Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Letters

Great Quarterly issue

I thoroughly enjoyed the spring/summer edition of the Quarterly—reading it from cover to cover. I particularly enjoyed the article about the 25th year of coeducation. Wheaton during my college years was all female. For this reason, I was initially against coeducation, but quickly realized that to exist as a quality institution, Wheaton needed to become coeducational. It was great when I was a student, and it is certainly great now.

I was especially interested in the article about Bojan Jennings. She is the reason I was a sophomore transfer to Wheaton in 1948 and graduated as a member of the Class of 1951. [Read more...]

Snow long, winter

By the time you read this, I hope that I’m wearing a lovely short-sleeved blouse, stylish capri pants and high-heeled sandals, and sitting on a bench on the deck of Balfour-Hood complaining about how hot it is.

Page2-Between-lines-1I write this today not quite sure that this will be the case. It is the fifth day of spring, and, yet, I just wrote the umpteenth winter storm alert to email to the campus community, because the “s” word is on the way—again.

It has been an ugly New England winter. Just consider the numbers: By early March, Wheaton’s buildings and grounds crew had used 250 tons of rock salt; 2,000 bags of ice melt (50 pounds each); and responded to 19 snow or ice-related storms (double the amount during the same time frame last winter).

However, there was still great beauty to be found. The campus landscape, of course, was gloriously picture-perfect draped in white. But the most beautiful sights were the ones that took place in offices in the hours leading up to the storms, when staff members began watching forecasts, making plans; and in the darkness of the late nights and early mornings, when buildings and grounds crews showed up time and again eager to dig out the campus parking lots and clear off the pathways to make everything nice and safe for everyone, before we even considered venturing out.

[Read more...]

Auto reply: Out today, living

Between-Lines-ElliotCatching up with Elliott Mazzola ’09 (in photo) isn’t easy. Often it can take several emails and a few pokes on Facebook to get him to respond. And, when he finally does, you might get something back like this:

“Hi, Sandy, sorry for the delay. I’ve just come back from the Cannes Film Festival and I am moving to Berlin tomorrow, where I will be skydiving for the summer.” 

Or, the adventurer, who lives in France, will just show up in the Wheaton Communications Office in Norton, Mass., on a random October afternoon, as he passes through town on his way to California to rack up some hours skydiving in preparation for maybe one day trying out BASE jumping (from a fixed object, using a parachute to break the fall).

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Letter

Singing praises 

Although I graduated from Wheaton in 1985 (at the age of 60), I don’t believe I’d given much thought to the day-to-day operations and preparations for events at the college until my youngest son, John [Mitchell], joined Wheaton’s Building Services Department in 1993. That’s when I first began to hear about what he referred to as the “smoke and mirrors” that contributed to the success of almost every campus event, and throughout the next 17 years, John was to share with me funny, frustrating and incredible stories of Wheaton’s behind-the-scenes staff—Wheaton’s unsung heroes.

The individuals who collectively are Wheaton’s staff work at all hours, on weekends as well as weekdays, in the daylight and in the dark. They arrange for food, reroute the traffic, keep the campus safe, deliver packages, unlock doors, make the lights turn on and the toilets flush. They monitor the weather, ring chapel bells, and move tables and chairs. To the rest of us (alums, students, faculty, guests), the day-to-day operations, meetings, events and landmark occasions just happen.

John was Wheaton’s supervisor of materials management when he died of cancer in 2011. To my surprise, I was contacted in 2012 about an event the staff and Wheaton was planning to hold in his memory. Last April, the Second Annual John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk was held.

[Read more...]