Alumni news.

Posner ’09, Odede ’11 Bring Hope to a Living Hell

The Denver Post profiles Jessica Posner ’09 and Kennedy Odede ’11, as they continue to work in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Posner is a finalist for the MTV “Do Something” Awards and the opportunity to raise an additional $100,000 for their school and health center project in the slum. This year to date, Posner and her colleagues have raised nearly $200,000 for the efforts.

MGMT on Creating a 12-Minute ‘Pop’ Song

Most pop songs run between two and four minutes. However, on Congratulations, the new album by MGMT – a.k.a. Ben Goldwasser ’05 and Andrew VanWyngarden ’05 – have a pop song called “Siberian Breaks” that clocks in at just over 12 minutes. In The Chicago Tribune, bandmates explain how it came about, and why it follows a certain pop tradition.

Roth Discusses the Value of a Liberal Education

Writing for The Huffington Post, President Michael S. Roth ’78 examines some recent high profile pieces on the liberal arts that appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He also comments on the current policy of the Obama Administration to continue emphasizing “technocratic accountability” through standardized testing.

Wesleyan Holds 178th Commencement Ceremonies

Wesleyan University held its 178th annual Commencement ceremonies on Andrus Field at 11 a.m., May 23. Complete coverage can be found here.

The address by the 2010 Commencement Speaker Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74, M.A. ’80, can be found here.

President Michael S. Roth’s address to the graduates can be found here.

The Senior Address by Latasha Alcindor ’10 can be found here.

Photo galleries are available here and here, and are being periodically updated.

Hickenlooper ’74 Returns as Commencement Speaker

Bill Husted ’70, writes in The Denver Post about Denver Mayor and current Colorado candidate for governor, John Hickenlooper ’74, who will give the Commencement address at Wesleyan on Sunday, May 23. Hickenlooper briefly discusses his time as a student at Wesleyan, which spanned nine years, and gives a few hits about his speech.

Dave Fisher ’62, Co-Founder of The Highwaymen, Dies

Dave Fisher, ’62, one of the five founding members of the folk group “The Highwaymen” died Friday, May 7. As a freshman, Fisher, who had sung in a doo-wop group in high school, joined with four other Wesleyan freshman – Bob Burnett ’62, Steve Butts ’62, Chan Daniels ’62 and Steve Trott ’62 – to form The Highwaymen. The group went on to become internationally successful in the 1960s, producing a #1 record as undergraduates in 1961. The Highwaymen saw a resurgence in their careers in the 1990s which continued up to the present, releasing their most recent CD, “The Cambridge Tapes,” to critical acclaim in 2009.

Bloom ’77 Named to Time’s 100 Most Influential

Ron Bloom ’77 was named as one of Time‘s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World.’ Bloom was appointed by President Obama as the “Car Czar” to oversee the government takeover and restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler. He has also been named the Obama Administration’s Senior Adviser for Manufacturing Policy. More about Bloom can be found in the latest issue of The Wesleyan Magazine.

Shepard ’97 Closes Independent Filmmaker Series 4-29

Sadia Shepard ’97 will close out the 2010 Independent Filmmaker Series with a showing of her documentary, The September Issue, which details the creation of a single issue of Vogue. Sponsored by the Film Studies Department with special support by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the series brings critically-acclaimed filmmakers to campus to show and discuss their work. Shepard was profiled in The Hartford Courant.

The free presentation is at 8 p.m. in Goldsmith Family Cinema on Thursday, 4-29, and is open to the public.

Independent Filmmaker Series Thurdays in April

All through April, outstanding independent films and their filmmakers will be featured as part of Wesleyan’s 2010 Independent Filmmaker Series. The free-of-charge series is open to the public and begins April 1 and runs each Thursday night through April 29 at 8 p.m. at The Center for Film Studies’ Goldsmith Family Cinema. Noted independent directors, producers and writers will discuss their films then show them for the audience.

Roth on Richard Reeves ‘Daring Young Men’

In The San Francisco Chronicle, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews Daring Young Men: The Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949, a new book by Richard Reeves. The book details one of the seminal moments of the early Cold War chess match between The United States and The Soviet Union as Stalin sought to starve the Western sectors of Berlin into submission. The U.S. responded with an improbable plan to fly into Berlin everything the city’s residents needed to survive. Roth states: “Today, when the United States struggles with two wars only grudgingly supported by some of its citizens, Reeves’ account is a welcome reminder of the importance of a military willing to take risks to preserve freedom. ‘Daring Young Men’ brings to life a moment when altruism, guts and know-how inspired our country and saved a city.”