My relationship with Wheaton College began in the fall of 2005, during my junior year of high school, when I submitted my first inquiry to undergraduate admissions. Though I was not sure at the time that I was qualified, God in His wisdom saw fit to have me admitted, and on August 23, 2007, my mom, brother, and I pulled up in front of Smith-Traber Hall—it was the first day of my freshman orientation.
And now I am in the final month of my undergraduate years. Some people get to this point and never look back. Yet I have every intention of maintaining ties with the institution, even though I will no longer be in residence. Wheaton College is a place that I will be proud to call my alma mater, and I will seek to give back to and invest in the College for as long as the Lord enables me. Here are just a few reasons why I still choose Wheaton.
First, Wheaton College is, quite simply, a fun place to live and study. I have enjoyed semester after semester full of memorable, often spontaneous, fun times with my peers. In fact, if asked what regrets I have about my four years at Wheaton, I would say that I regret not having been more intentional about pursuing those quality interactions. And we have so much variety of fun things to do both on and off-campus, from the lounges of lower Beamer to the streets of Chicago.
The excellent faculty at this institution is another reason why I still choose Wheaton. They have degrees from the world’s best schools, portfolios full of scholarly accomplishments, and years and years of experience. These men and women additionally have a passion for our development as whole and effective Christians and a commitment to the preeminence of Christ in all things, and as such the faculty members are certainly the students’ most valuable resource here at the College.
And finally, I still choose Wheaton because my time here has been a time of incredible spiritual growth–and I am not an isolated case, because I have seen similar spiritual growth in many my of peers. I have had so many encounters and experiences during my time here that have challenged me to think through everything I believe, and made my faith that much stronger because of it. I have also learned to be content in my identity in Christ and to trust God to have a perfect plan for my life, regardless of how much of the plan has actually been revealed to me. God has used this place in so many ways to bring me closer to and make me more like Christ, as I believe has been the case for countless previous generations of students.
This last reason, by the way, is not something I could have anticipated during my pre-admission visits and application and decision process four or five years ago. Certainly, I had heard phrases like “life-changing experience” during that time, but I could never have predicted the magnitude of Wheaton’s effect on me—I was very pleasantly surprised.
To my fellow seniors: Wheaton College has done so much for us. Will you join me in committing to return the favor and support our alma mater? Wheaton College is a special place, the recipient of untold blessings, and an institution that does good work for Christ and His Kingdom. Let us commit to bringing the College regularly before the throne, that the Lord might put a shield around this place to guard against harm and grant wisdom and guidance in the pursuit of Christ’s truth and the proclamation of the gospel.
Founding president Jonathan Blanchard, when asked why he chose to come to Wheaton, replied, “I believed that the Lord had need of Wheaton College, to aid in preparing the way for His coming.” Generations of students, faculty, staff, and friends have chosen Wheaton College for similar reasons. I still choose Wheaton not because it is perfect, for it is not, but because it is indeed a special place, and I believe God has a special plan for this institution, and I would not miss a chance to continue to be a part of it.