Text of Ed’s Speech to the Class 2016 at Wine and Cheese

FullSizeRender (5)On Friday September 25, WesWings sponsored a Wine and Cheese party for the class of 2016 at Beckham Hall.  For those who were unable to attend or may have had difficulty hearing due to sound and mic equipment problems, we are posting the details of Ed’s speech here.


Thank you and welcome.  I am Ed Thorndike and I, along with my business partner, Karen Polascik, own Wes Wings and The Red & Black Café.  As many of you know, Wes Wings will be celebrating its 25th year in business.  We have several events planned to celebrate starting with tonight.  Next week we’re bringing a group of our staff to NYC to see Hamilton.  We are also planning a large celebration next spring and we hope to see all of you then too.

Now in addition to owning WesWings, I am also an alum, class of 1989.   I want to welcome you tonight on behalf of the alumni association as well.  Over the coming days, weeks and months you will hear a lot of good reasons why you should contribute to the senior class gift.  And for those who have or will soon be giving, I thank you for your gift.  I know many of you have reasons why you DON’T want to give.  I’ve heard them.  I’m still paying tuition.  I don’t have a job.  I have tons of loans.  Or maybe you’re just pissed off at one of things the administration has done recently.  But here’s the thing.  For me.  When the smoke clears it comes down to the Wesleyan experience.  The Wesleyan experience is special and is what motivates me.  It’s been passed down to you and you will soon pass it down to classes that come after you.  You’re probably asking yourself, “what is this Wesleyan experience of which you speak so eloquently?”  Well I’ll tell you….

It’s football games and basketball and hockey.  It’s ultimate Frisbee and West African dance concerts outside.  It’s seeing your friends in shows at the ’92 theater.  It’s Ebony Singers in the Chapel, it’s research in Hall Atwater

It’s bands at Art House, Buho and Eclectic.  It’s parties in the backyards of Fountain.  It’s a party ON Fountain.  It’s Pine Palace or the Fishbowl.  It’s getting a grilled cheese at 2 am from Whey and a breakfast pail from WesWings the next day.  It’s O’Rourkes, or Ford News Diner.  It’s Thai Gardens, Typhoon and Neon.

It’s Sunday, all day,

at the Red & Black Café

Working on a paper that you should have finished Friday

It’s Millers Pond, Wadsworth Falls, Indian Hill Cemetery.

It’s walking from Usdan to Allbritton in the middle of February

Ok that one kinda sucks

It’s learning from teachers like Higgins, Hoggard, Angle, Brown, and Herbst

Tölölyan,  McAlaster, Grabel, and Rubenstein,

Andrew Szegedy- Maszack and of course Jeanine

It’s getting the keys to your thesis carrel

It’s writing for hours all night in your thesis carrel

It’s having sex in your thesis carrel

It’s cookie dough

It’s champagne on the steps of Olin

It’s Foss Hill in April when it’s 58 degrees and you’re in shorts and a tank ‘cause you just survived another brutal winter in New England and you don’t give a damn

It’s Burlesque, Terp, Holi, WesFest

It’s Undies in Olin

And it’s Senior Week

Then, when you’re all together, gathered on Foss Hill on graduation morning , watching the sunrise over college row.  That’s when it hits you.  That’s when you realize.  This was why.  This was fucking why.

So when you get the call, when they ask you to give, what you can afford, what you’re comfortable with, think of your Wesleyan experience and tell them Hell Yeah!

And then it’s fight for old Wesleyan,
never give in.
Fight to the end
when might and right shall win.
So keep on fighting ’til victory
crowns everyone;
And then it’s fight, fight, fight, fight
for Wesleyan!

Go Wes!

Thank you.  Here’s to you.  Have a great night.  I hope you have an incredible senior year.  I’ll see you at breakfast.

Drop mic  (unless the mic isn’t working then just quickly hop off stage)