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Frequently Asked Questions

Please select the topic you have questions about from the list below.

Camp Cardinal

Q: Does Wesleyan have a program for kids during the Weekend?
A:
Yes, Wesleyan offers Camp Cardinal, an organized, supervised program created to entertain your child(ren) during the weekend. Programs for children between the ages of 4 months and 12 years are available.

Q: What is Camp Cardinal?
A:
Wesleyan’s Camp Cardinal Program is divided into two groups based on age. Children 4-months to 5-years old will be cared for at the Neighborhood preschool, a facility with licensed instructors located on the Wesleyan campus. The Children’s Program (ages 6 through 12) is held on campus and supervised by carefully selected Wesleyan students.

Q: What is the Camp Cardinal Preschool Program like?
A:
For the fourteenth consecutive year, the Neighborhood Preschool — a licensed day-care facility serving the Middletown and Wesleyan communities — will operate a special preschool program exclusively for children of alumni and parents attending Reunion & Commencement Weekend. The Preschool is conveniently located on the Wesleyan campus at 115 High Street, near the Butterfield residence halls.

Q: What is the Camp Cardinal Children’s Program like?
A:
The Children’s Program will provide entertainment and supervision for 6-to-12-year-olds attending Reunion & Commencement Weekend. Your children can look forward to a scavenger hunt, a pizza party, sports clinics, outdoor activities, a picnic lunch, swimming in the Freeman Athletic Center pool, large screen movies, and an ice cream sundae party.

Q: How do I register my child(ren) for Camp Cardinal?
A:
You may sign up your child(ren) for all or part of Camp Cardinal using the registration form in your preliminary brochure or online (both available starting in mid-March). The registration fee includes food, snacks, and other essentials. You will receive more detailed program information and special permission forms once you register. If you have questions or need more specific information, please contact Sarah Myksin ’06 in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (860) 685-2522 or smyksin@wesleyan.edu. For specific information on the Preschool Program, please contact Diane Kischell at the Neighborhood Preschool at (860) 346-4333.

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Campus Housing

Q: Will on-campus housing be available?
A:
Dorm rooms will be available for alumni on a first-come, first-served basis in mid-March (when Reunion & Commencement registration is available).

A $25 refundable room and key deposit will be required when you obtain your housing assignment and key at Registration (Usdan University Center). Residence Hall rooms open on Thursday, May 22 and must be vacated by 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 25.

Q: How do I register for/request on-campus housing?
A:
Dorm rooms will be available for alumni on a first-come, first-served basis in mid-March (when Reunion & Commencement registration is available).

Q: When will I be notified that I’ve received on-campus housing?
A:
If you request on-campus housing, you will be notified with your registration confirmation whether or not you have secured on-campus housing. Because you won’t know until you register, we encourage you to reserve a hotel room just in case. If you obtain on-campus housing, your hotel room can be cancelled without penalty through April 1, 2007 (or later for most hotels; please call your hotel for more details).

Note: If you secure on-campus housing, specific room assignments will only be available when you arrive on campus for the weekend.

Q: If I receive on-campus housing, how will I know what to bring and where to go?
A:
Basic linens, a light blanket, a pillow, and a towel are provided, but please bring whatever else would make you feel more at home, such as an extra blanket, hair dryer, mirror, alarm clock, your favorite pillow, extra clothes hangers, reading light, radio, extra towel, or fan. Most rooms are doubles (two twin beds); when you register, you will be asked who you’d like to share a room with. There are no private bathrooms.
When you arrive on campus, please check in at Registration (Usdan University Center), where you will receive your room assignment and keys.

Q: Is it possible to have a room next to my classmates?
A:
Members of the same class will be assigned rooms in the same halls. If you wish to be assigned to a room adjacent to a specific classmate (or classmates), you and the other parties must make that request in writing when you register. We will do our best to fulfill your request.

Q: Is it possible for my son or daughter to stay on-campus?
A:
There are a few children’s bed options for on-campus housing. You can reserve a folding cot with linens which will be placed in your room for the weekend, you can reserve a separate room with a regular single bed at the regular rate, or you can choose to bring an air mattress or sleeping bag to put on the floor.

Q: Does Wesleyan receive a special rate at local hotels?
A:
Reunion classes have blocked rooms at area hotels and each hotel offers a different rate. In order to receive a room in the block, please make sure to mention that you are reserving your room for the “Wesleyan Reunion.” Please go to your class site for information about where your class has blocked rooms.

Q: What is the reservation cutoff date for booking a hotel room?
A:
April 1 or later (depending on which hotel your class has chosen). Please contact the hotel assigned to your class for more information.

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Class Headquarters

Q: Where will my class headquarters be?
A:
Reunion Headquarters — the spaces designated for alumni attending their Reunions to meet up with classmates, leave a message for a friend on the class bulletin boards, see special class exhibits, and gather with friends for a drink or conversation — will be located in the residence halls where alumni are housed during Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Q: Will there be a bar at the class headquarters?
A:
Yes. Cash bars will be available throughout the weekend at all Reunion headquarters.

Q: Why should I visit my class headquarters?
A:
This will be the best place to arrange to meet your classmates, family, and friends throughout the weekend, as well as to see special class exhibits and performances. With a busy weekend program jam-packed with activities, you can use your headquarters as an informal place to gather, hang out, and socialize between other events.

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Commencement

Please Note: The rain plan for Commencement will be determined well in advance of the weekend. Please check back here or stay tuned for more information from the Office of Alumni & Parent Relations in early spring.

Q: How many tickets are available per student? Can we reserve seats in advance?
A:
Everyone is welcome at Commencement, but there are no tickets and seats cannot be reserved in advance. The chairs on Andrus Field are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is additional room for seating on Foss Hill (bring a blanket or folding chairs) and under the tent on Andrus Field.

Q: Do students receive Commencement tickets? When will they get them?
A:
There are no tickets, as everyone is invited to attend the Commencement ceremony. Each senior receives 10 announcements from the Dean’s Office, which will be delivered to student mailboxes in early March.

Q: What happens if it rains on Commencement day?
A:
There will be a tent behind the seats on Andrus Field that will accommodate many spectators. Since seating for guests will be limited, we respectfully ask that you reduce the number of guests who will be sitting under the tent to three. Please come prepared with raincoats and umbrellas. The ceremony will also be broadcast live (rain or shine) inside air-conditioned, handicapped accessible spaces on campus and via webcam online. The Commencement Ceremony will be available live by Webcast.  Please go to  http://wescast.wesleyan.edu for details about how you can view the ceremony.

Q: Who is the speaker?
A:
In April, a letter announcing the honorary degree recipients and the Commencement speaker will be sent to parents of seniors from the Office of the President.

Q: How long is the ceremony?
A:
The ceremony will last approximately 2-1/2 hours.

Q: Other than the actual Commencement ceremony (11 a.m. on Sunday), what are the weekend activities for families?
A:
Most Reunion & Commencement Weekend activities are open to all members of the Wesleyan community. Some events are specifically for graduating seniors and their families, such as the Champagne Reception on Friday from 4-6 p.m.

Q: How do I meet up with my son or daughter after Commencement is over? Is there anything planned for directly after the ceremony?
A:
Everyone is invited to enjoy the reception on the lawn in front of North College after the ceremony. This is a good time for taking pictures, seeing friends, and socializing. It is recommended that you arrange to meet at a specific campus location near College Row (for example, the steps of PAC, in front of Judd Hall, under the scoreboard, etc.).

Q: When should parents arrive? When should they leave?
A:
There is no particular norm in terms of the arrival and departure of parents. Activities begin on Friday and continue through Sunday.

Q: Do parents or others attending the festivities need to pay for any of the weekend activities?
A:
WESeminars, other activities and parties are free. Breakfasts and snacks are available throughout the weekend for purchase on-site a la carte. Lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday require advance payment. You can register for all meals online or using the registration brochure or online beginning in March.

Q: What is the dress code?
A:
All of the weekend’s events are informal. Dress casually and comfortably (and bring clothes that are weather appropriate, since many events are held outside).

Q: I have elderly guests with mobility challenges. What arrangements are available for them?
A:
There is a limited section for people with access needs. Please call or email Suzanne Kampen in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at skampen@wesleyan.edu or (860) 685-2116. The ceremony will also be broadcast live (rain or shine) inside air-conditioned, handicapped accessible spaces on campus and via webcam online.

Q: When is rehearsal for seniors?
A:
There is no formal rehearsal. Diplomas may be obtained on Saturday, May 24 from noon - 4 p.m. in the lobby of North College.

Q: When do students need to move out of their campus housing?
A:
Seniors must be out by 6:00 p.m. on on Monday, May 26th (Note: please check back in Spring 2008 to confirm this time and date).

Q: Whom can we contact with questions about student housing?
A:
Send questions to reslife@wesleyan.edu or call (860) 685-3550.

Q: When and where do students get their caps and gowns?
A:
Seniors order caps and gowns from Broad Street Bookstore during the last week of March. Broad Street Bookstore will send a letter to all seniors with instructions for ordering during the last week of March. Call the Broad Street Bookstore with any questions at (860) 685-7323.

Q: How do I order Wesleyan sweatshirts or other logo items?
A:
Broad Street Bookstore, located at 45 Broad Street, sells a full line of clothing and gifts. A limited selection is also available in the University Store inside the Usdan University Center.

Q: When/how do students get the yearbook? How much does it cost?
A:
Students can order yearbooks at any time from the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA). Questions about the yearbook can be directed to the WSA administrator at (860) 685-2410. Please note that yearbooks will be delivered after October 2008.

Q: Is there a video of Commencement? How do I get one?
A:
DVDs of Commencement are available from Collegiate Video, P.O. Box 376, Newfane, VT 05345. DVDs cost $75 plus $7 shipping and handling. Contact Collegiate Video at (802) 365-4414 or via e-mail at info@collegiatevideo.com, or the Office of Parent Programs at (860) 685-3756 for an order form and more information. 

Q: Is there a still photo taken of my graduate during Commencement? How do I get one?
A:
Still photos of students are taken immediately following receipt of the diploma by an outside vendor. Proofs and order forms will be mailed to the student’s permanent address during the summer.

Q: Where can we go out to eat in the Middletown area?
A:
Visit www.wesleyan.edu/about/restaurants.html for information on restaurants in the area. Be sure to make reservations in advance, if possible.

Q: How can I get to Middletown without a car?
A:
There are many options for public transportation. Review our parking and transportation section for additional information or visit www.wesleyan.edu/about/transport.html.

Q: When might seniors be busy with Senior Week activities during Commencement Weekend?
A:
Starting on Tuesday, May 20, seniors have a variety of on- and off-campus activities planned. They will receive more information about the exact schedule throughout the spring.

Q: Whom can we call if we have further questions?
A:
For general questions about the weekend activities, call or email Dana Coffin in the Parent Programs Office at parents@wesleyan.edu or (860) 685-3756.

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Fees

Q: Why do I have to pay a registration fee?
A:
The Registration fee, which applies to alumni and their adult (over 18) guests only, covers a portion of the weekend’s overhead costs, including: physical plant, public safety, health services, student workers, entertainment, transportation, regalia, some meals and the cost of renting tents, tables, chairs, china, linens, etc.

Q: Does Wesleyan make a profit on this event?
A:
No. Wesleyan subsidizes over 80% of the Reunion & Commencement Weekend expenses. The University does not raise funds from event charges. Fundraising for the Wesleyan Fund is done by a team of volunteers and staff throughout the year.

Q: How do Wesleyan’s fees compare to those charged by other colleges?
A:
When comparing our fees to those set by other colleges, we found that Wesleyan’s fees are neither the least nor the most expensive. Our comparisons revealed that Wesleyan offers a much more comprehensive program than many other colleges. In addition, some colleges have a surfeit of good dining spaces, for example, and have little need to use tents to create temporary facilities. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Wesleyan.

Q: Why does Wesleyan combine Reunion Weekend and Commencement?
A:
Bringing together all members of the Wesleyan community (the senior class, parents, alumni, faculty members and administrators) provides a unique opportunity for learning, for renewing old friendships and for meeting new people. Wesleyan combined Reunion and Commencement for the first time in May 2000, and according to feedback from students, alumni, and their families, it has been a resounding success each year.

  • Students and parents can enjoy the rich schedule of WESeminars traditionally offered during Reunion Weekend, and they can network with alumni.
  • Alumni have a chance to meet with faculty members and students, and they can help celebrate Commencement by welcoming a new group into the Alumni Association.
  • Faculty members can connect with former students and graduating seniors as well as with parents.

Although the weekend is designed to bring the Wesleyan community together, it also offers many opportunities for alumni and seniors to spend time with their classmates or families. The wide array of activities allows everyone to create his or her own memorable Reunion or Commencement experience.

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Housing

Q: Will there be housing available on campus for parents?
A:
Since many students will remain in their rooms during the weekend, we cannot provide on-campus housing for parents. We urge you to reserve rooms at a local hotel. If you have special housing concerns or requirements, please contact Makaela Kingsley in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at mjkingsley@wesleyan.edu

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Meals

Q: Do I have to register ahead for meals?
A:
Yes! To be guaranteed meals, you must register in advance. You’ll have the opportunity to register beginning in mid-March

Q: How do I register for meals?
A:
Starting in mid-March, you can register online or complete the registration form in the Preliminary Program (sent by mail to all parents of graduating seniors and reunion class alumni). If you do not purchase tickets by the registration deadline, we cannot guarantee that there will be meals available for you and your guests.

Q: Do you mail meal tickets out once you have received my completed registration form?
A:
We do not mail meal tickets. When you arrive at Registration (Usdan University Center) to check in, you will receive the appropriate meal tickets in your Reunion & Commencement Weekend welcome packet.

Q: I am not sure of my plans. Is there a registration deadline?
A:
Yes! The deadline will be set in mid-March and is usually the first or second week in May. We cannot process pre-registrations received after the registration deadline. If you choose to wait and register when you arrive on campus, a $25 fee will be charged. In addition, we cannot guarantee the availability of meals unless you register by the deadline.

Q: I am planning on bringing my children for the weekend. Is there a charge for children’s meals?
A:
Children aged 12 or under (and not participating in Camp Cardinal Children’s Programs) are welcome to attend all meals, except for the Saturday Reunion Class Dinner, at a reduced rate.

Q: What are the on-campus breakfast options?
A:
Breakfast is available for purchase on Friday through Sunday. Advance registration is not needed.

Q: I am a vegetarian. Will vegetarian meals be available?
A:
A vegetarian or vegan alternative is provided at every meal.

Q: Will liquor be available over the weekend?
A:
Cash bars will be available at all luncheons, dinners, and campus parties, as well as at Reunion Headquarters.

Q: Is Wesleyan offering dinner on Saturday night?
A:
All parents will need to make their own arrangements for dinner on Saturday. Alumni will hold traditional Reunion Class Dinners on campus.

Q: I want to attend my Reunion Class Dinner and would like to bring my children. Is this possible?
A:
Because Saturday evening is often the highlight of the weekend for members of Reunion classes, we encourage you to register your children in the Camp Cardinal Children’s Program that evening, so that you will be free to enjoy your classmates’ company. Also, seating is limited at these dinners, and the full dinner price will be charged for all children who attend.

Q: How do I invite a faculty or staff member to my Reunion class dinner?
A:
Contact a the staff member working with your class or the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (860) 685-2116 or rc@wesleyan.edu.

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Parking

Q: If we bring a car to campus, where can we park?
A:
Parking is available at the Middlesex Mutual Parking Garage (two blocks from campus at the junction of Court and Main streets), the Vine Street parking lot (adjacent to the tennis courts), the Freeman Athletic Center parking lots (Cross Street and Pine Street), and most other smaller lots on campus. Shuttle vans will run regularly between these lots and all sites on campus.

The lot adjacent to the Stewart M. Reid House, Office of Admission, 70 Wyllys Avenue and the “C” lot on Church Street will be reserved for members of the Classes of ’57 and earlier, as well as for any individuals with disabilities. A parking/shuttle flyer will be included in your welcome packet. Please let us know if you require special parking by contacting Suzanne Kampen in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 860/685-2828 or skampen@wesleyan.edu.

Q: How do we get to campus from the Middlesex Parking Garage?
A:
The garage is within walking distance from campus (about two blocks). Shuttle vans will also run regularly between the Middlesex Garage, the Vine Street lot, and all sites on campus.

Q: Is there a fee to park at the Middlesex Parking Garage?
A:
No. University guests may park at the garage free of charge during Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Q: What are the operating hours for the Middlesex Parking Garage?
A:

  • Friday 5 p.m.-midnight.
  • Saturday 8 a.m.-midnight
  • Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Q: What parking provision has been made for people with special needs?
A:
A few smaller lots will be reserved for individuals with disabilities, as well as members of the WESeniors classes (Classes of 1957 and earlier). Detailed information will be available at Registration (Usdan University Center).

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Registration

Q: Who should register?
A:
All alumni must register. Parents and families of graduating seniors must register only if they plan to participate in an event, activity, or meal with a fee. If parents and their family/guests are only attending events without a fee, there is no need to register.

Q: Why should I register?
A:
To reserve meals for you and your family/guests. Meals are limited, and unless you make reservations in advance, we cannot guarantee that meals will be available when you arrive on campus. In addition, alumni are asked to register to ensure that we have enough regalia and enough space in all class-specific events.

Q: How do I register?
A:
Complete and mail the registration form included in your preliminary brochure (sent by mail in mid-March) or register online (available at www.wesleyan.edu/rc starting in mid-March). Online registration is only available for those paying by credit card.

Q: What is the deadline to register?
A:
Registrations must be postmarked or received online by the registration deadline which will be set in mid-March. Registrations received after the deadline will be assessed a $25 fee.

Q: Whom do I contact if I have questions about my registration?
A:
If you have questions about your registration, need to make changes, or plan to check in after 10 p.m., please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (860) 685-2116 or rc@wesleyan.edu.

Q: What do I do when I arrive on campus?
A:
Go to Registration (Usdan University Center) whether or not you registered in advance. There you will receive a final schedule, meal tickets, and other important information that will help you navigate through the weekend.

Q: What are Registration hours?
A:

  • Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to midnight
  • Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Q: Why should I check in if I’ve registered in advance?
A:
The schedule of events is preliminary, subject to change and does not include event locations. Everyone should check in to receive the final weekend schedule (with updates and event locations), meal tickets, and other essential information, at the Usdan University Center.

Q: Whom should I contact if someone in my group has special needs?
A:
The University is committed to full access for all people. Please let us know in advance if you or your guests have any special needs. Contact Suzanne Kampen in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 860/685-2828 or skampen@wesleyan.edu as soon as possible so that we can facilitate your visit to campus.

Q: What happens if I need a refund of my registration fees?
A:
Refunds can only be requested through the registration deadline, or in extreme emergency situations. Refund checks will be mailed after Reunion & Commencement Weekend bookkeeping is completed in late June.

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Special Needs

Q: I am wheelchair-bound and am uncertain about attending the weekend. Is any provision being made for people with special needs?
A:
Wesleyan is committed to full access for all people. Contact Suzanne Kampen in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 860/685-2828 or skampen@wesleyan.edu to discuss your special needs.

Q: I am a vegetarian, should I make special meal provisions?
A:
A vegetarian meal option is provided at every meal.

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Transportation

Q: How much does it cost to get a ride to Middletown from Bradley Airport? From the train station?
A:
Prices vary. You can hire a cab from the Hartford/Springfield airport for a flat rate of approximately $60 (without tip). A cab from the Meriden train station runs about $20 (without tip) and from the New Haven train station for about $40 (without tip).

Q: How do I get from my hotel to campus?
A:
Although some hotels provide limited shuttle service (please check with your hotel’s front desk), we encourage you to rent a car, or share a ride with another Wesleyan guest.

Q: Will there be a shuttle service available on campus?
A:
Yes! Shuttle vans will follow a regular route between the primary parking areas and all sites on campus. They will be clearly marked, and you can flag one down at any point.

Q: How late do the campus shuttles run?
A:
Shuttle service begins at approximately 8 a.m. and continues until approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday, 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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WESeminars

Q: What are WESeminars?
A:
WESeminars are stimulating educational presentations by Wesleyan faculty members, parents, alumni, and students which enable participants to rekindle their connections to Wesleyan and gain insight into the teaching and scholarship that take place at the University today.

Q: Can anyone attend a WESeminar?
A:
WESeminars are open to all members of the Wesleyan community.

Q: How long do WESeminars last?
A:
Seminars run approximately 60 to 90 minutes, and they usually include a question and answer session.

Q: Are there any fees involved in attending a WESeminar?
A:
WESeminars are presented without charge and include all classroom materials.

Q: Is space limited in each seminar?
A:
Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis and attendees are encouraged to be prompt.

Q: Are some WESeminars offered more than once?
A:
Yes, some seminars have two sessions to allow greater accessibility.

Q: How can I find the location of each WESeminar?
A:
Building and room assignments for all WESeminars will be listed in the final Reunion & Commencement Program, which you will receive when you arrive on campus and stop by Registration (Usdan University Center). We will provide you with a campus map, and special signage will be placed throughout the campus to denote WESeminar locations.

Q: I’ve reviewed the Preliminary Program, and there’s just too much to do! I can’t possibly attend all the functions and WESeminars that interest me.
A:
Yes, Reunion & Commencement weekend includes a full schedule. We have tried to present a diverse program that will have wide-range appeal. Because there are so many people on campus for the weekend, we offer many events that run simultaneously to limit overcrowding. Although it is impossible for everyone to attend each event that might be of interest, we hope that the choices offered in the schedule will allow you to plan an entertaining and enlightening weekend.

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