Tag Archive for commencement 2011

Chan, Higgins, Plous Honored with Binswanger Awards for Excellence in Teaching

President Roth, at right, honored Scott Plous, professor of psychology, and Wai Kiu Chan, associate professor of mathematics, with the Binswanger Award. Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies, also received the award.

Every year Wesleyan recognizes outstanding teaching with three prizes awarded at Commencement. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, 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, current juniors and seniors, and current graduate students. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of emeriti and current faculty members, as well as members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee.

This year, Wesleyan honored Wai Kiu Chan, associate professor of mathematics; Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies; and Scott Plous, professor of psychology, for their excellence in teaching.

Farmer, Cook, Ibargüen, Shaws Receive Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degree Recipients, from left, are Robert Patricelli '61, P'88, P'90, Margaret Sweetland Patricelli, Joshua S. Boger '73, P'06, P'09, Ralph "Biff" H. Shaw '51, P'79, Jean Adams Shaw P'79, Dr. Paul E. Farmer, Alberto Ibarguen '66, P'97 and Barbara Nell Cook. President Michael Roth '78 is pictured on the right.

Paul Farmer received a Doctor of Science during the 2011 Commencement. Farmer is an inspirational scholar, doctor, teacher, and leader. As a physician-anthropologist, he has dedicated his life to serving the world’s poor and to raising the standard of health care around the world. In 1983 he co-founded Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. His work focuses on community-based treatment strategies for infectious diseases, health and human rights, and the role of social inequalities in determining disease distribution and outcomes. Dr. Farmer and his colleagues have successfully challenged the policymakers and critics who claim that quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor settings.

Dr. Farmer is the Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

Margot Boyer-Dry ’11 Delivers Senior Class Welcome

Margo Boyer-Dry '11 delivers the Senior Class Welcome to the Class of 2011 on May 22. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

By Margot Boyer-Dry

Early in our time at Wesleyan, we witnessed a student-led campaign to ‘Keep Wesleyan Weird’. At that time, the movement’s language struck me: What does it mean to ‘keep Wesleyan weird’? Surely, there is no shortage of unusual happenings here. You’d be hard-pressed to find another place where people are so excited about raw milk coops, acro-yoga, and entrepreneurial peer haircutting. Still, I don’t think the campaign’s philosophy was so simple. As I have experienced Wesleyan’s bounty of oddities, I have carried with me the words of that early campaign, ‘Keep Wesleyan Weird’; and now, years later, I think I finally understand their meaning.

What those students referred to as Wesleyan’s ‘weirdness’ is what distinguishes this place from the many others that are holding their own commencement ceremonies this weekend. The concept of this ‘weirdness’ translates, for me, to a deep commitment to individual authenticity. Wesleyan has instilled in us the bravery to actively cultivate a lifestyle based on the things that we value.

Rubenstein Leads Senior Voices Baccalaureate Address

Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Mary Jane Rubenstein, assistant professor of religion, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, presented the “Senior Voices” baccalaureate address:

Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence
Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides.
I am here
Or there, or elsewhere.
In my beginning.

T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets all cycle around the theme of beginning with a kind of solemnity that’s both attentive and introspective. He looks out as the dawn points—out to the almost-day to feel the wind wrinkle and slide. He looks in and finds himself here, or there, or elsewhere.

Robert and Margaret Patricelli Honored with Baldwin Medal

Robert 61, P’88, P’90 and Margaret Patricelli received the Baldwin Medal from Wesleyan President Michael Roth.

Robert 61, P’88, P’90 and Margaret Patricelli are among the Hartford area’s leading citizens and friends of Wesleyan. Their philanthropic and service activities have ranged from the arts to a science museum; from hospitals and educational institutions to programs that assist low-income neighborhoods.

For their efforts, President Michael Roth awarded them with the Baldwin Medal during commencement ceremonies May 22. The Baldwin Medal pays tribute to the late Judge Raymond E. Baldwin ’16. Baldwin was the only man to have held the offices of Connecticut governor, U.S. senator and chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. First awarded September 20, 1981, during the opening convocation of Wesleyan’s Sesquicentennial, the Baldwin Medal is the highest honor Wesleyan’s alumni body presents for extraordinary service to Wesleyan or for careers and other activities which have contributed significantly to the public good. Recipients are selected by an ad-hoc committee of the Wesleyan University Alumni Association consisting of the Chair of the Association, an Alumni-Elected Trustee appointed by the Chair and the President of Wesleyan University.

Robert Patricelli is chair and chief executive officer of Women’s Health, USA. He previously was founder, chair, and CEO of both Value Health, a NYSE company and the nation’s leading company in specialty managed care (sold in 1997), and Evolution Benefits, a provider of electronic payment solutions (sold in 2010). After graduating from Harvard Law School, he began his career in the federal government, starting as a White House Fellow and then serving as minority counsel to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee, deputy under secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and administrator of the Urban Mass Transit Administration. He then joined CIGNA Corp., rising to executive vice president of the parent company and president of the health care group.

At Wesleyan, he served as a trustee for 15 years and is

A Pictorial Look at the 179th Commencement Ceremony

Below are several photos taken at Wesleyan’s 179th Commencement Ceremony:

From left, are Robert Patricelli '61, P'88, P'90, Margaret Sweetland Patricelli who were awarded Wesleyan's Baldwin Medal; Board of Trustee Chair Joshua Boger '73, P'06, P'09; Wesleyan's Honorary Degree recipients Ralph "Biff" H. Shaw '51, P'79, Jean Adams Shaw P'79, Dr. Paul E. Farmer, Alberto Ibarguen '66, P'97 and Barbara Nell Cook. With them is Wesleyan President Michael Roth '78. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Professor Peter Patton leads graduates onto Andrus Field. (Photo by Charlotte Christopher '12)

The graduates make their way from Foss Hill to their seats for the ceremony. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Dr. Paul Farmer delivers the Commencement Address.

President Michael S. Roth '78 addresses the Class of 2011. (Photo by Nam Anh Ta)

The Class of 2011 and guests on Andrus Field. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Members of the Class of 2011 applaud their fellows. (Photo by Nick Russell)

CaVar Reid '11 is a miracle! (Photo by Charlotte Christopher '12)

View additional photos of Reunion & Commencement Weekend on Wesleyan’s Flickr site.


Class Get-togethers, WESeminars, Graduation at 2011 Reunion & Commencement Weekend

The Parade of Classes begins at 11:15 a.m. May 20. The annual event is a popular event during Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Celebrate graduating seniors and reminisce with former classmates during the 2011 Reunion & Commencement Weekend May 19-22.

This year, classes ending in “1” and “6” will celebrate their reunions, and the Class of 2011 will become Wesleyan’s 179th graduating class.

“As always, I’m looking forward to R&C – it’s such a fun and celebratory time for the entire Wesleyan community, with over 150 events during three days,” says Gemma Ebstein, associate vice president for external relations in University Relations. “In addition to another incredible array of WESeminars, we’ll enjoy great live music from Grammy-nominated Jazz singer Tierney Sutton ‘86, performances by WEStand-up alumni comedians and the Wesleyan Spirits and – of course – the traditional Friday and Saturday night parties. With reunion class gatherings, academic department open houses and the Festival on Foss Hill, there’s literally something for everyone. And the weekend culminates with Commencement where we’ll hear from legendary anthropologist and physician, Paul Farmer. If you haven’t made plans to join us for this memorable Wesleyan weekend, it’s not too late to register.”

Registration begins at 10 a.m. May 19 in Usdan University Center. Alumni, parents, students and families should check in for a final weekend schedule, meal tickets, a welcome packet, campus maps and more. Campus tours begin at 9 a.m. and noon on May 20 at the Office of Admission. The entire May 19 schedule is online here.

Wesleyan’s interactive and inspiring WESeminar program begins at 11:30 a.m. May 20 with the topic “How to Learn to Like the Art You Love to Hate.” WESeminars provide opportunities to revisit the classroom and experience firsthand the academic excellence that is the essence of Wesleyan, with presentations by scholars, pundits, and other experts in their fields. Programs run approximately 60 minutes, followed by audience Q&A.

Other topics this year include Immigration Policy, Principles and Politics; Space Weather; Community Partnership and Scholarship at Wesleyan; Re-Branding Russia; The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures; The Wesleyan Media Project’s 2010 Analysis of Political Advertising; Thinking Critically about the Environment; The State of Queer Connecticut; Negotiation Skills; Japanese Printmaking; Wesleyan Alumni in Philanthropy and Public Service; and many more.

Other key events on May 20 include a Welcome Picnic Lunch at 11:30 a.m.; Wesleyan Farmers’ Market at noon;

Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., 2011 Commencement Speaker

Paul Farmer is one of the founders of Partners In Health, an international health and social justice organization.

Dr. Paul Farmer, known worldwide for co-founding Partners In Health to serve the world’s poor, will receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement address at Wesleyan University’s 179th Commencement in May.

Wesleyan’s other honorary degree recipients at Commencement include a legendary singer of the American Songbook, an alumnus envisioning the future of online journalism, and two local friends of the institution long dedicated to serving the Middletown community.