Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Michael Graca

Michael Graca is the college's Assistant Vice President for Communications.

Supporting international students

UWC DavisThe college has received a $150,000 award from the Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars Program to provide scholarship support for talented students from around the globe.

The grant will provide scholarships to students who are admitted to Wheaton from one of the 12 United World College schools, which are located in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Central America.

[Read more...]

Exploring new terrain

Ganymede-QProfessor leads mapping of Jovian moon

Geology professor Geoffrey Collins led a team of researchers, including Wheaton students, in producing the first global geologic map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon and the largest satellite in our solar system.

The map, published by the U.S. Geological Survey, is the first complete global map of an outer-planet moon. It will provide critical data to scientists planning future studies and exploration of our solar system, including follow-up missions to Ganymede and other satellites of Jupiter.

The work is particularly significant because the moon offers a good model for understanding icy worlds that appear to be common in our solar system and beyond.

“On icy worlds such as Ganymede, liquid water probably exists below the surface and may be in contact with nutrients from rocky materials,” said Collins, who led the mapping team. “That’s one of the reasons we’re so interested in understanding how icy worlds work, so we can understand the possibility of life beneath the surface and how we should go about looking for it.”

[Read more...]

President Feature

Championing the liberal arts

Ronald A. Crutcher reflects on 10-year presidency

At the end of this academic year, President Crutcher will leave Wheaton. Here, the Quarterly notes his contributions to the college and the world of higher education, through images, comments from the Wheaton community, and a recent interview in which he discusses the enduring value of the liberal arts. 
2005: Wheaton Trustee Emerita Patricia King ’63 places medallion on the president at his inauguration. (Michael Dwyer photo)

2005: Wheaton Trustee Emerita Patricia King ’63 places medallion on the president at his inauguration. (Michael Dwyer photo)

“Mentoring is important to me and to Betty,” the president says, leaning forward over the table in his Park Hall office.

“It’s important to me because I wouldn’t be the person that I am today were it not for Elizabeth Potteiger, my cello teacher, who was one of the first persons outside of my parents to be a mentor to me,” he says. “As a result of getting to know her and studying the cello with her, I made a pledge to myself that I wanted to do for others what she had done for me.”

2011: President Crutcher and Betty Neal Crutcher host a holiday gathering with the students they mentor. (Nicki Pardo photo)

2011: President Crutcher and Betty Neal Crutcher host a holiday gathering with the students they mentor. (Nicki Pardo photo)

The president has told the story before in explaining his motivation for organizing a mentoring group each year, scheduling individual meetings and regular group sessions with as many as 40 students. His wife, Betty Neal Crutcher, who earned her Ph.D. studying models for cross-cultural mentoring, also has led her own mentoring group.

“For me, it’s a great opportunity,” he says. “It’s my way of staying connected to students and their concerns.”

2007: President Crutcher rehearses with Boston Symphony Orchestra cellist Owen Young in Cole chapel.

2007: President Crutcher rehearses with Boston Symphony Orchestra cellist Owen Young in Cole chapel. (Nicki Pardo photo)

The mentoring group reflects an essential belief that has been evident throughout his tenure at Wheaton as well as throughout his career: a liberal arts education that is personal and rigorous transforms lives.

His conviction about the worth of the liberal arts drove President Crutcher to lead a campus-wide strategic planning process that developed a holistic vision for building on the college’s distinctive Connections curriculum. The plan, Wheaton 2014: Transforming Lives to Change the World, has served as a blueprint for his presidency. It included major projects, such as Go Beyond: Campaign for Wheaton, the fundraising effort now in its final year, and construction of the Mars Center for Science and Technology, the largest building project in Wheaton history.

[Read more...]

Researching the record

Professor Gelber wins award for scholarship on higher education and the courts

Wheaton Professor Scott GelberScott Gelber, assistant professor of education, has won a prestigious national fellowship to support research into the judicial oversight of colleges and universities during the last 150 years.

He was chosen as one of 20 scholars nationwide to be a 2013–2014 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. The fellowship, which includes a $55,000 award, will support Gelber’s work in constructing an understanding of changing legal and public views on student access to higher education from legal rulings that date back to the 1860s.

Gelber said his preliminary findings indicate that “previous scholars have seriously underestimated early judicial oversight of college access” as it relates to admission, tuition and expulsions. Such insights are particularly relevant in light of recent court cases concerning the proper consideration of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background on college admission decisions.

[Read more...]