Bill Holder

William Holder ¹75 is editor of Wesleyan magazine.

EDITOR’S NOTE: MY FAREWELL COLUMN

William Holder ’75, editor.

Lately I’ve been exploring the devilish complexities of Medicare as I approach my 65th birthday and a time of change in my life (see end of this column). After a good deal of reading, I’ve come away wondering how anyone without good resources navigates this complex system. By all accounts, many people don’t. They run…

LONG ROAD TO POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATION

When Professor Emeritus of History Rick Elphick set out to complete a major work left unfinished by the late Wesleyan history professor Jeffrey Butler, he faced challenges that few editors ever encounter. Starting in the late 1970s, Butler had undertaken a 20-year study of Cradock, the South African town where he grew up, as an…

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…