Although I am traveling for Wesleyan this week, I want to welcome back to campus alumni from far and wide who will be coming home to alma mater. The vagaries of the athletic and academic calendar being what they are (we will change this!), Homecoming this year falls during our Fall Break. That’s a time when I traditionally make a big trip to visit our far flung Wesleyan family, and this year is no exception.
I left after class on Monday for Los Angeles where we welcome a couple of hundred alumni to a spectacular reception at Sophia Nardin’s [’91] and Luke Wood’s [’91] home in Los Feliz. This John Lautner designed modernist gem was the perfect gathering place for prospective students, parents and alumni. I had the opportunity to make new friends, and see some of my old students who are now tearing it up in LA. More than 200 guests got to visit with one another and hear about the exciting new things happening back in Middletown.
The next day I was off to Shanghai, from where I write this blog. We are hosting a one day symposium on Liberal Education + Film, and I am joined by Professor Scott Higgins, and alumni film leaders Jon Hoeber ’93, Jon Turteltaub ’85, and Julia Zhu ’91. We will be discussing global cinema and how “Hollywood films” today are made with global audiences in mind. We expect alumni, families of current students and prospective Wes folks from all over China.
Sha Ye MA ’96 hosted a dinner of Wes folks at the Shanghai Telecom Museum Building, followed by a film screening of The Meg. Appearing in the front row below, left to right, are Scott Higgins, Jon Hoeber, Jon Turteltaub, myself, Sha Ye, and Julia Zhu.
I’m grateful to this group of Wes volunteers for helping with the forum!
After a short stay in Shanghai, I’m off with a couple of colleagues to Mumbai, where we’ll host another reception – this time for the Wesleyan world in India. I’ll have a public conversation with Viral Doshi, an educational consultant for South Asian students looking to study in the United States and elsewhere. We will be talking about how liberal education today is more vital than ever.
After some visits in India, I’ll make my way back to Middletown, worn but ready for the second half of the semester. I trust that in my absence, the Wesleyan athletic teams will make us all proud (I’ll be watching on video), and that the returning alums will find the campus as welcoming and exciting as ever.