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Steve ScarpaMay 22, 202218min
On a joyous day marked by ritual and ceremony, Wesleyan University bid a fond farewell to the accomplished Class of 2022 at its 190th Commencement on Sunday, May 22.  “I am extremely excited. I’ve been ready for this day,” said Ama Hagan ’22. “College is full of trials and tribulations, but there is a lot of success headed (our) way.” Wesleyan University conferred 793 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 12 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 38 Master of Arts, two Masters of Philosophy in Liberal Arts, 31 Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and six Bachelors of Liberal Studies. (View all photos…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20225min
Kalli Jackson '22, who delivered the Senior Class Welcome, made the following remarks during Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement Ceremony on May 22:   There is so much to look at at Wesleyan University. The first time I ever stepped foot on this campus, I was amazed by how much there was to see. The friends gravitating toward Foss Hill when the sun is out, the proud sidelining every sports game, the outfits roaming the halls of WestCo. The students themselves are enough to be a spectacle. Wesleyan is home to the unique. No two walls, no two classrooms, no two people…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 202210min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 urged the Class of 2022 in his Commencement Address to combat the nation’s culture wars with “culture peace” of the sort cultivated through a Wesleyan University education. “I believe to be true to our academic and civic purposes, Wesleyan’s mission reminds us that we must become practical idealists, making peace where we can by promoting open inquiry and free expression. We must defend those who want to participate in this endeavor from threats of violence or marginalization while cultivating respect for intellectual diversity. By practicing culture peace, we will be more open to discovery, including…

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Steve ScarpaMay 20, 202218min
Photos from throughout the Reunion weekend can be found here.  The Wesleyan University community gathered together May 19–22 for Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022. As is Wesleyan’s tradition, the classes ending in 2 and 7 returned to campus to celebrate their reunions with a weekend of lectures, performances, dinners, and ceremonies. With generations of Wesleyans assembled together, the weekend was a celebration of the University’s past and its future. ** Alumni started returning to campus in earnest Friday morning, gathering under a tent outside Russell House for lunch and to look for familiar faces. David Lakein ’92, Juan Luque ’92,…

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Olivia DrakeMay 16, 20226min
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow Elena Brennan '24 is as equally passionate about her American studies major as she is of helping fellow underrepresented and first-generation low-income (FGLI) students succeed. As chair of the Wesleyan Student Assembly's Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC), she coordinated First Cardinals, an FGLI mentorship program that fosters connections between 40 first-years with juniors, and seniors. As a member of the BIPOC Mental Health Collective, she spurred a collaboration with the EIC, Wesleyan Student Assembly and Resource Center to host an event that addresses systemic issues on campus for marginalized students. And, in reaction to a post…

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Steve ScarpaMay 9, 20226min
Political upheaval. A national reckoning on matters of race. A global pandemic. Any one of these major world happenings would leave an impact on a student’s college experience. But for the Wesleyan University Class of 2022, the totality of events has been, to dredge up an overused expression, unprecedented. As Reunion and Commencement Weekend 2022 approaches, Wesleyan reflects on and celebrates a class that has shown courage, creativity, and resiliency in the face of a complicated and fraught world. “There were difficulties aplenty, but also tremendous fortitude and endless examples of sacrifice for the greater good,” said Michael Whaley, vice…

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Olivia DrakeApril 25, 20229min
For "all 22 years of [her] life," Elim Lee's been writing a story, and it wasn't until April 14— the deadline to submit a senior honors thesis—that her narrative finally was published. Lee '22, an English major who is minoring in IDEAS and data analysis, ended up completing an original children's book as part of an art studio thesis called Needle and the Too Big World. "I told my advisors that I wanted to write a children’s book and build it," Lee said. And Lee did just that. Inspired by a library exhibit in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia that commemorates…

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Olivia DrakeApril 18, 20229min
Ori Cantwell '22 has been looking forward to this moment since his freshman year at Wesleyan. On April 14, he joined dozens of his classmates on the steps of Olin Library to celebrate the completion of their senior honors theses—at a ceremony that included a champagne toast and accolades from friends and faculty advisors. During this traditional festivity known as "Thesis Day," the thesis-writers take turns popping bottles of champagne while their friends and faculty advisors congratulate them on their efforts. This year, 254 seniors pursued honors this year. "The champagne toast was a blast," Cantwell said. "And I learned…

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Olivia DrakeApril 4, 202210min
Girls who grow up in the patriarchal Massai community in Kenya are often impoverished, voiceless, and undermined by men. Although Kenya offers free public education, less than 5 percent of Kenyan women end up attending college. Diana Naiyanoi Kimojino '25, however, was determined to continue her education, even if it meant going against her family's wishes and her cultural norms. Now an economics major at Wesleyan, she's feels "an immense call of duty" to bring awareness to her Kenyan community about the benefits of college access for women. "Growing up, my education is always a point of contention with my…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 28, 202211min
After four years of developing and honing their artistic skills, 30 art studio majors from the Department of Art and Art History have completed senior thesis projects this spring and are sharing their final works with the public. The annual Senior Thesis Exhibition, held in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, is the culmination of a two-semester thesis tutorial. The exhibition is critiqued by the faculty advisor and a second critic, and must be passed by a vote of the faculty of the art studio program. The senior thesis allows the art studio majors to engage in a solo, rigorous, self-directed…

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Steve ScarpaMarch 25, 20225min
Silloway Gymnasium was pretty dead in the early days of the pandemic. The men’s basketball team had cancelled its season. Because of social distancing requirements, even playing one-on-one was prohibited. For the few players remaining on campus, there was nothing but drills. Lots and lots of drills. In those mundane practice sessions, the seeds were planted for a NESCAC championship. “We were practicing a new offense this year. We wanted to really get out and push the ball and just be faster than teams offensively and defensively,” said Sam Peek ‘22. And, just maybe, all that time in the gym…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 16, 202210min
In April 2019, Middlesex County EMT Livia Cox '22 recalls responding to a medical call where she encounters an unconscious and pale-faced patient. She eyes a pill bottle in the room, and although the man is dead, she begins chest compressions anyway "with every joule of energy and every compassionate bone in me," she says. Cox had met this patient before. They've discussed his comorbid chronic physical and mental pain and substance dependency at length. A former military man, he has frequent PTSD episodes. He's been prescribed opioids to ameliorate his joint pain, but help more with his insomnia. "On…