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[flag] Dates for Reunion & Commencement Weekend 2012 are May 24–27

Frequently Asked Questions


Please select the topic you have questions about:

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 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 when you register for the weekend (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 the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (860) 685-2116 or   For specific information on the Preschool Program, please contact 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 starting in mid-March (when Reunion & Commencement registration is available).

A $25 refundable deposit will be required when you obtain your housing assignment and key at Registration (Usdan University Center). Residence Hall rooms open on Thursday, May 19 and must be vacated by 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.

Q: How do I register for/request on-campus housing?
A: The opportunity to register for a dorm room will be available for alumni on a first-come, first-served basis through the Reunion & Commencement online registration form which will be available in mid-March.

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: In most cases and where possible, 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 your class hotel block, including the cutoff date.

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.

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 ’98 in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at

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Please Note: The rain plan for Commencement will vary based on the weather forecast. Please check this website for details the day of the event.

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 5000 chairs on Andrus Field are available on a first-come, first-served basis; some are in the open air on the field, and others are under a tent with a direct view of the Commencement podium. There is additional room for seating on Foss Hill (bring a blanket or folding chairs) and inside 5 air-conditioned, handicapped accessible, simulcast locations.

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 and can be sent to family and friends simply as keepsakes.

Q: What happens if it rains on Commencement day?
A: An abbreviated ceremony will take place in the tent behind the seats on Andrus Field. It will accommodate many spectators, but since space will be limited, we respectfully ask that you reduce to three the number of guests who will be sitting under the tent. A simulcast of the Commencement Ceremony will be available via the web, in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Crowell Concert Hall, Tishler Lecture Hall (150 Exley Science Center), Taylor Meeting Room (Usdan), and the Andersen Meeting Room (Usdan); rain or shine. The best advice is to come prepared with raincoats and umbrellas. Please go to the week of May 15, for details about how you can view the ceremony.

Q: Who is the speaker?
A: In April, an email 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 2½ 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 and Senior Voices on Saturday.

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 pre-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 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 or (860) 685-2116. The ceremony will also be broadcast live (rain or shine) inside air-conditioned, handicapped accessible spaces on campus and on the web at

Q: When is rehearsal for seniors?
A: There is no formal rehearsal. Diplomas may be obtained on Friday, May 20 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. in the lobby of North College. Graduates are asked to bring a photo ID.

Q: When do students need to move out of their campus housing?
A: Seniors must be out by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23rd.

Q: Whom can we contact with questions about student housing?
A: Send questions to 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. 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, The Wesleyan Cardinal Technology Center in Usdan has a selection of clothing and gifts, and a separate line of athletic apparel can be purchased through the online WesGear store.

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, 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: A photographer from GradTrak® Graduation Images will be at the ceremony to take a candid photograph. You will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of these photos on an order card within 5-7 days following the ceremony. Questions may be emailed to After the ceremony you may order online at or call 800-261-2576. Since photographs will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony. To pre-register your permanent email address and receive a $5.00 coupon towards a purchase of $25.00 please visit and click on Pre-Event Registration. You may add contact information for up to 6 additional relatives and/or friends. GradTrak® will never sell or share the address/email information provided to them.

Q: Where can we go out to eat in the Middletown area?
A: Visit 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

Q: When might seniors be busy with Senior Week activities during Commencement Weekend?
A: Starting on Tuesday, May 17, 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 or (860) 685-3756.

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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?
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.

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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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. 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 dining options?
A: A la carte snacks, sandwiches, and beverages are 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: Bars will be available at most luncheons, dinners, and campus parties. Most bars charge for beverages (cash only), although some are hosted.

Q: I have allergies or other dietary restrictions. Can Wesleyan accommodate?
A: Yes! Please make a note in the “special needs” section when you register.

Q: Is Wesleyan offering dinner on Saturday night?
A: All parents will need to make their own arrangements for dinner on Saturday. Alumni classes 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.

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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 ’61 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

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: Yes. University guests will be charged a nominal hourly rate at the garage during Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Q: What are the operating hours for the Middlesex Parking Garage?
A: Middlesex Parking Garage is open at the following times:

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 1960 and earlier). Detailed information will be available at Registration (Usdan University Center).

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Q: Who should register?
All alumni must register. Parents and families of graduating seniors must register only if they plan to participate in an event or meal with a fee. If parents and families are not planning to attend events with a fee we still recommend that you register so that you may receive a nametag, final brochure and welcome packet when you arrive on campus.

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?
You may register online available at 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 received online midnight on May 6. After May 6 you can register for the weekend when you arrive on campus for the weekend.

Q: Whom do I contact if I have questions about my registration?
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

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: Registration is available at the following times:

Q: Why should I check in if I’ve registered in advance?
The online schedule of events is preliminary and subject to change. 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 as soon as possible so that we can facilitate your visit to campus.

While we cannot provide wheelchairs on a rental basis we suggest you contact one of the following companies to make temporary arrangements.

American Home Patient
New Britain, CT
(860) 223-8325

Hudson Home Health Center
Newington, CT
(860) 666-2907 or (860) 666-7500

$25.00/Standard Chair
$35.00/250-300 lbs.

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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Persons with Disabilities

Wesleyan University is committed to making its educational programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations can be provided by departments, programs and event organizers at the request of guests and visitors with disabilities. Accommodations that are considered reasonable are those that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the institution's programs and policies, and do not place an undue hardship on the institution. Reasonable accommodations are distinguished from services of a personal nature (such as provision of wheel chairs, personal care assistance, etc.) which the university does not generally provide. For more information visit:

Q: I use a wheelchair (or have mobility problems) and am uncertain about attending the weekend. Is any provision being made for me?
A: Wesleyan is committed to full access for all people. While we cannot provide wheelchairs on a rental basis we suggest you contact one of the following companies to make temporary arrangements.

Hudson Home Health Center
Newington, CT
(860) 666-2907, (860) 666-7500
Rents by the week $25/standard chair; $35/for 250-300 lbs

Ellsworth Medical
540 Windsor Avenue
Windsor, CT
(860) 298-9333
$30 per chair for the weekend Thursday through Monday (pick up only). Approx. $200 charge for delivery.

Advance Medical Supplies LLC
7 Clifton Avenue Ansonia, CT
(203) 736-1712
$30 per chair for the weekend, can pick up or deliver, should have at least 20 in stock

Volusia Medical Supply
(866) 956-2025

NY Scooter Rentals (division of Mobility Outlet Inc.)
24 Hour Rentals: (888)-WHEELS-0 [(888) 943-3570]
$95/chair for 3-day rental including delivery and pickup

Wheelchair Getaways
32 Stony Hill Rd,
Bethel, CT
(203) 790-9998, (203) 798-8640
$30 daily; delivery possible

Home Health Pavilion Inc
87 Danbury Rd,
New Milford, CT
(860) 210-1313
Delivery available; $30-$40 negotiable

If you have additional questions please contact Suzanne Kampen in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (860) 685-2116 or 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.

Q: I have allergies or other dietary restrictions. How do I let you know what they are?
A: Yes! Please make a note in the “special needs” section when you register.

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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 Bradley Airport (Hartford/Springfield) for a flat rate of approximately $60 (without tip). A cab from the Meriden train station runs about $25 (without tip) and from the New Haven Train Station for about $50 (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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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: 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 identify 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. In addition, we will post video of several weekend seminars and events online after Reunion & Commencement Weekend is over.

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