At the University’s 188th Commencement on May 24, Wesleyan will present the Baldwin Medal, the highest award of the Alumni Association, to Rob Rosenthal, John Andrus Professor of Sociology, Emeritus.
The Baldwin Medal pays tribute to the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin ’16, the only man to have held the offices of Connecticut governor, U.S. senator, and chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. First awarded Sept. 20, 1981, during the opening convocation of Wesleyan’s Sesquicentennial, the Baldwin Medal is the highest honor Wesleyan’s alumni body presents for extraordinary service to Wesleyan or for careers and other activities that have contributed significantly to the public good.
Rosenthal served as Wesleyan’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 2010 to 2013, and as director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life from 2014 to 2017. He returned to serve as interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs again from July 2019 through May 2020.
He has worked for the past 30 years with community groups in Middletown, Conn., including as one of the founding directors of Wesleyan’s Service-Learning Center and the Center for Community Partnerships.
Rosenthal received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and arrived at Wesleyan in 1987.
He has written and taught in the areas of housing, homelessness, community research, the politics of decision-making, and the use of music in social movements. He is the author of Homeless in Paradise, co-winner of the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award (1994–95); and Playing for Change (with Richard Flacks, 2011); and co-editor with Sam Rosenthal of Pete Seeger: In His Own Words (2012).