Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

A boost for budding scientists: Jennings family looks to the future

For 40 years, chemistry professor Bojan Hamlin Jennings taught and mentored science students at Wheaton, always with the staunch support of her husband, Addison. Now she is extending that legacy by establishing two endowed funds to support today’s students.

Chemistry professor Bojan Hamlin Jennings in 2008

Chemistry professor Bojan Hamlin Jennings in 2008

The Jennings Family Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an academically talented first-year student who intends to major in chemistry, biochemistry, physics or biology. Bojan chose to support financial aid partly because she herself benefited from scholarships—first at a private high school and then at Bryn Mawr College.

The Jennings Family Prize, awarded separately, will be given at spring convocation to the most academically stellar rising senior who is majoring in one of the natural sciences. Bojan intends the award to add distinction to the recipient’s résumé or graduate school applications. A stipend accompanying the prize will help the student fund an academic endeavor, such as a research project—a fitting honor, because Bojan pioneered the Wheaton tradition of student-faculty research. She won Wheaton’s first research grants in 1959 and conducted all of her research with students. [Read more...]

Return on investment

Christine ToroAs the associate director for Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Office of Leadership Giving, Christina “Chris” Toro ’89 appreciates the art of the donation.

She began giving back to her alma mater early on, donating annually whenever she could.

“I was only able to go to Wheaton because of scholarships, so I feel the need to pay back as much as I possibly can,” said Toro, who lives in Newton, Mass. “People in my family were instrumental in helping me get into Wheaton, and I’ve seen them all be philanthropic. I wanted to follow in that path to the best of my ability.” [Read more...]

50 years later, she still cherishes Wheaton

Raybin KathyThe United States was undergoing serious changes when Katharine “Kathy” King Raybin ’64 was an English major at Wheaton: civil rights marches, the Cuban missile crisis, space exploration and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, to name a few.

As an undergraduate experiencing these events on campus, Raybin felt part of something great.

“I loved being on the campus where people cared about those things,” she said. “There was just a lot going on in America, and it was a privilege to be at Wheaton while it was going on, even though a lot of it was tragic and scary.”

Raybin will be returning to campus in May for her class’ 50th Reunion, which she is helping to plan, along with college roommates Beverly “Bev” Decker Reed ’64 and Elizabeth “Hydie” Richardson Ralston ’64. [Read more...]

Travel bug

Biology professor wins Whiting Fellowship to study termites 

Betsey DyerProfessor of Biology Betsey Dexter Dyer ’75 knows how to make the most of a vacation. She has taken trips to Puerto Rico, Ecuador, parts of Africa and New Orleans’ French Quarter, where she took in the scenery, enjoyed local cuisine and, oh yes, studied microbial evolution in the guts of termites.

On a trip to Grand Bahama Island in 2004, Dyer and her two children, ages 10 and 13 at the time, spent a few days at a luxurious beachside resort—and several hours riding a jeep around the island in search of rhinotermitids and kalotermitids, which they brought back to their hotel room to view under a field microscope. [Read more...]