Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Letters

Nice surprise

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the most recent issue of the Quarterly.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Onyedikachi [“Kachi”] Udeoji ’12 featured in “A minute with....” Kachi is a good friend of my daughter, Kara Fierro ’12, and has visited our home on several occasions since freshman year. I like to think we have been a “home away from home” to Kachi when he misses his native Nigeria! I also enjoyed the article on the cryptologists on the Wheaton campus during the war. Thanks for keeping Wheaton parents connected to campus through the magazine.

—Amy Fierro P’12

Good cover to cover

I graduated from Wheaton in 1967. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve read the Quarterly from cover to cover! I know it was impressive when we were there, but not nearly as impressive as it has become! From President Crutcher’s talk about the opening of the new Mars Center to Rebecca Sieburth’s [Class of 2011] interests in medicine and art to [Read more...]

For(e) sight

Faculty members may still be unpacking, but the Mars Center for Science and Technology is officially open. It is a glorious building in so many ways, from the “green” technology hidden in its infrastructure to the gleaming façade it presents to the campus. Since the new building opened in late July, I have walked through the facility at least a half-dozen times for no reason other than to appreciate the space. It is truly a marvel.

While the quality of the Mars Center is no surprise, the reality has me just a little awe-struck. This building represents many things, not the least of which is the incredible generosity of Wheaton’s alumnae/i, trustees, parents and friends. The college was able to take on this project in the midst of one of the nation’s deepest and most sustained recessions only because of loyal supporters who contributed $35 million to this effort. That would be exceptional at any time; in this economy, it is heroic.

[Read more...]

Embrace uncertainty

Richard Stengel

Stengel urges graduates to acknowledge doubt but get in the game

At a time when any kind of information is just a few clicks away, critical thinking is more crucial than ever, Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, told the Class of 2011 during Wheaton’s 176th Commencement in May.

In today’s mass media and across the spectrum of American politics, Stengel said he sees “an epidemic of certainty—people who are absolutely sure that they know they are right, and I find this a little irksome.... One of the things I am certain about is that certainty and democracy don’t go together.”

History is filled with leaders who know they are right, he said. “Who are they? Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi. Totalitarianism is the place for certainty, not democracy.”

Advising the 376 graduates to beware of ideas and theories that cannot be tested or evaluated, Stengel encouraged them to continue to value knowledge, which is more than a collection of easily accessible information. [Read more...]

Long-held passions fuel scholarly pursuits

This academic year Wheaton students won numerous prestigious national scholarships and awards, including Fulbrights, a Watson Fellowship and a Projects for Peace grant. Each of them is pursuing work based on long-held passions. Here are some of the winners: