Bill Fisher

Mad Men Creator Weiner ’87 Hosts Wesleyan Fundraiser in NYC

At left, Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Matt Weiner '87 speak at the recent fundraising event in NYC.

At left, Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Matt Weiner ’87 speak at the recent fundraising event in NYC.

On April 25, Matt Weiner ’87, creator and writer of Mad Men, regaled an engaged Wesleyan crowd of 280 with insights into the TV business and comments on connections between the COL syllabus and Don Draper’s reading. The fundraising event, “An Evening with Mad Men” was held at the Director’s Guild of America Theater in New York, N.Y.

During an engaging and unscripted conversation with President Michael Roth, Weiner presented clips from his popular and award-winning AMC series and spoke about Wesleyan experiences that helped to shape his career in the entertainment industry. He talked about being a College of Letters major, and told a story of how a professor’s brutal critique of his senior poetry thesis set him on the path of writing for film and television.

“My Wesleyan education is on the screen,” Weiner said.

In addition to a special anonymous gift of $600,000, the evening brought in almost $37,000 in ticket receipts – all for scholarships.

The “Mad Men” fundraiser was the first in a series of events to kick off the $400 million THIS IS WHY campaign to support the university’s endowment. All proceeds from ticket sales— 100 percent — will go directly to financial aid for Wesleyan students.

More information about the campaign and upcoming events can be found at

View a photo gallery of the “Evening with Mad Men” in this Wesleyan Flickr gallery.



Adelstein Speaks on Scholarly Freedom, Teaching at Wesleyan

“At Wesleyan, I have the opportunity to teach and try my ideas out on the best undergraduates I’ve ever met.” In this video, Professor Richard Adelstein talks about the defining characteristics of the students he’s encountered in his nearly 40 years at Wesleyan.

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Sarah Croucher Discusses Community Archaeology in the Beman Triangle

In this video, Sarah Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, discusses her community archaeology project in the “Beman Triangle” in Middletown, Conn. The houses built on this land from the 1840s were home to a community of African Americans living in Middletown, tied to the nearby A.M.E. Zion Church. Artifacts discovered in the area from 19th century trash pits shed new light on the lives of the community members, and the longstanding relationship between the church, Middletown and Wesleyan. Read more about Croucher’s project in this past Wesleyan Connection article.


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Kurtz Researches Psychological Treatments for Schizophrenia

In this video, Matthew Kurtz, associate professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior, talks about his research on cognitive remediation – one of several newer psychological treatments for schizophrenia. He discusses the promising results he and his Wesleyan students have observed working with patients at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn.


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President Roth Interviews Judith Butler in Video Feature

In this video, Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks with Judith Butler, the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, at the Center for Humanities on Feb. 13.  Their conversation ranges from Butler’s earliest philosophical influences to her pioneering book, Gender Trouble, and her current work on desire and recognition. Butler taught at Wesleyan in the 1980s.


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Video Features Gruen on the Last 1,000 Research Chimpanzees

In this video, Lori Gruen, professor of philosophy; professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies; professor of environmental studies, talks about the ethics of caring for chimpanzees who have been subjected to invasive biomedical research. She discusses recent positive developments in the movement to retire to sanctuaries the last 1,000 federally-supported research chimpanzees in the United States. Professor Gruen maintains the website to track the movement of the remaining research chimps in the U.S. from labs to retirement. Find more information about Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary where many research chimps live in retirement, at


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Off the Grid: Physical Plant Tests the University’s In-House Power Generation

On Dec. 28, 2012 Wesleyan’s Physical Plant-Facilities staff scheduled a power-generation test at Wesleyan’s Central Power Plant. The team forced a campus-wide power outage to test and refine an “island mode” process to power critical loads on campus by running the natural gas-fired co-generation equipment without any synchronization with the local electrical utility.

Wesleyan performed this test under controlled circumstances with a team of technicians, engineers and electricians on site to develop procedures that will be implemented during an emergency with a much smaller staff of campus operations personnel.

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main "island mode" generator, located behind the wall on the left.

The Central Power Plant team discusses the performance of the main “island mode” generator, located behind the wall on the left.