A renewed outlook

Editor Sandy Coleman enjoys the first day of spring on campus.

I told the magazine designer that if he sees me writing yet another editor’s column about the marvels of spring and the exciting sense of renewal and joy that it delivers, to just delete my words. As you can see, he did not do it.

The seasonal change in New England gets me every single time. Even though winter has been relatively mild, the first day of spring found me on the Dimple in my turquoise sunglasses soaking up the sun—despite the chill that still required me to wear a coat.

I make no apologies. In today’s world, we need fresh outlooks as well as reminders to appreciate life and to stand still to experience every fleeting moment—especially the good ones.

Speaking of being appreciative, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to write this issue’s cover story. As part of the reporting, I was invited to share a unique moment with our students and professors as they wrapped up a first-ever fall semester data course inside of a state prison as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

While there I couldn’t help but reflect on the power that circumstances, systems, personal decisions and access to opportunities hold in landing us where we end up in life. And, a slight twist of fate can change everything—for the good as well as the bad.

The closing ceremony was one of the most moving things I’ve ever witnessed. Wheaton students and people incarcerated at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, Mass., talked about the impact that learning together and interacting had on them. There was plenty of spring in that room—new outlooks, growth, hope.

In addition to the cover story, there are inspiring articles throughout the magazine, including features on two alums: Gabe Bornstein ’14, a photographer and videographer, whose passions take him on adventures big and small; and longtime Associated Press reporter Susan Haigh ’89, whose keen focus on getting the story right is impressive.

Be sure to check out the story about New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith ’70, who has written another book about the British royal family. I had the pleasure of interviewing her via Zoom while she was home between her many speaking engagements.

May your spring bring you something new and exciting.