Alumni news.

Ron Bloom ’77, Obama’s Auto Czar

The April 27th New Yorker has a piece that in part profiles Ron Bloom ’77 who is one of two “Auto Czars” appointed by President Obama to preside over the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler as the government attempts to bail-out both companies. Bloom had previous success helping to right U.S. Steel. There is a link to a synopsis of the story here (the full text is subscriber only).

Wesleyan’s Admissions Numbers Defy Economy

A piece in The New York Times discusses how applications for the Class of 2013 remained strong at the nation’s most competitive colleges, despite the economy’s recent economic recession. Mentioned in the article was Wesleyan which, unlike several liberal arts colleges, saw an increase in applications this year. In fact, Wesleyan’s dramatic increase set a record: 10,065 applications, which is up 22% over last year’s admissions cycle (which was also a record). The Times had previously written about Wesleyan’s increase in applications during the November early decision application period, which was also up a record 40% over the previous year. President Michael Roth has also written a piece for The Huffington Post on the economy’s impact on the Class of 2013 both nationally and here at Wesleyan.

This year, Wesleyan has gone to a web-based notification system for admissions. In addition to the traditional notification letters, mailed March 26, applicants received an e-mail from the university with a link to a website. The online site was created in part to give admitted students rapid access to their admissions status, and to provide them with more time to schedule a visit to the University in April.

Once at the online site, applicants were able to log in to see their admission status. The long-awaited online letters  went “live” on the afternoon of Friday, March 27. The response was brisk. Within the first two hours, the site received more than 3,000 visitors. During one point the rate was over 250  visitors per minute and more than 5,600 unique log-ins the first weekend. In addition, as of Monday, March 30, 521 accepted students had joined Wesleyan’s frosh Facebook group.

Approximately 22 % of this year’s applicants have been admitted to Wesleyan, including some 350 students who were admitted during the early  decision period. The class of 2013 is expected to comprise approximately 745  students.

Alumni Win Grammy for ‘In the Heights’

Lin Manuel Miranda ’02 and Bill Sherman ’02 can add a Grammy to the awards and accolades they’ve received in the last 12 months for the Broadway musical ‘In the Heights.’ Miranda and Sherman were among a team of producers and performers on the production who were awarded a Grammy on Sunday, February 8, for “Best Musical Show Album.” The play was first performed as a student play at Wesleyan when Miranda was a student.

Shapiro ’74 , Silverberg ’76 Give $3.5M to Writing

John M. Shapiro `74  and Shonni J. Silverberg, M.D. `76 of New York City have made a gift of $3.5 million to transform Wesleyan’s creative writing programs and endow the Writing Center. The gift includes an endowed faculty position that will begin later this year. It also will establish a Writing Center in Davenport Hall, which also will be the home to the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. The full details on the gift announcement can be seen here.

Dana Delany ’78, Janet Grillo ’80 at Film Series 2-7

Actress Dana Delany ’78 (“Desperate Housewives,” “Kidnapped,” “China Beach”) and producer Janet Grillo ’80 (“Spanking the Monkey,” “Searching for Paradise”), will discuss their paths from Wesleyan to Hollywood and show and discuss their new short film “Flying Lessons” on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Center for Film Studies Goldsmith Family Cinema. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Roth on Buck-Morss’ ‘Hegel and Haiti’

President Michael S. Roth reviews a new book by Susan Buck-Morss called Hegel, Haiti and Universal History that theorizes the German philosopher Georg Hegel was “inspired by the Haitian revolution of the 1790s when developing his fundamental concept known as the master-slave dialectic.” Roth explores this bold claim and the evidence and logic used to support it.