The year-round campus

It never fails: When someone asks me where I work and I say that I work at a college, I usually get the same response, “Oh, you’re so lucky. You’re off in the summer, right?”

So not true, I always say—especially at Wheaton College, especially this summer.

Yes, the majority of students leave campus to indulge in restful summer activities, to expand their knowledge and experience through internships, or to work summer jobs. Their absence en masse makes it seem quiet as you walk the campus. But within each building there are always staff members, administrators, faculty and students carrying on the business of running the college, preparing for the new upcoming semester, or working on research projects.

This summer, however, the entire campus was alive with sound and activity—from June to August, from the Dimple to Haas Athletic Center. A wide range of events and programs, including several new ones aimed at expanding the reach of the college, drew hundreds of students to Wheaton.

Some of our current students returned to campus to take courses for credit during our Summer Session. High school students participated in our new Discover@Wheaton, a credit-earning, pre-college experience to explore what it would be like to be enrolled here. Many elementary and middle school students took part in the second year of Explo, which offers youths the opportunity to explore everything from chemistry to moviemaking. And artsy adults attended the International Herb Symposium hosted by Wheaton, giving the campus a really cool vibe punctuated by the scent of incense wafting about.

Our cover story, written by Becca Manning and photographed by Keith Nordstrom, captures the essence of what truly has become a year-round campus, where there is never a break from the opportunity to learn. And what a great way to introduce potential students to the campus and bring other adults in to take part in the Wheaton experience that is easier to see and feel than it is to describe.

It is exactly that Wheaton experience that also keeps our alums coming back to campus to inspire the next generation during events like the annual Sophomore Symposium. Laura Pedulli writes about several of those alums, who returned last winter to share with students how their majors have taken them in wonderfully surprising directions, in the story “An unexpected journey.”

Laura also wrote a profile of Joshua Nordberg ’00, who has some funny stories to share about his time at Wheaton, and how his adventures here led him to his love of science and the important work he is doing in helping to diagnose cancer and other diseases.