Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

An invitation to change lives

President Hanno calls for action at inauguration

“Let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind: The world needs Wheaton College,” President Dennis M. Hanno told a packed audience of students, faculty, graduates, staff, family members and guests during his inauguration as Wheaton’s eighth president on Friday, October 17.

The college’s liberal arts mission of preparing leaders to solve problems using multiple perspectives provides the perfect foundation for taking on the challenges facing the world, he said during his inaugural address, titled “Accelerating Wheaton’s Impact on the World.”

“A liberal arts education teaches us always to be looking for new solutions and opportunities, to explore these from multiple perspectives, to learn by taking action, and to consider the human element in the choices being made,” he said, pointing out that the goal is to realize our full potential.

The president’s family (left), including his wife, Susan, son Ted and daughter Emily, and his siblings, watched from the front of the chapel.

The president’s family, including his wife, Susan, son Ted and daughter Emily, and his siblings, watched from the front of the chapel.

“Each and every day, I challenge myself to think about how I can change lives. That’s why I chose to pursue a career in higher education,” said Hanno. “Now, I challenge everyone here to think about the role that you can play in building a Wheaton that changes even more lives and strengthens even more communities.”

Standing at the podium in Cole Memorial Chapel, the president issued an invitation to the 20,000-plus strong Wheaton community to commit to spending at least 15 hours involved in service during the next year, as part of the theme for his inauguration, “Changing Lives, Strengthening Community.” [Read more...]

Maeve Vallely Bartlett oversees state’s energy, environmental affairs agency

When Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Class of 1980, was pursuing an English major at Wheaton College, she never thought her path would bring her to a state government office. But here she is on Beacon Hill in Boston—serving as Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

She was appointed to the post by Governor Deval Patrick in June 2014 after serving as undersecretary for the previous year. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to combine energy and environmental agencies under one cabinet secretary with the shared mission of bringing clean energy technology to market, curbing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting energy costs.

Maeve Vallely Bartlett

Pictured above, Governor Deval Patrick swears in Maeve Vallely Bartlett ’80 as Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on June 9, 2014.

In her new role, Bartlett oversees policies and programs to secure energy and protect natural resources in the state.

“What we do is incredibly important to me, and it is absolutely necessary for the next generation,” she says. “I’m proud to be a part of what we’ve done here.”

The road to cabinet secretary has been a winding one that has included stints as a writer, which she always envisioned herself being (she still keeps a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style in her office); law school at Suffolk University; and more than 20 years of experience in the environmental field working in state and federal government. She has served as environment undersecretary, assistant secretary for transportation planning, assistant general manager for environmental compliance at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and general counsel for Energy and Environmental Affairs. She has also served as senior enforcement counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Secretary Bartlett now juggles a range of issues as she leads the departments of Agricultural Resources, Conservation and Recreation, Environmental Protection, Energy Resources, Fish and Game, and Public Utilities. [Read more...]

A notable occasion

Professor composes music for inauguration

Professor William MacPherson plays the organ as Professor Delvyn Case directs.

Professor William MacPherson plays the organ as Professor Delvyn Case directs.

A special day calls for special music. So, Wheaton College Assistant Professor of Music Delvyn Case composed “Inaugural Fanfare” for the inauguration of President Dennis Hanno.

Case describes the piece as “a short fanfare for trumpet and organ, intended to herald the beginning of a new era in Wheaton’s history with enthusiasm and hope.”

“For over a millennium, composers have been writing pieces for institutions to celebrate major events. As the composer on Wheaton’s faculty, I wrote a piece for the dedication ceremony of the Mars Center for Science and Technology in 2011, and since that project was so well received, I offered to write a piece for the inauguration,” said Case, who is also the music director of the Great Woods Chamber Orchestra. [Read more...]

A work of heart

Professor emeritus, brother create ceremonial pieces

The maces and their makerFor the past two years, Professor of Psychology Emeritus David Wulff has been engaged in a project of the heart. With the help of his brother, Bernard—an architect, artist and woodworker—Wulff designed and created two ceremonial maces, symbols of authority used worldwide in formal processions at colleges and universities and on parliamentary occasions.

“They are my parting gift to Wheaton,” says Wulff, who retired in 2012 after 43 years at the college. The maces were used for the first time at the inauguration.

It was at his last Convocation that Wulff had an epiphany. Filling in as marshal for the ceremony, he carried a small, unassuming white baton. “I started thinking that Wheaton really needed a proper ceremonial mace, the ornamental descendant of the armor-piercing weapons once used to protect reigning monarchs,” he says.

Wulff wanted something worthy of the college he holds so dear. “Too many maces look like bedposts,” he says. After researching maces at other institutions, the brothers came up with the idea of a gyroscope to hold the college seal atop the mace. Guided by a picture of an antique gyroscope, Wulff created a prototype “constructed of embroidery hoops, gold paint, and a paper seal” that he presented to head administrators at Wheaton. [Read more...]