Reunion and Commencement Was a Blast!

It was great to see so many alumni back over the Memorial Day Weekend. Trustees had a very productive meeting, and we all cheered Eudice Chong’s ’18 historic victory as NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Singles Champion. There were great Wesleyan seminars to attend, and many friends with whom to reconnect. This is Why.

Here are some fun video highlights

For me, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Commencement Speech was also historic. He connected with our students, alumni, and the deep reservoirs of his creativity. You can watch the speech here.

And now, students and faculty are getting ready for Summer Session! Go Wes!!

Baseball Repeats as NESCAC CHAMPS!

I heard the news all the way in Hong Kong: Wesleyan’s baseball team won another NESCAC Championship! Congratulations to Mark Woodworth and the entire team for an amazing season. The rivalry with Amherst continues, as the Lord Jeffs beat our guys in a Sunday morning match-up. But that was just the first time in five games this year, and the Cardinals came back to win the next game and the championship 4-3 in extra innings. Guy Davidson ’16 hit a home run in the 12th to put Wesleyan ahead, and Ethan Rode ’17 in relief sealed the deal to get his first win of the year. Onto the NCAA tournament!

Speaking of the NCAAs, Eudice Chong ’18  has been named both NESCAC women’s tennis Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year as well as a first-team all-NESCAC choice in both singles and doubles following her tremendous first year. In doubles, usually with Helen Klass-Warch ’18, Chong fashioned a 20-3 record at the #1 spot.  Klass-Warch received a nod to the all-NESCAC first team in doubles. Chong and Klass-Warch are the first women’s tennis individuals from Wesleyan to earn qualification to the NCAA Championship. Congratulations!

Another Wes tennis player is NCAA bound. Michael Liu ’17 has been named first-team all-NESCAC as well as an NCAA Division III singles qualifier. This is just the second time a Wes men’s tennis player has been selected for the tournament. Congrats!!

And they all still have to study for finals!!

 

 

 

Wesleyan Baseball Little 3 Champs!

So many things happening on campus during these last weeks of the semester. Conferences, lectures, musical and theatrical performances…. Faculty, staff and students are getting in whatever they can before the end of term. And all this while finals loom in just a few weeks!

On those chilly days when we’re all running for shelter, and on those lovely Foss Hill afternoons when we try to catch some rays, the Wesleyan baseball team is out there on Dresser Diamond taking batting practice, chasing down fly balls, acting as if it really were a warm spring day. Well, this past weekend the team shut out the Amherst squad in consecutive games, winning the Little Three Championship for the third year in a row! The guys were undefeated against Williams and Amherst, the first time that’s happened in over thirty years! Coach Mark Woodworth and the team have added yet another accomplishment to their great track record, and there are still more games to be played this year!

Speaking of track records, we should all be proud of LaDarius Drew ’15 for yet another strong season. At the NESCAC championships he bested the field in the 100 meters, and also earned first place in the long jump. His jump was almost a foot longer than the 2nd place finisher! Speaking of dominating wins, Evan Bieder ’15 was triumphant in the 5k NESCAC championship race. His closest competitor was more than 30 seconds behind! UPDATE: Ellie Martin ’16 won the conference crown in the 400m race.  Ellie also was part of Wesleyan’s 4x400m relay, joined by Melissa Luning ’15, Ananya Subrahmanian ’18 and Sarah Swenson ’18, for a second-place finish in a Wesleyan-record time of 3:53.64, about three seconds under the previous program record.

There has been no shortage of dominating performances in tennis this year. Let’s just mention Eudice Chong ’18 who is now 10-0 in singles play and combined with Helen Klass-Warch ’18, has amassed a 9-2 doubles mark. Eudice and Helen are leading a superb tennis squad — and the men’s team is similarly on a roll.

I’ve focused on athletic achievements here, but there were plenty of other stand out performances I’ve heard about this weekend.  A group of talented professors gathered together to discuss issues in “queer/art/poetics.” A highlight, I’ve heard, was Wesleyan English professor Christina Crosby’s reading from her new book, Body Undone: Living On After Great Pain. Meanwhile, the Theater Department’s production of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano brought out the best in the students’ understanding of the theater of the absurd. A great group of Wes actors went a more traditional route in bringing Shakespeare to the campus with their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Just before the weekend began, Kari, Sophie and I were treated to a spectacular production of Into the Woods at the Patricelli ’92 Theater. This complex, wonderful musical was executed with panache by a dedicated, talented group of students. It was a joy.

And April continues!

Men’s Basketball NESCAC Champs!!

An exciting overtime win for The Cardinals for our first ever NESCAC crown in men’s b-ball! More soon!!

UPDATE (from Athletics website + Hartford Courant):

Jack Mackey ’16 hit his sixth three-pointer of the game with 2:14 left in overtime, the first points of the extra period, then fed Joseph Kuo ’17 for a pair of dunks before the Cardinals hits four of six free throws in the final :17 to defeat Amherst, 74-70, and win their first-ever NESCAC championship Sun., March 1 at Trinity.  Wesleyan led most of the game but had to fend off several Lord Jeff rallies to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Divison III Championship.  The field of 63 teams will be announced early Mon., March 2 afternoon with times and locations of games.

The NCAA qualification is the first for men’s basketball.  The NESCAC crown is the sixth by a Wesleyan team in the last 10 years.  Baseball (2014), football (2013), softball (2010), men’s lacrosse (2009) and men’s soccer (2005) are the other prominent Cardinal squads with NESCAC titles to their credit.

This fancy passing (from an earlier playoff game) made ESPN highlights.

You can read more here at Wesleyan site.

And here, the Hartford Courant gives Coach Reilly’s team some fine coverage (with pics):

Go Wes! #thisiswhy

Winter Sports Taking Off!

Walking Mathilde early this morning, it really did feel like winter was on its way. You could see a dusting of snow on the ground yesterday, as the sun was coming up.

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This means that winter sports are here! Today, Sat., Nov. 15  nine of the 11 Cardinal squads are in action, six of them at home.  Men’s and women’s squash both take on NESCAC rivals Tufts (1 p.m.) and Middlebury (4 p.m.) as part of the Wesleyan Round Robin while men’s and women’s swimming & diving face Brandeis (1 p.m.).  Also at home against a NESCAC foe, and Little Three rival to boot, is women’s ice hockey vs. Williams (3 p.m.)  Men’s basketball gets underway in the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament with a first-ever meeting against Sarah Lawrence (3 p.m.).  On the road are women’s basketball vs. Framingham St. in the ECSU Tip-Off Tournament (3 p.m.); men’s ice hockey at Tufts (7 p.m.) in the NESCAC opener; and wrestling in the Roger Williams Invitational (10 a.m.). See Athletics page for more info.

And let’s acknowledge a stand-out performance from the fall. Adam Cowie-Haskell ’18 was awarded NESCAC Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Year!

And just a reminder of winter from last year:

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Great Wes Day at the Game

It was a wonderful day for football at Corwin Stadium, for our last game of the season. By tradition, we play Trinity College to end the season, and for many years they have made us end on a somber note. Not today! In another exciting game, the Cardinals were victorious, besting their opponents by a point. I took photos with the intrepid cheer leaders, the volleyball team, and began dreaming of spring as the softball team sold raffles. But the fall season ended pretty well today. Here are a few pics (feel free to send me more!):

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Wes seniors before the game
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After the game
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Seniors and Final Score
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Coach Mike Whalen
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Team Sings Fight Song

Bruce Corwin, Wesleyan’s biggest fan, is in Los Angeles recovering from a transplant…. but glued to the game on his computer. His son tells me he took this photo just as Justin Sanchez saved the victory with a great tackle with time running down.

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THIS IS WHY.

 

 

Time to Come Home to Wesleyan

It’s Homecoming weekend, and this evening the Athletic Hall of Fame will induct a new class of distinguished Wes athletes.

  • Joe Barry Morningstar ’39, a three-sport standout (football, basketball and baseball) for whom Wesleyan’s annual men’s basketball outstanding player award is named;
  • Cochrane Chase ’54, a tremendous football and wrestling talent during his undergraduate career;
  • Marion J. Stoj, M.D. ’74, a high-scoring forward in men’s soccer who earned All-America honors;
  • Thomas Vincent Reifenheiser III ’94, the most accomplished men’s tennis player in Wesleyan history, who earned NESCAC crowns and national Division III ITA titles and also played squash, two seasons as the team’s No. 1 player;
  • Sarah D. Hann, D.V.M. ’95, an outstanding distance runner for the Cardinals with a NESCAC cross-country title and All-America laurels to her credit, who went on to international repute as a runner after graduation;
  • J. Elmer Swanson, who joined the Cardinal staff in 1963 as track and cross-country coach, adding the women’s teams in both sports to his portfolio when they turned varsity during the 1970s, and served as a mentor to hundreds of Wesleyan student-athletes during his 30 years as a full-time head coach.

More alumni will arrive Saturday morning for what promises to be a glorious fall weekend. There will be plenty of competition to enjoy, and you can check out the full schedule here.

Saturday is also our second annual Middletown Day. Starting at 11 a.m., visitors can enjoy family entertainment (face painting, balloon art, a bounce house for little visitors, and a DJ), and snacks.

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And one more thing:  Beat Amherst!!

 

Arrival Day: Welcome Class of 2018

This morning Kari, Mathilde and I saw teammates on the fields behind the Freeman Athletic Center. It wasn’t quite 7 am, but practice was getting underway. Bleary-eyed student workers were headed in the direction of Usdan to prepare for a full day of welcomes, answering questions and helping to orient the families new to our campus. I start getting a little giddy with excitement as the new year is beginning….

Welcome to our new graduate students, transfers and the class of 2018! I look forward to meeting many of you when I make the rounds of the residence halls this morning, or when I speak with families in the chapel this afternoon.

Throughout the day we’ll post pictures and videos here. There may also be some tweeting from @mroth78…

WELCOME!

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Pres Roth welcomes Ashley Suan '18 to Wesleyan!

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Post-Semester Athletic Achievements

The baseball team just returned to campus after having a great run in the NCAA tournament. The NESCAC champs had some thrilling victories, and at times it seemed like every position player was going to take a turn on the pitcher’s mound. The game against Susquehanna was particularly thrilling, with the Cardinals coming back to win with 2 outs in the ninth. There were many standout performances you can read about here. Mark Woodworth and the guys did us proud, making this season one of the best in Cardinal history.

Speaking of Cardinal history, women’s crew is busy setting it. Since the end of the semester, the team has earned an invitation to the NCAA championships at the end of the month, after a great job in the regional races.  The fifth-place effort in the ECAC regatta was the highest finish by Wesleyan since last qualifying for Nationals in 2001. Clare Doyle ’14 and Kayla Could ’14 were named all-NESCAC rowers, and you can read more about the team’s accomplishments here. In men’s crew, Nick Petrillo ’14, Keegan Dufty ’14 and Peter Martin ’14 were named all-NESCAC rowers.

Finally, Sierra (If I had a Hammer) Livious ’14 has been on a tear through the competitions this spring. She has piled up the points, set Wesleyan records and is off to the NCAA tournament. Go Sierra!

Sierra Livious '14

THIS IS WHY.

 

NESCAC CHAMPS IN BASEBALL!

Wesleyan won its first ever NESCAC championship in baseball this afternoon, beating Tufts 6-4. Mark Woodworth’s team had a tremendous regular season, finishing first in the division and winning The Little Three. Behind great pitching, terrific defense, and wonderful fundamentals (oh, those squeeze bunts!) the Cardinals found ways to win.

The same held true in the tournament. Beating Bates and then Tufts in consecutive days, Wes needed to win one of two against the Jumbos on Mother’s Day. The guys dropped the first game, and Tufts kept fighting to keep things interesting until the final out. With the tying run at the plate, the Cardinals completed their victory with a force out at second base. Wesleyan has its first NESCAC championship!

Congratulations to Coach Mark and all the players (and especially their mothers!). A great day for Wesleyan athletics!!

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