Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Lessons in living

For the past two years, heading toward Commencement, I’ve asked alums to send us their best advice for the members of the graduating class, as students end their journeys at Wheaton and set off to find their way in the world.

We always receive great heartfelt advice. You’ll find it on page 4. But, as I was reading all the words of wisdom while working on this issue, it dawned on me that the entire summer Quarterly offers great advice from students, faculty and alums (some of it unspoken) and lessons in living and finding your path—even from those who, sadly, are no longer with us. In Memoriam is full of short stories about alums and friends who made the most of life in big as well as small ways. [Read more...]

Letter: Be prepared for anything

During the Boston Marathon, I was in the main medical tent when the bombs went off.

In an event like the marathon bombings, a person has two choices—get out of the way or help. I did not save any lives that day, nor did I even go near the critical patients—there were plenty of experienced professionals handling them. But I did step up and I did my best to help. [Read more...]

The arts of the deal

Former orchestra conductor Itay Talgam’s TED talk

Former orchestra conductor Itay Talgam’s TED talk

In looking for leadership inspiration, Itay Talgam debunks what he terms the “myth of the maestro.” The former orchestra conductor has made a name for himself by looking at great orchestra leaders for ideas on how to create environments that value innovation and creativity and celebrate both individual and collective achievement.

In his much-watched TED talk, Talgam said, “[A conductor’s] happiness does not come from only his own story and his joy of the music. The joy is about enabling other people’s stories to be heard at the same time.”

His point speaks to the importance that lies in tapping the insights, knowledge and skills of an organization’s members; creating the space for each person to shine; and focusing individual efforts on an overall goal. Talgam’s observation resonates with me as both a chamber musician and an educator dedicated to the value of the liberal arts. [Read more...]

Dear Class of 2013:

As you leave, words of wisdom from alums

“It’s tempting to put a laser beam of focus on a particular career direction. After all, it’s a competitive job market out there. But my advice is—in the beginning—to find a job that feels like a good fit for your talents, and let your path be open to opportunities as you move through life. A natural writer (and polished by my Wheaton education), I went from being an ad writer for a real estate company to public service director at a radio station to event planner for Seattle Center to marketing director of financial institutions to real estate professional to (hired at age 64!) flight attendant. Sometimes circumstances make you feel like you are stalled or losing ground. Don’t worry about it; stay tuned to what gives you joy and the work will follow.”

—Tani Clinchard Erickson ’65  [Read more...]