Rob Abel, MD ’65

Why Is Wesleyan Always A Homecoming?

Last weekend was a marvelous experience with friends and classmates at the Homecoming/Family Weekend. A number of us who had lost touch with each other over the years convened to plan our upcoming 50th Reunion. We were whisked away from each other by the fraternity rushing process as freshmen but now have found commonality in our mutual visions for the purpose of life. Kierkegaard stated that we can only understand life retrospectively but have to live it going forward.

Wesleyan was the incubator of my cognitive self and fostered innovation, collaboration and independence. I choose Wesleyan because of my interview with Dean Richard Flowers. He asked me to define what was so special about myself.

I stated that I drew cartoons so he requested that I draw one, which I did. Afterwards he informed me that I would not be able to avoid thinking, writing and public speaking after four years at Wesleyan. How true it was!

 The University experience afforded an outstanding faculty, emphasis on extracurricular development and a safe space to explore myself and others. The sense of discovery was more important than grades.  My fraternity’s name said it all; EQV, Essere Quam Videri, reminded us to "be, rather than to seem.” 

The ’60s were tumultuous times but Wesleyan prepared us to be insightful, involved and both logical as well as intuitive. The memories from our formative years do not fade away, they just incarnate and grow more meaningful. Alumni events are not solely about the institution but about ourselves. They are benchmarks for our more fully developed selves. The differences disappear and the connections become more dear.  The Roth administration intends to keep Wesleyan as a top tier liberal arts experience and has an appreciation for alumni experiences. It is my hope that more ’65ers will return to this rarified space.