The most remarkable things happen at Wheaton: students find themselves and their futures.
Robert Manguso, who graduated this spring, stands as a case in point. A resident of Milford, Mass., he began his college career planning to major in business. But he found the subject less than stimulating, the school somewhat disappointing. He transferred to Wheaton, and after taking a class in biology, he decided to major in the field.
As a biology major, Robert ranged well beyond the classroom. He served as a research assistant to Professor of Biology Robert Morris, attended scholarly conferences in New England and California, and worked as a course assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole during the summer.
Today, as a Fulbright Scholar, he is on his way to the University of Copenhagen, where he will explore his dream of working as a researcher in the lab of a renowned scientist whose work is similar to the studies he conducted with Professor Morris.
Robert’s college experience positioned him to take a step that, four years ago, was not on his radar screen. His classmates have embarked on equally inspiring journeys.
Roxanna Azari combined her love of language and her experiences as an Iranian-American woman with scholarship about women and culture that helped her win a Watson Fellowship. She will spend the next year traveling the world, collecting women’s perspectives on the meaning of the veils worn in the Islamic world.
Padric Gleason’s interest in international business and global affairs found expression in his double majors, international relationsand Hispanic studies. Through the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services, he learned about a unique M.B.A. program based in London that includes both a nine-month internship in an international corporation and one year of study in Thailand.
Aurelie Marcotte studied with professors who encouraged her interest in chemistry by involving her in collaborative research and helped her select the right graduate program. She credits Wheaton’s professors and her study abroad experience in South Africa with helping her to develop the independence to move across the country to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.
These young women and men, and their classmates and friends, contribute the most essential ingredient to creating a vital learning community: themselves. Our responsibility is to match students’ energy and intellectual curiosity with robust programs and abundant opportunities. Wheaton does that exceptionally well, thanks in no small part to the contributions of many.
The college’s strength begins with dedicated faculty members who recognize each student as an individual; they encourage and challenge students to stimulate their personal and intellectual growth. Wheaton also makes the most of the traditional liberal arts with our distinctive “Connections” curriculum, which offers a fully rounded view of the world and helps students to master critical thinking, creative problem solving and persuasive communication.
Along with an outstanding teaching faculty, the college offers myriad opportunities for learning that transcend the classroom. Internships, research positions, study abroad programs and volunteer service possibilities abound. And these experiences, when connected to students’ academic interests, lead to the discovery of new horizons as well as rich and deep learning. None of this would be possible without the substantial contributions made by the college’s extended community: alumnae/i and friends, students and families, and faculty and staff. Philanthropy plays an essential role in sustaining Wheaton’s strength and enhancing the educational experiences of our students.
This year, the college launches the public phase of Go Beyond: Campaign for Wheaton to engage our community in helping our students to discover their interests, unlock their full potential and exceed their own expectations of what is possible.
We kick off this effort with more than $78 million in gifts and commitments made over the past five years. Those contributions are already at work, making an enormous difference for our students through scholarship support and funding for essential programs, not to mention the construction of the new Mars Center for Science and Technology. Through this campaign, our community will take a bold step forward in ensuring that Wheaton students receive the type of transformative education that helps them go beyond.