Big ideas and dreams on display

Plaster, steel, foam, clay, burlap, wire, wood, glue and a few other materials. How in the world does that end up a towering floor-to-the-ceiling dinosaur skeleton?

I find—especially at Wheaton—the answer to any question about transforming big ideas and big dreams is usually the same: education, experience, imagination and opportunity. The latter pairs perfectly with the kind of Compass Curriculum-encouraged passion that led Conary Howard-Rogers ’23 to create “Modern Incognitum, 2023,” a 115-by-214-by-92-inch dinosaur that was on display this spring in the Beard and Weil Galleries as part of the 2023 senior art exhibition “(dis)connect: a moment in time.”

The annual capstone exhibition highlights the work of Wheaton’s senior visual art and design majors. Go online to see a gallery of other impressive art/big dreams successfully pursued. Before you do that just turn the pages of this issue of the magazine to see many stories that showcase examples: students winning national awards, philanthropists providing significant support to the college; faculty creating time and space to nurture their own scholarship and creativity while building community on campus; graduates celebrating the walk across the stage and into the world ready to be changemakers; and alumni returning to campus to remind us all of the value of Wheaton’s liberal arts education and great possibilities.

Our cover story is about the ultimate pursuer of big dreams and big ideas—Eliza Baylies Wheaton and the college leaders who have followed in her footsteps to leverage the power of philanthropy and of giving back to the community, as symbolized by her restored carriage.

May your fall be fully focused on what you want in life. Ellen Murphy Warner ’69, who wrote The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty (Brandeis University Press, 2022), offers some timeless advice about that in the profile written by Laura Pedulli.


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