Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Go Beyond: Progress in numbers

Science center: 

$36,118,382 committed to expanding and enhancing science facilities through the Mars Center for Science and Technology.

Goal: $35 million

Student scholarships: 

$45,339,901 committed to increasing scholarship support for Wheaton students and their families.

Goal: $50.6 million

Annual support: 

$30,998,428 contributed to the Wheaton Fund since July 1, 2005. Alumnae/i, parents and friends have committed $1,248,159 since July 1, 2013.

Goal: $4.3 million for fiscal year 2014 (ending on June 30, 2014); $34.4 million by June 30, 2014

Student-faculty research: 

$1,408,388 committed to support student-faculty research collaborations through the establishment of endowed funds for that purpose.

Artificial turf field: 

Construction by fall 2013 of an artificial turf field and lighting to expand opportunities for intercollegiate, club and intramural sports.

Goal: $3,865,000 [Read more...]

The giving tree

Pareskys sow opportunities

650_Paresky-9It’s a brilliant June morning on campus. Just outside of Balfour-Hood Center, two beautiful English oak trees sway in the breeze. The “coed oaks”—as they are affectionately known—were a gift of Susan “Sue” Stampler Paresky ’68 and her husband, Joseph.

The year was 1988, and Paresky, who was director of alumnae affairs at the time, planted the trees to commemorate a historic event in the story of the college: Wheaton was going co-ed.

But those weren’t the only seeds the Pareskys planted. That same year, the couple established the Joseph M. and Susan Stampler Paresky ’68 Fellowship to provide financial assistance to recent Wheaton graduates pursuing graduate studies. The Paresky Fellowship is still going strong, and 2013 marks its 25th anniversary.

Like the oak trees she planted 25 years ago, Susan Paresky’s roots run deep into the soil of Wheaton. After graduating, she married her husband on campus at Cole Memorial Chapel in 1972. She became director of alumnae affairs in 1982, set up the Paresky Fellowship in 1988, and from 1993 to 2003, she was a Trustee of the college, working on major issues like enrollment, budgets, strategic planning and, of course, fundraising.   [Read more...]

Paresky fellow: Jennifer Salazar ’10

650_salazarJennifer Salazar loves teaching kids. But she didn’t just want to teach; she wanted to focus on urban education, going into America’s poorest neighborhoods and working with disadvantaged children.

For her, it’s a way of giving back. Salazar herself grew up in a low-income section of Brooklyn (she’s still a Yankees fan), where her father was a janitor and her mother was a homemaker. She received a Posse Scholarship to attend Wheaton, where she saw firsthand the value of passionate, dedicated educators.

Go Beyond, Campaign for Wheaton

Paresky fellows

“My professors invested in me,” she says. “I knew they cared about me, and that made all the difference. ”

In her history and education classes, her eyes were opened to inequalities in our public education system. And she was determined to change that.

After graduating from Wheaton, she pursued a master’s degree in education at Tufts University, with the aid of a Paresky Fellowship.

Upon receiving her master’s degree in 2011, she was immediately offered a position teaching 10th grade social studies at Boston Green Academy, a public charter school in South Boston.

She believes reforming our education system is not a choice, but a fundamental part of an ethical and just society.

And, for Salazar, the adventure continues: she just accepted a teaching position for sixth and seventh grade social studies at Hyde Leadership Charter School, which is in the Hunt’s Point neighborhood of the Bronx in New York. It is one of the poorest congressional districts in the United States; more than half the population lives below the poverty level.

“There are lots of struggles there,” says Salazar. “But there’s so much potential. I see it in the kids. I have faith in them. It’s the reason I became a teacher.”

Photo by Flynn Larsen

Paresky fellow: Joshua “Jay” Weimer ’96

Joshua “Jay” Weimer ’96

650_Jay Weimer-25Joshua “Jay” Weimer knew exactly what he wanted to do when he graduated from Wheaton. A double major in philosophy and political science, he had been trained to think critically.

“I liked to argue,” he says with a laugh. “And I wanted to do it professionally.”

Weimer wanted to pursue a career in the law. After graduating from Wheaton, he attended Yale Law School. He received a Paresky Fellowship, which relieved much of the financial pressure of law school, allowing him to focus on his studies.

Today, he argues cases as assistant district attorney for the northern district of Texas, a massive area covering 100 counties and almost 96,000 square miles.

He enjoys the energy of the courtroom, the daily challenge of thinking on his feet in critical situations. Rather than wilting under the pressure, he thrives on it.

Go Beyond, Campaign for Wheaton

Paresky fellows

He has worked in cases ranging from health care to immigration, from terrorism to bank robberies. But what brings him true meaning in his career? Justice, he says.

“I’m fortunate as an attorney because I don’t have a ‘client.’ My client is the United States of America, and my job is to apply the law fairly to all people.”

Even though he is busy upholding the law on the plains of Texas, he still maintains close Wheaton connections. His senior-year roommate, Jason Neal ’96, was recently married and Weimer was best man at the wedding.

Photo by Stewart F. House