Dear President’s Commissioners,
As March roars in with more snow, my thoughts turn to looking beyond the current white horizon and envisioning Wheaton’s future. Between all of the snow days, the Strategic Planning Task Force has led faculty and staff on campus to brainstorm ideas and create “wish lists” for the college. By the time you read this, the greater Wheaton community will have engaged online to discuss Wheaton’s future, too. Plans are currently underway for meetings in major cities around the country for alumnae/i, parents, and friends to gather and share ideas. How do we as a community (students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, parents, and friends) identify Wheaton’s strengths and enhance its distinctive character for future generations?
During our April meeting, I will ask you, as important stakeholders in Wheaton, to join this essential strategic planning process for the institution. What are we doing right? What great things are happening here that we can build upon? How can our values and strengths make us more distinctive? Please bring your ideas and be prepared to share them with other Commissioners, Wheaton staff, and me.
Beyond thinking about Wheaton’s future, there is also the pressing issue of student retention. While Wheaton retains students well above the national average, you will learn which steps are being taken to help improve the student experience, in and out of the classroom, as we focus on our retention rate.
I hope that you will join me on Friday, April 24th as we begin “Envisioning Wheaton’s Future.” Our day will begin with check-in at 8:45 a.m. Registration and our first sessions will be held in the Holman Room of Mary Lyon Hall. Please review the tentative agenda and register online by Friday, April 17th. Any dietary or mobility restrictions can be noted in the box provided at the bottom of the registration form.
If your schedule permits, we hope you will join us, along with current students, on Thursday evening, April 23rd, for dinner at Emerson Dining Hall from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn first-hand from our students about their Wheaton experiences.
Also, I have the pleasure of inviting you and a guest to join other Wheaton College alumnae/i and friends for a guided tour of “Art in Bloom” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Through the generosity of a Wheaton alumna, the college is a proud sponsor of this extraordinary annual festival of art and floral design.
We have scheduled two tours, for 25 guests each, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 25th, each with a museum-trained guide. While “Art in Bloom” features floral arrangements inspired by specific works of art through the museum, there are also special exhibits, such as “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott,” in which the famed photographer turned his lens on his boyhood home, and Etruscan, Roman and Greek gems in the Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery, available to our guests. Tickets are limited, and first come will be first served! If you would like to stay for lunch at the Museum of Fine Arts, the college has also made a reservation for a limited number of guests at 12:15 p.m. at Bravo, one of the museum’s restaurants.
If you need hotel accommodations, a special rate has been secured at the following hotel:
Courtyard by Marriott Boston Foxborough/Mansfield
35 Foxborough Boulevard
Foxborough, MA 02035
$125.00 plus taxes
Rooms are blocked under the name “Wheaton College, President’s Commission.” To guarantee this special rate, you must contact the hotel directly and make your reservation by Thursday, April 2nd. Hotel directions are available here. Directions to Wheaton College and information about how to get around the Norton area are available here.
On behalf of Wheaton and its students, I want to thank you for your efforts. I look forward to seeing on April 24th!