Wesleyan University


Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Established 1831
Type Private
Endowment $601 million[1]
President Michael S. Roth
Academic staff 350
Undergraduates 2,766[2]
Postgraduates 180[2]
Location United States Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Campus Small city, 360 acres (1.5 km2)
Colors Cardinal and Black          
Athletics NCAA Division III
Sports 27 varsity teams,[3] 11 club teams
Nickname Cardinals
Affiliations NESCAC
Website wesleyan.edu
Wesleyan University.svg

Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and sciences, also provides graduate research in many academic disciplines, and grants PhD degrees primarily in the sciences and mathematics.[4][5] Wesleyan is the second most productive liberal arts college in the United States in the number of undergraduates who go on to earn PhDs in all fields of study.[6][7][8][9]

Founded under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, the now secular university was the first institution of higher education to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. About twenty unrelated colleges and universities were subsequently named after Wesley. Wesleyan, along with Amherst and Williams Colleges, is a member of the historic Little Three colleges and has long been known as one of the Little Ivies.

Contents

History

c. 1904 John Bell Scott Memorial Building)
The rear of 'College Row'. From left to right: North College, South College, Memorial Chapel, Patricelli '92 Theater (Not pictured: Judd Hall)

Two histories of Wesleyan have been published, Wesleyan's First Century by Carl F. Price in 1932[10] and another in 1999, Wesleyan University, 1831–1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England, by David B. Potts.[11][12]

Wesleyan was founded as an all-male Methodist college in 1831.[13][14][15][16] The University was established as an independent institution under the auspices of the Methodist conference, and it was led by Willbur Fisk, its first President.[14][15] Despite its name, Wesleyan was never a denominational seminary.[17] It remained a leader in educational progress throughout its history[18][19][20] and erected one of the earliest comprehensive science buildings devoted exclusively to undergraduate science instruction on any American college or university campus, Judd Hall (named after alumnus Orange Judd).[21][22][23][24][25] It also has maintained a larger library collection than institutions comparable in size.[26][27][28][29][30] Wesleyan was a very small institution for the first 140 years of its existence, having a student body ranging from 300 to 800 students throughout the period.[31][32] Although Wesleyan developed into a peer of Amherst and Williams, Wesleyan was always decidedly the smallest of the Little Three institutions until the 1970s, when it grew significantly to become larger than the other two.[33][34][20][14]

In 1872, the University became one of the first U.S. colleges to attempt coeducation by allowing a small number of female students to attend,[14][23] a venture then known as the "Wesleyan Experiment". "In 1909, the board of trustees voted to stop admitting women as undergraduates, fearing that the school was losing its masculine image and that women would not be able to contribute to the college financially after graduation the way men could."[14] Given that concern, Wesleyan ceased to admit women, and from 1912 to 1970 Wesleyan operated again as an all-male college.[20]

Wesleyan severed its final ties with the Methodist Church in 1937, a final formal recognition of many decades of practice.[35] The administration ceased to define the curriculum as Christian in the 1960s, and also eliminated compulsory chapel at the same time.

During World War II, as college-aged men volunteered or were drafted to fight overseas, Wesleyan's enrollment was supplemented by the presence on campus of both the U.S. Navy V-12 officer training program and the U.S. Naval V-5 Flight Preparatory School,[36][37] which allowed the University to remain open.

Beginning in the late 1950s, president Victor Lloyd Butterfield[38][39] began an ambitious program to reorganize the University according to Butterfield's "College Plan" somewhat similar to Harvard's House system, or Yale's colleges, where undergraduate study would be divided into seven smaller residential colleges with their own faculty and centralized graduate studies, including doctoral programs and a Center for Advanced Studies (later re-named The Center for the Humanities).[40][41][42] The building program begun under this system created three residential colleges on Foss Hill (the Foss Hill dormitories) and then three more residential colleges (the Lawn Avenue dormitories, now called the Butterfield Colleges). Although the facilities were largely created, only four of the academic programs were begun, and only two of those continue today: the College of Letters (COL) and the College of Social Studies (CSS) (see program descriptions below), which are considered exceptionally intensive study programs and excellent preparation for later graduate work.[32][43]

Butterfield's successors, Edwin Deacon Etherington (Class of 1948)[44][45] and Colin Goetze Campbell,[46] completed many of the innovations begun during Butterfield's administration, including the return of women in numbers equal to men;[47][20] a quadrupling in the total square footage of building space devoted to laboratory, studio and performing arts instruction; and a dramatic rise in the racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and size of the student body.[48][44][49][50][51][52]

On June 7, 1964, The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the baccalaureate service from Denison Terrace and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. King spoke at the University on four other occasions at campus rallies, church services, and colloquia.[53] A number of Wesleyan faculty, staff, and students were active with Dr. King in the civil rights movement.[54][55]

The University and several of its admissions deans were featured in Jacques Steinberg's 2002 New York Times Notable Book The Gatekeepers: Inside The Admissions Process of a Premier College.[56][57][58][59]

In the fall 2007 semester, Michael S. Roth, a 1978 graduate of Wesleyan and former president of the California College of the Arts, was inaugurated as Wesleyan's 16th president.[60]

On 25 May 2008, then U.S. Illinois senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama filled in for the ailing senator Ted Kennedy, and addressed the graduating Class at the 2008 Commencement.[61] Senator Obama was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws and urged Wesleyan graduates to enter into public service.[62][63]

Wesleyan recently completed a ten year plan, which included the expansion of undergraduate housing (the Fauver dormitories), the renovation of classrooms and buildings, and a large investment in technology used for research and teaching.

Campus

The view from Foss Hill. From left to right: Judd Hall, Harriman Hall (which houses the Public Affairs Center and the College of Social Studies), and Olin memorial library.
Clark Hall, a freshman dormitory built in 1916 and renovated in 2002.

Wesleyan occupies a 360-acre (1.5 km2) campus, with over 340 buildings, including: the five-building College Row; Olin Memorial Library (see below); Harriman Hall (which houses the John E. Andrus Public Affairs Center and the College of Social Studies); the Exley Science Center; Shanklin and Hall-Atwater Laboratories; the Van Vleck Observatory; the Butterfield dormitories; the Fauver Field dormitories; and the 11-building Center for the Arts complex. The campus also includes the William Street apartment complex.[64][65]

The original core buildings of the campus were North College and South College. North College was a Nassau Hall-type building seen in most early American college campuses, but it was replaced after a fire in 1909 with the current North College. South College is the sole building from the beginning of the college. These two buildings were the first two in a line of six later called 'College Row', facing an expanse of lawn, (the campus), and a broad view of the Connecticut Valley below. The other buildings of College row include the recently renovated Memorial Chapel, which was planned in commemoration of the bicentennial of Methodism, the original college library, now a theater, and Judd Hall, which may be the first building dedicated to the sciences on any American college campus. Adjacent to College row, Olin Library, Harriman Hall, Shanklin Hall, and the former Hall Chemistry Building were designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White as a set (with Clark Hall and a never built sixth building) to form a quadrangle.

The northern end of High Street contains several large buildings which were former private residences a few of which were exceptional architectural examples. These include Russell House, a National Historic Landmark, two Alsop family houses, (one is currently the African-American Studies center with student housing, the other is the Davison Art Center), the Davison infirmary, a second Russell family house that contains the University Development Office, and Downey House, (remembered fondly by alumni as the onetime main campus dining facility and pub, now classrooms and academic offices). There are other departmental offices in the neighborhood. High Street, which is the old center of campus, was once described by Charles Dickens as "the most beautiful street in America."[66]

Recent building initiatives include the Freeman Athletic Center (which includes a 50-meter swimming pool, the Spurrier-Snyder Rink for hockey, the 1,200-seat Silloway Gymnasium, the 7,500-square-foot (700 m2) Andersen Fitness Center, and the Rosenbaum Squash Center with eight courts); the Center for Film Studies; and a multi-building renovation project creating a 'Humanities District' on the east side of High Street between Fisk Hall and Russell House, which includes facilities for the departments of English, Romance Languages, the College of Letters, Classical Studies, Philosophy, Art & Art History, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The Allbritton Center (previously the Davenport Student Center, and before that Scott Lab) opened in the fall of 2009 and houses the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Shapiro Creative Writing Center, the Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC), and the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.[67][68]

The Usdan University Center, which opened in September 2007, has dining facilities for students and for faculty. It also houses seminar and meeting spaces, the Wesleyan Student Assembly, Student Activities and Leadership Development Office, University Events and Scheduling Office, the post office, and the computer store. The Davenport Student Center and the buffet-style dining hall, McConaughy Hall (colloquially, MoCon) ceased service with the opening of the Usdan University Center.

Organization and administration

The President is Michael S. Roth.

The university is a member of the Annapolis Group, the Oberlin Group, the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, and the 568 Group.

Undergraduate

Wesleyan's 40 undergraduate academic departments offer over 900 courses each semester and more than 900 individual tutorials.[69][70] Wesleyan also offers fifteen interdisciplinary programs, ten certificate programs, and nine Academic Centers.[71][72][73][74] Undergraduates receive the Bachelor of Arts in one (or more) of 47 major concentrations.[75][76][77] No minors are offered, but double majors are popular (approximately 29% of students select a double major).[78][79][80] Students triple major as well.[81] Undergraduates can also pursue a custom-designed major, known as a University Major.[82] According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, "Wesleyan is noted for its undergraduate programs of tutorial instruction and independent study."[83][84][85] Approximately 52% of students undertake independent study.[86]

Wesleyan offers 3–2 programs in engineering with the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University's School of Engineering. These programs allow undergraduates to receive degrees in five years from both Wesleyan (B.A.) and Caltech or Columbia (B.Sc., Engineering).[87][83][88] Additionally, Wesleyan offers a BA/MA Program in the sciences leading to a Bachelor's degree in the fourth year and a Master's degree in the fifth year. Tuition for the fifth year of the Master's degree is waived.[89][90] Undergraduates can pursue studies in pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-business through any major.[91][92][93][94] Most classes at Wesleyan are small; the predominant class size for undergraduates is 10–19 students, and the student to faculty ratio is 9 to 1.[5][95]

The University has described a set of general principles that define its approach to undergraduate education summed up in ten essential capabilities that the faculty believe every undergraduate should possess when he or she graduates from Wesleyan.[96][84][97] Students may acquire these capabilities through numerous courses throughout the curriculum designated by the faculty as satisfying specific capabilities and through extra- or co-curricular activities.[96][98][99][100][101][102] The University does not require undergraduates to take prescribed courses.

Freshmen are offered First Year Initiative seminars, which are designed to prepare them for upper level courses by emphasizing writing, analysis, discussion, and critical thinking. Undergraduates are encouraged in the first two years of study to take a minimum of two courses in each of three areas: natural sciences and mathematics, humanities and the arts, and social and behavioral sciences. In the second two years, undergraduates are expected to take one course in each of these three areas. Fufillment of the General Education Expectations in conjunction with co-curricular activities provides simultaneous acquisition of the ten essential capabilities. "A student who does not meet these [general education] expectations by the time of graduation will not be eligible for University honors, Phi Beta Kappa, honors in general scholarship [honors or high honors], and for honors in certain departments."[103][104]

Van Vleck Observatory

Several of the University's undergraduate programs "have an unusually strong national representation,"[105] including American Studies, Astronomy/Astrophysics,[106] Classical Studies, The College of Letters, The College of Social Studies, East Asian Studies, Economics (appraised as the "best small department of economics in the country" and "economics department is renowned as one of the best in the country"),[107][108] English/Creative Writing, Film Studies, History, Music, and the Natural Sciences[109] (including, but not limited to, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Psychology,[110] ranked 5th nationally in research productivity and 3rd for the impact of journal citations).[111][112][113][114] Current notable faculty include, among others, Richard Adelstein (Economics); William J. Barber (Economics); Richard S. Grossman (Economics-Department Chair); Richard A. Miller (Economics); Francisco Rodríguez (Economics); Gary Yohe (Economics); Richard W. Boyd (Government); Martha Crenshaw (Government); Elvin Lim (Government); Judith C. Brown (History); Ethan Kleinberg (History and Letters); Nathan Brody (Psychology); Scott Plous (Psychology);[115] Charles Lemert (Sociology); Dani Shapiro (Creative Writing); Anselm Berrigan (English – poet); Kit Reed (English); Deb Olin Unferth (English); Elizabeth Willis (English); Anne Greene (English); Jeanine Basinger (Film Studies); Anthony Braxton (Music – awarded MacArthur Fellows Program "genius grant" ); Neely Bruce (Music and American Studies); Angel Gil-Ordonez (Music); Alvin Lucier (Experimental Music); Mark Slobin (Music and American Studies); Eiko Otake (Dance – awarded MacArthur Fellows Program "genius grant"); Eugene Marion Klaaren (Religion); Jan Willis (Religion); Yuz Aleshkovsky (Russian);Vera Schwarcz (East Asian Studies); Joseph Siry (History of Architecture); Reinhold Blumel (Physics); Tsampikos Kottos (Physics); Francis Starr (Physics); David Bodznick (Biology, Neuroscience & Behavior); David L. Beveridge (Chemistry); Carol Wood (Mathematics); Mark Hovey (Mathematics); Karen L. Collins (Mathematics); William Herbst (Astronomy, Director of the Van Vleck Observatory); Richard Slotkin (American Studies and English).

Butterfield Colleges

College of Social Studies

The College of Social Studies (CSS) was founded in 1959, combining the fields of history, economics, government, and philosophy. It emphasizes intellectual independence and collaborative and social ties between faculty and students. Students take 5.5 of the program's 10.5 (thesis-writing students take 11.5) required credits during their sophomore year. Sophomore year focuses on the development of modern Western society from historical, economic, social and political perspectives, and culminates with comprehensive final exams. Junior year has a more global focus, while Seniors are required to write an Honors thesis (full year) or a Senior Essay. The program is known for its collegial spirit and academic rigor.[116][117]

College of Letters

The College of Letters (COL) combines the study of history, literature, philosophy, and a foreign language of the student's choice. The program has a primary focus on the Western canon. Undertaking a chronological study that progresses from antiquities to modernity, COL students take one colloquium together each semester and study abroad for the second semester of their sophomore year; they are expected to be at an intermediate level of study in their language of choice at the time they enter the program as sophomores. During their junior year students prepare for intensive comprehensive examinations on the three colloquia taken up to this point. During their senior year students must write a thesis (full year paper) or an essay (half year paper).[116][118]

College of the Environment

The College of the Environment (COE), created in 2009, integrates the following components: 1) a curricular component, including the newly established environmental studies major, the environmental studies certificate, and a senior capstone project; 2) a Think Tank of Wesleyan faculty, scholars of prominence, and undergraduates whose aim is to produce scholarly work that will influence national and international thinking and action on critical environmental issues; and 3) the Collaborative Research Initiative (CRI), which is designed to encourage COE majors with the most potential to undertake environmental research. The threefold goal of the CRI combines: a) preparing students for senior research work; b) recruiting students of exceptional skill for participation in the COE Think Tank; and c) preparing students for research careers in environmental studies, as well as facilitating internships (non-credit) to provide students with research opportunities and "real world" experience (e.g., internships with governmental organizations, NGO's, and businesses, etc.).[119][120][121]

Science and mathematics

According to National Science Foundation (NSF) research and data, the University ranks first nationally among liberal arts colleges in federal funding for research in the sciences and mathematics. Wesleyan is also the number one ranked liberal arts institution in publications by science and mathematics faculty as determined by a measure of research publication rate and impact of publication that factors in both the number of research papers and the number of times those papers are cited in the literature. The University's undergraduates co-author (with Wesleyan faculty) and publish more scientific papers than do students at any other liberal arts school. Additionally, the University is the only liberal arts college in the nation to receive research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a Molecular Biophysics Predoctoral Research Training Program. Wesleyan is the sole undergraduate liberal arts college to receive this support among research universities such as Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Harvard University Medical School, Duke, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania.The University also may be the only liberal arts college to offer an undergraduate concentration in Molecular Biophysics. Medical school acceptances historically have averaged above 90% and in some years Wesleyan has recorded an acceptance rate of 100%. Many pre-med graduates are admitted to the most prestigious programs in the country.[109][106][122][123]

Wesleyan was one of the first colleges to establish a separate Molecular Biology & Biochemistry department, and has extensive laboratory facilities. The University is reputed to have the most square footage of lab space per student of any college in the country. All of the science departments, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and anthropology support original post-graduate research programs. An additional laboratory building is in the planning stages.[112][124][125][126]

The Astronomy department graduates more astronomy and astrophysics majors than any other liberal arts college in the country.[106] The program is based at Van Vleck Observatory, built in 1914, which is on Foss Hill near the center of the Wesleyan campus.[127] The telescopes are used for research-based observing programs and sky watching events open to Wesleyan students and the general public.[128][129] The University owns three telescopes. A 16-inch (410 mm) and a 20-inch (510 mm) are both used for weekly public observing nights, open to the Wesleyan community and the general public. The third telescope, the 24-inch (610 mm) Perkins telescope, is used primarily for research, including for senior and graduate student thesis projects, as well as for departmental research programs.[116][130] The Perkins scope is one of the largest telescopes in New England. Wesleyan participates in a consortium of universities that operate the WIYN .9-meter telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty have the opportunity to spend time in Arizona doing research with the telescope. Wesleyan also is a member of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC).[131]

Science in Society

Wesleyan's Science in Society Program (SISP) is an interdisciplinary major that encourages integrated study of the sciences and medicine as practices, institutions, and intellectual achievements, among other areas of study. The program has three components: science courses, SISP courses, and an area of concentration (which may include a major in one of the sciences). The program is well suited for students interested in a variety of professional and academic pursuits, since it encourages students to integrate technical scientific understanding with a grasp of the multiple contexts in which scientific knowledge is applied, and the issues at stake in its application.[132][133][134][135]

Music

Wesleyan's program in World Music, described as "one of the top schools in the country for the study of ethnomusicology,"[136][137] employs leading teaching musicians and ethnomusicologists, representing a variety of musical traditions.[138] European (including Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, Expressionistic, Neoclassical, Neoromantic, Gebrauchsmusik, 20th century, Contemporary, and Opera), South Indian Classical,[139] Indonesian (including Javanese Gamelan),[140] East Asian, classical Chinese music, Korean music, Japanese music including Taiko drums, West African, Caribbean, African-American, as well as Experimental music have been permanent components of the Music Department since the 1960s.[141] The Experimental music work at Wesleyan dates to the residency of John Cage at the University, and subsequently to Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, and Jon Barlow. "Among universities, Wesleyan has one of the largest and most diverse collections of [world] musical instruments,"[142] which are depicted in the University's "Virtual Instrument Museum."[143][144][145][146]

Film studies

The University's Film Studies program, ranked among the ten best in the world,[147] is led by film historian Jeanine Basinger.[148][149][150] In 2008, Vanity Fair said: "This tiny Connecticut University, with a total enrollment of 2,700, has turned out a shockingly disproportionate number of Hollywood movers and shakers."[151] Similarly, in 2008, Variety magazine noted Basinger's contribution to the film industry through her work in the Wesleyan Film Studies program, and the large number of alumni of the program now working in Hollywood.[152][153] University students, biographers, media experts, and scholars from around the world may have full access to The Wesleyan Cinema Archives, which document the film industry during the 20th century and contain the personal papers and film related materials of Ingrid Bergman, Frank Capra, Clint Eastwood, Federico Fellini, Elia Kazan, Frank Perry, Roberto Rossellini, Robert Saudek, Martin Scorsese, Gene Tierney, Raoul Walsh, and John Waters, amongst others.[89][150][154]

Theater

'92 Theater

Wesleyan's theater program makes use of two theater facilities: the Theater in the Center for the Arts, a 400-seat space, and the '92 Theater, home to Second Stage, which may be the country's first solely student-run volunteer theater organization. Second Stage produces at least one performance per weekend during the school year, either in the fully equipped black-box Patricelli '92 Theater or alternative spaces around campus. Second Stage produces dance as well as theater performances. The Patricelli '92 Theater (then simply '92 Theater) became available for student-run productions when the Center for the Arts opened in 1974, providing the Theater Department with a state-of-the-art facility.[155][156][157][158][159][160][161]

Foreign Languages

The University's Foreign Language program offers American Sign Language, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili.[162][163] All language classes are held in Fisk Hall, which contains two Language Labs for student use.

Certificates

"Certificate programs at Wesleyan supplement (but do not replace) a major. A certificate requires an interdisciplinary set of courses that prepares a student for postgraduate work in a specified interdisciplinary field."[164] There are ten certificate programs at the University:[165]

The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House, home to the Philosophy department. The building was designated a national Historic Landmark in 2001 and is considered one of the finest examples of domestic Greek Revival architecture.
  • Certificate in Civic Engagement[166]
  • Certificate in Environmental Studies[167]
  • Certificate in Informatics and Modeling[168]
  • Certificate in International Relations[169]
  • Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies[170]
  • Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies[171]
  • Certificate in Molecular Biophysics[172]
  • Certificate in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory[173]
  • Certificate in South Asian Studies[174]
  • Certificate in Writing (Creative)[74]

International Study

Wesleyan sponsors international programs in France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain; has special relationships with programs in Japan and China; and has 140 other approved programs. Nearly 50% of students study abroad for a semester or academic year.[175][176]

Twelve College Exchange

Many students participate in the Twelve College Exchange program, which allows for study for a semester or a year at another of the twelve college campuses. Typically, Wesleyan receives a larger number of Twelve College students, especially from Smith, Mount Holyoke, Wheaton and Vassar. The program also includes Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Trinity, Wellesley, and Williams.[89]

Post-Graduate

Departmental Programs

Wesleyan features 11 graduate departmental programs in the sciences, mathematics, computer science, psychology, and music.[177] Graduates receive the Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Administrators limit graduate course enrollment to 18 students or fewer.[citation needed]

Graduate Liberal Studies Program

In 1953, Wesleyan was the first university to begin a program leading to a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree, called the Graduate Liberal Studies Program.[178][179][180] To date, hundreds of educational institutions have followed suit with similar programs. The academically rigorous program provides for interdisciplinary graduate study independent of the undergraduate academic departments. This replaced the Master of Arts in Teaching program previously offered, and expanded it so that students can pursue graduate study for any purpose.

A large proportion of G.L.S.P. students are public and private school teachers from the region, and the others are in different professions, or are otherwise augmenting their graduate studies.[181]

The Graduate Liberal Studies Program offers both the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) and the Certificate of Advanced Studies (C.A.S.). The former requires 36 credit hours of study and may culminate in a capstone project or thesis. The latter requires 30 credit hours of academic study and a thesis.

Profile

Rankings and admission

University rankings (overall)
National
Forbes[182] 7 (LAC)

15 (Overall)

Washington Monthly[183] 11
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[184] 12

Admission to Wesleyan is among the most selective in the United States. For the class of 2015, 10,033 applications were received and 23% (up slightly from 19.9% for the previous year) of applicants (2,339) were admitted.[185] The median SAT scores were 720 for Math, 720 for Reading, and 730 for Writing. Additionally, the middle 50 percent of students scored between 30 and 34 (composite) on the ACT. The median SAT score was 2170, and the median ACT score was 32.[185] 49% of the class of 2015 receives financial aid, and 40% are students of color.

Historically, Wesleyan holds the Washington Monthly survey's No. 1 average liberal arts college ranking in the nation. For 2011, the University is ranked No. 11 in this survey,[186] and previously has been ranked as high as #2.[187][188][189] In the current U.S. News and World Report rankings, Wesleyan is the No. 12 liberal arts college in the United States overall and is tied for No. 5 in academic reputation with Middlebury College and Pomona College. In previous U.S. News rankings, the University has been ranked as high as No. 6 overall. In the current U.S. News High School Counselor Rankings of National Liberal Arts Colleges, the University is ranked No. 11 (in a tie with Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton and two other schools).[190]

Wesleyan has been ranked by Newsweek as one of the 25 best colleges in the nation, among both national research universities and liberal arts colleges, for schools with the most highly decorated students ("Brainiac Schools"--which measures the success of alumni in winning Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Gates-Cambridge, and Fulbright Scholarships--#18 overall, No. 9 among liberal arts colleges),[191][192] for international "students immigrating to the United States for their higher education" (#18 overall, No. 10 among LACs),[193][194] for paying back alumni in future earnings and quality experience (#18 overall, No. 12 among LACs),[195][196] for schools offering an exceptional artistic atmosphere (#13 overall, No. 7 among LACs),[197][198] and for "Activists" (#6 overall, No. 4 among LACs, ahead of Princeton, Pomona and MIT).[101][199][102]

In the 2010 Forbes magazine ranking of American colleges, which combines national research universities, liberal arts colleges, and military academies together in one list, the University is ranked #15.[95] Among liberal arts colleges only, Wesleyan ranks No. 7 in the survey.[200] "StateUniversity.com – U.S. University Directory", which takes a statistical approach to rankings, ranks Wesleyan No. 9 among liberal arts colleges, national research universities, and military academies, and No. 2 among liberal arts colleges alone. According to a study entitled "Revealed Preference Ranking" published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which combines national research universities and liberal arts colleges, Wesleyan ranks No. 22, and No. 5 among liberal arts colleges only.[201]

In its 2012 edition, the Princeton Review gave the University an admissions selectivity rating of 98 out of 99 (tied with Brown University and the California Institute of Technology) and an academic rating of 98 (tied with Amherst and Swarthmore College). The university is classified as a "most selective" institution by U.S. News and World Report, and in the U.S. News ranking of "Highest 4-Year Graduation Rates" for all colleges and universities in the nation, Wesleyan is ranked No. 10, tied with Yale, Amherst, Carleton, Swarthmore, and two other schools.[202] In August 2011, the Global Language Monitor ranked Wesleyan as the No. 7 liberal arts college in the U.S., based on an analysis of the University's appearance in "the Internet, blogosphere, the 75,000 print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter)."[203][204]

Wesleyan is ranked very highly in the Washington Monthly's key academic output categories, currently holding first place in the research component among national liberal arts colleges.[186] Business Week's 2011 study of which undergraduate institutions produce graduates who fare best on the GMAT ranked Wesleyan No. 13 in the nation among both national research universities and liberal arts colleges and No. 2 among liberal arts colleges alone.[205] In the Princeton Review's 2011 ranking of the 100 "Best Value Colleges" (a ranking combining national research universities and liberal arts colleges) Wesleyan was named the No. 6 "Best Value" private college in the nation.[206] Overall selection criteria included more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs and financial aid.[207] According to the Wall Street Journal, the university is one of the top "feeder schools" to elite graduate medical, law, and business schools.[208][209]

The University is notable for the success of its minority populations. Wesleyan is one of only nine universities with a black graduation rate above 90 percent, along with three members of the Ivy League, its two fellow members of the Little Three, as well as Wellesley College, Northwestern University, and Washington University in St. Louis.[210] In this regard, Black Enterprise has ranked Wesleyan No. 10 overall among the magazine's top 50 universities and colleges for African Americans, and No. 2 among liberal arts colleges alone.[211][212] The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education has ranked Wesleyan as seventh among the nation’s 50 leading liberal arts colleges and universities in the percentage of full-time African American faculty members, and first for five years in the highest percentage of first-year black students.[213][214]

Also noteworthy is the success of female students at the University: According to a recent summary, women constituted 55.3% of Wesleyan's undergraduates who received doctorates.[9] Similarly, "[a]ccording to the 2000 to 2004 Survey of Earned Doctorates, women accounted for nearly 63% of the doctorates received by Wesleyan alumni/ae in the sciences (calculated either including psychology or including both psychology and the social sciences) and earned 53% of the doctorates in the sciences when psychology and the social sciences were excluded."[109]

After graduation

Wesleyan has been noted as one of the most productive baccalaureate colleges in the United States in the undergraduate origins of PhDs in all fields of study, with exceptional productivity in undergraduates pursuing doctorates in the physical sciences, geosciences, life sciences, psychology, social sciences, and humanities.[7][6][215][109] According to studies undertaken by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, for the years 1999–2008, 1999–2003, and 1994–2003, Wesleyan undergraduates were second in receiving PhDs among all liberal arts colleges in the nation.[6][9][8] For example, the University produces more history doctorates per undergraduate history major than any other liberal arts college or national research university in the United States (with the exception of the University of Chicago which tied for first place with Wesleyan in a study, by the American Historical Association, of history PhDs earned between 1989 and 2002).[111]

Eighty percent of Wesleyan graduates attend graduate or professional school.[216] "Five years after graduation, about seventy-five percent will have gone to some kind of graduate school, and acceptance rates to professional schools remain close to ninety percent." Wesleyan has been described by Newsweek as one of the nation's 25 best colleges, including both liberal arts colleges and national research universities, for paying back alumni in future earnings and quality experience.[195][196]

Wesleyan graduates are awarded external fellowships, including Fulbright, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, and Watson.[191][192] For the years 2004 through 2010, Wesleyan was named a "Top Producer of Fulbright Awards for American Students" by the Institute for International Education.[217][218][219][220][221][222] For the years 2007 through 2011, a total of 42 Wesleyan students and alumni received scholarships under the Fulbright program.[223][224][225][226][227] The University is reputed to have produced more Watson Fellows than any other liberal arts college in the country (90 as of June, 2011).[228][227]

Libraries

The front facade of Olin Memorial Library.

Olin Memorial Library

Wesleyan University has an extensive library collection, most of which is housed in Olin Memorial Library, which has more than 1.8 million volumes and approximately 10,000 serial subscriptions.[27][229][230] Wesleyan's first library was Rich Hall (now '92 Theater), which was built just after the Civil War.[231][232]

In the early years of the University, there was a general collection housed on campus, and two society libraries, which were in the Observatory Hall dormitory.[233] These three collections were combined to make up the basis of the Rich Hall collection, and the library was supervised by William North Rice, the first University Librarian. Olin Library was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, built in 1925–27 and dedicated in 1928.[234] Olin originally was much smaller and also contained classroom space. It has since been enlarged twice, the last time in 1992. Olin also contains Special Collections & Archives,[235] an extensive periodicals collection, microforms, scores and recordings,[236] the World Music Archives,[237] and is a U.S. Government Document Depository.[238]

Science Library

Science Library

The second largest library on campus is the Science Library, which houses over two hundred fifty thousand volumes of science abstracts, books, journals, monographs, papers, periodicals, and surveys.[239] The Science Library also has a large collection called the Cutter Collection, which is an older private collection of mostly 19th century English language books of European literature, art, and culture.

Other libraries

The third library in size is the Art Library, housed in the Davison Art Center.[240] There is also a Music library and several department libraries.[241][242]

The Davison Art Center

Alsop House

Wesleyan University's Davison Art Center is in the Alsop House, which is designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.[243][244][245] The Art Center has a large collection consisting primarily of works on paper, including 18,000 prints, 6,000 photographs, several hundred drawings, a small number of paintings, and three-dimensional objects (including artists' books, sculptures, and other objects).[246][247][248] The print collection is considered to be one of the most important at an American University, with works by Dürer, Goya, Rembrandt, Manet, and others.[249][250][251] Parts of the collection are regularly exhibited to the public. Some objects have been made available for loan to selected museums in the United States and abroad.[252] Students at Wesleyan in many departments make use of the DAC collection for class assignments, viewings, and individual research projects under the guidance of faculty.[253][254][255] Wesleyan does not have a museum studies major, but assisting in curating and exhibiting the collection allows students some professional experience in the field.

The Art Center's publications program produces catalogs concerning DAC collections and gallery exhibitions. In general, one catalog is published annually. This program affords students the opportunity to take part in carefully mentored student authorship. Additionally, it is a critical component of the museum's educational program, which also includes student museum internships and solely student-curated exhibitions.[249][256][257]

The Center for the Humanities

One of the University's seven academic centers, the Center for Humanities is one of the oldest humanities institutes in the nation. It developed from the Center for Advanced Studies, established at Wesleyan in 1959 as a place where visiting scholars, particularly in the humanities, could pursue research and writing projects.[258][259] The Center assumed its present name in 1969, when it was reorganized and opened to the Wesleyan community. With the expansion of the community of Center Fellows to include Wesleyan faculty members and students, the Center added the promotion of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching to its initial goal of supporting research. The Center is also a place for ongoing communication between the humanities and the social sciences. Its program each semester is organized around a central theme, which in turn shapes a weekly series of public lectures and smaller seminars. As a meeting place for the humanities and social sciences, for Wesleyan faculty and visiting scholars, and for faculty and students, the Center is an important site of intellectual life at the University.[116][260][261][262]

Past Fellows at the Center have included Hannah Arendt, George Boas, John Cage, Stanley Cavell (MacArthur Foundation "genius grant"), Rene Dubos (Lasker Award, Pulitzer Prize), Leon Edel (Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award), Richard N. Goodwin, E. San Juan, Jr., Clarence Irving Lewis, William Manchester, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Sir Leslie Munro (14th President of the United Nations General Assembly), Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, Theodore R. Sarbin, Baron C.P. Snow, Pamela Hansford Johnson (Baroness Snow), Gayatri Spivak, Jean Stafford (Pulitzer Prize), Willard Van Orman Quine, C.H. Waddington, U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur, and Edmund Wilson (Presidential Medal of Freedom), amongst others.[263]

The Center for Community Partnerships

Main Street Middletown, CT

The focus of community service at Wesleyan, the Center for Community Partnerships centralizes the offices of the Service Learning Center (SLC), the Office of Community Service and Volunteerism (OCS), and the Green Street Arts Center (GSAC). The SLC supports service-learning courses that use service to the community as an integral part of their course content. As of Spring 2007, 19 service-learning courses existed in nine different departments or programs. The OCS encourages community building within the University and with the City of Middletown and Middlesex County by offering opportunities for volunteer work and work-study placements in the community, and supporting student-sponsored social action initiatives. Volunteer opportunities include, among others, the Community Health Center, elderly services, housing and hunger issues, Middletown tutoring programs, and WesReads and WesMath (elementary school programs). Green Street uses the arts in an attempt to transform lives. It serves as a cultural and educational resource for community residents of all ages, and works to develop their talents and abilities. Green Street offers classes in literary and media arts, music, visual arts, dance, theater, and tutoring in math and science. Under the leadership of the University, the GSAC is a collaboration among Wesleyan, the City of Middletown, and the North End Action Team. Students and faculty volunteer at Green Street in many capacities, including as homework helpers, teaching assistants, and leaders of workshops.[264]

Wesleyan University Press

My Weekly Reader, once read by legions of school-aged children in the United States, was published for several decades by American Education Publications (a division of the Press), owned by Wesleyan from 1949 until it was sold to the Xerox Corporation in 1965. The sale of AEP helped to finance Wesleyan's graduate programs and the Center for Advanced Study (now the Center for the Humanities).[265]

The Wesleyan University Press is an important educational asset to the school. When Wesleyan sold the school division (AEP), the University retained the scholarly division.[266] During the early 1960s, T. S. Eliot served as an editorial consultant to the Press.[267] All editing occurs at the editorial office building of the Press on the Wesleyan campus. Publishing (printing) now occurs through a consortium of New England college academic presses. The Press is well regarded for its books of poetry and books on music, dance and performance, American studies, and film. The Wesleyan University Press has released more than 250 titles in its poetry series and has garnered, in that series alone, among many other awards, five Pulitzer Prizes, a Bollingen, three National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle Award, and an American Book Award.[268][269] The Press also has garnered Pulitzer Prizes, American Book Awards, and other awards in its other series.[270]

The Press serves Wesleyan students through its work programs during the academic year and its summer publishing internships. The Press also connects the campus to the larger intellectual and cultural world through the presence of its authors on campus, whether they are faculty, visiting scholars, guest lecturers, or participants in Wesleyan's Distinguished Writers Series or Writers Conference.[74] Wesleyan is the smallest college or university to have its own press. Approximately 25 books are released each year.[271]

Student life

Religious life

Memorial Chapel, a multi-denominational space built in 1871.

Wesleyan's Memorial Chapel is the heart of religious life on campus. The university employs a Jewish Rabbi, a Catholic Priest, a Protestant Chaplain, and a Muslim Imam. There is also program housing for buddhists and jews. And within the Memorial Chapel there are meditation rooms. There is a Wesleyan program in Israel.[272]

Traditions

The Douglas Cannnon In the late 1860s, a yearly contest, the “Cannon Scrap,” began between the freshmen, whose mission it was to fire the cannon on February 22, and the sophomores, who were charged with foiling the effort.

Today, its empty gun mount sits near the flagpole, between South College and Memorial Chapel. In 1957, the tradition of stealing the cannon began in earnest. The cannon has traveled widely since that time: It has been hidden in dormitories, presented to the Russian Mission at the United Nations as a “symbol of peace, brotherhood, and friendship,” appeared unexpectedly in the offices of the managing editor of Life magazine, presented to President Richard M. Nixon as a protest against the war in Vietnam (Nixon declined), and baked into Wesleyan’s sesquicentennial birthday cake, among many other escapades. After resting again briefly on its pedestal in 1995, the cannon disappeared, and then briefly reappeared in December of 1997. Its present location is unknown.

Athletics

Athletics logo

Wesleyan is a member of the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), fields intercollegiate varsity teams in 29 sports,[5] and competes against traditional Little Three rivals Amherst and Williams. Approximately 700 students participate in intercollegiate sports each year. Wesleyan is one of the 39 founding members of the NCAA (other founding institutions include Amherst, Dartmouth, University of North Carolina, Penn, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, and Williams).[273]

Football

A Wesleyan defender returning an interception for a touchdown against Bates College

Situated in the heart of the campus is Wesleyan's Andrus Field, the oldest continuously used football field in the United States.[274]

Softball
Wesleyan won the school's first-ever softball NESCAC Championship in 2010.[275]

Men's Water Polo
In the past decade, the Wesleyan Men's Water Polo Club captured two titles in the Division III Championships, placed second in the Division four times, and appeared in six Division III National Collegiate Club Championships. For the team's efforts, the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) named the team the "Collegiate Club Division III Team of the Decade" for 2000–09.[276] The New England division includes, among other institutions, Yale, Williams, Dartmouth, Boston College, Boston University and Middlebury.

Student groups and organizations

There are more than two hundred student organizations, clubs, and departmental groups including a cappella groups, literary magazines, political organizations, theater and dance troupes, a vegetable farm, and groups devoted to outdoor activities, martial arts, ethnic interests, community tutoring and service, the arts, and academic interests. [100] In response to student interests, new groups are continually formed and registered with the Wesleyan Student Assembly, which represents the student body and appropriates funding for student groups.[70] With around 270 current student groups and 2800 undergraduates (a student group to undergraduate ratio of about 1 to 11), extracurricular opportunities abound at Wesleyan.[100][277]

Wesleyan Student Assembly

The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) is a body of 38 students elected annually to represent Wesleyan University's undergraduate student body.[278][279] The members of the Assembly serve as student advocates in all areas of the University, including matters related to student life, academics, University finances, and campus facilities.[280][279][281][282][283] The WSA also serves as a liaison between the student body and the city of Middletown.

Debate

The Debate Society was founded in 1903 and later named in honor of Woodrow Wilson, former Professor and Chair of History and Political Economy at Wesleyan from 1888–1890.[284][285][286] It captured first place in past years at the annual Brown, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, Tufts and Williams tournaments,[287] among others,[288][289][290] and has reached the semi-finals of all other major tournaments. The Debate Society also has competed internationally, and in 1990 the Society won the National Championships and ninth place in the World Student Debating Championships.[291]

Environmental
Another student group is the Environmental Organizers' Network (EON), which has helped to bring discussions about climate change and environmental sustainability to the forefront of campus dialogue.[292][293][294][295] Wesleyan also owns a tract of land that is used as Long Lane Farm, a 1-acre (4,000 m2) organic vegetable farm run mostly by students.[296][297][298]

Publications
Some of the oldest and most visible student groups are campus publications, including a bi-weekly newspaper, The Wesleyan Argus, one of the oldest college newspapers in the country and the oldest twice-weekly college newspaper in the United States[299][300] and a periodical, Hermes, the Universiy's oldest student-run progressive publication.[301] The student body also publishes the Olla Podrida which was originally a quarterly newspaper in the late 1850s, but which has been the college yearbook since the Civil War and the permanent establishment of the Argus as the campus newspaper.[299][302] Wesleying is a student-run weblog that documents undergraduate life at Wesleyan.[303]Overall, at least "[fifteen student publications are sent to press ... once a semester, ranging from the school newspaper, the Argus, to magazines of fiction, humor, women’s issues, activism, and poetry."

In addition to publications, the student body in conjunction with the administration has been responsible for the radio station WESU, 88.1 FM, which has broadcast locally since 1939[304][305][306][307]

Singing groups
Wesleyan was long known as the "Singing College of New England."[308][309] The University's "tradition as a 'singing college' had its roots in the vitality of Methodist hymnody."[310] Glee clubs were formed "for special occasions from the mid-1840s through the 1860s".[310] In 1862, however, a University glee club made the first tour of Wesleyan singers. The Wesleyan glee club organized by students frequently traveled and performed from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century[311][312] and was considered among the best collegiate glee clubs in the late 19th century.[313][314] It traveled widely giving concerts, including being received twice at the White House (in 1901 by President McKinley and again in 1928 by President Coolidge) and being recorded onto a phonograph record by Thomas Edison.[313] University alumni published the first edition of The Wesleyan Song Book in 1901.[315][311][314] Subsequently, the Glee Club twice won the National Intercollegiate Glee Club Competition at Carnegie Hall.[316] Since the Glee Club's disbanding, the tradition of choral singing has been carried on by the Wesleyan Singers, later renamed the Wesleyan Concert Choir, and then renamed again The Wesleyan Ensemble Singers (2010). It is currently directed by the former associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Angel Gil-Ordonez.

This tradition also continues today in several a cappella groups on campus, including, among others, the Cardinal Sinners (all-female), Onomatopoeia (all-female), the Wesleyan Spirits (all-male), Quasimodal (co-ed), the New Group (co-ed), Slavei (co-ed; Eastern European-themed), Notably Sharp (co-ed), Vocal Debauchery (co-ed), Slender James (all-male), and Waiting In Line (a co-ed comedy a cappella group). Additionally, a student-run ensemble called The Mixolydians sings contemporary choral works.

The musical In the Heights, was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (class of 2002) during his Sophomore year, and was nominated for 13 Tony awards for the Broadway production. The musical won four Tonys for Best Musical, Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics by Miranda), Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations, among other awards. In 2009, In the Heights won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album and Miranda was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[317] (Universal Pictures announced in November 2008 that it plans to adapt the musical as a feature film.)[318]

Secret societies and fraternities

Original Mystical Seven

Secret societies on campus include two Mystical Sevens, Skull & Serpent,[319] and Theta Nu Epsilon.[320] Skull & Serpent has a small building, called The Tomb, for meetings. The Mystical Seven senior society had a building from 1912 to 1997. The building burned in 1997 and was razed in 2007, though the society is still active. There are also chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha, Psi Upsilon, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Delta Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Delta Sigma Theta, and Alpha Delta Phi.[321]

Student activism

Need-blind admissions

Wesleyan adheres to a need-blind admission policy. Financial circumstances are not considered when deciding whether to admit, wait list, or turn down an applicant. In 1982, trustees announced that, following federal cuts to student aid, Wesleyan would begin to consider financial circumstances when admitting wait-listed students. Students protested the decision,[322] and though trustees did not back down from their recommendations, Wesleyan raised enough money for financial aid to avoid putting the new policy into effect.[323] In 1992, the administration again considered a moratorium on need-blind admissions. A student group, Students for Financially Accessible Education (SFAE), organized a series of actions, including rallies, a silent vigil encircling a trustee meeting, a sit-in in an administration building, and a camp-out on its lawn. Wesleyan's need-blind admissions policy was preserved and remains today. For several years, SFAE continued to raise awareness about financial accessibility, offering interest-free loans to students with financial emergencies, and raising money for financial aid through energy conservation campaigns. The group appears to be dormant at this time.

WESU & National Public Radio

Another controversy in the same period was the status of the campus radio station, WESU, founded in 1939 as the second college radio station in the United States.[324] WESU broadcasts 24 hours a day. Until 2004, WESU's format had been entirely free-form, with DJs and student staff having complete freedom to program what they will. The University had, at that time, announced its intent to seek an affiliation with National Public Radio, and to drastically change the station's format.[325] Douglas Bennet, then President of the University, was a former president of NPR. The station now broadcasts an NPR feed from WSHU, the college station of Sacred Heart University, for several hours a day. For the remainder of the broadcast day, WESU continues to operate as a free-form station.[326]

Literary, media, and cultural references

More than 30 books have been published concerning the University, including: The Wesleyan Song Book, by Karl P. Harrington and Carl F. Price (1901);[314] The Goose-Step: A Study of American Education, by Upton Sinclair (1923); Wesleyan's First Century With an Account of the Centennial Celebration, by Carl F. Price (1932);[327] Wesleyan University, 1831–1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England, by David B. Potts (1999);[328] The Gatekeepers: Inside The Admissions Process of a Premier College, by Jacques Steinberg (2002); One Hundred Semesters: My Adventures as Student, Professor, and University President, and What I Learned along the Way, by William M. Chace (14th President of Wesleyan) (2006);[329] A History of the Eclectic Society of Phi Nu Theta, 1837–1970, by William B.B. Moody (2007);[330] Hidden Ivies by Howard Greene and Matthew Greene (2000, 2nd Ed. 2009); Music at Wesleyan: From Glee Club to Gamelan by Mark Slobin (2010).[331]

The main character, Girl, in the 2004 novel Citizen Girl (ISBN 0743266854), by the authors of The Nanny Diaries, is a graduate of Wesleyan.[332]

In The Corrections (National Book Award for Fiction, 2001) by Jonathan Franzen, Chip (a principal character) and Melissa visit and explore the University.

John Maher's 1995 work Thinker, Sailer, Brother, Spy: A Novel (ISBN 0964312107) features a fictional look at the life of a professor (a principal character) in the "hothouse atmosphere of Wesleyan University...."[333]

In the 1983 novel The Matlock Paper by Robert Ludlum, the author of espionage thrillers who created the character Jason Bourne, much of the action take's place in and around the campus of a thinly disguised Wesleyan, Ludlum's alma mater.[334]

The 1963 comedic novel, Night and Silence Who is Here?, by novelist Pamela Hansford Johnson, is thought by many literary critics to be patterned humorously after Wesleyan's Institute for Advanced Studies (now the Center for the Humanities); the main characters comprise and parallel the cast of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.[335]

A play, The Eclectic Society, written by alumnus Eric Conger, is based upon the Eclectic Society at the University during the early 1960s.[336]

The 9 September 2002 episode of the TV quiz show Jeopardy! featured the University as an answer to a clue in the Jeopardy! Round: "Methodists founded this Connecticut University & named it for Methodism's founder."[337] In the May 1990 Jeopardy! College Championship, Wesleyan was represented for two weeks in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals (by senior Amy Zucker, who was the second runner-up in the Championship).[338]

Characters in several television series have been portrayed as Wesleyan students or graduates. They include 30 Rock,[339] As the World Turns,[340][341] How I Met Your Mother (characters Ted Mosby, Marshall Eriksen, Lily Aldrin),[342][343] Buffy the Vampire Slayer,[344] The West Wing,[345] and M*A*S*H.[citation needed]

The 1994 cult comedy film PCU was based on (and filmed in part at) Wesleyan, the alma mater of the screenplay's two writers, Adam Leff and Zak Penn, and represents "an exaggerated view of contemporary college life...." centering around a fictionalized version of the Eclectic Society, known in the film as "The Pit."[346][347][348] PCU has been ranked among the ten best college movies.[349][350][351]

In the autumn of 2010, the Pulitzer prize-winning comic strip Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau featured the University in a series of daily strips.[352][353][354]

Notable alumni and faculty

Wesleyan alumni have achieved prominence in many fields, including U.S. and non–U.S. Supreme Court Justices; U.S. and non–U.S. Presidential cabinet members and Presidential advisers; U.S. Senators, Congresspersons, and Governors; diplomats; federal appellate and trial judges; U.S. Attorneys; scientists; presidents and founders of universities; physicians; CEOs; academicians; architects; artists; inventors; journalists; musicians; members of the military and the clergy; winners of the American Book Award, Edgar Award, Frederick Douglass Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, Nebula Award, O. Henry Award, Orange Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Pushcart Prize, and Whiting Writers' Award; recipients of MacArthur Fellowships, Rhodes, DAAD Scholarships, Fulbrights, Goldwaters, Guggenheim Fellowships, Luce Scholarships, Marshalls, Trumans, Watsons, and White House Fellowships; recipients of the Balzan Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal; members of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering; Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Super Bowl winners.

Former Wesleyan faculty and affiliates V. S. Naipaul, Woodrow Wilson, and T. S. Eliot have been awarded Nobel Prizes. Gary Yohe, current Professor of Economics, is a senior member and convening lead author of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Other faculty have been or are members of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and recipients of the Lasker Award, MacArthur Fellowship, Man Booker Prize, National Humanities Medal, National Medal of Arts, National Medal of Science, and Pulitzer Prize, among other awards. Former faculty and affiliates, Richard Wilbur, Mark Strand, and Donald Hall were United States Poet Laureates. The avant-garde composer John Cage was affiliated with the University from the 1950s until his death in 1993. Cage collaborated with members of the University's music faculty, and composed and performed on campus. Several of his books were published by the Wesleyan University Press.[265] Similarly, author and biographer William Manchester was affiliated with the University from 1955 until his death in 2004, and served as an adjunct professor of history, professor of history, professor of history, Emeritus, and writer-in-residence, among other positions.

References

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