Wild Wesleyan, Peaceful Wesleyan

There’s a momentary break in the meeting, and I sneak a look out the office window at the  students heading for Foss Hill to take in (finally) the spring sunshine. Can’t we have class outside, I want to ask.  But I don’t ask (and I never take my own classes outside) because I know I’d never be able to concentrate; I’d just  lie down in the grass and enjoy the day. And so I wait for the last meeting to end before heading outside for a walk.

One of the joys of the season for me is just wandering around our beautiful campus as students emerge from their winter hibernation and  greet springtime.  Much credit is due to Dave Hall’s crew, who are marvelously attentive to keeping Wesleyan a home of which we can be proud. And students are joining this endeavor, too. Some months ago I was approached by Miles Bukiet and a group of Wesleyan students dedicated to sustainable landscape design. As they put it in their mission statement: “Pressing environmental problems compel us to question carbon intensive lawn care, inspiring us to instead imagine innovative landscape designs that use wildflowers, native plants, and edible fruit trees to knit our community together around a practical expression of our commitment to sustainability while simultaneously beautifying our campus.” At a  design charrette sponsored by the group, I was very impressed by the thoughtfulness and teamwork displayed by the projects I saw. Last week I met again with the group and was delighted to learn that they are working on a plan for the West College courtyard. I can’t wait to see the result!

As I meander about with Mathilde, thinking about intelligent landscape design, I come across professors starting their evening commute, or catching up with students, and then a wonderful African drumming and dance performance in the CFA courtyard.  I marvel at the skill and stamina of the performers.  Strolling back toward the President’s House, I see a group setting up for a Gamelan Concert on the labyrinth installed a few years back to honor Joe Reed and Kit Reed. No hurry. Why not take in some of this wondrous music and dance as the evening light fades?


Gamelan Concert on Reed Labyrinth


3 thoughts on “Wild Wesleyan, Peaceful Wesleyan”

  1. Sweet. Brings back fond memories and a some well deserved pride in our University, it’s students and staff. Thanks Michael.

  2. Nice post. Thanks for sharing the spring vibe. Regarding the grounds: Pressing environmental problems compel me to question whether erosion is an innovative landscape design. Whatever you plant, please plant something.

  3. The early seventies’ all-night Gamelan concerts are one of my cherished memories of Wesleyan. Back in those days, they were performed near to where the CFA is now located, facing out toward High Street. It’s great to see that Gamelan is still played on campus, and if anything, it seems to have become even more deeply embedded in the fabric of Wesleyan’s music scene. Great photo! I’m so pleased to know that my son, who will enter as a freshman in the fall, will be able to enjoy this rich cultural/musical experience.

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