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

Sunday, May 22

View the complete schedule on one page

Preliminary Schedule for Sunday, May 22
8 A.M.–1 P.M.

All-Campus Brunch Buffet

Wrap up a great weekend with a hearty brunch in the new Usdan University Center.

This brunch requires advance purchase/registration. Meals are included for members of reunion classes with a flat rate fee (5th, 10th, and 50th reunion classes). Brunch is complimentary for WESeniors (Classes of 1929 through 1960) and their guests. All other reunion classes and parents and families of graduating seniors will be charged the following if they register for lunch.

$18 per person for all other adults and children over age 12 (including graduates)
$5 per person for children 12 and under

If you plan to attend, please register here.

Usdan University Center

8–11 A.M.

Pi Cafe Hours

Food and beverages available for purchase on site.

Exley Science Center

8 A.M.–2 P.M.


Usdan University Center

8 A.M.–1 P.M.

Usdan Cafe Hours

Food and beverages available for purchase on site.

Usdan University Center

8:30  A.M.

45th Reunion Brunch

For members of the Class of 1966 and their guests. Food will be available in the Usdan Marketplace (second floor). Please register for the All- Campus Brunch Buffet if you plan to attend this event.

Taylor Meeting Room, Usdan 108

8:30 A.M.–2 P.M. Commencement Beverage Kiosk

Beverages available for purchase.

Huss Courtyard, Usdan University Center and Andrus Field near Zelnick Pavilion

8:30 A.M.–2 P.M. Espwesso Cafe Hours

Wesleyan's student-run cafe, offering premium coffee and espresso drinks. Cash only.

Basement, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life

8:45-9:45 A.M. First Generation Reception

Please join us for a pre-graduation reception in honor of those members of the class of 2011 who are the first in their family to graduate from college. Students and families are encouraged to attend. Continental breakfast will be provided.

McKelvey Room, Stewart M. Reid House, Office of Admission

9 A.M.

Roman Catholic Mass

Sponsored by: Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Hal Weidner, CO, and the Catholic Student Association

Memorial Chapel

9 A.M.

Commencement Preparation for MA and PhD Graduates

The Graduate Marshal will prepare the graduating MA and PhD students for the Commencement Ceremony.

Woodhead Lounge, Exley Science Center

9 A.M.

50th Reunion Class of 1961 Brunch

Daniel Family Commons

9:30 A.M.

GLSP Graduates’ Commencement Preparation

GLSP staff will prepare graduating students for the Commencement Ceremony.

Lounge, Downey House

10 A.M.

Faculty and Undergraduates Assemble for Commencement

Top of Foss Hill

11 A.M.

The 179th Commencement Ceremony - The ceremony may also be viewed online.

Dr. Paul Farmer, known worldwide for co-founding Partners In Health to serve the world's poor, will receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement address at Wesleyan University's 179th Commencement in May. Wesleyan's other honorary degree recipients at Commencement include a legendary singer of the American Songbook, an alumnus envisioning the future of online journalism, and two local friends of the institution long dedicated to serving the Middletown community.

Wesleyan's Baldwin Medal (highest award bestowed by the Alumni Association) recipients are Robert Patricelli '61,P'88,P'90 and Margaret Sweetland Patricelli.

Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D

Paul Farmer is an inspirational scholar, doctor, teacher, and leader. As a physician-anthropologist, he has dedicated his life to serving the world's poor and to raising the standard of health care around the world. In 1983 he co-founded Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. His work focuses on community-based treatment strategies for infectious diseases, health and human rights, and the role of social inequalities in determining disease distribution and outcomes. Dr. Farmer and his colleagues have successfully challenged the policymakers and critics who claim that quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor settings.

Dr. Farmer is the Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton. His most recent book is Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader. Dr. Farmer has received numerous awards and recognitions, but none so typifies his life and accomplishments as the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, which he received in 2003. "To say that Dr. Paul Farmer is a life saver does not begin to describe the impact of his work," said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. "Dr. Farmer and his extraordinary organization have been a force in making the world confront the health care needs of those who historically have never had access to proper care."

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook's pure soprano voice has delighted audiences around the world for more than 50 years. She was considered to be "Broadway's favorite ingenue" during the 1950s and ’60s. Her continuing popularity is evidenced by her 1997 birthday concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Albert Hall in London; a succession of six returns to Carnegie Hall, where she made a noteworthy solo concert debut in 1975; and honors including the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards; as well as her citation as a Living New York Landmark and her induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

In November 2007, Ms. Cook celebrated her 80th birthday in concert with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. In January 2006, Cook made her solo concert debut at the Metropolitan Opera Company, making her the first female pop singer to be presented by the MET in the company's 123-year history.

Cook's studio recordings include eight original cast albums; two Ben Bagley albums of songs by Jerome Kern and George Gershwin; an album titled Songs of Perfect Propriety, featuring poems by Dorothy Parker set to music by Seymour Barab; and As Of Today on the Columbia label. Her most recent DRG recordings also include Close as Pages in a Book, featuring the lyrics of Dorothy Fields; Barbara Cook: Live from London; Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein; All I Ask of You and The Champion Season: A Salute to Gower Champion; the Grammy nominated Count Your Blessings, a collection of traditional Christmas songs; Tribute, based on her sold-out Cafe Carlyle concert; No One Is Alone, based on her most recent Carnegie Hall concert; and the recently released Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder.

Alberto Ibargüen ’66, P'97

Alberto Ibargüen was named president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in January 2005. In this capacity, he is taking a leadership role in helping journalists everywhere explore new ways of communicating news in a rapidly changing environment brought on by the Internet. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain's Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Ibargüen served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela's Amazon Territory and in Colombia. He practiced law in Hartford, Conn., before joining The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York. He is chairman of the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the Web as a medium that empowers people worldwide to bring about positive change. He serves on corporate boards and the boards of ProPublica and the Council on Foreign Relations. Over the years, he has served on the boards of arts, education, and civic organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Wesleyan University, Smith College, the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art, and as chairman of the board for the Newseum. He served as board chairman of PBS and of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1996, Wesleyan honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 2010, he was the Dwight L. Greene ’70 Symposium speaker on campus. For his work to protect journalists in Latin America as part of the Inter American Press Association, he received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University.)

Jean Adams Shaw P’79 and Ralph "Biff" H. Shaw II ’51, P'79

The Shaws have provided remarkable examples of service to Wesleyan and to the greater Middletown community in a myriad of ways. They have been bridge builders between Wesleyan and the Middletown community, and numerous local organizations have benefited from their dedication.

Jean Shaw P'79 received her B.A. from Skidmore College in 1952, the same year she married Mr. Shaw. She served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy from 1952–53. She began working at Wesleyan as a gallery assistant for the Department of Art in 1969. As events manager and then director of the Center for the Arts from 1974–1999, she helped to establish the center's reputation as a cultural magnet for the University and the state. She then acted as coordinator for Reunion & Commencement from 1999–2002 and as coordinator of the Wesleyan Lecture Series from 1999–2004.

Ms. Shaw has served as president of the Friends of the Davison Art Center. She was a member of the Wesleyan Landmarks Advisory Board for more than two decades. She served on the advisory board of the Green Street Arts Center; both she and her husband, Biff, are mentor-volunteers. Ms. Shaw has participated in numerous community organizations, including the Middletown Foundation for the Arts and the Middlesex United Way, which she served as president and campaign co-chair (with her husband) and currently as a member of the Community Impact Council. She also devotes her time to the Friends of the President Committee at Skidmore College.

Biff Shaw received his M.B.A. from the University of Hartford after graduating from Wesleyan. Following his service in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps from 1952–1954, he joined the Shaw Belting Company in Middletown, where he became president in 1963. He remained in the community to serve as president and CEO of the City Savings Bank in 1977. After a merger, he became president and CEO of Farmers & Mechanics Bank from 1983–1992 and proceeded to become Community Liaison for Middlesex Health System, Inc., until 2003.

At Wesleyan, Mr. Shaw was president of his fraternity and captain of the track team. He has chaired his Class Reunion activities since graduation. He served on the Alumni Council for 12 years, was chair of the National Alumni Fund for two years, and was area chairman for the 15th Decade Fund.

Mr. Shaw has devoted many years to community service. At Middlesex Hospital, he has served as director, chairman of the board, and vice chairman. For the Middlesex United Way, he has been director, president, treasurer, and campaign co-chair. He also was a founder of Middlesex County Community Foundation and has been director, chairman, and secretary. He has had numerous civic activities that range from school building committees to local economic development to oversight of inland wetlands, including service for eight years as chairman of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Raymond E. Baldwin Medal Recipients: Robert Patricelli '61, P'88, P'90 and Margaret Sweetland Patricelli

 Robert and Margaret Patricelli are among the Hartford area's leading citizens and friends of Wesleyan. Their philanthropic and service activities have ranged from the arts to a science museum; from hospitals and educational institutions to programs that assist low-income neighborhoods.

Robert Patricelli is chairman and chief executive officer of Women's Health, USA. He previously was founder, chair, and CEO of both Value Health, a NYSE company and the nation's leading company in specialty managed care (sold in 1997), and Evolution Benefits, a provider of electronic payment solutions (sold in 2010). After graduating from Harvard Law School, he began his career in the federal government, starting as a White House Fellow and then serving as minority counsel to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee, deputy under secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and administrator of the Urban Mass Transit Administration. He then joined CIGNA Corp., rising to executive vice president of the parent company and president of the health care group.

At Wesleyan, he served as a trustee for 15 years and is now an emeritus trustee. In 1986, he received Wesleyan's Distinguished Alumni Award. He and Margaret are major donors to Shining Hope for Communities, founded by Wesleyan students to ameliorate conditions in the Kibera slum outside Nairobi. Margaret is board chair and Bob is a board member, and Shining Hope's facilities, which they have visited, include "Margaret's Safe Place" for housing vulnerable girls. In addition, the Patricelli '92 Theater is named in honor of Robert's father, Leonard J. Patricelli '29.

Mr. Patricelli's many other affiliations include service as a director of numerous companies and nonprofit entities including Newman's Own Foundation, Newman's Own food company, Northeast Utilities, the MetroHartford Alliance, and the Connecticut Science Center. He is chairman of the board of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He likes to cook and drive tractors on their home on Folly Farm in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Margaret Patricelli is president and CEO of the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation, which focuses on programs designed to assist low income neighborhoods in Hartford. It played a leading role in creating the innovative TeacherDollars program in Hartford public schools, which awards principals and teachers in high performing Hartford schools special debit cards that allow them to purchase classroom supplies and equipment. The foundation also created GospelFest at the Bushnell (featuring an all-Hartford 40-church gospel choir), and provided initial funding for Hartford's CrimeStoppers Program.

Ms. Patricelli previously worked in health planning at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, marketing and communications at Connecticut General and CIGNA, and public affairs at ConnectiCare, where she created the ConnectiCare Foundation.

She is active in numerous local, national, and international philanthropic activities, having served on the boards of the Mark Twain House and Museum, Foodshare, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, the Hartford Ballet, and the Simsbury Public Health Commission. She currently serves on the boards of Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Friends of Simsbury Public Library. Ms. Patricelli has made several trips as a volunteer health worker in rural communities in Haiti. She is a graduate of Goucher College, and has a master's degree in public health from University of California, Los Angeles. She likes cats and rhythm and blues.

Andrus Field

Commencement Ceremony Inclement Weather Plan

The Commencement Ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine. Under certain weather conditions, the ceremony may be shifted from the open field, where seating is unlimited, into the large tent on Andrus Field. Although the tent accommodates numerous spectators, seating is limited. In this scenario, we respectfully request that each graduate limit his/her guests to 3 seats under the tent. Please come prepared with raincoats and umbrellas.

Information will be posted on the Wesleyan homepage and the Reunion & Commencement website, and graduating seniors will be notified via email. Details will also be available at Registration (Usdan University Center) and an outgoing message will be on the main University phone number at 860/685-2000. The ceremony will be simulcast in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Crowell Concert Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150) at Exley Science Center, rain or shine. The ceremony may also be viewed online.

Please check or for details the week of May 16, 2011.

Tent, Andrus Field

Immediately following the ceremony

President’s Commencement Celebration

A reception celebrating the Class of 2011 will take place immediately following the Commencement ceremony. Due to the size of the gathering, families and students who wish to meet during the reception are encouraged to identify a “meeting place” in advance (e.g., one of the buildings on College Row). Light refreshments will be available.

North and South College Lawn

Immediately following the ceremony

GLSP Champagne Reception and Diploma Distribution

GLSP graduates and guests are invited to this reception. We will distribute diplomas and raise our glasses in a toast to the graduates!

Tent, Russell House

1:30–2:30 P.M.

Graduate Student Champagne Reception

All MA and PhD degree graduates and their guests are invited to a special post-commencement champagne reception to celebrate this special occasion.

Woodhead Lounge, Exley Science Center