Campus News & Events

Wesleyan Awards 731 BA Degrees at 184th Commencement

Wesleyan celebrated the graduates of the Class of 2016 at its 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by Jonas Powell '18)

Wesleyan celebrated the graduates of the Class of 2016 at its 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by Jonas Powell ’18)

Graduates, their families, and other members of the Wesleyan community who gathered for the 184th Commencement ceremony on May 22 were offered advice on how to change the world by Bryan Stevenson, this year’s Commencement speaker, a human rights lawyer and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

(Photo by John Van Vlack)

(Photo by John Van Vlack)

Weaving in stories from his decades of work fighting racial injustice and discrimination in the criminal justice system, Stevenson told the Class of 2016 that changing the world requires four things: Getting proximate to the places “where there’s suffering and abuse and neglect”; “changing the narrative” about race in this country; staying hopeful; and being willing to do uncomfortable things.

“I wish I didn’t have to say that because it’s so nice if you can only do the things that are comfortable,” he said. “But the truth is we can’t change the world by doing just what’s convenient and comfortable. I’ve looked for examples where things changed, where oppression was ended, where inequality was overcome, when people did only what was convenient and comfortable, and I can’t find any examples of that. To change the world, you’re going to sometimes have to make uncomfortable choices, to be in uncomfortable places, and be proximate and be hopeful and change narratives. But know that if you do it, there is some great reward, all of that knowledge that you have accumulated will resonate. You will have ideas in your mind that match the conviction in your heart.”

Stevenson concluded, “There is a different metric system for those of you who want to change the world.” Success won’t be measured by grades or by income. He recalled an older black man he met after giving a talk. The man showed him cuts, bruises and scars he got while working to register people of color to vote in the south in the 1960s.

“There aren’t my cuts, these aren’t my bruises, these aren’t my scars,” the man told Stevenson. “These are my medals.”

Read the full text of Stevenson’s speech.

Wesleyan conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon Stevenson. Also recognized with honorary degrees were Kwame Anthony Appiah (doctor of letters)—a professor of philosophy and law at New York University who is renowned for his insights into moral theory and practice, racism and identity, cultural differences, and political development; and Patti Smith (doctor of fine arts)—a writer, performer, and visual artist whose recordings include her seminal album, Horses (1975), and whose books include Just Kids, winner of the 2010 National Book Award. Read more about the honorary degree recipients here.

(Photo by John Van Vlack)

(Photo by John Van Vlack)

This year, Wesleyan conferred 731 bachelor of arts degrees; 33 master of arts degrees, including 4 in the new master of arts in performance curation; 28 master of arts in liberal studies degrees; 2 master of philosophy in liberal arts; and 15 doctor of philosophy degrees.

Three faculty members were honored with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching: Sally Bachner, associate professor of English; Demetrius Eudell, professor of history; and James Lipton, professor of computer science. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr. Hon. ’85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the university’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education.

In addition, John Lemberg Usdan ’80, P’15, P’18, P’18, was awarded the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, the highest honor presented by Wesleyan’s alumni body for extraordinary service to Wesleyan or for careers or other activity which have contributed significantly to the public good. Usdan is president of Midwood, a New York-based real estate investment and development firm. His remarkable record of service to Wesleyan over more than three decades has included 12 years as a trustee as well as serving as chair of the THIS IS WHY campaign—the most successful fundraising effort in Wesleyan’s history. Read more about Usdan here.

Also recognized were four retiring faculty members who were given emiriti status. They are: Abraham K. Adzenyah, adjunct professor of music; Philip H. Bolton, professor of chemistry; Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology; and Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

In his remarks to the graduating class, President Michael Roth spoke about Wesleyan’s core values of justice, generosity, and care.

“Justice, generosity, and care—these are the core values at Wesleyan. Students at this university demand that their school stand for justice—in words and in actions—and over the past four years your demands have included making our academic core more diverse and our residential life free from sexual violence that has become a scourge on college campuses across America,” he said.

Roth added, “Just as the aspiration for justice has been a powerful feature of campus culture, so too has recognizing that not everyone has the same view as to what constitutes justice, which means that part of the work of political engagement includes discussions in which we can build on our commonalities and explore our differences without fear. A university is a place to have one’s opinions tested—not protected.”

Roth also acknowledged, “As loud as calls for justice sometimes are, the soft but persistent voice of generosity has also been a feature of the student culture that you have created. Many of you work in the community . . . . And a number of you gave your time and labor to ease the plight of refugees—helping those in camps in the Middle East and smoothing the way for refugee families settling here in the United States. I am inspired by all your efforts.

“Linked to these acts of generosity—and to the calls for justice—is, I think, a deep ethics of care. . . . I very much admire the ways in which you have looked after one another, inspired one another, or simply cheered each other on. It may well be that the quest for justice and the impulse for generosity depend on this ethics of care, this commitment to seeing those around you fulfill their potential, flourish. . . . It builds our community and makes the work we do relevant beyond the university.”

Wesleyan celebrated the graduates of the Class of 2016 at its 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Tahreem Khalied ’16. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Roth challenged the graduates of the Class of 2016 to put what they’ve learned at Wesleyan to promote positive changes in the world. “We Wesleyans have used our education to mold the course of culture ourselves lest the future be shaped by those for whom justice and change, generosity and equality, diversity and tolerance, are much too threatening. Now we alumni are counting on you, Class of 2016, to join us in helping to shape this culture, so that it will not be shaped by the forces of violence, conformity, and elitism.”

In her Senior Class Welcome, Tahreem Khalied ’16, who came to the U.S. from Pakistan four and a half years ago, shared some of the many firsts she experienced at Wesleyan.  She also spoke about how her experience at Wesleyan taught her about the beauty and power of diversity. “As a student studying race and ethnicity as part of my American studies major, I was introduced to the possibility that there can be more truths than the one I believe in. . . . I learned about colonialism, indigenous politics, queer politics, anarchy, racial and ethnic politics, latinidad, South-Asian diasporic writing, all as part of this one, very inclusive major. I was learning that diversity, whether in thought, or in person, is indeed beautiful.”

The full Reunion & Commencement Weekend photo gallery is here.

The Commencement gallery is here.

The text and video of Bryan A. Stevenson’s address is here.

The text of Kwame Anthony Appiah’s address is here.

The text and video of Patti Smith’s address is here.

The text and video of President Michael S. Roth’s address to the Class of 2016 is here.

The text and video of the senior class welcome by Tahreem Khalied ’16 is here.

Information on the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching recipients is here.

Honorary Degree Recipient Bryan Stevenson Delivers 2016 Commencement Speech (with video)

Bryan Stevenson speaks to the Class of 2016 during the 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Bryan Stevenson speaks to the Class of 2016 during the 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Bryan Stevenson delivered the following remarks during Wesleyan’s 184th Commencement ceremony May 22: 

It’s a great honor to be a part of this celebration with you today. I hate to ask one more thing of you graduates but I can’t resist. I’m going to ask you to do something when you leave this college, and it’s kind of a big thing. I’m going to ask you to change the world.

And I hate doing this, I actually feel guilty doing this—I really do—but we need the world to change. We are living in a country where we need more mercy, where we need more hope, where we need more justice. In my work in the criminal justice space, I’ve seen some radical changes in this country over the last 40 years. In 1972, we had 300,000 people in jails and prisons. Today we have 2.3 million. The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. We have 6 million people on probation or parole. There are 70 million Americans with criminal arrests, which mean when they apply to get a job or to get a loan, they are disfavored. The percentage of women going to prison has increased dramatically, 640 percent increase in the number of women being sent to prison, 70 percent of whom are single parents with minor children. And when they go to jails or prisons, their children get displaced.

We’re doing some terrible things in poor communities where there’s hopelessness and despair. I sit down with 12 or 13 year old children who sometimes tell me that they don’t expect to be free by the time they’re 21. They’re not making that up. The Bureau of Justice now predicts that one in three black male babies born in this country is expected to go to jail or prison during his lifetime. One in three. That was not true in the 20th century, it wasn’t true in the 19th century, it has become true in the 21st. The statistic for Latino boys is one in six. There is this distance between people who have the capacity to change things and the people who are suffering because of the lack of change, and I want to talk to you very briefly about what I think we need to close that distance.

There are four things I think you can do to change the world. And if you do them, I absolutely believe that whether the issue is criminal justice, whether the issue is food security, whether the issue is the environment, whether the issue is income equality or international human rights, I believe you can change the world.

The first thing I believe you have to do is that you have to commit to getting proximate to the places in our nation, in our world, where there’s suffering and abuse and neglect. Many of you have been taught your whole lives that there are parts of the community where the schools don’t work very well; if there are sections of the community where there’s a lot of violence or abuse or despair or neglect, you should stay as far away from those parts of town as possible. Today, I want to urge you to do the opposite. I think you need to get closer to the parts of the communities where you live where there’s suffering and abuse and neglect. I want you to choose to get closer. We have people trying to solve problems from a distance, and their solutions don’t work, because until you get close, you don’t understand the nuances and the details of those problems. And I am persuaded that there is actually power in proximity. When you get close, you understand things you cannot understand from a distance. You have been on this beautiful campus, and many of you have found ways to get proximate to issues and problems around you, but all of us have to continue to do that. There is power in proximity.

Remarks for Honorary Degree Recipient Kwame Anthony Appiah

Michael Roth and Kwame Anthony Appaih.

Michael Roth and Kwame Anthony Appaih.

Honorary degree recipient Kwame Anthony Appiah made the following remarks during the 184th Commencement ceremony May 22:

Nearly 35 years ago I came to this country to teach at a small college down the road in New Haven. Less than a year later, the first university to which I was invited to give a public lecture, was this one. Professor Gene Golob invited me to speak at the College of Social Studies, of which he was one of the founding spirits, and I gave a talk on “Other People’s Gods.” It was about understanding the traditional religions of West Africa. I thought it was a pretty good talk … but I was less and less sure as I waited to see if I’d be invited back to lecture here again. Well, just thirty-three years later, I got a message from President Roth asking me if I’d come back once more and join you today to receive an honorary degree. And my first thought was, “Finally, they’ve asked me back. Maybe, that talk wasn’t so bad after all.”

But actually it was all fated from the start. You see, I was baptized in the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in the center of Kumasi, capital of the Asante region of Ghana. And it was named, like this University, for John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. So I guess that I had an inside track to this day.

My father and grandfather were elders of that church. I grew up with a great respect for the Wesley brothers, John and Charles. In my father’s language, we have a proverb that runs:

Ösaman pa na yéto no badin.

It’s a great departed spirit after whom we name a child.

Same, of course, for a university. So, for me, as a child of Kumasi Wesleyan, today is an especial joy. And now that I’m going to be a proud member of the class of 2016, I guess I won’t need to wait 33 years for the next invitation.

So, thank you so much, for this great honor … and I’d like to leave you with one more of our wonderful Akan proverbs.

Abé se: wannya opuro dwonsö a, anka öremmere da.

The palm tree says: if it had not received the urine of the squirrel, it would never have ripened.

Pity. If I had more time, I could have told you what it means. But I guess I don’t need to. Everybody knows that Wesleyan grads are among the smartest people on the planet. May your curiosity advance with your knowledge, and may adversity only speed your ripening.

Usdan ’80, P’15, P’18, P’18 Honored with Baldwin Metal for Outstanding Service to Wesleyan

From left to right: Michael Roth and John Usdan (Photo by John Van Vlack)

At right, John Lemberg Usdan ’80, P’15, P’18, P’18 was honored with the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal on May 22. He’s pictured here with Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

During the 184th Commencement Ceremony, John Lemberg Usdan ’80, P’15, P’18, P’18 was honored with the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal. The award was presented by Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09, chair of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.

The Baldwin Medal, which pays tribute to the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin of the class of 1916, is the highest honor of the Alumni Association, recognizing outstanding service to Wesleyan.

John Lemberg Usdan is president of Midwood, a New York-based real estate investment and development firm. Usdan also is president of the Lemberg Foundation.

Usdan’s remarkable record of service to the Wesleyan community over more than three decades has included 12 years as a trustee as well as serving as chair of the THIS IS WHY campaign—the most successful fundraising effort in Wesleyan’s history He is one of Wesleyan’s greatest ambassadors, engaging scores of alumni and parents in the life of the University.

While serving alma mater, Usdan has led by example. He and his brother, Adam ’83, established the Samuel Lemberg Scholarship Fund in memory of their grandfather to support middle-income students. John and Adam also made the lead gift to construct the university center, which Wesleyan proudly named the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center in honor of their mother and in recognition of their extraordinary service to the University.

(John) Usdan and his wife, Eva Colin Usdan, have three sons: Samuel, Wesleyan class of 2015, Joshua, Wesleyan class of 2018, and Simon, Wesleyan class of 2018.

Michael Roth and John Usdan. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Michael Roth and John Usdan. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Stevenson, Smith, Appiah Receive Honorary Degrees

From left, Michael Roth, Bryan Stevenson, Patti Smith, Anthony Appiah, Joshua Boger. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

From left, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, Bryan Stevenson, Patti Smith and Kwame Anthony Appiah. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Wesleyan presented honorary doctorates to Bryan Stevenson, Patti Smith and Kwame Anthony Appiah during the University’s 184th Commencement on May 22.

Michael Roth, Bryan Stevenson.

Michael Roth and Bryan Stevenson.

Bryan Stevenson is a human rights lawyer who has dedicated his life to fighting racial injustice and discrimination in the criminal justice system. He is executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an Alabama-based group that has won numerous legal challenges on behalf of the poor and incarcerated, including a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling holding that life-without-parole sentences for children aged 17 or younger are unconstitutional.

He founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 to help prisoners on death row, and the scope of its mission has expanded since. Under his leadership, EJI has won a number of major legal challenges—eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. He has successfully argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and he and his staff have won reversals, relief or release for more than 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. Professor Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including projects to educate communities about slavery, lynching and racial segregation.

Professor Stevenson also teaches at the New York University School of Law. He is a 1985 graduate of Harvard, with both a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from the Harvard Law School. Among the numerous honors accorded him are a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Medal of Liberty from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Olof Palme Prize in Stockholm for international human rights. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. He is the author of the bestseller Just Mercy, winner of the 2015 Carnegie Medal for Best Nonfiction and named by Time magazine as one of the 10 Best Books of Nonfiction for 2014.

Michael Roth and Patti Smith.

Michael Roth and Patti Smith.

Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary mergence of poetry and rock and has recorded 13 albums. Her seminal album Horses (1975) has been inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress/National Recording Preservation Board.

Her acclaimed memoir, Just Kids, chronicling her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, was awarded the 2010 National Book Award. Her books include Witt, Babel, Coral Sea, Woolgathering, Auguries of Innocence and the recent M Train.

The French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor awarded to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and in 2011 was the recipient of Sweden’s Polar Award, for significant achievements in music.

The anthem People Have the Power, written and recorded with her late husband Fred Sonic Smith, is used globally to call for collective unity and social justice. Smith lends her support to many causes, believing it is essential to use one’s creative powers to increase awareness of environmental issues, disease, poverty and human rights violations.

Michael Roth and Kwame Anthony Appaih.

Michael Roth and Kwame Anthony Appaih.

Kwame Anthony Appiah is professor of philosophy and law at New York University, teaching in New York, Abu Dhabi and other NYU Global Centers. He has held a number of other distinguished academic appointments as well, most recently at Princeton in the philosophy department and the University Center for Human Values. He also has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and has lectured worldwide.

Professor Appiah is renowned for his insights into moral theory and practice, racism and identity, cultural differences and political development. His 1992 book, In My Father’s House (Oxford University Press), explores the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life and was recognized by the African Studies Association with its Herskovits Award as “the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English.” His vast and wide-ranging scholarly activities earned him Forbes’ designation in 2009 as one of the world’s seven most powerful thinkers. In October 2015, he began to write the weekly Ethicist column for The New York Times Magazine, answering readers’ questions about their ethical quandaries.

Professor Appiah holds BA and PhD degrees from Cambridge University. His numerous honors include election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. President Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal in 2012.

Remarks for Honorary Degree Recipient Patti Smith (with video)

Patti Smith delivers remarks at Commencement. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Patti Smith delivers remarks at Commencement. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Patti Smith received an honorary degree at Wesleyan’s 184th Commencement ceremony. Her remarks are below:

Hello, everybody. Congratulations to all, and to the graduates, of course. You are asked to embrace the joy of this moment. I would like you also to embrace the worst possible moment that you experienced to achieve this moment. That worst moment, the most difficult thing that you went through, is your source of inner strength. When you go out into the world and you have a tough time, you know that you have the power to surmount it. Don’t forget that. I salute you all and send this little message:

I was dreaming in my dreaming
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping, it was broken
But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air rarified
And my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

That the people have the power,
the people have the power.

And where there where deserts,
I saw fountains and like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize.

And the leopard and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found

I was dreaming in my dreaming
God knows a purer view
But as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you

That the people have the power
to redeem the work of fools.
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule.

And I believe that everything we dream
can come to pass
Through our union we can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution.
For the people have the power,
The people of the power.

Graduates, you are the future, and the future is now.

Congratulations.

Thank you.

Tahreem ’16 Delivers Senior Class Welcome (with video)

Wesleyan celebrated the graduates of the Class of 2016 at its 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Khalid Tahreem ’16 speaks to fellow graduates. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Khalid Tahreem ’16 delivered the following Senior Class Welcome during the 184th Commencement Ceremony May 22:

Five years ago, when I was still living in Karachi, Pakistan, and studying for an accounting certification, I logged on to my Facebook and realized that my wall was flooded with graduation pictures. I wrote the following status in a fit of passive-aggressive jealousy (and I quote): “I just realized that I will never have a regular graduation with a convocation where I get to wear a gown and that flat hat thingy.”

eve_ruc_2016-0522101449

Khalid Tahreem ’16 (Photos by Tom Dzimian)

I wasn’t just jealous…I was extremely sad. I believed wholeheartedly that I would spend my life auditing companies, and that was just depressing.

When I came to the U.S. four and a half years ago I did not know what to expect…and needless to say the first few months here were a cultural shock, completely nerve-wracking. Born and raised in Karachi, it was extremely difficult for me to adjust to the Wesleyan environment. I was scared on so many levels: scared about my future; scared about being the odd one out, the adult, foreign student in a sea of smart, articulate young people; scared about not being American enough to understand what it meant to be a Wesleyan student. Coming to Wesleyan was the first decision I had taken for myself, and it scared me that this one independent decision might turn out to be a big failure.

President Roth Makes Remarks to the Class of 2016 (with video)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth. (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth made the following remarks during the 184th Commencement ceremony May 22:

President Roth delivers his remarks. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

President Roth delivers his remarks. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Members of the Board of Trustees, members of the faculty and staff, distinguished guests, new recipients of graduate degrees, and the very mighty Class of 2016, I am honored to present some brief remarks on the occasion of this Commencement.

When you began your time at Wesleyan in the fall of 2012, the presidential elections were moving into high gear. Barack Obama, who spoke from this podium eight years ago as a presidential candidate, was arguing for a renewed mandate for change, for finding ways to make even small amounts of progress on environmental issues, social justice concerns, and economic growth. There were many who opposed this vision, and they offered an alternative framework for imagining individual freedom, prosperity through work, and respect for tradition. Today you are graduating into another election cycle, and now differences in the visions for the future of this country seem greater than ever. Our politics have grown ever nastier, cruder, more vulgar, more juvenile. Many Americans, turned off by the triumph of vulgarity and corruption, seem ready to dis-engage from the political process. I trust this will not be the case for you. Resignation should not be an option. We so need your participation, your vision, your commitment to put justice, generosity, and care at the center of your lives and our communities.

Bachner, Eudell, Lipton Honored for Excellence in Teaching

Wesleyan President Michael Roth honored James Lipton, professor of computer science; Demetrius Eudell, professor of history; and Sally Bachner, associate professor of English with Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching during the 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth honored James Lipton, professor of computer science; Demetrius Eudell, professor of history; and Sally Bachner, associate professor of English with Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching during the 184th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Sally Bachner, associate professor of English, Demetrius Eudell, professor of history, and James Lipton, professor of computer science, received Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching at Commencement on May 22. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the university’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education.

Recommendations were solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Recipients were chosen by a selection committee of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Bios of the recipients follow:

Gruppuso, Tamaddon, Nury Deliver “Senior Voices” Addresses

Abigail Gruppuso ’16, Austin Tamaddon ’16, and Cyrus Nury ’16 delivered “Senior Voices” Addresses on May 21 in Memorial Chapel. Andrea Roberts, associate professor of the practice, chemistry, delivered the faculty reflection. Below are the text of their speeches:

eve_ruc_2016-0521183418

Abigail Gruppuso ’16 (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Abigail Gruppuso ’16

The lunch table in Usdan is where my friends and I split into two camps and argue whether Cherry Berry or Froyo World is better. It’s where Mike and I exchange stories about our study abroad experiences in Nepal and Beijing. It’s where I was urged to Feel the Bern and taught how to eliminate food waste. At the table by the window, Sarah tells me about her research to find a chemical solution to antibiotic inhibitors. And Wolfi and I blabber about our ridiculous idea to start a popup restaurant on campus. Our laughs echo through the dining hall when Lainey and Sam simultaneously yell “Anotha one!” because DJ Kahled is so engrained in their vocabularies. We know everyone is staring at us when we sing Justin Timberlake at the top of our lungs but we don’t care. The long rectangle table is where we support each other in times of crisis—where we tell one another they’re gorgeous and too amazing for that guy, it’s okay to get a bad grade once in a while and your mental health is more important than sticking with pre-med.

73 Seniors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society

Members of the Class of 2016 were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honor society, in the Memorial Chapel on May 21. Jim Citrin P'12 P'14 was the featured speaker for the ceremony.  (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

Members of the Class of 2016 were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honor society, in the Memorial Chapel on May 21. Jim Citrin P’12 P’14 was the featured speaker for the ceremony. (Photos by Tom Dzimian)

Members of the Class of 2016 were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest national scholastic honor society, in a ceremony May 21 at Memorial Chapel. The event was held in conjunction with Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Members of the Class of 2016 were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honor society, in the Memorial Chapel on May 21. Jim Citrin P'12 P'14 was the featured speaker for the ceremony.  (Photo by Tom Dzimian)

Wesleyan President Michael Roth welcomes the new members of Phi Beta Kappa. 

The Wesleyan Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was organized in 1845 and is the ninth-oldest chapter in the country. Membership is conferred for high scholastic achievement. Fall election eligibility is based on a student’s grades at the end of junior year; spring election is based on four-year achievement.

Seventy-three students were inducted at the ceremony. They join fifteen other seniors inducted in December 2015.

PHI BETA KAPPA SPRING 2016

Holt Akers-Campbell
Elizabeth Marie Alexion
Hannah Monica Ang Ang
Leah Ruth Bakely
Maya Sarah Berkman
Stephanie Rose Blumenstock
Rebecca E. Brill
Kristin Ione Bumsch
Christopher O’Neal Caines
Matthew Werner Chilton

Wesleyan Commencement Weather Information

Wesleyan’s Commencement ceremony will take place outside on Andrus Field, as planned. Our best advice is to come prepared for cool, wet weather conditions, and bring along an umbrella. Please keep in mind the field may be wet and muddy.

A reminder that rain or shine the Commencement ceremony will be simulcast in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Ring Family Performing Arts Hall and Tishler Lecture Hall (150 Exley Science Center). The ceremony will also be available to view on the website wescast.wesleyan.edu.

For additional information about Commencement, please see the Reunion & Commencement website.