As a child, Meredith Hanson visited Wheaton many times, beginning when she was 5 years old. Her mother, Janet Tiebout Hanson ’74, often brought her along when she came to campus for reunions and meetings of the Board of Trustees, on which she served. Meredith, a studio art major in the Class of 2011, followed a family tradition set by both her mother and her grandmother, Patricia Peck Tiebout ’46.
Why Wheaton? I thought Wheaton’s campus was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen, and I fell in love with the school from a very early age. While researching colleges during my senior year in high school, I felt in my heart that there was only one college I truly wanted to go to. I had heard only amazing things about the art department and the professors, and I knew this was the place I wanted to be. My mom had so many incredible experiences here, and I liked that Wheaton was a smaller school, much like the middle school and high school that I had attended.
Friends, professors, mentors. I have made the best of friends at Wheaton, and have formed great relationships with my professors. I knew I wanted to be a studio art major, but I also found another great love, art history. Art history professors Evelyn Staudinger and Touba Ghadessi Fleming have made my experience a memorable one. Both of them have shown me endless support. I have taken classes with almost all of the studio art professors, and they have been great mentors. I have learned so much from these outstanding individuals and hope to continue doing so after graduation.
Peak experience. During the summer of 2009 I traveled to Ireland for a three-week intensive art program with 16 classmates and professors Andy Howard and Tim Cunard. It was one of the greatest experiences I have had, not only at Wheaton, but in my entire life. We art students grew very close to one another as we experienced the beauty of another country together and expressed our inspiration through our artwork.
What’s next? After graduation, my roommate Lauren Grillo and I plan to move to Boston. I want to continue developing my skills, techniques and style as an artist so I can expand my portfolio, travel and teach. My dream would be to open my own studio space, allowing artists and people interested in taking classes to come and find their “inner artist,” as the studio might one day be named.
As the college celebrates its 176th Commencement, the legacy tradition is going strong. About 50 members of the Class of 2011, or roughly 13 percent of the graduates, have relatives who attended Wheaton before them. Here are a few of their stories.
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