Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

The thrill of discovery

Humanities students unlock a secret in 10th century poem

Professor Michael Drout poses a question to team members in the Lexomics lab at Wheaton.

Professor Michael Drout poses a question to team members in the Lexomics lab at Wheaton.

With the help of computer analysis, a team of Wheaton scholars has uncovered a 1,200-year-old secret about an Old English poem.

English professor Michael Drout’s summer research students discovered in June that the author of the 10th century poem “Christ III” created the work not out of whole cloth, as previously believed, but by dividing an older poem into two pieces and then inserting new material in the middle. This discovery led the scholars to further insights about the nature of the historic text.

“Using computer programs written by Wheaton students and techniques developed at Wheaton over the past four summers, the team was able to figure out what was sitting on an anonymous author’s desk over a millennium ago,” Drout said. “We determined that the unknown author had a written source, that it was in the form of poetry rather than prose, and that the source was already old when our author adapted it.” [Read more...]

Congratulations, Class of 2013!

Smiles, tears of joy, and great advice filled the day on Saturday, May 18, as members of the Class of 2013 ended their journeys at Wheaton and prepared to start new ones out in the awaiting world.

At Wheaton’s 178th Commencement ceremony, former federal judge and attorney Nancy Gertner offered the graduates sound advice during her witty and thoughtful keynote address. In a rapidly changing world in which the best way forward is not always clear, take responsibility, she told them, do something rather than nothing, and create your own path.

Referring to the title of renowned historian Howard Zinn’s memoir, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Gertner encouraged the 372 graduating seniors to view the world as a moving train that we are all responsible for directing, and to remain flexible about how they go about meeting that obligation. [Read more...]

Out of Wheaton, into the world of work

The members of the Class of 2013 left the campus headed for various opportunities, including internships and graduate studies. Many of them headed straight into full-time jobs. [Read more...]

Developing opportunities

Senior wins award for Peruvian development effort

650_Molly Skaltsis 13Molly Skaltsis ’13 spent her summer working to help a small village in the Peruvian Andes to develop an ecotourism business centered around one of the world’s largest waterfalls.

After graduation, she joined a nonprofit organization in working with the community of Cuispes to develop the trails and other amenities needed for tourists to trek to the Yumbilla waterfall in northern Peru.

Skaltsis was awarded a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to purchase materials and to hire skilled labor needed to complete the trail, a native plant nursery and a lodge to enable two-day treks through the region’s pristine cloud-forest environment. [Read more...]