Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the President

President’s Blog

  • Cullen-LR-169 Maura Cullen to visit campus

    An expert on diversity and leadership, Maura Cullen will engage the campus in a series of workshops and conversations aimed at building a more inclusive community.

    Maura Cullen, an expert on diversity and leadership, will be at Wheaton on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20 to engage the campus in a series of workshops and conversations aimed at building a more inclusive community. The visit is being sponsored by Wheaton’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity, a campus-wide leadership team composed of students, faculty and staff.

    Cullen has worked with more than 500 organizations throughout the United States as well as in Canada and Australia. She is the author of the book, “35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap” and holds a doctorate in social justice and diversity education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    “Dr. Cullen's visit provides us with an incredible opportunity to come together for important conversations that can shape our community today and far into the future,” President Dennis Hanno said in an email encouraging students, faculty and staff to attend the workshops.

    The two-day program will involve all members of the campus community.

    On Monday, October 19, Dr. Cullen will give an evening talk for all Wheaton students in Hindle Auditorium from 7:00–8:30 p.m. Students are invited to come to the Diana Davis Spencer Café for pizza and follow-up conversations immediately after the talk.

    Invited student leaders will attend a breakfast workshop on Tuesday, October 20 from 8:30–10 a.m. in the Chase Small conference room.

    Wheaton staff members are encouraged to attend a coffee break session on Tuesday, October 20 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Weber Auditorium.

    A lunch session will be held for all faculty on Tuesday, October 20 from 12:30–2:00 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room at Emerson Dining Hall.

    And, finally, the Council on Inclusion and Diversity will attend a wrap-up session on Tuesday, October 20 from 2:00–3:00 p.m.in the President's Dining Room at Emerson.

  • DavisHouse Building community

    President Hanno announces the launch of Building Community Together, a year-long initiative for students, faculty and staff.

    To the campus community,

    Members of the Class of 2019 represent 40 different countries and 27 states. Overall, students come to campus from more than 70 nations and nearly 40 states. Approximately 21 percent of enrolled students identify a diverse racial or ethnic background. The variety of experiences and backgrounds that we possess as a community is a wonderful educational asset, if we use it to listen closely, respect viewpoints different from our own and learn from each other.

    Wheaton should be leading the way in building an inclusive and welcoming community for all. Today, I am calling on the entire campus to dedicate ourselves to appreciating and learning from our diversity. Building Community Together is what we are calling this year-long initiative, and it expresses our goal: to create an environment of openness and mutual respect and appreciation.

    This initiative will kick off with a full-day of activities in October. The day will include a keynote address for the whole campus as well as opportunities for members of the community to explore issues and concerns related to achieving inclusion and the barriers to reaching our goals in small group settings. Planning for this day is being led by the Council on Inclusion and Diversity (CID) and details will be announced soon.

    In addition to the launch, the CID will be coordinating events, workshops and activities throughout the entire year that encourage us to listen to each other, consider perspectives beyond our own and learn from those experiences. A number of programs are already planned for this semester, and we will be adding more. I encourage other groups and organizations on campus to also create activities and programs that focus on this important goal. (Learn more about what’s already planned and how you can get involved.) I urge every member of the community to participate in as many of these activities as possible. We cannot be passive bystanders; we must all be involved in building a stronger community.

    This would be an important effort under any circumstances. Considering the flyers that were posted in Meadows West at the start of the semester, it seems all the more necessary. The ignorance, bias and hate that they express are a direct challenge to the college’s mission and values. Those posters express an active resistance to learning from others as well as a lack of respect that runs counter to the college’s Honor Code.

    The Department of Public Safety has investigated that incident vigorously, cross-checking building access records and interviewing a number of Wheaton students. While we have not identified the person or persons who are responsible for this reprehensible act, the investigation remains open and we continue to work on developing new leads.We have found no evidence suggesting that the people who did this are not members of our community. In fact, I am certain that there are those who know more about this incident than they have shared, and I urge them to come forward. Report what you know to Public Safety, report it anonymously or contact me.

    Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, we should focus on how to create an environment in which every individual feels safe and respected, a place in which we learn from each other, in and out of the classroom. To be successful, we need to be sure this goal is present in what we do in the classroom, what we do with our co-curricular activities, and what we do in the way we live and work together. It can't be an afterthought or even a temporary focus; it has to be integral to everything we do. But to get there, we do need to make it a special and explicit focus. This initiative makes it that.

    You have to be the driver for Building Community Together. Come to me with ideas and with your passion. If you are interested in a particular topic or type of program, you can make it happen. CID is offering funding to support faculty, staff and student collaboration on initiatives that promote inclusion and diversity on campus. You can find information about this funding on the CID website (http://wheatoncollege.edu/president/council-on-inclusion-and-diversity/). While there is a deadline of October 15 for the current round of funding, if you have a good idea in need of funding at any time, let me know. Together we can make a difference.

    Together we can build a better Wheaton. Join me in Building Community Together.


    Dennis Hanno

  • Lyons Lunch and Learn Webcast: Catch Lyons Pride

    Get on the field with the Lyons!


    Wheaton's student-athletes learn skills in competition that prepare them for success, whether it be practicing medicine, running a business, playing in the major leagues or winning American Idol!

    Join President Dennis M. Hanno at the Haas Athletic Center on Wednesday, September 30 at 12:30 p.m., to learn about the college's athletics program and to hear how competition on the field complements learning in the classroom directly from current student-athletes.


    Check in on how the Lyons athletic teams are faring. More >>


  • KDN_9385 You make dreams come true

    President Hanno’s commencement address to the Class of 2015 (text and video).

  • Chapel Field Webcast: Meet the Class of 2015

    Tune in to meet some of our soon-to-be graduates


    President Dennis M. Hanno will be joined by members of the Class of 2015 to discuss the Wheaton experience and their post-graduation plans.

  • Tragedy in Nepal

    A message about responding to the earthquake in Nepal.

    To the Wheaton community: 

    The earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday has wreaked destruction in Kathmandu and impacted people across the region. The loss of life, the damage to property and the destruction of UNESCO World Heritage sites are devastating. 

    Wheaton College has ties to the region, both through members of our community and our partnership with Royal Thimpu College, in Thimpu, Bhutan, approximately 500 miles from Kathmandu. I am relieved to report that our students and faculty currently studying there, and their colleagues and peers, are safe and well. Tremors from the quake were felt throughout the country, but we are told that there was little or no damage in Bhutan. 

    Still, we know so many others have lost so much. At times like this, it is clear that we all have a responsibility to care for others. As more information comes from Kathmandu, I’m sure the Wheaton community will organize to send assistance to the area. If you would like to act now, Jenish Amatya ‘17 and his sister Kenchan, who are from Kathmandu, have already begun to raise funds to aid in the rebuilding of their country.  

    The tragedy in Nepal underscores the fragility of life; our response can highlight the power of our relationships and concern for our neighbors, near and far.   


    Dennis Hanno 
    Wheaton College

  • Meet our soon-to-be newest graduates

    Meet members of the soon-to-be graduated Class of 2015

    In a month, the members of the Class of 2015 will be heading off in every direction of the compass, to start careers, pursue advanced degrees, participate in public service, work and travel on fellowships.

    President Dennis M. Hanno will be joined by three members of the class for the next installment of Lyons Lunch and Learn to talk about their plans for life after graduation on Saturday, May 16.

    The webcast will take place on Wednesday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

    President Hanno and the soon-to-be-alumnae/i will talk about their Wheaton experiences and the lessons and memories they will be taking with them.

    Share your advice with the senior class or pose a question for the panelists by addressing an email to lyonslunch@wheatoncollege.edu.

  • Lyons Lunch: Creativity and innovation

    A discussion of the innovative ways in which Wheaton faculty and students are collaborating and using technology for creative projects


    This is an archived version of President Dennis M. Hanno's discussion with professors Kelly Goff and Patrick Johnson. They talked about the innovative ways in which Wheaton faculty and students are collaborating and using technology for creative projects.

  • Lyons Lunch: Strategic Planning Webcast

    Watch the webcast at 12:30 p.m. today about the college’s strategic planning effort.

    This is an archived version of the webcast that took place on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

  • Lyons Lunch and Learn Register for strategic planning webcast

    Join this webcast for an introduction to the college’s new strategic planning effort

    Find out how President Dennis M. Hanno plans to lead the Wheaton College community through the strategic planning process and how you can get involved.

    That will be the subject of the next episode of Lyons Lunch and Learning webcast, which will take place on Tuesday, February 24 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

    President Hanno and Professor of Mathematics Tommy Ratliff, who are co-chairing the Strategic Planning Task Force, will discuss the committee’s plans for engaging the entire community—students and alumnae/i, faculty, staff, parents and friends—in identifying Wheaton’s strengths and how the college can enhance its distinctive character and programs.

    Learn how you can join the discussion. The task force has just begun holding meetings on campus, and President Hanno and Professor Ratliff will share some observations from those conversations, and they will talk about their plans for gathering input from alumnae/i, parents and friends through a series of meetings in major cities and through online events planned for the spring semester.

    You can get started now. Share your thoughts on Wheaton’s strengths or ask a question of the task force via email addressed to lyonslunch@wheatoncollege.edu. And register for the webcast today.