Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the President

President’s Blog

  • Webcast: Creating change

    Learn about programs that help students put ideas into action to improve the world and as a way to learn about leadership.

    Ian Opaluch ’17

    Student interns gather for a meeting at MassChallenge in Boston.

    New Wheaton programs help students put ideas into action to improve the world and as a way to learn about leadership.

    The next webcast in the Lyons Lunch and Learning series will explore the college's new programs on social innovation and social entrepreneurship, which have been launched with support from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. 

    President Hanno will be joined by Marcia Coné, the college's Entrepreneur in Residence, and students to talk about these vital and innovative new initiatives. 

    Join the conversation by tuning into the webcast on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 12:30 p.m. ET. If you register in advance, you will receive a reminder email on the morning of the program.

  • 14100548_10154442290358328_3017771539061602791_n Seeing others

    Professor of Economics Russell Williams on creating an inclusive community

     

    Professor of Economics Russell Williams delivers the keynote address "Building Community Together" at the 2016 Opening Convocation Ceremony.

  • Webcast: Building Community Together

    On the next Lyons Lunch and Learn webcast, President Dennis M. Hanno will talk about the college’s efforts to foster an inclusive learning environment

    Students can learn so much from each other, particularly considering the range of backgrounds and experiences that Wheaton students bring to campus from the 39 states and 72 countries that they represent.

    What does Wheaton do to create an inclusive environment in which this learning and sharing takes place? And how are the college’s efforts affected by the prejudice, political discord and violence making headlines in the wider world.

    On the next Lyons Lunch and Learning webcast, President Dennis M. Hanno will talk about the college’s efforts to foster an inclusive learning environment as well as the work beginning to develop a strategic plan to further the college’s progress.

    President Hanno will be joined by members of the community who are taking the lead on college efforts to strengthen inclusion, diversity, and community. The discussion will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 15.

    Join the conversation. How do you view the importance of diverse viewpoints on a college campus? What might Wheaton do to promote an inclusive environment that encourages students to learn from each other, from differences as well as similarities?

    Share your thoughts or ask a question of President Hanno and our students by sending a message in advance to lyonslunch@wheatoncollege.edu. And register for the webcast today.

  • Wheaton-Pride Being together and standing together

    The Wheaton community will gather on Monday, June 13, to stand together against hate and intolerance.

    This past Saturday, almost 100 Wheaton community members came together to represent the college for the first time in the Boston Pride Parade. Those marching represented all segments of this great community - faculty, staff, students, alumnae/i, family members, and friends. Being together at such an exciting event was incredibly fun, but more importantly it was incredibly uplifting to see so many community members stand together to celebrate values that are so important to Wheaton: diversity, unity and dignity.

    Unfortunately, the tragic and senseless events this past weekend in Orlando remind us that there are others who do not share these values with us. An attack such as this is an attack on all of us. We owe it to each other to cry out against those who would deny any of us our freedom, our right of expression, and our dignity. Even as such events become all too common, we cannot become jaded or choose to ignore them. We must stand together to express our unity and to become stronger.

    I invite you to stop by this afternoon (Monday, June 13) in Cole Chapel at 3:30 p.m. to express your sympathy for the victims and their families, as well as to show your solidarity as we come together to stand together. While I know that many of our community members are not here on campus at this time of year, I invite all of you to be there in spirit. No matter where you are, you know what a special place the Chapel is and how it so often has served as a rallying place and place of healing for our community. Wherever you are, please pause at 3:30 this afternoon to think about those of us on campus gathering in the Chapel. Join us in spirit and remember your connection to this special community. We need you, just as we all need to stand together to support those affected by this tragic event and to prevent things like this from ever happening again.
    Our banner from the Pride Parade on Saturday will be publicly displayed on campus today to further show our support for the victims of the Orlando tragedy. I hope it also serves to remind you of the incredible power of acting on our values. #WheatonMApride
  • Lyons Lunch and Learn Webcast: Life after Wheaton

    Learn about liberal arts with a real-world Wheaton Edge

    Join President Dennis M. Hanno to learn more about life after Wheaton and preparing for it.

    This Lyons Lunch and Learning webcast will explore the programs and services the college offers to help students connect academic study and the world of work.

    The program will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, on the college’s YouTube channel.

    You will hear directly from students and graduating seniors who share their internship, work and study plans, and how they make the connection to their studies on campus.

    Share your thoughts or ask a question of President Hanno and our students by sending a message in advance to lyonslunch@wheatoncollege.edu. And register for the webcast today.

     

  • Tale of Two Wheatons

    It is increasingly important to clearly articulate and promote our identity and values.

    As the nationwide debate regarding the potential dismissal of a faculty member at the OTHER Wheaton continues, it is of increasing importance for OUR Wheaton College community to clearly articulate and promote our identity and values.

    In an effort to clarify our identity and the values of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, I wrote an essay about the current controversy and our situation, which was published by the Washington Post.

    You can help in the effort to clarify the identity and values of Wheaton College in Massachusetts by sharing this page through your social media accounts with family, friends and acquaintances.

    Dennis M. Hanno
    President

    Previous Statements

    • Seeing others

      Seeing others

      Professor of Economics Russell Williams on creating an inclusive community

     

     

  • Affirming freedom
    A statement on current issues in the news and misidentification of Wheaton College

    Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, is firmly committed to individual, academic and religious freedom as a cornerstone of its liberal arts mission. Some individuals have confused Wheaton in Massachusetts with an institution in Illinois that shares the same name, but is in no way affiliated with our college.

    Let me be clear: The Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., has not suspended a faculty member, a staff member or a student for expressing religious or personal beliefs. Our Wheaton affirms the freedom of faculty, staff and students to share their beliefs while respecting the human rights and dignity of others.

    In fact, The Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., values an inclusive approach to education and the world, welcoming people from every race, ethnic or national background, religious tradition and sexual orientation. We believe that this commitment lies at the heart of our academic mission and is rooted in our founding in 1834 as an institution dedicated to providing opportunity to women.

    Today, as a college coeducational institution with students from 39 states and 72 countries, we carry forward this dedication to excellence and equality. Our unwavering focus on these ideals has resulted in more than 200 Wheaton students winning prestigious international scholarships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright awards, since 2000. For 10 consecutive years, the college has ranked among the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the nation, when it comes to preparing students to win Fulbright Scholarships for advanced study and work abroad.

  • Affirming our values
    A statement on current issues in the news and misidentification of Wheaton College

    Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, is firmly committed to individual, academic and religious freedom as a cornerstone of its liberal arts mission. Some individuals have confused Wheaton in Massachusetts with an institution in Illinois that shares the same name, but is in no way affiliated with our college.

    Let me be clear: The Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., has not suspended a faculty member, a staff member or a student for expressing religious or personal beliefs. Our Wheaton affirms the freedom of faculty, staff and students to share their beliefs while respecting the human rights and dignity of others.

    In fact, The Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., values an inclusive approach to education and the world, welcoming people from every race, ethnic or national background, religious tradition and sexual orientation. We believe that this commitment lies at the heart of our academic mission and is rooted in our founding in 1834 as an institution dedicated to providing opportunity to women.

    Today, as a college coeducational institution with students from 39 states and 72 countries, we carry forward this dedication to excellence and equality. Our unwavering focus on these ideals has resulted in more than 200 Wheaton students winning prestigious international scholarships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright awards, since 2000. For 10 consecutive years, the college has ranked among the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the nation, when it comes to preparing students to win Fulbright Scholarships for advanced study and work abroad.

  • dhanno We have much more to do
    I want to challenge us all to continue to be engaged and to work together to strive for a better Wheaton.

    To the campus community,

    It seems that almost daily we are confronted with news about how issues related to inclusion and diversity are affecting the world, and much more specifically college campuses. On our own campus, we have been challenged with reminders that we are far from perfect. The flyers that appeared in the Meadows residential complex early in the semester provided a clear demonstration that not everyone is prepared to respect others. That incident and subsequent conversations and events have highlighted the overall campus climate issues that challenge us to truly be an inclusive community. It is clear that we have a lot of work to do, and I am committed to the idea that we can do much better. We have to and we will.

    While many people have already dedicated much time to these important issues, I wanted to challenge us all to continue to be engaged and to work together to strive for a better Wheaton. We need more opportunities to take constructive action, such as the event that occurred last Thursday night organized by student leaders from a broad cross-section of campus organizations. The event brought more than 100 students together to discuss the national issues related to race on college campuses and to explore these same issues here at Wheaton. We have had several programs and activities during November related to Native Peoples Heritage Month. The Filene Center is offering a session this week in which alums will share their experiences related to diversity and multiculturalism. There are events and dialogues happening this week related to International Education Week. This is only part of a long list of activities that have occurred this semester, and perhaps the most important message from all of these is the need for even more engagement and action.

    The Council on Inclusion and Diversity (CID) continues to lead the way by developing and promoting activities related to Building Community Together, our year-long effort to create an environment of openness and mutual respect and appreciation. CID organized two days of intensive workshops that engaged more than 400 people from across campus, and has promoted many other events that focus on appreciating difference. In the spring, we are working with the Black Student Association to create a series of events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The keynote speaker, scheduled for February 25, will be Clint Smith (www.clintsmithiii.com), whose TED Talks on The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Son in Black America have been viewed more than four million times. In March, we will host the Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington (www.washingtonconsultinggroup.net/jamie-washington/), noted consultant on creating positive change around issues of diversity on college campuses. He will work across campus to engage all of us in the difficult conversations we must have if we are to build a stronger and more inclusive community.

    To create a more welcoming and inclusive environment, we must also focus on creating more diversity in our faculty and staff. Provost Linda Eisenmann has been working with faculty search committees to stress the importance of this in the searches we are currently conducting. To further this goal at the highest levels of administration, I have asked two members of the Council on Inclusion and Diversity to join the search committee for the next provost and represent our collective efforts at building a stronger and more inclusive community. I am pleased that Professor Peony Fhagen and Janet Ray, Associate Director of the Center for Global Education, both members of CID, have accepted the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

    Beginning this week, I will hold regular conversations specifically dedicated to collecting direct feedback and input on campus climate issues. I will schedule these conversations throughout the remainder of this semester and next semester at different times and with different groups to provide an opportunity for all to engage directly with me. I would like to invite any student interested in discussing these issues to a conversation this Friday afternoon (November 20) from 3:30 to 5:00 PM. I will be joined by Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Kate Kenny. We’ll host this meeting in the Faculty Dining Room in Emerson. Snacks and beverages will be served. Please join us to help us all develop ways to take strong action.

    I know that there is not one right way to address these complex issues. However, one thing is essential: your participation and your willingness to engage in conversations that are uncomfortable. That is a challenge for us all, myself included, but there is no place more fitting to confront issues of race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, than on our college campus. It is part of the college’s educational mission to grapple with difficult topics, to stretch our horizons and to do so with respect and civility for each other.

    While much has been done this semester, so much more remains to be done. We continue to be open to other ideas on how best to engage the community and improve campus culture. If you have a proposal, please contact me or any member of the Council on Inclusion in Diversity (http://wheatoncollege.edu/president/council-on-inclusion-and-diversity/) to share your thoughts. Thank you for engaging in this work that is so important for all of us.

    D. Hanno

    Dennis Hanno
    President
    Wheaton College

  • Chapel Field Update: Tragedy in Paris
    I am personally saddened by the heinous and senseless attacks that have taken place in Paris, as is our entire community.

    This message was distributed by email to students, faculty and staff on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015.

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