Melody Moezzi ’00

When I told my dad I wanted to go to Wesleyan, he responded "Vesley-vhat?" He'd never heard of it. 

Both of my parents grew up in Iran. They both attended the most prestigious university there, and they both became physicians. They came to the United States to live the American Dream, to ensure that their daughters grew up with all the freedoms and opportunities that simply weren't available in Iran after the so-called Islamic Revolution. So my dad wanted me, like him, to attend the "best" university available. To him, this meant Harvard. I didn't even apply to Harvard. To me, the "best" university was a place where I could flourish in every way imaginable, with all the freedoms and opportunities that simply weren't available in Dayton, Ohio, in 1997. I wanted to live the dream they had for me, but they just didn't realize it on account of the wide, unavoidable chasm that exists between all first generation Americans and their parents. Still, they trusted me and let me go.

Not only did I get a top-notch education in the freest environment I've ever experienced, but I met my husband, Matthew Lenard ('00) and my best friend--really a sister--Roxana Jafarian ('98). Today, if you ask my dad about Vesleyan, he will tell you without a moment's hesitation: "It is the best eh-school in the vorld." Not the country. The world. 

[Melody Moezzi is an attorney, activist and author, most recently of Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, a memoir that interweaves her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity. Learn more.]