A Tale of Three Alumni

Last night the folks on Wesconnect were all a-twitter because Bill Belichick ’75 during one of his many press conferences picked out a reporter wearing a Wesleyan University sweatshirt. It’s not unusual for the smartest coach in the NFL to acknowledge alma mater. Bill has great affection for Wes, and has been supportive of our efforts in athletics and financial aid. Kimberley Martin ’03, a reporter from Newsday, was wearing the red and black.

This week the Middletown Press named Izzi Greenberg ’05 “Person of the Year.” Izzi has been a force for good things in Middletown’s North End for many years. Along with her organization NEAT (North End Action Team), she helped Wesleyan start the Green Street Art Center, and she has worked on behalf of her neighborhood every chance she gets. As The Middletown Press puts it: “Greenberg said her biggest success in 2011 was perhaps the North End Farmers Market, where NEAT saw visitors from 42 different municipalities. The North End Farmers Market doubled the value of federal benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, essentially giving families on assistance 50 percent off their purchase, she said.”

This morning’s New York Times featured Lael Brainard ’83, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for International Affairs. The Times described Lael, also a former Trustee at Wes, as our chief financial diplomat. At Davos this week she is playing a crucial role in negotiating with European countries as they struggle with debt relief. According to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: “They trust her, they reach out to her, they talk to her for ideas and to get us to engage.”

Three very active alumni in three very different spheres of public engagement. If I had enough time, I could list hundreds more..