Highly stimulating, WESeminar topics are timely and diverse, focusing on everything from How Movies Prepare Us to Choose War to How to Counteract the Harmful Effects of Stress, offering attendees the opportunity to enjoy the intellectual experience Wesleyan is known for.
Programs are scheduled on campus during Reunion & Commencement and Homecoming/Family Weekend and typically last 60–90 minutes, with formats that include lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and performances featuring alumni, parents, faculty, and student presenters.
WESeminars evolved from the Alumni College program started at Wesleyan in the late 1980s, when Alumni volunteers, working with the Office of Alumni Programs, formed an Educational Programs Committee to develop a series of panel discussions and lectures during Reunion Weekend and Homecoming Weekend. These early programs, featuring faculty and alumni presenters, provided an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the University and became a core of the programming for major weekends on campus.
The Alumni College program grew throughout the 1990s, and in 1997, an office of Lifelong Learning was established to oversee educational programs for alumni. The Alumni College program was renamed WESeminars and the Educational Programs Committee evolved into the WESeminar Committee, whose primary purpose was to serve as an advisory body supporting the development of campus lectures, panels, workshops, and performances by faculty, alumni, parents, and students. At this time Homecoming Weekend was combined with Family Weekend and WESeminars became a stronger component of Homecoming/Family Weekend.
Today members of the Alumni and Parent Relations staff work with the WESeminar Committee to coordinate interesting and diverse programs for Reunion & Commencement Weekend, (two weekends which were combined in 2000), and Homecoming/Family Weekend, sponsoring 20 to 25 WESeminars during each of these big weekend events.
Future of WESeminars
With the increasing popularity of the WESeminars, we will continue looking for the best ways to extend the reach of programs, videotaping and web casting select seminars, and making them available to members of the Wesleyan community who can’t be on campus to enjoy them.
Educational Programs Committee
The Educational Programs Committee is a subcommittee of the Alumni Association’s Executive Committee. Alumni, parents, faculty, and staff serve on the Committee and provide guidance and recommendations to the Alumni Relations staff about WESeminars, educational program ideas and management. In addition to advising staff, members of the Committee may coordinate panels or lectures, contact potential presenters, introduce seminars, and participate as presenters.