Video Highlights of Whedon’s Address, Reunion, Commencement

Wesleyan alumni reunited with classmates, attended WESeminars, toured campus, visited with former professors, and congratulated the Class of 2013 during Reunion & Commencement Weekend May 23-26. On May 26,Wesleyan awarded 785 bachelor degrees; 30 master of arts degrees; 30 master of arts in liberal studies degrees; and 21 doctor of philosophy degrees:

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Award-winning writer, director, and producer Joss Whedon ’87 delivered the Commencement Address during the 181st Commencement Ceremony:

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Brighter Dawns Improves Sanitation in Bangladesh

The Hartford Courant featured the work being done by the Wesleyan-based group Brighter Dawns to improve sanitation in Bangladesh. Though the group’s core members graduated from Wesleyan last year, the group continues to thrive on campus and alumni and current students work together to raise funds and awareness. Its focus has shifted from installing wells and latrines to maintaining the existing facilities.

Wesleyan Class Grants $10,000 to Local Non-profits

The Hartford Courant featured a new class, Money and Social Change, offered at Wesleyan in the fall semester. Students were asked to explore the question, “How is money used to change the world?” The class undertook a rigorous survey of 400 non-profit organizations in the greater Middletown area, and through a multi-round elimination process, eventually chose four receive $10,000 in available funds. Funding was provided to the class by the Learning by Giving Foundation, established in 2011 to promote the study of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy by undergraduate students.

A story about the course also ran in The Middletown Press.


Odede ’12, Wood ’12 Featured Graduates

In a story on outstanding Class of 2012 graduates by NBC Nightly News, Kennedy Odede ’12 and Lowell Wood were both profiled by the newscast. Odede, who scraped his way to Wesleyan from Kibera, the worst slum in Kenya, and who created a school, health center and clean water station in Kibera while studying at Wesleyan, discussed hope and opportunity.

Wood, who transferred to Wesleyan as a sophomore but remained in ROTC from his previous school, discussed building bridges and understanding regarding his choice to serve in the military. Wood’s piece is below the main graduation story in the personal profiles section. He is the third student profile in the series (first row, third profile).

An Evening with Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14

On April 12, Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14, producer and star of “VEEP,” sat down with President Michael Roth ’78 and nearly 300 Wesleyan students, alumni, and parents at The Times Center in New York City for a premiere screening and conversation about her new HBO show. A video of the event is below:

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Odede ’12 Motivated by Mother, Sisters

Kennedy Odede ’12 was featured in a recent piece in The Hartford Courant discussing his mother’s impact on all he has done in the last four years. Odede came to Wesleyan from the Kibera slum of Nairobi and has since built a school, a clean water latrine, and a health center back home. He will also give the student commencement address at Wesleyan’s 2012 Commencement ceremonies. He hopes his mother is well enough to attend.

Wesleyan Seniors Continue School’s Rockin’ Tradition

A piece in USA Today focuses on Wesleyan’s recent run of turning out bands and individuals who are making names for themselves in popular music.  The article mentions MGMT (Ben Goldwasser ’05, Andrew VanWyngarden ’05; Will Berman ’04), Das Racist (Victor Vasquez ’06, Himanshu Suri ’07), Santigold (Santi White ’97), Amazing Baby (Simon O’Connor ’05), among others, as well as Peace Museum, which features Wesleyan Seniors Casey Feldman ’12, Sky Stallbaumer ’12. Audio clips from the various acts are included with the article

Ex-Inmates Use Dante to Learn, Inform, Entertain

A feature in The Boston Globe profiles a class at York Correctional Facility taught by Ron Jenkins and aided by his Wesleyan students that has provided opportunities for inmates after their release. The class led Jenkins to write a play about some of the inmates interspersing Dante’s Divine Comedy with their own experiences. The now ex-inmates and Jenkins will do a reading from the play at Harvard University this week.


Faculty, Students Present at International AGU Conference

Graduate student Austin Reed presented his first results for his MA thesis at the American Geophysical Union conference. Reed and his advisor, Johan Varekamp, are examining the evolution of two large explosive volcanic eruptions in the Greek arc.

Three faculty members from Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as two graduate students and two undergraduate students, presented their research at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 5-7. The conference drew more than 20,000 scientists and policy makers from around the world.

Associate Professors Suzanne O’Connell and Dana Royer, Assistant Professor Phillip Resor, and Austin Reed MA-candidate, Rosemary Ostfeld BA ‘10/MA ‘12, and Julia Mulhern ’12 all attended. In addition, a poster by Katherine Shervais ’13, was also presented.

“Our research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is so diverse, and it is exciting to see Wesleyan faculty, students, and alumni contributing to technical sessions spread across many of the AGU sections,” Resor says.