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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, 20227min
Gloria Steinem, who was named an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement, called for the Class of 2022 to build on the steps their generation has already taken to address the ills of the world and to do so with laughter. “You are already the generation of Black Lives Matter and Bans Off Our Bodies. You know that the amount of melanin or hormones in our bodies doesn’t change the fact that each of us arrives on this Earth as a unique miracle; one who could never have happened before and could never happen again,” Steinem said.…

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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, 202213min
Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the commencement speaker at Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement ceremony, chatted with a few members of the highly accomplished Class of 2022 in preparation for his remarks. By knowing your own story and telling it, by being bold and plotting your path, and most importantly, Hrabowski said, never giving up, the Class of 2022 can become leaders. Hrabowski is a writer and passionate advocate for underrepresented groups studying in STEM fields; he has served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20227min
Dr. Joseph J. Fins ’82, honored at Wesleyan’s 190th Commencement as an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, has devoted his distinguished career to fostering a productive dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. As he explained in his speech to the Class of 2022, that dialogue began during his tenure at Wesleyan. “We favor the separation of church and state. But the separation of the sciences and the humanities: not so good. What’s the point of developing an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 if we don’t understand the history and sociology of vaccine hesitancy? What better describes the power of illness…

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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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Olivia DrakeMay 22, 202212min
After 36 years teaching chemistry at Wesleyan and becoming an internationally-recognized expert on photoelectron spectroscopy, Joseph Knee, Beach Professor of Chemistry, is ready to retire. Knee, along with faculty colleagues Anne Greene, University Professor of English; Ann Campbell Burke, professor of biology, and Ronald Schatz, professor of history; received emeritus status during Wesleyan's 190th Commencement Ceremony on May 22. Joe Knee dedicated his career to developing time-resolved laser spectroscopy techniques that help determine the structure and dynamics of gas-phase molecules, molecular clusters, and ions. These methods provide insight into molecular behavior and influence the strength and structure of intermolecular hydrogen…

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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20226min
Every spring, Wesleyan recognizes three outstanding faculty with Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching. This year's recipients, who were acknowledged during the 190th Commencement ceremony on May 22, include Frederick M. Cohan, professor of biology; María Ospina, associate professor of Spanish; and Victoria Smolkin, associate professor of history. Made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, these prizes underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the University’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education. Recommendations are solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors,…

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Steve ScarpaMay 20, 202213min
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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Andrew ChatfieldMay 19, 20226min
Gabby Farina ’23, an Art History and English major, was interested in how artists’ work dealt with family, identity, body, grossness, and fleshiness. What she found from her classmates inspired her. “Everything was very much tied back to this idea of the human form,” Farina said. Farina is the first Wesleyan student to curate a Senior Thesis Showcase exhibition on her own. The exhibition, “It's Mutual,” was the first such exhibition in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery since COVID-19 led to the cancellation of a planned showcase in May 2020. As part of her tutorial, Farina visited the working…

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Olivia DrakeMay 16, 20227min
Two first-generation college students are working to help the planet, one garment at a time. As cofounders of the sustainable fashion startup, Infinitely, Nimra Karamat ’23 and Ashley Cardenas '23 are creating high-quality, affordable clothing that is "ready to take down the world of fast fashion." "Brands that greenwash and benefit off of the backs of underpaid workers in underdeveloped countries are the top sellers in fashion," Cardenas said. "This shouldn’t be our reality. Through Infinitely, we want to inspire people of all backgrounds and identities to lead sustainable lives and help people understand how fast fashion is damaging for…

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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…