Wonderful conversations yesterday with trustees and trustee emeriti were followed by great encounters with old friends returning to campus for Reunion. Late in the afternoon, we dedicated a plaque in the chapel for John Woodhouse. John was one of Wesleyan’s deepest supporters, and he was an invaluable source of wisdom for me when I began my presidency.
The dinner with the class of 1964 last night was a blast. The alumni had many questions about the changes at Wesleyan, and we discussed how the contemporary Wes was in many ways still working to fulfill the mission that Victor Butterfield set out for liberal education in the 1950s. After dinner we had the enormous pleasure of listening to Randy Newman sing some of his great old songs, and even a few new, unfinished tunes.
I look forward to seeing the thousands of returning alumni, friends and parents today and tomorrow. Reunion and commencement bring out some of Wesleyan’s deep traditions in synergy with the great vitality of today. It’s a celebration of independence of spirit and practical idealism.
This is Why.