Campus News & Events

Linton Remembered for Teaching Mathematics at Wesleyan for 43 Years

Fred Linton

Fred E. J. Linton, professor of mathematics, emeritus, died Sept. 2 at the age of 79.

Linton was born in Italy to parents who were escaping to the United States from Hitler’s Germany. He studied mathematics at Yale and received his PhD from Columbia, then came directly to Wesleyan as an assistant professor in 1963. He became a full professor in 1972 and continued to teach mathematics here until his retirement in 2006, after a total of 43 years at Wesleyan. Linton supervised seven PhD students at Wesleyan, including one of the first Wesleyan doctoral students.

Linton was a highly respected mathematician whose area of research focused on category theory. He participated in many scientific conferences over the years and his papers on functorial semantics were quite famous. Linton also engaged deeply in other interests including international folk dancing, which he enjoyed throughout his entire adult life, classical music, traveling, and Indian literature and philosophy. He and his wife, Barbara Mikolajewska, published 12 volumes of the Polish translation of the Sanskrit epic poem, the “Mahabharata.”

Memorial contributions can be made to the Louis August Jonas Foundation (LAJF) and Camp Rising Sun (CRS), an international, full-scholarship leadership program, at 77 Bleecker St, C2-13, New York, NY 10012 or by e-mail at

Download Athletics Mobile App for Game Schedules, Results, Photo Galleries

This fall, get a front seat to Wesleyan sporting events by downloading the Athletic Department’s mobile app.

Wesleyan Front Row gives Cardinal fans the ability to enable notifications to access game schedules, score updates, statistics, game recaps and photo galleries.

For some events, a live stream of the game is available through the app, giving unprecedented access to off-campus fans, including parents and alumni, who still want to cheer on their favorite athletes from afar.

“The mobile app allows fans, parents, alumni, prospective students and current students to get information about their favorite teams instantly,” said Mike O’Brien, assistant athletic director for the Office of University Communications. “It’s an incredibly easy way to stay up-to-date on Wesleyan Athletics, and we are very excited to provide this accessibility to our fans.”

Don’t miss another game or update! The mobile app is available for download for iPhone and Android.

4 Home Football Games Highlight Community, Athletes, Service, Alumni

The first home football game is Saturday, Sept. 23.

The first home football game is Saturday, Sept. 23.

This year, Wesleyan’s four home football games each offer a highlight to draw fans from near and far to Corwin Stadium on Andrus Field.

The first home game, Saturday, Sept. 23, against Tufts, is a night game — “The second home night game in Wesleyan’s history,” notes Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83. “I’m thinking of it as our time to focus on Middletown, and we’re reaching out to local high schools. Dario Highsmith ’20, a sophomore running back—an outstanding player—graduated from Middletown High. He’s a former Gatorade High School Player of the Year, and someone to watch.”

On Saturday, Oct. 7, with the Cardinals at home vs. Colby, Whalen notes that the focus will be on celebrating Wesleyan alumni athletes from all decades. This, he adds, is really a particular interest for Head Coach Dan DiCenzo. “We invite alumni to be honorary captains for the game,” says Whalen. “It’s a way to connect the current team with previous players. Our alumni attend practice the night before, have breakfast with the team that morning, and even go on the field for the coin toss to start the game.”

The annual “Salute To Service” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, when Wesleyan faces Bates. “We’re hoping to get even more veterans—alumni and community members—this year, including, of course, Wesleyan’s Posse cohort. We’ll have bagpipes—and possibly a color guard,” Whalen says.

Nov. 4, the Homecoming/Family Weekend Game, vs. Williams, is the final home football game of the 2017 season—and promises an exciting game, playing out the intense rivalry between the Cardinals and the Ephs. Tailgating on Andrus Field— surrounded by both alumni and families new to the Wesleyan community—is a highlight each year for those who cheer “Go, Wes!”

Wesleyan’s Pre-College Access Program Wraps Up Summer Program

Seventy-nine high school students attended the summer session of Wesleyan’s Pre-College Access Program. (Photo by Cybele Moon)

This summer, high school students from Middletown and surrounding areas were immersed in college life, often collaborating with faculty and staff across campus, during the summer session of Wesleyan’s Pre-College Access Program. From an overnight stay on campus, to a field trip to Philadelphia to visit colleges, opportunities to get a feel for college life were plenty.

Wesleyan University’s Pre-College Access Program is application-based and is developed to enhance the academic skills and preparation of talented high school students who have an interest in pursuing higher education.

“Our programs tailor to low-income and first-generation college students,” explained Miguel Peralta, director of Pre-College Access Programs and Upward Bound Math-Science at Wesleyan. “Two-thirds of our participants are both.”

Serving 79 students from Middletown, Meriden and New Britain and running from June 22 to Aug. 1, the Pre-College Access Program is made possible by the federally funded TRIO program and designed to strengthen the math and science skills of high school students from Meriden and New Britain. Middletown students are served by Wesleyan funds and private foundations.

Campus Community Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Usdan University Center

Students gather outside Usdan University Center during it's 10th year anniversary on Sept. 7.

Students gather outside Usdan University Center during its 10th year anniversary celebration on Sept. 7.

On Sept. 7, the Wesleyan community celebrated the tenth anniversary of the opening of Usdan University Center.

“Usdan is Wesleyan’s central gathering location for students, staff, faculty and the larger community,” said Frank Marsilli, facility and events manager for Usdan. “It’s a place where the campus community comes together—whether that be for a meeting, program or meal. We’re proud to celebrate a decade of success!”

During the daylong celebration and open house, students were offered a “passport,” encouraging them to visit various areas of the facility and receive a stamp. The event also included a prize wheel at the Usdan info desk; updated “did you know” signs and fun facts posted throughout the facility; movies and music from 2007; and a display highlighting the growth of student centers and involvement on campus through the years.

Documentary by Magruder ’17, DuMont ’17 to be Screened Sept. 18 on Campus

While still undergraduates, Julie Magruder ’17 and Jackson DuMont ’17 began filming The Face of Kinship Care, a documentary highlighting the important role that familial, but non-parental, caregivers provide in the lives of children. The documentary will be will be shown at Wesleyan—as well as more widely—at 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 18, at the Powell Family Cinema. September, notes Magruder, is Kinship Care Month in a number of states. Through her work on this film, Magruder has become an advocate for highlighting the importance of kinship caregivers in all states.

The project began more than a year ago, when Christine James-Brown, president of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), requested a documentary on the topic. Through the W. T. Grant Foundation, DuMont was put in touch with James-Brown. DuMont knew of Magruder’s particular interest in nonfiction storytelling, and once the idea had been solidified, he reached out to collaborate.

Competencies Framework Will Help Students Build Personal Narratives

Joyce Jacobsen

Joyce Jacobsen

Wesleyan has developed a competencies framework to help students describe the skills that they can develop through their academic and co-curricular experiences, according to Joyce Jacobsen, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Certification of skills is a trend in higher education nowadays, particularly among providers of online education. While recognizing the importance of acquiring career—and life-building—skills, Jacobsen says Wesleyan’s approach also emphasizes the importance of helping students build a personal narrative about their Wesleyan experience.

“Competencies tie into current trends in higher education, regarding certification and acquisition of specific skills,” she adds. “We’re saying, however, that competencies should be acquired in a broader framework that speaks to the goals of liberal education. We’re trying to give students terms they can use to explain their liberal education to potential employers, to their families, to themselves.”

818 Students Welcomed on New Student Arrival Day (with video and photo gallery)

On Aug. 30, Wesleyan welcomed 766 students to the Class of 2021. An additional 52 transfer students also arrived.

Student athletes, Wesleyan staff and faculty — and Wesleyan President Michael Roth — assisted families with unloading vehicles and hauling suitcases, boxes, lamps, microwaves, computers, bed linens, and more to the students’ residence halls. The Wesleyan Cardinal made the rounds, even hitching a ride on the golf carts used to help haul carloads of belongings into new dorm rooms.

Watch a video of New Student Arrival Day below:

Making the trek to campus to the sound of favorite tunes—ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Car Seat Headrest, and “everything on my iPhone”—the Class of ’21 arrived on campus, cars loaded down with everything needed to turn a dorm room into home, along with family members to help carry the gear, set up equipment, make beds, and hang clothes. “I knew this was the right place for her,” noted one father, “but I didn’t say a word. Happily, she came to that conclusion, too.” Another parent had been surprised: “This was a late-in-the-game choice. He called us from campus last spring and said, ‘This is the place!’’ Another student confided, “I knew I wanted to go here the moment I stepped on campus.” Whichever end of the spectrum, the results were smiles and an eagerness to jump into life at Wesleyan.  (See photos below to meet a few of the newest members of our community.)

The Office of Admission received more than 12,450 applications for the Class of 2021, of which 2,014 students were admitted (16.2 percent). This is the highest number of applicants received in Wesleyan’s history.

  • The Class of 2021 is 46 percent men and 54 percent women.
  • The students hail from New England (20 percent), Mid-Atlantic (31 percent), Midwest (5 percent), South (8 percent), West (20 percent) and outside the U.S. (16 percent).
  • 15 percent of the class are international students.
  • Students of color, including international students, make up 44 percent of the Class of 2021. Students identify as Asian/South Asian (23 percent), Black/African American (11 percent), Latino/Hispanic (13 percent) and Native American/Alaskan, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Island (1.5 percent).
  • 14 percent of the students have a Wesleyan relative; 7 percent are children of an alumnus or alumnae.
  • 15 percent of the class are in the first generation of their family to attend a four-year college.
  • 47 percent of the students receive financial aid.
  • Economics, English, film, psychology and biology are the top projected majors.

Later in the afternoon, President Roth addressed parents and family in Memorial Chapel with his hopes for the newest members of the community. “The responsibility of a liberal education today is to give our students the power it takes to find what it is they love to do, get better at it, and translate what they love into productive work in the world. They learn skills outside of the classroom—in their dorm, on the athletic fields—and those skills complement what they’ve learned in classes, to make them better citizens, find more meaningful work, and truth be told, make them more fun to be around.”

Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid, also spoke to the group and said, “We’ve assembled a remarkably engaged and talented group—the next Wesleyan generation, committed to making a difference wherever in the world they are… Here on campus and beyond the university.”

“We are most proud of the variety of experiences and perspectives these young men and women bring to Middletown. And know those qualities will inform all that they—and we—do at Wesleyan in the next four years. The range of talents, cultures, and family backgrounds in this group is exceptional, even by Wesleyan’s high expectations.”

Individuals in the class have been honored as White House Film Festival finalist, a top 40 winner in the Intel competition, a social-political blogger featured in the New York Times, a working actor in an HBO series, a holder of a patent for an electronic violin, and a nationally-ranked debater.

“Students join us from literally all around the world,” Meislahn said. “They are citizens of 62 different nations, including such places as Jordan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mauritius and Nepal, (that’s just the middle of the alphabet!) … 125 students reside outside the U.S. regardless of nationality. This is a truly the most global and cosmopolitan class to enroll at Wesleyan!”

Starting Aug. 31, the new arrivals will participate in the New Student Orientation (NSO) Program — a comprehensive introduction to Wesleyan. The program helps students build a foundation for their academic and co-curricular success. New students, including international, visiting, exchange, and transfer students, are introduced to the rigorous academic experience that awaits them through meetings with their faculty advisor as well as faculty lectures, discussions, and skill-building workshops. Wesleyan’s vast array of co-curricular opportunities, resources and services for students will be highlighted. Students build relationships with other students, faculty and administrators and have important discussions about the values, traditions, and community standards of the Wesleyan community.

In conjunction with New Student Orientation, the Office of Student Affairs and Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted “First Things First,” a pre-orientation pilot program designed to familiarize first-generation students with the college experience and the Wesleyan community.

Photos of New Student Arrival Day are below. A full set of photos can be viewed on Flickr. (Cynthia Rockwell, Laurie Kenney and Bill Holder contributed to this article. Photos by Cynthia Rockwell and Laurie Kenney)

Abby Dodd ’21 was moving into the Butterfield dorms, with help from her father, Jon. They drove in from Rhode Island this morning. “I wanted a non-passive campus,” said Abby, explaining why she chose Wesleyan. Recalls Jon, “It was the first campus she visited.” Abby is considering a major in music.

Sophia Wilson-Pelton ’21 was accompanied by her parents, Lee Pelton, left and Kristen Wilson, who all made the trek from the greater Boston area. Sophia is considering a major in English.

The Nash family—Mary, Ben ’21, and Drew—live near Oakland, Calif. Attending WesFest was the deciding factor for Ben. He’s considering a pre-med major—but isn’t ready to decide yet.

New roommates Sophia Marra ’21 (center left) and Natasha Feenstra ’21 (center right) set up their room with help from Julie and Stephen Marra, left, and Natasha’s sister Alexa and mother Jennifer Feenstra, right.


Caroline Salim ’21, second from left, brought family from Baltimore to help haul stuff and settle her in: sister Maryann (left), brother Alex, and mother Debbie. Caroline is considering a major in government.

Ira ’87 and Jonah ’21 Skolnik on Arrival Day.

David Redfield ’21 drove in from Woodfield, Conn., with parents Ann and David. A pitcher, he’s looking forward to baseball season, and both the academics as well as the community brought him to Wesleyan.

Parents rest after Arrival Day activities.

55 Graduate Students New to Wesleyan

On Aug. 29, the Office of Graduate Student Services hosted a new graduate student orientation and lunch at Exley Science Center. In 2017-18, Wesleyan welcomes 15 new PhDs; 12 MAs; 17 BA/MAs (all received a BA in May 2017); nine foreign language teaching assistants in romance languages, Asian languages and Arabic languages; and two new writing fellows.

During the course of orientation, the new graduate students were introduced to the Graduate Student Association, Wesleyan culture and Wesleyan resources that can support their academic career and life at Wesleyan. Students were introduced to Wesleyan staff representing student accounts, public safety, sustainability initiatives, residential life, counseling and psychological services, athletics, Title IX and more. Librarians provided tours of Olin Library and the Science Library. Faculty and staff from the Center for Global Studies also offered a pedagogy session specifically for the new Foreign Language Teaching Assistants called The American Classroom. New international graduate students were treated to a workshop on cultural adjustment.

Photos of their luncheon are below: (Photos by Cynthia Rockwell)

Wesleyan Welcomes 57 New Faculty in 2017-18

Pictured, back row, from left: Saray Shai, Yaniv Feller, Samir Bandaogo, Colin Smith and Tyshawn Sorey. Pictured, front row, from left: Justin Peck, Carlos Jiménez-Hoyos, Valeria López Fadul, Daniel Smyth and Scott Aalgaard.

This year, Wesleyan welcomes 11 new tenure-track faculty, one professor of the practice, and 45 visiting faculty and fellows.

The new junior faculty who start this year include:

Scott W. Aalgaard, assistant professor of East Asian studies
Aalgaard holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Victoria, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. His dissertation, titled “‘Homesick Blues’: Crisis, Critique, and Collectivity in Modern Japanese Cultural Production,” traces critical voices in literature, music, and everyday life in modern and contemporary Japan. His areas of research include critical practice in Japan, contemporary Japanese culture, modern and contemporary Japanese literature and popular music, and theories and histories of fascism.

New International Students Hail from 37 Countries

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 127 first-year international students, eight international transfer students and seven visiting international students to campus. Students come from 37 different countries including Moldova, Kazakhstan and Mauritius. Two students are from a new exchange program with York University-York.

International students arrived Aug. 26-27 and participated in International Student Orientation through Aug. 29. During this time, students attended sessions that address health and medical insurance issues, programs about cultural adaptation, weather adjustment, and liberal arts education and U.S. systems. This program prepares international students and U.S. citizens living abroad to successfully transition to New Student Orientation.

On Aug. 29, the international students gathered for a group photo at Usdan University Center. Dinner and skits followed at Beckham Hall. Photos of the event are below. A full set of event photos can be found on Flickr. (Photos by Tom Dzimian)


Wesleyan, Local Community Watch Historic Eclipse at Van Vleck Observatory

Vacek Miglus, lab technician for the Physics Department, watches the eclipse with a homemade viewing tool.

Vacek Miglus, lab technician for the Physics Department, watches the eclipse of the sun with a homemade viewing tool.

Wesleyan’s Department of Astronomy hosted a public eclipse viewing on Aug. 21, outside the Van Vleck Observatory. Hundreds of Wesleyan and local community members attended this historic event. Although Middletown wasn’t in the narrow path of totality, viewers still were able to witness about 65 percent of the sun disappear.

In addition to telescopes and eclipse glasses for safely viewing the Sun, participants were encouraged to tour the Department of Astronomy’s historical exhibition and see images from the 1925 solar eclipse that passed directly over Wesleyan. A live streaming feed of the eclipse also was shown in a classroom.