Professor Neely Bruce Honored at Winchester Award Ceremony


Brothers and Friends,


On behalf of the Xi Chapter of Psi Upsilon, and all of the brothers assembled as well as those unable to attend, welcome to our annual Caleb T. Winchester Award Ceremony dinner. As brothers of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity, we are tasked each year with upholding the ideals upon which our fraternity was founded. Paramount among these are the four founding virtues that together make up the Psi U credo. For those unfamiliar, they are personal responsibility, virtuous character, service to others, and pursuit of wisdom. Part of being a member of an organization such as Psi U is holding the timeless principles that the organization was founded upon near and dear to your heart, as expressed through your daily actions. However, it is not enough to personally live these values in your own life. It is also important to celebrate them in others, so as to recognize those who similarly demonstrate their commitment to our ideals, even outside of our organization. It should be every brother’s desire to see the values that were so clearly articulated by our founding brothers, reflected and perpetuated independent of our organization today.

We reflect on the way in which our brave public servants from the Fire and Police departments express service to others through the Public Service Dinner that we host for them every semester. We show our commitment to Personal Responsibility and Virtuous Character by maintaining an active presence on Wesleyan’s campus, in many endeavors outside of our organization and through various community service events and a multitude of extracurricular activities that brothers participate in on a daily basis. And it is through this ceremony and the presentation of this award that we show our commitment not only to individual academic achievement, but also to the lifelong pursuit of true knowledge and wisdom, so perfectly encapsulated in the exceptionally impressive life of Professor Winchester.

By all accounts, Caleb Thomas Winchester was the living embodiment of the value pursuit of wisdom in his day. He graduated from Wesleyan in 1869, and went on to become a Librarian at the University shortly thereafter. For those who were unaware, the library used to be located in Rich Hall, in what is now referred to as the 92’ theater, which was built just after the civil war. He worked there for 4 years until 1873, when he became a full time professor of English literature here at his Alma Mater. He kept this job for 47 years until his death in 1920. During his 51 years of service to Wesleyan as a member of the university, Professor Winchester was known to students and faculty alike (so the story goes) as “Wesleyan’s Greatest Teacher”. Of the 73 years of his life (beginning as it did in 1847), he spent a full 55 of them dedicated to the betterment of the Wesleyan Community in Scholarship. Professor Winchester took the lessons learned as an undergraduate brother, and lived his life in accordance with those values that he held dear. Whether you are a brother or not, we should all aspire towards the admirable example set some hundred years ago by Caleb Thomas Winchester.

Every year we choose a professor, who, through their scholarly works and interactions with students inside the classroom and beyond, best embody the extraordinary life of Caleb Winchester. This semester, the brotherhood has selected Professor Neely Bruce of the Music Department to receive this award.

Thank you all for coming, and may your continuing contributions to the Wesleyan community outshine even those who came before you.


Thank you.


-Reiss Clauson-Wolf

Archon Spring 2012


Now it is my honor to introduce our Vice President Simon Edmonds-Langham, (without whom my job would be nearly impossible), so that he may preface and introduce the remarks prepared by professor Neely Bruce.