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HISTORICAL ROW: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

When you’re chatting about alma mater, do you find yourself explaining which Wesleyan? Ever wish you had attended Middletown College, Winchester College, or even Wultuna? All three are names that alumni of past generations, discontented with the name of “Wesleyan,” suggested as an alternative.   Over the past 172 years, only one small, official change…

HISTORICAL ROW: SUMMER SCHOOL CLOSED DUE TO SNOW

This summer, the Graduate Liberal Studies Program celebrates its 50th anniversary. The first program of its kind, it opened in the summer of 1953 as the Graduate Summer School for Teachers (GSS). Despite the later addition of evening courses during the fall and spring semesters, the program retained its name until the winter of 1978.…

HISTORICAL ROW: A CHAPEL FOR ALL SEASONS

When Wesleyan men came home from the Civil War, a new era of campus expansion began. College Row, then known as Brownstone Row, came into its own with the construction of three of its five prominent buildings. Joseph Cummings, Wesleyan’s president from 1858 to 1875, ushered in an era of particular closeness with the Methodist…

HISTORICAL ROW: THE DAVISON RARE BOOK ROOM AT FIFTY

George W. Davison was born March 25, 1872, in Rockville Centre on Long Island. Always a high achiever, he matriculated at Wesleyan at age 16. A classics major, he excelled in academics as well as athletics, and he was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. He served as president of his class in 1890,…

HISTORICAL ROW: THE SINGING COLLEGE

Long before our time, Wesleyan was sometimes known as “The Singing College.” This sobriquet reflected the many musical pastimes of Wesleyan students, from the Speirachordeon Band of the late 1830s, to the informal college sings that often took place on the steps of North College, to the various incarnations of the Wesleyan Glee Club from…

HISTORICAL ROW: CROSS STREET A.M.E. ZION CHURCH AND WESLEYAN

Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church has a rich and complex history as Middletown’s oldest African–American church, founded in the 1820s. An exhibition on view in Olin Library from June 24 through November 4 celebrates the church’s important role in Middletown during the city’s 350th anniversary year.   Jehiel Beman, Cross Street Church’s pastor from 1831…

HISTORICAL ROW: ALL RAILROADS LEAD TO MIDDLETOWN

From the earliest days, Wesleyan graduates have been a far-flung crowd. The first six alumni of the Class of 1833—missionaries, teachers, and adventurers—scattered to New York, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and eventually Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina.   Keeping in touch after graduation was a challenge then, as now. Members of the small early classes could…

HISTORICAL ROW: “THE GOOD OF THE WORLD”

Wesleyan students’ deep involvement in the service of the Middletown community dates back to the earliest years of the university. The seeds of student service are rooted in Willbur Fisk’s Sept. 21, 1831, inaugural address, “The Science of Education.” Fisk, a noted educational reformer and prominent Methodist, outlined his plan for a new kind of…