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Mike MavredakisJune 7, 20235min
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence—a document written by a group of five men. Five months later, five different people gathered at the College of William & Mary to form Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the United States. Now 246 years later, 93 new and current members from Wesleyan’s student body—78 nominated from the spring semester and 15 inducted last fall—packed into the Memorial Chapel on May 27 to be inducted into the honor society. They join an estimated total of over 500,000 living members. Throughout Phi Beta Kappa’s history,…

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Jeff HarderJune 7, 20235min
In the last semester of the 1960s—a decade that’s since become a shorthand for a longer era of social, political, and cultural change—385 undergraduates comprising the Class of 1973 matriculated into Wesleyan. Among them were 50 Black and Latinx students, more than double the number of students of color admitted to comparable institutions. Months later in a January 1970 cover story, the New York Times Sunday Magazine chronicled the University’s strides in those early years of affirmative action in higher education with what some say was an undue dose of derision. “We, the Black, white, Latino, Asian, and women alums,…

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Editorial StaffMay 28, 20238min
Benjamin D. Levin ’23, the Class of 2023 Commencement Speaker at Wesleyan’s 191st Commencement Ceremony, shared the lessons from his University experience: in an environment where people are free to be themselves without fear of judgment, they are empowered to shed their insecurities and embrace their interests. “This sort of open, honest, kind, passionate student body is what allows each of us to actually figure out who we are,” Levin said. “Because when you’re constantly worrying about what other people think, you can’t take risks and actually leave your comfort zone. It’s the passion and openness of the other students…

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Steve ScarpaMay 28, 202317min
With an eye towards a bright future, the graduates of Wesleyan University’s Class of 2023 took their first steps out into the world on Sunday.   At its 191st Commencement, held on Sunday, May 28, Wesleyan University conferred 756 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 11 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 39 Masters of Arts, one Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts, 13 Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and four Bachelors of Liberal Studies.  The University also recognized four inspiring leaders with honorary degrees—Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed, who delivered the Commencement address; Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80, award-winning author, professor, and transgender activist; Larry McHugh,…

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Mike MavredakisMay 24, 20234min
Before Ben Levin ’23 was a Wesleyan student, he visited a friend on campus. They ventured into a classroom together to find a student working through a math problem on a chalkboard while blasting punk rock through his headphones. The student then took off his headphones and passionately explained what he was working on. “It felt like I was in a movie scene,” Levin, chosen to speak at Commencement on May 28, said. “I was excited because it was really the first time where I thought ‘this is the kind of person I really want to surround myself with,’ even…

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Mike MavredakisMay 17, 20233min
Hands touching the sky. Hearts vibrating to the beat of an amplifier with the bass maxed out. Cowboy boots scattered among the grass. Sunglasses of every shape and shade imaginable. Through all the variance of outfits and personalities, there was one constant among the crowd—smiles so wide and bright a dentist could only smirk. From atop the pop-up Ferris wheel, all one could see was a swarm of students migrating to the stage and back into line for a dose of cotton candy—the energy burst needed to keep their hands up and feet moving. “Wes is about the community and…

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Editorial StaffMay 17, 20234min
Jerome H. Long, Associate Professor of Religion, Emeritus, passed away on May 8 at the age of 91. Jerome received his BA from Knox College, and his DB, MA, and PhD from University of Chicago Divinity School. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1970, where he taught until his retirement in 1997. During his time here, he served as the first coordinator of the Mellon Minority (now Mellon Mays) Undergraduate Fellowship, he chaired the committee that established the Center for African American Studies, and he served for several years as chair of the African Studies Committee. Jerome was one of the first…

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Editorial StaffMay 4, 20235min
By Maia Bronfman '24 Talia Zitner ’23 organized the Garden Festival under the mentorship of Professor of Physics Brian Stewart as a “non-traditional thesis,” about sustainability and community in recognition of Earth Day, she said. Student performers and bands, including Maganda, High Standards, Noise Baby, Loose Geese, and Lily Gitlitz, played throughout the afternoon and into the evening on Friday, April 21. Zzzahara and Billy Woods, visiting musicians, closed the event in the backyard of Russell House. Zitner—an English and environmental studies double-major—started working on the festival a year ago, but it was inspired by her earlier experience transferring to…

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Mike MavredakisApril 19, 20237min
The ability to explore, open-mindedness, diversity of thought, the culture, the community, an emphasis on the arts—these were all reasons that prospective students gave for why they were considering enrolling at Wesleyan in the Fall. “We try to create a culture where people can listen to each other; because by listening to each other, we discover things about ourselves and about the world that we wouldn't otherwise,” President Michael S. Roth ’78 said at WesFest 2023 on April 14. For Elizabeth Littell, 18, of Portland, Maine, the community at Wesleyan is the main attraction, she said. “Everyone is just so…

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Steve ScarpaApril 5, 20236min
David Rabban ’71, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, delivered a wide-ranging exploration of academic freedom and freedom of speech at the annual Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression. The lecture was presented by The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and took place March 30 in the Daniel Family Commons. “One of the things I loved about Wesleyan when I was here was the commitment of the faculty and administration to free speech and academic freedom,” Rabban said. His talk cited a wide array of case law to show…

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Mike MavredakisApril 4, 202311min
Who collects your data? Which data? Why? Where does it go? Who is buying it? What are they doing with it? Can we protect our data or choose who gets to use and sell it? What laws are in place to protect your data? What’s the path forward for data privacy? These were all questions tackled by data privacy experts from Wesleyan, New York University, Google, Harvard, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, and others who spoke at the annual Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns on March 31 and April 1. “The importance of freedom from unauthorized intrusion is on the top…