The Parent Council is a group of parents who help with the hospitality of parent events during Orientation and Family Weekend and serve as a resource to the College on issues unique to current parents. Most importantly, the Parent Council is on hand to serve as a resource to you. If you would like to get in touch with them by e-mail you can do so via the links after each bio.
Kent ’85 and Cindy Neff Cochrum ’85
Kent and Cindy enjoyed a classic Wheaton romance, meeting in the Conservatory during their freshman year. Thirty years later their oldest son Jared '11 was a Wheaton senior making freshman and transfer students feel welcome in his role as the Student Orientation Committee Chair. Kent and Cindy are also parents to Andrew '14, who served in various leadership capacities during his time at Wheaton; and Caleb '17, who is entering his sophomore year. As parents of both young alumni and a current student, Kent and Cindy love to connect with parents about the ways the role of a parent changes through the course of their student's years.
Contact the Cochrums
Paul and Jill DeHaven
Paul and Jill's first connection to Wheaton reaches back to the 1960s when Jill's aunt, Karen Baarda Langstraat '66, graduated from Wheaton. Through the experience of their daughters Johanna '13 and Kari '15, Paul and Jill have become familiar with a wide range of Wheaton student life. Johanna and Kari have participated in Wheaton Passage, the HoneyRock Summer Leadership School, the Tower Yearbook, Wheaton Thunderettes, and intercultural ministry opportunities sponsored through the Office of Christian Outreach (OCO). Paul and Jill are also a great resource for learning more about Wheaton Graduate School's accelerated master's program, as both Johanna and Kari have chosen this option for their final year of study.
Contact Paul or Jill
Kirt and Carol Eldredge
West Des Moines, IA
When Kirt and Carol's oldest daughter, Emma '13, was deciding where she should attend college, a family friend (Jim Sandager) whose son Philip '10 had recently enrolled in Wheaton, began bringing a copy of the Wheaton student newspaper to Emma every week. "You need to go here!" he'd say, handing her The Record. Emma toured several universities that year. Ultimately, her overnight visit with other students in a Wheaton residence hall convinced Emma that Wheaton was the school where she wanted to be. Three years later, Emma became an R.A. in Wheaton's Fischer Hall. Two years ago, Kirt and Carol's son Will also enrolled at Wheaton, joining the class of 2016. Kirt and Carol are especially appreciative of the philosophy of Residence Life at Wheaton and suggest that the Residence Hall where your student will be living and growing in Jesus Christ is a place you should visit while your student's here at Wheaton.
Contact Kirt or Carol
Ben and Beth Hesterberg Fulton’83
Beth is a graduate of Wheaton, and she and Ben love living in this town where neighbors attend church and school together and where Beth can watch Wheaton traditions such as the "Senior Bench" continue still today. Beth's son Trevor Adams '15 is a member of the Wheaton men's soccer team, and Beth and Ben have enjoyed cheering for the team both on and off the field. They recommend Wheaton's Meyer Science Center, new home of the Perry Mastodon, as a campus destination not to be missed.
Contact the Fultons
Jennifer Good '85
A history major during her student days at Wheaton and a physician practicing internal and palliative medicine now, Jennifer's strongest connection to Wheaton has been through HoneyRock Camp. A self-described "HoneyRock Camper" during her Wheaton student days, Jennifer's two children--Ryan, a senior at Bucknell University, and Ellen, a sophomore at Wheaton--were also strongly shaped by the childhood experiences they had with Wheaton students during summers at HoneyRock. During her freshman year, Jennifer's daughter Ellen enjoyed her involvement in Discipleship Small Groups and plans to lead a group this year. Based on her own experience working with many pre-med students, Jennifer enjoys talking with parents about navigating their student's pre-med path.
Kirk and Ratana Ito
Kirk and Ratana first came to know Wheaton through their many good friends in the Indianapolis region who are Wheaton alums. With Rebecca, their oldest of four children, now beginning her sophomore year, Kirk and Ratana are beginning to experience Wheaton as a learning community of their own. They’ve enjoyed their interactions with Wheaton’s international student body and have also valued the one-on-one conversations they’ve had with Wheaton professors. One of their favorite spots on campus is the Marion E. Wade Center, home of a major research collection of materials by and about seven great British authors and thinkers of the Faith, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Contact Kirk or Ratana
Jeff and Patty Klepack Mann '82
Patty’s experience with Wheaton began in 1978 when her older sister called home from Jerusalem where she was studying with Wheaton in the Holy Lands. Hearing her sister’s enthusiasm, Patty made the decision to enroll in Wheaton too, and a few years later had the opportunity to enjoy the same trip. This summer the tradition continued with Patty and Jeff’s son Kevin ’16 fulfilling a portion of his general education requirements with Wheaton in the Holy Lands. Because they live close to campus, Jeff and Patty have enjoyed being several students’ home away from home and hosting an annual Super Bowl party for Kevin’s floormates on Traber 7. This year, Jeff and Patty are excited to begin again as their daughter Katie enters the class of ’18. Jeff and Patty enjoy talking with parents about the phase of life transitions between their student’s high school and college years.
Contact the Manns
Greg and Rae Lynn Shirley Sandvig '80
While on their honeymoon in 1955, Rae Lynn's parents, Ted and Elaine Shirley, stopped by Wheaton. They were impressed. Years later, all six of their children, including Rae Lynn, attended Wheaton. This year Greg and Rae Lynn's son Braedy will begin his freshman year, following his brothers Bryan '10 and Adam '12. Greg and Rae Lynn enjoy welcoming all parents to the "Wheaton family" especially through opportunities for parent prayer. They recommend taking advantage of opportunities to attend student chapel and to hear President Ryken's heart for students. Contact Greg or Rae Lynn
Lamont and Bo Tyler
Lamont and Bo's first connection to Wheaton came through their daughter Alexa '15, who visited campus during her junior year in high school and brought Lamont along with her. Since then, Bo and Lamont have come to admire Wheaton personally as parents of a daughter whose involvement in Wheaton Passage, the Solidarity Cabinet, the women's golf team, and student chaplaincy has inspired their respect for the dimension and depth that Wheaton offers its students. When it comes to campus experiences and "hot-spots" they recommend that parents see, Lamont and Bo name the Student Talent Show, the President's Prayer Breakfast, and the award-winning food service of Bon Appetit.
Contact Lamont or Bo
Don and Sharon Stamper Thompson
While a graduate student in Milwaukee, Sharon took a course in Cross Cultural Missions at Wheaton, and this initiated the relationship to Wheaton that the Thompsons enjoy today. When the time came to choose a college, the Thompsons' son Chris ’15 and daughter Sarah ’17 each discovered their own fit with the quality of students and faculty and the sense of community Wheaton offers. Chris and Sarah have been involved in Passage, Residence Life, the Ashkelon Dig for Biblical Archeology Majors, the Wheaton College Science Station in South Dakota, intramural volleyball, tutoring at the Outreach Community Center, and the HNGR program. Through their exposure to these programs, Don and Sharon have been impressed with the way Wheaton integrates academic learning with field experiences. They've enjoyed the realization that having a student at Wheaton has opened doors for their own growth and learning.
Contact Don or Sharon