Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Make a good life, not just a good living, keynote speaker Johnnetta Cole urges

Johnetta Betsch Cole

Keynote speaker Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

Surrounded by the bright glow of joyful friends, family and the Wheaton community on a rainy Saturday in May, 391 seniors celebrated the culmination of their journeys here during the college’s 179th Commencement ceremony.

As they prepared to go out into the world, keynote speaker Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., offered students valuable advice about living abundantly.

“Some of you will leave Wheaton and go to various post-baccalaureate institutions. Some of you have already secured a place in the workforce. And yes, because of the state of the economy in our country, some of you are still perhaps looking for a job,” said Cole, a scholar, author, and activist for social and economic justice. “Whatever is your situation, let it be your goal to not only make a good living but to live a good life.” [Read more...]

Going places

This spring, 15 Wheaties won prestigious national academic awards for graduate study and global experience, including two Thomas Watson Fellowships, a Beinecke Scholarship, a Projects for Peace grant and a French Government English Teaching Assistantship. Here are our nine Fulbright Scholars:  [Read more...]

Unexpected gift

Gilman scholarship helps extend Oxford experience

Sarah Estrela 15

Sarah Estrela ’15 at the University of Oxford

For Sarah Estrela ’15, the Gilman scholarship arrived just in time.

Estrela had begun a yearlong study abroad program at the University of Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall last October, but when she approached the spring term with limited funds and a spot on the Gilman scholarship waitlist, Estrela returned from Oxford early and began making plans to start her spring term at Wheaton on January 22.

On January 26, she received notice that she would be given the funding. It was an unexpected gift that would enable her to return to the university for a second and third term.

“The Gilman scholarship is the reason I have been able to continue pursuing this lifelong dream. Without it I would have had to end a unique and enriching chapter of my life in the most abrupt, heartbreaking way,” Estrela said. [Read more...]

Liquid assets

Senior wins grant to bring potable water to Guatemalan village

Jorge de Leon ’14A small village in Guatemala got potable water this summer, thanks to Jorge Clemente de Leon Miranda ’14. He won a $10,000 award from Projects for Peace to distribute water filters and to help villagers develop plans for replacing the filters on an annual basis.

“It is important that communities realize that they can bring change to themselves by effectively using the resources they already own,” de Leon Miranda said in his proposal.

A native of Guatemala, de Leon Miranda distributed inexpensive water filters in El Coyol that can produce as much as five gallons of purified water daily. In addition, he hosted a series of workshops and social events, partly inspired by his work as a resident advisor at Wheaton, to educate the people about how to use the filters and the importance of potable water.

The grant for the work comes from Projects for Peace, which provides funding for grassroots projects developed by students at colleges and universities that participate in the Davis United World Colleges program. The initiative was launched in 2007 by the late Kathryn Wasserman Davis, a noted philanthropist and the mother of Wheaton Trustee Emerita Diana Davis Spencer ’60, to support peace-promoting summer projects. [Read more...]