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Editorial StaffMay 22, 20226min
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, 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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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…

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Olivia DrakeMay 9, 20225min
Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion, emeritus, passed away on May 8 at the age of 81. Zwelling received bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and his MA and PhD from Brandeis University. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1967, where he taught for 43 years until his retirement in 2010. He was instrumental in the creation of Jewish Studies at Wesleyan, and he created and directed an Israel Studies program in Jerusalem. Zwelling was named the inaugural Silverberg-Shapiro Professor of Jewish Studies in 2003, and when he retired in 2010 this chair was renamed the…

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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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Steve ScarpaMay 4, 20228min
  The Vietnam War, the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the civil rights movement, the Student Strike of 1970 – to hear the graduates of the Classes of 1970 and 1971 talk, it was as if this all happened yesterday. Most of them can still remember their draft number. “These were combustible years of high drama in every setting,” Steve Ingraham ’70 said to a collection of his classmates at Memorial Chapel at an assembly last Friday morning. The 50th reunion took place April 28 through May 1. For alumni, it was a makeup for a…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…