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Opportunity does not need to knock twice for Jeremy Browning ’13, who could teach a class on asking the right questions. by Andrew Thompson ‘13

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Jeremy Browning ’13 has a gift for building relationships and making things happen.

Jeremy came to Wheaton from the suburbs of Detroit, where he lettered in three sports and built lasting friendships with everyone from his high school principal (a fellow Christian who granted Jeremy’s request to start a Christian ministry) to the orchestra director. Jeremy served as president of the symphony orchestra though he didn’t begin playing viola until the seventh grade.

Once at Wheaton, Jeremy took a freshman introductory Bible course under Dr. Vincent Bacote, professor of theology and director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics. “I sat at the very center of the front row,” Jeremy says, “and after a couple of classes I introduced myself to him. He offered to be a mentor to me.”

They would meet several times a month, and Jeremy says he often texted Dr. Bacote with questions about theology or life in general. “He’s a Bible scholar, but he’s also very socially aware and a voracious consumer of news. We can always talk about contemporary issues in a meaningful way.” The key takeaways from this mentoring relationship have been clarifying conversations on the issues of race and class differences.

Says Dr. Bacote, “Jeremy is a unique combination of brilliance, curiosity, and innate leadership. This was obvious to me from the first conversations we had when he was a freshman.”

A business/economics major and international relations minor, Jeremy says some of his most formative experiences came through three years in Student Government. He served on the diversity committee as a sophomore, and then as vice president and president. As president, Jeremy helped launch In Support of the Arts (ISOTA). The project helps provide venues for artists to display their creativity outside the classroom, a passion for Jeremy.

Another mentor, Dr. Steve Ivester ’93, M.A.’03, dean of student engagement, says, “Jeremy has a mental hum that seems to be purring all the time. I’ve never had a student ask the depth of questions that he asks.”

In addition to cultivating Jeremy’s insatiable curiosity, Wheaton also stirred a deep desire to grow his faith. “I’m going to miss the rigor with which people try to converge their life and work for purposes of Christian fidelity and the advancement of God’s kingdom,” he says.

Not one to leave life’s next steps until the last minute, Jeremy intentionally sought the counsel of Wheaton alumni professionals in business and the creative arts, and over the last three years developed relationships that helped him identify his calling. One of his mentors, a Wheaton alumnus and prominent financier, advised him to visit New York City to meet with other business professionals, which Jeremy did this past spring on his own dime. “I bought a lot of coffee for people,” he says. After five days of running around the Big Apple from one meeting to the next, Jeremy was offered and accepted a position with Vivaldi Partners, a global strategy consultancy.

One day Jeremy hopes to combine his passion for the creative arts with business strategy, potentially working in the film or music industry, but for now, Jeremy looks forward to the new opportunities ahead in New York City.

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