Despite a tumultuous year interspersed with pandemic ups and downs, the Wesleyan community persevered. After resuming full in-person learning for the spring semester of 2021, students resumed their research, community service, social justice and entrepreneurship projects, extracurricular activities, and athletic contests. The 2021 class celebrated with an in-person graduation ceremony, with optional mask. Faculty members have won numerous scholarships and awards, and one alumnus even won an Oscar. Wesleyan continues to help people become more engaged citizens while providing a solid liberal education.
In this timeline, we look back and explore some of the University’s accomplishments in 2021:
February 9: Students return to campus for the spring semester
Wesleyan’s spring semester 2021 began on Tuesday, February 9, with 2,148 students residing on campus. During the arrival period, held February 5-8, approximately 1,950 students returned to campus after the winter break. All students were required to test and self-quarantine before arriving in order to prepare for a safe return. Read the story.
March 5: Staff working behind the scenes to create a successful COVID-19 testing operation
A dedicated team of Wesleyan employees stepped out of their traditional roles and developed what is now one of the most important operations on campus: an ad hoc COVID-19 testing site. At the start of the spring semester, students still had to take the test twice a week, and employees once a week. Read the story.
March 30: Students gather to honor Atlanta victims and fight anti-Asian violence
More than 150 students gathered outside Usdan University Center for a community vigil to mourn the victims of the Atlanta spa shooting on March 16 and to create a safe space for Asian and American students to Asian origin to discuss the rise of anti-Asian violence and to be heard by the community. The vigil was hosted by Emily Chen ’23, Kevin Le ’22 and graduate student Emily Moon, in conjunction with members of the Asian American Student Collective. Read the story.
April 16: Wesleyan to require students to be vaccinated for fall semester 2021
The University has become one of the first in the country to require that all students receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus for the fall semester. For students currently studying on campus, Wesleyan, in partnership with the Community Health Center, offered a Pfizer vaccination clinic on campus. Read the story.
April 26: Janvey ’06 wins the 2021 Oscar for the production of Nomadland
A film produced by Dan Janvey ’06 titled Nomadic country was the recipient of a 2021 Oscar presented at the 93rd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards on April 25. Read the story.
May 10: Wesleyan to build renovated public affairs center, art gallery
Wesleyan will inaugurate a renovated and expanded Public Affairs Center (PAC) and new art gallery located between the east end of the Olin Library and the campus walkway behind Judd Hall. The project includes a complete renovation of the current PAC building, which was built in 1927 as a dormitory. Read the story.
May 10: Murillo receives the award for four poetry quartets.
John Murillo, Director of Creative Writing and Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, received the 2021 Four Quartets Award for his poem “A Refusal to Mourn the Deaths, by Gunfire, of Three Men in Brooklyn” from his book of poetry. Contemporary American Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020). Also in 2021, Murillo won the Tufts Kingsley Award for Poetry in April; he was nominated for a NAACP Images Award for Contemporary American Poetry in February; his collection was shortlisted for the PEN / Voelcker and Believer Book Awards in January; and his poetry has been published in American Poetry Review. Read the story.
May 26: Perseverance, pride and progress characterize the 189th launch. Thanks to nationwide vaccination efforts and more flexible guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a limited number of guests were allowed to attend the in-person launch, which was socially unfolding. distanced. Read the story.
June 2: Ligon ’82, Hon. ’12 Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Artist Glenn Ligon ’82, Hon. 12, best known for his landmark textual paintings that draw on the influential writings and speeches of 20th-century cultural figures including James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Genet, and Richard Pryor, was inducted into the American Academy of arts and letters. Ligon’s work is an exploration of American history, literature, and society that draws on the legacy of modern painting and more recent conceptual art. Read the story.
June 3: NASA selects 2 proposed Venus mission concepts co-developed by Gilmore
Two proposed Venus mission concepts co-developed by planetary geologist Martha Gilmore have been selected by NASA Discovery program. The selected missions aim to understand how Venus became a scorching planet after it was potentially another habitable world in the solar system with an Earth-like climate. Gilmore, Professor of Geology George I. Seney, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is a co-investigator of the two winning concepts. Each project will receive around $ 500 million per development mission and is expected to be launched in the period 2028-2030. Read the story.
September 3: New students arrive at Wesleyan full of hope
More than 900 students from the class of 2025 – the second largest in Wesleyan history – along with transfer students and students who have deferred admission, moved in on Wednesday morning. Many of this diverse group of young people from across the country and around the world have walked their entire application process through the complications of a global pandemic, demonstrating resilience in addition to an intellectual and social sense. Read the story.
September 15: Student-athletes return to regular play after a 2-year hiatus
You would never know the Cardinals have had nearly two full years off work because of the global pandemic. “It was awesome. It had been about 600 days since we last played, so the sophomores and freshmen were extremely excited to go there, ”said Ethan Barrett ’24, a member of the men’s soccer team. “This is what we were talking about. This is the thing we dreamed of, to launch into this field. Read the story.
September 17: Discovery of a 67-year time capsule during the renovation of the PAC
The ongoing demolition of the 1954 wing of the Center for Public Affairs (PAC) added a touch of history when teams unearthed a time capsule sealed in the concrete entrance slab on the east side of the building. Inside, archivists found a copy of the October 22, 1954 edition of The Wesleyan Argus announcing the grand opening of the new PAC building as well as a development program newsletter, class directories, course listings, financial reports, library budget, etc. Read the story.
October 18: Wesleyan board announces extension of Roth contract
President Michel rothThe contract was extended until the summer of 2026. “Michael has been an extraordinary steward of this university. His leadership guided Wesleyan through the dangers of an international economic crisis and a global pandemic; it has encouraged innovation while keeping the principles of a liberal, pragmatic education at the forefront of everything we do, ”said John B. Frank, Chairman of the Board. Read the story.
October 18: Wesleyan facility staff presented through ‘WesWorks’ performance
Forklift Danceworks, in collaboration with the Center for the Arts, created ‘WesWorks’, a dance / theater presentation that highlights the important work of maintenance staff, gardeners, power plant workers and other workers in the field. the physical factory that power Wesleyan University. The personal narrative of the workers has mixed with a stylized presentation of their work to create a fascinating work of art. Read the story.
December 6: NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament Race Ends in National Semifinals
Wesleyan’s 2021 season is also easily the best in program history, with the Cardinals setting new program records in all major statistical categories, including wins, NESCAC wins, goals, assists, points, shots, shutouts, unbeaten streaks, winning streaks and did so while playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time in team history. Read the story.
December 22: Wesleyan to become a tobacco-free and vaping-free campus
As of January 1, 2022, no tobacco products will be permitted on campus to help protect and promote the health of the Wesleyan community, now and for years to come. Read the story.
Additionally, Wesleyan mourns the loss of seven teachers who died in 2021:
Christina crosby, professor of English and feminist, gender and sexuality studies;Peter “Kosty” Kostacopoulos, assistant professor of physical education, emeritus and former head coach of baseball and assistant football coach; Alvin Lucier, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, Emeritus; Richard ohmann, Benjamin Waite, professor of English, emeritus; Donald russell, professor of physical education, emeritus and former director of athletics and head football coach; Frances sheng, Associate Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Literatures, Emeritus; and Ann wightman, professor of history, emeritus, died on March 11 at the age of 70.