Lessons in living

For the past two years, heading toward Commencement, I’ve asked alums to send us their best advice for the members of the graduating class, as students end their journeys at Wheaton and set off to find their way in the world.

We always receive great heartfelt advice. You’ll find it on page 4. But, as I was reading all the words of wisdom while working on this issue, it dawned on me that the entire summer Quarterly offers great advice from students, faculty and alums (some of it unspoken) and lessons in living and finding your path—even from those who, sadly, are no longer with us. In Memoriam is full of short stories about alums and friends who made the most of life in big as well as small ways.

-Lesson No. 1: Stay open to change and growth. Wheaton exemplifies that with the creation of a new business major and the new humanities institute, highlighting how a liberal arts education is the best preparation for any career. The stories are on pages 10 and 11.

-Lesson No. 2: Expect your wildest dream to come true—if you build a varied background of experience, work hard and are bold enough to just go for it. You want to own a baseball team? You can. Kenneth Babby ’02 tells us all about his new reality as a baseball team owner and how he learned to dream big right here at Wheaton. Page 18.

-Lesson No. 3: Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to learn something new—even if you are surrounded by screaming monkeys. Check out the cover story that Michael Graca wrote on the “Tropical Field Biology” course taught in Belize and Costa Rica to see how far out of the range of comfort students and professors are willing to go to do intriguing research. Page 26.

-Lesson No. 4: Be nice. The smallest acts of kindness do, indeed, make a difference in a world that is too often filled with awful acts like the Newtown, Conn., shootings and the recent Boston Marathon bombing. Read about how one alum is encouraging good deeds for the greater good of us all. Page 35.

-Lesson No. 5: Follow your heart—even if it means going in unexpected directions and then circling back at age 80. See our Second Acts stories by Hannah Benoit. Pages 32 and 33.

Consider this your summer assignment: read, enjoy, be inspired—and, of course, write us.