Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Working capital

Virginia Weil '65When she was a junior at Wheaton, Virginia Weil ’65, P’98 discovered the path that led to her career in international business and diplomacy.

She spent the summer working in the office of Alabama Congressman Armistead Selden Jr., a member of her home state’s congressional delegation.

The work itself was typical intern fare—answering constituent mail and a variety of other administrative duties. But Selden also allowed the Wheaton government major to perform research for the House Subcommittee on Latin American Affairs, which he chaired, and a group involved in an area of the world in which Weil was particularly interested.

“I came back to Wheaton in the fall and said, ‘I learned more this summer than in any one course I took,’” Weil said. “Whatever I had been exposed to while doing work as a 20-year-old intern, it opened my eyes to politics, business and government.”

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Paying it forward

Niki Riedell D’Esopo ’93Niki Riedell D’Esopo ’93 knew how lucky she was as a student and that inspires her to give back today.

“When I was a freshman entering Wheaton in 1989, it was only the second year of coeducation. I had the best of both worlds—the junior and senior classes were still all women, while the freshman and sophomore classes were coed,” said D’Esopo, who majored in sociology and family studies. “I was able to see the history and traditions of the school as an all women’s college and how they changed as the school became fully coed.”

She also says that her education had immediate practical benefits. “My junior- and senior-year internships were critical in helping me to translate what I learned in school to a career after college,” D’Esopo said.

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Setting the stage for others

Diana Buckhantz ’72

Diana Buckhantz ’72 with a staff member at Heal Africa Hospital in Goma, DRC

Diana Buckhantz ’72 can play many roles and she has: actress, film producer, public relations consultant, advocate for social justice at home and abroad, philanthropist and Broadway producer, to name a few.

She credits her Wheaton education with helping her develop the range to succeed in a variety of careers, and it’s what has inspired her to support student scholarships at the college today.

Growing up in New York City, Buckhantz says that her lifelong love of the theater found expression at Wheaton. “Theater is just a huge love in my life. I was an actress and I spent a lot of my time at Wheaton down in the experimental theater,” she said. “I loved it.”

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Lasting impressions

Sarah Collins ’13 

  • International relations and  biology major
  • Bhutan participant, fall 2010

“I wrote a research paper for a class I took in Bhutan with Professor Bianca Cody Murphy. I was interested in the generation that has experienced the rapid modernization of the country since 1960. So, I interviewed a daughter, mother and grandmother of three different families to compare their similarities and differences in experiences and values.

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