Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Paul Helmreich

Paul Helmreich is Professor of History Emeritus at Wheaton College.

Celebrating 175 years

Eliza Baylies Chapin WheatonFounder's Day originated when the students at Wheaton Female Seminary gathered each year to bring roses to the home of Eliza Baylies Wheaton on her birthday. That home was the building across the street from Mary Lyon Hall, which now serves as the president's residence, and it was from there that Mrs. Wheaton carefully oversaw the development of the educational institution she had, in 1834, convinced her father-in-law, Judge Laban Wheaton,to found as a memorial to his recently deceased daughter, Elizabeth Wheaton Strong. After Mrs. Wheaton's death in 1905, what came then to be known as Founder's Day continued as an all-day celebration each fall on the Saturday closest to Mrs. Wheaton's birthday, attendance at which was required of all members of the Wheaton community. In time the ceremony was shortened to an approximately two-hour event held in the chapel, coinciding with the annual Alumnae Day festivities in the fall. [Read more...]