From the Editor: Inflection Points

photo of managing editor Himeka (Imee) Curiel

Time is a funny thing, as many of us experienced during Wesleyan’s 2024 Reunion & Commencement celebration. In the same three-day span we saw the newest graduates proudly celebrating the start of a new chapter and returning alumni reminiscing about days past, commenting, “Was it really that long ago?” The answer, of course, is Yes, objectively speaking, it was that long ago. But in the realm of nostalgia and perception, the in-between times tend to blend together, overlapping years and memories. And while it’s easy to recognize how things have changed, remembering exactly what it was like while it was changing is another thing altogether.

Wesleyan has no shortage of milestone events in its illustrious history, but this year marked the 50th anniversary of two particularly enduring developments on campus: the graduation of the first four-year coeducational class and the creation of the Center for the Arts. From the candid remembrances of the pioneering women of the Class of 1974 to an aspirational vision for the future of the arts at Wes, we see how these inflection points in time acted as a springboard for progress, even if they weren’t the smoothest transitions. It reminds us that change is never as immediate or obvious as one thinks when looking from the vantage point of many years later. The biggest success stories often come after the culmination of many missteps and course corrections over a long span of time.

The Wesleyans in this issue are still at the beginning of their journies toward enduring change, but those first steps could prove to be the turning points we will be talking about in the future. Take Robert Allbritton ’92 and his Allbritton Journalism Institute and internet-based publication, NOTUS. Having already shaken up the world of politics by founding Politico, Allbritton now turns his eye toward piloting a mentorship model for aspiring political journalists that could significantly alter the way local news is covered. On the global stage, Diego von Vacano ’93 serves up a cautionary tale on the potential geopolitical consequences involved with bringing zero-emission technologies to market. And with the implementation of an African Scholars program and the rise of a new, more inclusive student theater group after the demise of Second Stage, we may be witnessing the start of a new era of inclusion and support in these student cohorts.

Whether you’re old enough to remember the novelty of women first-years at Wes or young enough to have attended Spike Tape’s first performance this past spring, you have no doubt lived through a milestone in Wesleyan history. Take stock, be proud, and stay tuned. The full import of the experience may still be developing. And Wesleyan magazine will be here to discover it with you.

Managing Editor, Wesleyan University Magazine