Wheaton College acknowledges outstanding achievement in the scholarship and teaching of its tenured faculty through its ten endowed professorships.
Each of these professorships is awarded for a period of five years; each recipient receives a total of six courses of released time over those five years, although only one semester may be completely free from teaching duties. Each recipient also receives a yearly allotment of $2,000 in reimbursable research expenses. These funds are to be used to promote and enhance the work of the holder (research, professional activity, curriculum development, or teaching).
Consideration is by nomination or self-nomination. The Faculty Chairs Selection Committee will solicit nominations and nominees will be asked to submit proposals for how the professorship would be used, as well as updated curriculum vitae and at least two letters of recommendation (unless otherwise specified) from students, colleagues, or alumnae/i. Annual reports are expected. The nature and any special conditions of each of the professorships are given below, listed in order of their establishment on campus.
A. Howard Meneely Professorship (established in 1961)
The Meneely Professorship was established in 1961 to honor President Meneely, who presided over the college for seventeen years following World War II, with a particular commitment to academic quality and intellectual rigor. It is awarded to a professor with outstanding scholarly credentials. This professorship is open to tenured full Professors with established scholarly credentials. Once during the five-year period of the award, the Meneely Professor will be expected to give a public lecture, with demonstration or exhibit where relevant, on the work undertaken during the period of the Professorship.
William and Elsie Prentice Professorship (established in 1976)
The William and Elsie Prentice Professorship is open to tenured members of the Wheaton Faculty with outstanding teaching credentials. The teaching load of the Prentice Professor may be reduced in order to permit taking a course at Wheaton or elsewhere, working on a project related to teaching, or other activities that enhance the faculty member’s abilities as a teacher.
Bojan Hamlin Jennings Chair in the Natural Sciences (established in 1987)
The Bojan Hamlin Jennings Chair in the Natural Sciences was established with gifts from the Mars Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Smith, in honor of Bojan Hamlin Jennings, Professor of Chemistry from 1943 to 1985. The Bojan Hamlin Jennings Chair is awarded to distinguished tenured faculty of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Geology for outstanding teaching and research that strengthens Wheaton’s traditional liberal arts curriculum and reinforces its commitment to scholarship and creative teaching.
Mary Heuser Chair in the Arts (established in 1996)
The Mary Heuser Chair in the Arts was established in 1996 in honor of Mary Heuser, Emerita Professor of Art. This Chair recognizes outstanding teaching and research in the arts at Wheaton and is open to full-time tenured members of the Wheaton Faculty in Music, Theater, Art, and Creative Writing.
Dorothy Reed Williams Professorship in the Social Sciences (established in 1994)
The Dorothy Reed Williams Professorship in the Social Sciences recognizes a member of the Social Sciences faculty with high standards of scholarship and teaching who encourages his or her students to use their talents in service to the community and the society in which they live. The Williams Professorship is open to a tenured member of the Social Sciences faculty.
Jane Oxford Keiter ’64 Endowed Professorship (established in 1996)
The Jane Oxford Keiter ’64 Endowed Professorship is awarded to a senior member of the Wheaton faculty in the Humanities or Social Sciences for outstanding teaching and research that strengthens Wheaton’s traditional liberal arts curriculum and reinforces its commitment to scholarship and creative teaching.
Jane E. Ruby Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences (established in 1998)
The Jane E. Ruby Chair is open to full-time tenured members of the Wheaton Faculty in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The Chair will be awarded in recognition of outstanding teaching and research that has had a demonstrable impact on scholarship and on student learning.
Hannah Goldberg Chair in Teaching Innovation (established in 1999)
The Hannah Goldberg Chair in Teaching Innovation is open to all full-time tenured members of the Wheaton Faculty. It is given in recognition of innovative contributions to teaching at Wheaton.
Henrietta Jennings Faculty Chair for Outstanding Teaching (established in 2002)
Established in 1997 by Sandra Ohrn Moose ’63, Janet Lindholm Lebovitz P’72, Pauline Simington Newcomer ’36, and other alumnae/i friends in honor of Professor of Economics Henrietta Jennings, the Henrietta Jennings Chair is intended to reward outstanding teaching in the liberal arts and is open to tenured professors in any department. The annual stipend of $2,000 per year both rewards innovative teaching and supports its continued development.
Nominees must submit four supporting letters of recommendation from students, colleagues or alumnae/I, as appropriate, and must also submit syllabi from all courses taught in the last six semesters of teaching along with student evaluations from those same semesters, and any available summaries.
Caroline C. Edwards ’70 Professor of Film Production and Visual Studies (established in 2005)
This endowed fund supports the work of a tenured or tenure-track professor in the departments of visual art, film and media studies, and digital humanities.
William Isaac Cole Chair in Sociology and Anthropology (established in 2010)
The Cole Chair has been awarded since 2010 to support members of the faculty in Sociology or Anthropology in recognition of their outstanding work areas of scholarship, teaching, and service. This Chair is open to all tenured members of the departments of Sociology and Anthropology.
Diana Davis Spencer ’60 Chair in Social Entrepreneurship (established in 2018)
Providing an endowed fund for entrepreneurial education programming, the Diana Davis Spencer Chair in Social Entrepreneurship makes Wheaton one of a few liberal arts colleges nationwide, and the first in the Northeast, to establish an endowed professorship in social entrepreneurship.
Robert C. & Mary P. Brown ’43 Chair in Urban Planning and Environment
The holder of the Brown Chair shall be “a distinguished faculty member whose scholarly interests relate to balancing urban issues and natural resources.” The Brown Chair will be open to all full-time, tenured faculty members who meet the interests described below. The Brown Chair holder should have a particular interest in balancing the needs of economic growth and development with the importance of preserving the environment and natural resources.
According to the stipulations of the Brown gift, special consideration will be given to faculty members with an interest in any of the following cross-disciplinary areas:
- Rural development
- Preservation of critical habitat and biological diversity
- Water quality and utilization, particularly septic flow and farm pollution
- Urban sprawl and green space
- Urbanization of wildlife
- County and township planning and coordination
- Citizen education
- Private, corporate, and public partnership for environment management
- Managing resources on a natural geographic basis and integration of environmental and conservation programs
Page updated February 1, 2022