putney town select board at age 24. He went on to serve in the Vermont House of Representatives, followed by the Vermont Senate, where he was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate as President pro tem. Shumlin is also the co-director, with his brother, of Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, a company that sends students on educational programs and service projects around the globe. At Wesleyan, he majored in government.