Historical Row

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…