Tag Archives: Wesleyan


It’s off to Middletown, CT for me this weekend, to Wesleyan University, where I’m receiving the Distinguished Alumna award from my alma mater, an award that clearly indicates just how far the market value of Distinguishment has fallen. Wesleyan, where I studied from 1976-80 remains, after all this time,  a place rife with mythology and […]

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“A Freshman All Over Again” — JFB column in New York Times, August 23, 2012

This op/ed appeared Thursday, August 23rd.  I was substituting for Nicholas Kristof. A Freshman All Over Again by Jennifer Finney Boylan Thirty-six years ago, my mother and father pulled up in front of a dormitory at Wesleyan University in a cream-colored Oldsmobile Omega. “At last!” my mother declared. “College!” From the back seat, I glowered […]

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James Boylan Live at Wesleyan University, April 1980

In April of 1980, young James Boylan played the West College Coffeehouse at Wesleyan University.  The evening consisted of a bunch of original tunes, a couple of Fairport Convention covers, and a wide range of strange jams, non-sequiters, and complete nonsense.  Boylan performed on piano, concertina, and electric autoharp. Now, thirty years later, the original […]

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Thirty Seconds Over Wesleyland

1. Woke up this morning amid the green fields of Yale University, where I’d performed my one-woman show, “The Porcupine Woman” the night before, and then went out with friend & writer Dani Shapiro, and husband Michael.  Drink, as they say in Ireland, was taken. 2. Got in the car and drove to my alma […]

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Walter Cronkite: Speechless

In the wake of Walter Cronkite’s death, there’s been a lot of thoughtful commentary about the way “Grampa” channeled history for us– at least for those of us of a certain age. I’m 51, so the CBS Evening News was a constant throughout my childhood. I remember Cronkite announcing the deaths of RFK, and MLK, […]

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  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee


    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth


    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."