Well the entertainment world anyway. It all started when I read an article in the back of Time Out NY and discovered that the creator of The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda went to Wesleyan, next Carol Cooper from the Village Voice, who I met at the Philoctetes Center after the Harlan Ellison documentary, and then the article in the New York Times how Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men was also a Wesleyan graduate, so I had do some investigating. And I was surprised.
Not only did Michael Bay (the director who likes to blow things up), but also Eric Asimov, who writes a column on wine for the New York Times, Miguel Areta (who directed Chuck and Buck and The Good Girl, two awesome films), Robin Cook who writes all those medical thrillers I don't read, Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman, Dana Delany (the best thing to happen to Desperate Housewives), Sebastien Junger (hot author of The Perfect Storm), Mr. Lemony Snicket himself, Daniel Handler, Bradley Whitford from The West Wing the list goes on and on (funny that cutie pie author wasn't on the list but I guess he hasn't gotten into world domination yet. Give him time!)
The most important graduate of Wesleyan, the man who makes me scream like a crazy fan girl (apart from cutie pie author, but that's another story)? None other than Joss Whedon. Yes, the genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Oh my god, I am so awed by that. It kind of makes me wish that I had applied when I was thinking about colleges (we would have been contemporaries). Why didn't I apply to Wesleyan?
Oh yeah, because it is in the middle of nowhere Connecticut. See here's the thing, I grew up in a city and while I'm not opposed to the rural areas of our country, the thought of spending 4 years in the country gave me hives. My safety college was Bard and even though they gave me the most financial aid, and Blythe Danner and Chevy Chase went there, the idea of having to strap on snow shoes to get to class weirded me out. Plus I was worried that I would take the train every weekend to the city to get away, and that it was too close to our house upstate which potentially meant my mother might have dropped by. A lot.
Which is why I went to Syracuse, which is allegedly a city, and I use the term loosely. Not that Syracuse is a bad school, it does have distinguished alumna like Ted Koppel and Vanessa Williams (you can find a list of our distinguished alumnae here, a great study abroad program, a professional theater company attached to the drama department (they also gave me 6 credits apiece for my two AP tests which made me a sophomore after my first semester) but it was also buried until like 900 inches of snow a year. Seriously, it snowed in May my freshman year. Which is why I graduated in 3 years.
But still if I had been able to look into a crystal ball and known that the God Whedon was going to attend Wesleyan, well I would have applied. Not that it meant I would have gotten in but seriously I got into every single college I applied to except for Vassar (and I'm still bitter about that). Nothing like checking off the box 'other' on your college application to get you noticed (or I just checked all the boxes just to be contrary).
Sigh, so close to the genius of the past 20 years and yet so far!
Addendum: Wesleyan was voted most annoying liberal arts college by Gawker while Bard was noted as putting the liberal in liberal arts. Syracuse? Well they were voted one of the 50 top universities in the country. Go Orange Men!