For those of you who have been following Wesleyan on social media or who have been paying attention to the various missives from campus touting the launch of “Something BIG,” the suspense finally came to an end during Homecoming Family Weekend.
After an unseasonably warm couple of days in which an estimated 5,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and family members enjoyed thought-provoking WESeminars, a stirring in-person Dwight Greene Symposium, a new Renee Green ’81 and Sol Lewitt exhibit, and a resounding 34–7 Cardinal win over Amherst, attendees gathered on McKelvey Green to celebrate the launch of the University’s biggest fundraising effort ever: This Is Not a Campaign. This Is Wesleyan.
What do we mean by that? Well for starters, it’s an acknowledgment that nothing we do at Wes is as simple as to be defined by a single word. Our students aren’t just students. They are forces of nature, curious explorers, and bold creators. Similarly, our alumni aren’t just graduates, they are rulebreakers, thought leaders, and complex thinkers who set new standards with their originality and strength of purpose.
By the same token, this is not a magazine. A traditional publication couldn’t possibly contain the multitudes that comprise Wesleyan. We don’t want you to just passively read the stories we are sharing. We want you to experience them. To be inspired and stirred to action. Whether that be reconnecting with old friends and mentors, spreading the word about the amazing work that your fellow Wesleyans do, or helping to support the University so the generations after you can add their own Wes stories and build their own legacies.
In this issue, we invite you to hear what your classmates have to say about what Wesleyan means to them. And we ask VP for Advancement Frantz Williams ’99 how his own experience as an undergrad helped shape his approach to fundraising today. We also check in on younger alumni and students and their attitudes toward preserving democracy through their votes. And we share additional voices on precedent-setting battles in the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes and on freedom of expression on college campuses (the first episode in a newly launched Democracy in Action podcast series).
Of course, that’s just scratching the surface. Make sure you click through and explore the full breadth of articles in this digital issue and on our site. And please continue sharing your own adventures, explorations, and achievements with us.
Because, as you can see, this is not a magazine. It’s a forum for deepening and expanding our understanding of what Wesleyan is and continues to be—ambitious in our goals, practical in our needs, and stubbornly, almost defiantly, undefinable.