Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Return to music feeds the soul

Janna Frelich ’78Janna Frelich ’78 started singing when she was 2 years old, took up piano at 7, and joined her first chorus at 9. It was the beginning of a life steeped in music.

Second actsFrelich earned two degrees in music. She sang in adult choruses, wrote songs, learned to play the harp and worked as a church soloist. But as much as she loved music, it remained a part-time pursuit, until recently. In 2010, after working in health research positions for 26 years, Frelich quit her job as a statistical programmer and enrolled in graduate school to become a music therapist and mental health counselor. [Read more...]

Following her passion at 80

“A bonus life.”

That’s how Dorothy Weber Trogdon ’47 describes her career as a working poet, which didn’t reach full flower until she was 80 years old.

Second actsInitially, her life’s path led her to design, not poetry. Trogdon majored in art history at Wheaton, then earned a master of architecture degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. It was there she met her future husband Bill Trogdon, who was studying under the renowned Walter Gropius.

After marrying, the couple moved to Seattle, Bill’s hometown. He found work right away in a leading architectural firm, but for Dorothy it wasn’t so easy.

“In office after office, I was turned away because I was a woman,” she says. “One potential employer stated frankly that having a woman in the drafting room would mean the guys couldn’t tell their dirty stories.” [Read more...]

Covering the bases

Seminar takes on all-American pastime

The game of baseball, says David Fox, is a microcosm.

“There’s a goofy T-shirt that says, ‘Baseball is life’—and there’s some truth in that,” says the Wheaton theatre professor. “Baseball is a lens on the world. And the human stories that come out of it are very, very compelling.”

Last fall, Fox and 18 freshmen explored some of the game’s most memorable stories in a new First-Year Seminar titled “Curses, Cornfields, and Called Shots: Baseball as the Stuff of Myth and Legend.” Fox, a lifelong Red Sox fan, organized the syllabus into “innings” that explored themes such as baseball as romantic fiction, race and gender in baseball, and baseball’s rough side (subtitled “business, bitterness and scandal”).

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Combating sexual violence

Grant will support new campus programs

combating sexual violence

In November, Kate Gannon ’16 raised awareness about sexual assault by hanging fact-filled pink shoes from a tree in the Dimple as part of her outrageous acts assignment for her “Introduction to Women’s Studies” class. “I was doing some research and I read a fact, which I put on one of the shoes, that 97 percent of rapists don’t spend a day in jail. That was startling to me and devastating. So I decided to do a piece about victim blaming because women are often blamed for what they are wearing,” she said.

Wheaton has won a three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to develop programming aimed at combating sexual violence on campus. In partnership with the Norton Police Department and New Hope, a sexual violence crisis center in Attleboro, the college intends to create a comprehensive community-based model that can be shared nationally.

The grant from the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women will support “a continuum of programming that will convey a consistent message that violence against women is not tolerated” at Wheaton, according to the college’s grant proposal. Rather than focusing solely on perpetrators and victims, the program will stress the notion that “every community member has a role to play in combating sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.”

Wheaton was one of 22 institutions awarded a grant from among 110 applicants.

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