Tag Archive for Class of 2024
by Olivia Drake •
Orientation activities began in mid-July, where members of the Class of 2024 and transfer students participated in sessions on charting a course through the open curriculum, sustainability at Wesleyan, wellness, financial aid, student employment, career center information, and working with an academic peer advisor. They also learned the Wesleyan fight song and participated in virtual social events including a virtual escape room, Jeopardy!, drag race bingo, and a magic show.
Sudbury, Mass. resident Sabrina Ladiwala ’24 chose to defer her on-campus enrollment until the spring semester due to the pandemic, but has participated in several first-year orientation webinars.
“After my orientation meetings, I would hang back to ask the leader a question. Multiple times, that simple exchange led to sharing experiences about what spring term was like for each of us or developed into a really in-depth talk about life on the Wes campus. As I started having more of these conversations, not only did I welcome all the information, but I also enjoyed listening to all the personal, on-campus stories these students told. In spite of sitting in my home, I already felt connected to the community,” she said.
Ladiwala also attended several social events, including a virtual escape room.
“After my group completed this fun exercise, we just stayed back and talked for around 20 or 25 minutes about moving in, what dorms we were in and how quarantine was going for us. Even though I am deferring, I was still included in that conversation which really meant a lot to me,” she said. “Even though orientation is over and classes are starting, I am excited to stay in touch with all my Wesleyan friends and am really looking forward to being on campus in the spring!”
Students also participated in several health and safety webinars on returning to campus, COVID-19 testing, and the importance of quarantine.
by Olivia Drake •
by Olivia Drake •
This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 782 students to the Class of 2024. University faculty and staff worked tirelessly over the summer to ready the campus for opening this semester while providing a safe and healthy environment for all. Those students unable to come to campus in the fall may continue their Wesleyan education remotely, and may join us on campus in the spring.
“The Class of 2024 is dynamically diverse, exceptionally talented, and incredibly resilient,” said Amin Gonzalez ’96, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid. “I’m immensely proud of the members of this class and not just because of their impressive credentials or the fact they are the first that my dedicated team and I have admitted to Wes, but because they boldly persevered through unprecedented challenges. Having taken all the proper safety precautions and offered a robust virtual orientation program, we are excited to welcome them to campus and have full confidence they will each in their own way make substantive contributions to our vibrant community.”
A total of 12,752 individuals applied for a spot in the Class of 2024. Of those, Wesleyan admitted 2,640 (21%) and 782 matriculated.
Below are some stats about the Class of 2024*:
- 40% men and 60% women
- 53% attended public high schools
- 14% are from outside the United States
- 79% live outside New England; 13% live in 34 other countries including Ghana, Iran, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, and Senegal
- 41% are students of color, of which 33% are domestic students of color
- 10% are international students
- 8% are the children of Wesleyan alumni
- 14% are among the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college
- 43% are receiving financial aid
- 79% have already studied a foreign language
- 93% graduated in the top 20% of their high school class
- Economics, psychology, English, and biology are the top projected majors
- 22 students are QuestBridge National College Match Finalists and 7 are Posse Veteran Scholars
*The Class of 2024 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and should be considered in that context.
For more information, visit the Class of 2024 Profile.
Wesleyan congratulated the Class of 2024 admitted students last April through a series of virtual WesFest events, and welcome messages from notable graduates like composer, actor, and director Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15. Once on campus, students participated in a virtual New Student Orientation.
by Olivia Drake •
Wesleyan’s First Year Matters (FYM) program is designed to help first-year students establish on-campus community connections, engage in shared learning experiences, explore new opinions and ideas, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in Wesleyan’s rigorous liberal arts environment. The FYM committee annually selects a “common experience” for the incoming class as an intellectual introduction to Wesleyan.
This year, the Class of 2024 watched and discussed the documentary This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis and based on the award-winning book of the same title by Naomi Klein.
View screenshots below and watch the entire keynote address online here.
by Olivia Drake •
Wesleyan welcomed students back to campus during the week of Aug. 24. Traditionally, students would arrive on New Student Arrival Day, and be accompanied to their new home-away-from-home by families and fellow students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Residential Life stretched Arrival Day activities over the span of seven days, and students were assigned a formal arrival date and time to minimize crowds and allow for appropriate social distancing. Only students could enter residences during the move-in period. Classes began virtually on Aug. 31.
While COVID-19 is continuing to tear through Japan, Tokyo resident and first-year-student Takumi Abe ’24 feared he wouldn’t make it to campus this fall. But “I managed to make it here,” he said. “I am excited about the new experiences that I will have with new students and staff, the lessons that are starting next week, and about the summer heat coming to an end. The change in the working and living environment feels like a fresh start and I am motivated in making this first semester productive and fun.”
Prior to moving into their residence halls and homes, every student was tested for COVID-19 at Wesleyan’s testing site.
Photos of Arrival Week are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake and Simon Duan ’23)
by Olivia Drake •
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wesleyan is taking many measures to make the campus experience this fall as safe and healthy as possible for all students, faculty, and staff.
In addition to testing students twice weekly for COVID-19, Wesleyan is configuring classrooms, dining areas, and other locations to allow for a minimum of six feet of social distance; janitorial staff is frequently disinfecting and sanitizing areas; and many classes are being offered as a hybrid of in-classroom and online instruction.
Members of the campus community are expected to wear a mask or face covering at all times outside their individual residence or office; maintain a six-foot distance from one another to reduce the risk of infection; and avoid gathering in groups.
“It is critically important that every Wesleyan community member does their individual part for our methods to be effective,” said Wesleyan’s medical director, Dr. Tom McLarney. “Most in-person social events and parties will be prohibited. While this is difficult and contrary to the typical campus experience, these are difficult times. One super-spreader event can overwhelm the campus’s ability to care for our students, and could ultimately result in closure.”
For more information, visit the Reactivating Campus website. (Photos by Simon Duan ’23)
by Olivia Drake •
As part of Wesleyan’s First Year Matters (FYM) program, the FYM committee selects a “common experience” for the incoming class as an intellectual introduction to Wesleyan.
Next fall, the Class of 2024 will watch and discuss the documentary This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis and based on the award-winning book of the same title by environmental activist Naomi Klein.
“The film is an unflinching look at the disparate impacts of climate change on various communities around the world and highlights some fundamental conflicts between global economic systems and efforts to combat climate change,” said First Year Matters Committee Chair Kevin Butler, assistant dean of students and director of community standards.
The FYM committee is currently working to arrange a related keynote address during the New Student Orientation program.
Any faculty or staff who is willing to facilitate a small group discussion with incoming students on Thursday, Sept. 3 is asked to contact Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Year Matters program is designed to help first-year students establish on-campus community connections, engage in shared learning experiences, explore new opinions and ideas, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in Wesleyan’s rigorous liberal arts environment. In addition to the common reading, students attend lectures and presentations by faculty, residence hall discussions, and a major participatory arts event during New Student Orientation (NSO).
by Lauren Rubenstein •
For the fourth consecutive year, Wesleyan has awarded its prestigious Hamilton Prize for Creativity to three students whose creative written works best reflect the originality, artistry, and dynamism of Hamilton: An American Musical, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15 and directed by Thomas Kail ’99.
Brianna Johnson of The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, N.Y. was awarded the grand prize—a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend Wesleyan. She was recognized for three songs comprising an album/mixtape titled, “Tell ‘Em The Truth.” In addition, Wesleyan awarded two honorable mentions along with $5,000 stipends to Luka Netzel of Kansas City, Mo. (The Pembroke Hill School) for his musical, “Heartful Dodgers,” and Chiara Kaufman of Rye, N.Y. (Hackley School) for two works of flash-fiction, titled “The Maid” and “The Burials.”
The winning works were chosen from a pool of over 400 submissions this year. Faculty members reviewed entries, while an all-star selection committee of Wesleyan alumni in the arts, chaired by Miranda and Kail, judged finalists.
About the Honorees
Johnson was honored for “Tell ‘Em The Truth,” an album/mixtape comprised of three songs: “Dreams to Reality,” “These Chains,” and “Damages of Duality.” She wrote these songs, among several others, in 8th and 9th grades as she struggled to acclimate to a predominantly white school as one of the only black students in her classes. Around the same time, the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American man, by a white police officer, and many other senseless killings of black people left her feeling scared and resentful.
“My own America wanted to eradicate me, dehumanize me, make me feel like I was nothing. I was a blank corpse with no identity, no face and in America, no voice,” she wrote in her submission for the Hamilton Prize. “I wanted to change that and so I traded in my anger and disappointment for a pen and paper. I transcribed my emotions into lyrics.”
“When experiencing Brianna’s work, I was struck by the honesty, perspective and structure already present in what she’s creating,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, ’02. “I’m so glad that she’s chosen Wesleyan as the place to continue developing her artistic talents. I look forward to following her artistic journey.”
Committee member and actress Beanie Feldstein ’15 called Johnson’s work a “powerful, moving example of infusing one’s own life-experience into art,” with Johnson putting “her whole being into each lyric, each melody, each performance. […] Her work is wholly raw, vulnerable and masterful. In addition, her art displays radiant strength and an essential commitment to morality that is inspirational. I was rapt and enthralled. It is the work of a young artist you know will do great things and help heal our society.”
Netzel received an honorable mention for his musical, “Heartful Dodgers.” Set in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969, the play follows twins Barry and Fitz who decide to dodge the draft by joining a nearby Amish community after they are conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War. There, they meet Sarah Ann, daughter of the town’s Minister, who longs to experience the world outside the Amish community.
Author Mary Roach ’81 said she had a “big goofy grin on my face” while reading “Heartful Dodgers.”
“Everything about this piece is fresh, pitch-perfect, professional. Luka has so expertly and lovingly nailed the classical musical genre—the stage directions, the characters’ moves and their back-and-forth singing. And the lyrics! Hilarious and charming. I could see and hear Luka’s vision so clearly in my head as I read. I expect to one day be seeing some of that same creative vision on a Broadway stage.”
And Kaufman received an honorable mention for two works of flash-fiction. “The Maid” is a stream-of-consciousness narrative from a distressed woman, a wife and mother contemplating a grim future. Committee member Carter Bays ’97, executive producer and writer of How I Met Your Mother, said “The Maid” “captured the mature, complicated voice of a character that I can’t imagine a teenager being able to access.” Kaufman’s other piece, “The Burials,” tells the story of a family, generation after generation, with a dark, secret history.
About the Hamilton Prize
The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity was established in 2016 in honor of Miranda and Kail’s contributions to liberal education and the arts and named for the pair’s hit Broadway musical, which that year won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. A filmed version of Hamilton will be released on Disney Plus beginning July 3.
by Christian Camerota •
Wesleyan received 12,752 applications for its Class of 2024, offering admission to 2,531 students (19.8%) from a competitive, diverse applicant pool.
“In one of Wesleyan’s most competitive years, we selected students as much for their character and personal promise as their outstanding achievements and talents,” said Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Amin Abdul-Malik Gonzalez ’96. “I am proud of the fact that, statistically, the Class of 2024 is among the most distinguished group of students ever admitted who will undoubtedly contribute to our educational community in dynamic ways. They are bright, motivated individuals who love learning and are eager to make an impact. We, in turn, are eager to welcome them to campus and assist them in those efforts.”
Admitted students hail from 51 different countries, with international students making up 10% of the admitted class and 83% living outside of New England. Nearly half (49%) are students of color and 13% are the first generation in their family to attend college.