Bill Fisher

Record Support for Students on Giving Tuesday 2014

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On Giving Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Wesleyan community joined together in an unprecedented show of support for students. More than 2,000 Cardinals made gifts totaling more than $500,000 — far exceeding the original goal of 1,000 gifts for the day — and setting a record for the largest number of gifts Wesleyan has ever received in one day.

The university thanks all the members of our community who made gifts, the hundreds of volunteers who gave their time and passion, and Catherine Klema P’13 and David Resnick ’81, P’13 who provided an inspirational challenge: when Wesleyan reached its goal of 1,000 gifts on Giving Tuesday, they donated an additional $100,000 ($25,000 per year for four years) to fund an incoming frosh in the Class of 2019.

This was Wesleyan’s second year participating in Giving Tuesday, which encourages people around the world to kick off the holiday season with gifts of money, service or time to their favorite causes. In 2013, on Wesleyan’s first Giving Tuesday, 292 individuals contributed $54,135.76. Giving Tuesday was established by the 92nd Street Y in New York as a national day of philanthropy, in counterpoint to the retail industry’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Oliphant ’13 on the Sense of Community at Wesleyan

Melody Oliphant ’13, who double majored in neuroscience and behavior and history at Wes, is now a research associate in a neurogenetics lab at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“I’m often awestruck at the seemingly limitless answers to the question, ‘What makes Wesleyan special?’ or ‘What excited me about Wesleyan?’ Yet, in some form or fashion, the answer always remains the same: the people, the sense of community.

Throughout my Wesleyan experience, I participated in a disparate array of activities and academic pursuits ranging from environmental activism to my double major, from founding a sorority to participating in the Wesleyan Student Assembly, from playing Ultimate Frisbee to serving as a women’s center escort to help women pass center protesters. I worked as an archivist at the Middlesex County Historical Society, as a student manager for the Red and Black Calling Society, as a sustainability intern working to remove bottled water from campus, and as an intern for the Senior Gift.

Someone unfamiliar with Wesleyan might wonder what unites such supposedly divergent interests. But the answer is simple: community. Even in my academics, I learned not to take courses according to my own purported interests, but rather by following professors who ignite a sense of intellectual curiosity and foster a holistic understanding of the world, uniting the humanities with the technoscientific realm.”

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View this video and others at the Video @Wesleyan site.

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Visiting Writer Windolf Interviews Game of Thrones Creator Weiss ’93

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen are seen in this image by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen are seen in this image by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

On the eve of the fourth season of HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones, Wesleyan Visiting Writer in English Jim Windolf talks with series creators D.B. Weiss ’93 and David Benioff and novelist George R.R. Martin – on whose works the show is based – in Vanity Fair:

“Based on ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ the epic series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the show seemed like an odd fit for HBO. But Benioff and Weiss believed it was in the tradition of The Sopranos,Deadwood, Oz, and other HBO shows in that it would breathe new life into a tired or maligned genre. It wasn’t an easy task, though, to persuade executives that something belonging to a category that includes Xena: Warrior Princess was right for the crown jewel of premium cable. ‘That was one of the big uphill sells,’ Weiss says. ‘It was just a question of convincing them that it applied to a genre that had never seriously crossed their minds before.’”

Windolf traces the history of the show’s creation and rocky HBO debut, and asks author Martin about the relationship between the source material and the series:

“Game of Thrones, which enters its fourth season this month, may be heading toward its second massive problem, as tough to solve as the messed-up pilot, which is this: the show is in danger of catching up to the books.

“Martin started writing the epic saga (more than 4,000 pages and counting) in July 1991. He has published five of a planned seven books. If the 2015 television season carries Benioff and Weiss through Book Five, which is possible, and if Martin has not completed Book Six (The Winds of Winter) by that time, which is also possible, there could be trouble.

“Asked if it’s conceivable the show could overtake its source material, Benioff says, ‘Yup.’ When I mention to Martin that Benioff and Weiss are catching up, he says, ‘They are. Yes. It’s alarming.’”

Windolf is editor of M magazine, contributing editor for Vanity Fair, columnist for Capital New York, and writer for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The New York Observer.

Visiting Writer Windolf on Game of Thrones and Creator Weiss ’93

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen. Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen. Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

On the eve of the fourth season of HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones, Wesleyan Visiting Writer in English Jim Windolf talks with series creators D.B. Weiss ’93 and David Benioff and novelist George R.R. Martin – on whose works the show is based – in Vanity Fair:

“Based on ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ the epic series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the show seemed like an odd fit for HBO. But Benioff and Weiss believed it was in the tradition of The Sopranos, Deadwood, Oz, and other HBO shows in that it would breathe new life into a tired or maligned genre. It wasn’t an easy task, though, to persuade executives that something belonging to a category that includes Xena: Warrior Princess was right for the crown jewel of premium cable. ‘That was one of the big uphill sells,’ Weiss says. ‘It was just a question of convincing them that it applied to a genre that had never seriously crossed their minds before.'”

Windolf traces the history of the show’s creation and rocky HBO debut, and asks author Martin about the relationship between the source material and the series:

“Game of Thrones, which enters its fourth season this month, may be heading toward its second massive problem, as tough to solve as the messed-up pilot, which is this: the show is in danger of catching up to the books.

“Martin started writing the epic saga (more than 4,000 pages and counting) in July 1991. He has published five of a planned seven books. If the 2015 television season carries Benioff and Weiss through Book Five, which is possible, and if Martin has not completed Book Six (The Winds of Winter) by that time, which is also possible, there could be trouble.

“Asked if it’s conceivable the show could overtake its source material, Benioff says, ‘Yup.’ When I mention to Martin that Benioff and Weiss are catching up, he says, ‘They are. Yes. It’s alarming.'”

Windolf is editor of M magazine, contributing editor for Vanity Fair, columnist for Capital New York, and writer for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The New York Observer.

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Kogan ’98 Speaks on the Secret of Happier

Nataly Kogan ’98 is the co-founder and “chief happiness officer” of Happier.com, a Boston-based happiness company. Kogan immigrated to the United States with her parents from the former Soviet Union when she was thirteen and spent two decades “chasing the big happy,” as she calls it. But when even her achievements failed to make her truly happy, Nataly turned to science and became inspired to stop saying “I’ll be happy when…” and start thinking “I’m happier now because…”

Kogan was a student in the College of Social Studies and met her husband, Avi Grossman Spivack ’99, while they were working at Russell House.

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Meet Wesleyan’s Scholar-Athletes

Meet Wesleyan’s scholar-athletes, and find out how their athletic pursuits play a key part in their Wesleyan education in this new video.

Wesleyan’s Athletic Department strives to be the most innovative and successful athletic program in the prestigious New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and a leader at the national level. As an integral part of the overall educational process, athletics at Wesleyan are uniquely positioned to enhance a liberal arts education. Wesleyan coaches share the same goal as the entire Wesleyan community: to transform the lives of our students.

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Alumni, Friends Attend Food Waste Conversation with Pollan ’15, Bloom ’99

On Oct. 22, 2013, in a historic San Francisco industrial space that once housed the printing plant of William Randolph Hearst, nearly 100 Wesleyan alumni and friends enjoyed an intimate and thought-provoking conversation with two of the nation’s foremost voices on food and the food industry: Michael Pollan P’15 and Jonathan Bloom ’99.

The occasion was “Table Talk,” an event underwritten by generous Wesleyan donors to help support financial aid; the place was The Box San Francisco, in the South of Market district. President Michael Roth welcomed guests to the event and introduced Pollan and Bloom.

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Watch this video and more on the Video @ Wesleyan website.

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Kraft ’87 Receives 2013 International Photographer of the Year Award

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Photojournalist Brooks Kraft followed Barack Obama during his last campaign producing an intimate look at the President fighting for re-election. © Brooks Kraft/Corbis

Brooks Kraft ’87 has been named 2013 International Photographer of the Year, the top honor given by the International Photography Awards (IPA) in its annual competition. The award was announced at New York’s Carnegie Hall during the 11th annual Lucie Awards ceremony recognizing the accomplishments of photographers working in editorial, advertising, journalism, fine art, fashion and beyond. The IPA’s competition is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive in the photography world today; this year’s field included more than 10,000 entries from 103 countries.

Kraft received the top honor for his portfolio “The Last Days of Barack Obama’s Campaign,” which follows the American President during the final days of the long 2012-election cycle. Kraft captured his award-winning images as President Obama traveled around the country holding multiple large rallies a day in front of crowds of tens of thousands.

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Kraft graduated from Wesleyan with a degree in photography and film.

Born in New York City, Kraft graduated from Wesleyan with a degree in photography and film. Early in his career, he spent a year as an apprentice to photographer Irving Penn and traveled with Nelson Mandela during the historic South African Presidential election of 1994. (Kraft’s portrait of Mandela was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal the day after Mandela’s death on December 5.)

Immersed in commercial photography for the past twenty-five years, Kraft has become one of the world’s most well known and accomplished photojournalists. His work has appeared across the globe in thousands of publications and his iconic images have graced the cover of magazines such as Time, US News, Forbes, Business Week, Life, People, The New Republic and The Atlantic.

As a White House photographer with Time magazine for ten years and a veteran of six presidential campaigns, Kraft traveled with the president on Air Force One throughout America and to more than fifty countries. In the corporate world his diverse clients include Google, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Harvard University and the Wall Street Journal.

Gilberg ’74: Wesleyan Education was a “Game-Changer”

Rick Gilberg ’74, P’16, P’14 describes his Wesleyan education as a “game-changer.” The son of working-class parents who never attended college, Gilberg was able to attend Wesleyan only with the support of a generous financial aid package. A religion major in the College of Letters, he says the opportunity enabled him to discover sides of himself he never knew existed. Gilberg is now a labor attorney in New York with two children attending Wesleyan.

Watch the video below:

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Neuroscience Major Nakib ’16 a Slam Poet, Blogger, Sewing Expert

neuroscience major who is also pursuing the writing certificate, Rama Nakib ’16 comes to Wesleyan from Iraq. Around campus, she is a monitor in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, performs slam poetry, writes for the student-run blog Wesleying, and is known for her sewing and tailoring skills, which she shares with other students. After graduation, Rama wants to pursue a medical career while remaining involved in activism for women’s rights in the Middle East.

Watch this video and more on Wesleyan’s Video @ Wesleyan site.

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Kleinberg Speaks with Former Humanities Director White about History, Theory

In this video, Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, professor of letter, professor of history, talks with Hayden White, professor of comparative literature at Stanford University, about history, theory and the humanities. White is the former director of the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan. Watch this video and many more on the Video @ Wesleyan website.

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