Bill Holder

William Holder ¹75 is editor of Wesleyan magazine.

ENDOWMENT MANAGEMENT THE WESLEYAN WAY

In 1866 Wesleyan established the Permanent Fund, also known as the endowment, with $93,153 in pledges and gifts. The word “permanent” implied confidence and a forward-looking mentality. Wesleyan’s leaders then would surely be pleased to know that the endowment has delivered on its promise to be an enduring bedrock of financial security, managed to help…

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WESLEYAN HISTORY (NOT REALLY…)

To walk Wesleyan’s campus is to be surrounded by history that whispers from buildings. Presidents left their mark (or didn’t), legendary faculty built Wesleyan’s reputation, controversies raged, student life underwent seismic upheavals—all making Wesleyan what it is today. In the following pages we recount selected points of that evolution, drawing heavily on the insightful histories…

EDITOR’S NOTE: WHY DID WESLEYAN ABANDON COEDUCATION IN 1909?

I thought I knew the answer, and in my mind this odd twist in the history of a progressive institution arose from antagonistic feelings harbored by male students who felt threatened by the academic prowess of their female peers. Men were certainly antagonistic and the small number of women at Wesleyan then were academic achievers,…

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Illusory Bubble

I often hear students refer to the “Wesleyan bubble,” a term meant to suggest that life on campus is somehow apart from the world. In some respects, it is—by design. The opportunity to take a course with no apparent connection to anything practical or career oriented is part of the search for meaning and unexpected…

NO PASSING ZONE: AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE

Casey Dinges ’79 and his colleagues at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) developed a report card that has shaped the nation’s view of the dire state of our infrastructure. Planning a trip to the nation’s capital this year? You may get a firsthand glimpse of our country’s infrastructure problems: overcrowded airports, massive traffic…

MARSHALL PLAN AT 70: DO THE TIES STILL BIND?

Karen Donfried ’84, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, previously served as special assistant to President Obama and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House, leading the development and implementation of the president’s European policies. She was a recipient of a Distinguished Alumna Award…

Editor’s Note: Expanding Our Vision

When I was a young teenager, I devoured science fiction. I figured that by the turn of the 21st century we would have a colony on Mars, or at least the moon, so science fiction seemed like tomorrow’s news today. My reading habits have long since changed—literary fiction, mysteries and thrillers, and longform journalism, for…

EDITOR’S NOTE: CHOICES IN FOOD AND IN LIFE

We’ve become familiar with celebrity chefs, but a celebrity rancher? As the subject of feature articles in publications ranging from The New Yorker to Modern Farmer, Anya Fernald ’98 is getting noticed for her efforts to redefine what it means to eat meat in America. She appeals to those who will pay a hefty premium…

PORTER ’02 USES BIG DATA TO ADVISE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS

Dan Porter ’02 knows how you’re going to vote next November. If that’s a shock, then welcome to the world of big data. Google knows what ads to give you, Netflix knows what shows you like to watch, and your credit card company likely knows more about your buying habits than you do. A wealth…