Dear Fellow Alumni,
As I write, we are on the eve of Reunion & Commencement 2001. For many of you, those words bring back memories of bright red gowns and a sunny day on Foss Hill.
Of course, the Class of ’82 had the rainiest day imaginable—and our Commencement was the last held in the hockey rink. Route 9 was flooded, the Merritt Parkway was closed, the state was setting up emergency shelters (my brother and his girlfriend had to spend the night in one)—and our Baldwin Medal recipient couldn’t even make it up to campus from his home on the shore. Our class was also protesting Wesleyan’s proposed change in policy toward aid-blind admission, so some of us weren’t wearing our gowns as a way of saying that our rental fee would be better used for financial aid.
Despite the weather and issues, Commencement was a time of hugs from family and friends, just as it will be for the Class of 2001. It’s a huge and well–deserved celebration for great accomplishments.
Speaking of great accomplishments, I’m delighted to announce that the Class of 2001 has set a record: Eighty–seven percent contributed to their class gift for the Wesleyan Annual Fund.
Frantz Williams ’99, assistant director in University Relations who worked with the class—especially co–chairs Jessy Allen and Katie Clyde—calls them “very special.”
“We’re a pretty tight class,” Jessy concurs. “And Katie and I work well together. We started fundraising right at the beginning of senior year, when everyone was so happy to be back on campus seeing their friends and excited about the coming year. We built on that momentum and sent out the message: ‘Your support, no matter what size, is vital to Wesleyan.’&dsquo;
“What surprised me about Jessy,” Frantz told me, “is her maturity. She told me that she was graduating with loans and a great deal of personal responsibility—and at first she wondered, ‘Why should I give to Wesleyan when I already owe so much?’ But then she realized that the fond memories, the Foss Hill, the Olin Library that we all know, don’t happen without the financial support to buy the books, to maintain the property, to hire the professors and recruit the students.’
“You’re not giving back to Wesleyan,” says Jessy. “What we had here is all done. You’re giving forward, to the classes who will be coming in the future.”
Welcome, Jessy, Katie and all of the Class of 2001. You are the newest members of the Wesleyan Alumni Association, the newest ones to throw those bright red caps in the air. And our hats are off to you.
And thanks, Class of 2001, for the memories— and for all the memories we’ll keep making together.
Yours in Red and Black,
Kate Quigley Lynch ’82
Chair, Wesleyan Alumni Association