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Steve ScarpaJune 13, 20227min
It was sitting in the peace of synagogue with his wife where Stephen Angle began to contemplate his personal relationship to Confucianism. Angle, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies and professor of philosophy, had spent his career studying the ancient philosophy, which emphasizes personal ethics and morality. He’d written multiple academic books on the subject. The roots of his interest went all the way back to high school with a fascinating class on non-Western cultures. Still, there had always been one small remove between the ideas and his own life. “I didn’t understand the Hebrew being chanted. Half of…

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Steve ScarpaJune 6, 20229min
The Class of 2020 engaged in a bit of time travel over the course of their long-awaited in-person Commencement Celebration Weekend, which took place June 2-5, 2022. In the warmth of the perfect weather, the former classmates lounged on Foss Hill, gathered in the residence halls, shared meals and events together, and danced under the tent on Andrus Field. For a few days, they were able to interrupt daily life and experience the end of senior year feeling that COVID-19 took away. “I wanted to meet the special group of people who had decided to redo the past, this time…

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Steve ScarpaMay 22, 202218min
On a joyous day marked by ritual and ceremony, Wesleyan University bid a fond farewell to the accomplished Class of 2022 at its 190th Commencement on Sunday, May 22.  “I am extremely excited. I’ve been ready for this day,” said Ama Hagan ’22. “College is full of trials and tribulations, but there is a lot of success headed (our) way.” Wesleyan University conferred 793 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 12 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 38 Master of Arts, two Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts, 31 Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and six Bachelors of Liberal Studies. (View all photos…

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Steve ScarpaMay 20, 202218min
Photos from throughout the Reunion weekend can be found here.  The Wesleyan University community gathered together May 19–22 for Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022. As is Wesleyan’s tradition, the classes ending in 2 and 7 returned to campus to celebrate their reunions with a weekend of lectures, performances, dinners, and ceremonies. With generations of Wesleyans assembled together, the weekend was a celebration of the University’s past and its future. ** Alumni started returning to campus in earnest Friday morning, gathering under a tent outside Russell House for lunch and to look for familiar faces. David Lakein ’92, Juan Luque ’92,…

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Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

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Steve ScarpaMay 9, 20226min
Political upheaval. A national reckoning on matters of race. A global pandemic. Any one of these major world happenings would leave an impact on a student’s college experience. But for the Wesleyan University Class of 2022, the totality of events has been, to dredge up an overused expression, unprecedented. As Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022 approaches, Wesleyan reflects on and celebrates a class that has shown courage, creativity, and resiliency in the face of a complicated and fraught world. “There were difficulties aplenty, but also tremendous fortitude and endless examples of sacrifice for the greater good,” said Michael Whaley, vice…

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Steve ScarpaMay 4, 20228min
  The Vietnam War, the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the civil rights movement, the Student Strike of 1970 – to hear the graduates of the Classes of 1970 and 1971 talk, it was as if this all happened yesterday. Most of them can still remember their draft number. “These were combustible years of high drama in every setting,” Steve Ingraham ’70 said to a collection of his classmates at Memorial Chapel at an assembly last Friday morning. The 50th reunion took place April 28 through May 1. For alumni, it was a makeup for a…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 202211min
A common observation about Wesleyan is that each student experiences a different Wes than the next. What is shared across all generations of Cardinals, however, is a sense of responsibility to make the world a better place. For Trustee Nominating Committee Chair Ellen Glazerman ’84, P’26 and David Hill ’86, Chair of the Alumni Association, voting in the election for Alumni-Elected Trustees is one of the most important—and easiest ways—to help continue to make Wesleyan a special place. Each year, Wesleyan alumni elect three of their peers to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees for a three-year term. While many schools have some Alumni-Elected Trustee representation, Wesleyan…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20225min
Wesleyan has successfully launched a pair of online mini-courses this spring as a way for the university to further explore opportunities in online learning. The new initiative, which started the spring semester, featured two popular undergraduate courses: Living a Good Life, taught by Stephen Angle, Jennifer D’Andrea, Steven Horst, and Tushar Irani, and Black Phoenix Rising, taught by Anthony Ryan Hatch. Living a Good Life was a seven-week exploration of how philosophy and psychology teach us how to live lives of meaning and fulfillment. Black Phoenix Rising was a multimodal project that explores Black people’s practices of resisting death and…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…

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Steve ScarpaApril 22, 20226min
Maaza Mengiste, professor of English, has found that sometimes the scariest thing a writer can do is start over. It’s a hard-earned lesson she had to experience herself, but a vital one that she passes on to her students. Mengiste believes that the benefits of a fresh start are immeasurable. It can be a period where ideas coalesce and, perhaps more importantly, experimentation begins. When asking her students to start over, “They would look at me with sheer terror,” she said. But eventually “they would come back with these spectacular pieces of writing. It was hard to convince them sometimes,…

Steve ScarpaApril 18, 20226min
Connor Matteson ’23 was one of many students who took a gap year as a result of the global pandemic. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with this time, but I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to be stuck in a dorm room taking online classes the whole time,” he said. While away from Wesleyan for a year, Matteson certainly took a different path from many of his peers – he went out and wrote a book. That book, titled The World As You’ll Live It, will be published by New Degree Press in September…