Dawn Wright '83
Academically, I always knew that I wanted oceanography as a terminal degree, and in the U.S. most oceanographers are still only fully trained at the doctoral level. You must major in a basic science as an undergrad and then go on to graduate school for oceanography. Wheaton provided me with the rigorous scientific foundation needed to enter top graduate programs in not only oceanography but later on in geography as well. Spiritually, Wheaton (especially the Black Hills summer field camp) provided a wonderful foundation for respecting what I see and try to decipher in nature. God is the author of it all but gives us a wonderful and profound ability to try and figure out the details of HOW it came to be and how the Earth works in the present day. We can know God not only through His Son, through people made in His image and through the scriptures, but through creation as well.
I am grateful for how well Wheaton equipped me to be “as wise as a serpent” and yet “as innocent as a dove" (Matthew 10:16) while serving Him on a secular university campus and now in a secular information technology company. Wheaton helped me to continue to be sensitive as to how to engage in our culture as a Christian and how to respond Christianly to “culture wars.” Praise God for that integration of faith, learning, and life! Two relevant quotes that have helped me beyond Wheaton:
“You are free in our time to say God does not exist; you are free to say that He would like to exist if He could. You may talk of God as a metaphor or mystification; you may water Him down with gallons of long words, or boil Him to the rags of metaphysics; and it is not merely that nobody punishes, but nobody protests. But if you speak of God as a fact, as a thing like a tiger, as a reason for changing one's conduct, then the modern world will stop you somehow if it can. We are long past talking about whether an unbeliever should be punished for being irreverent. It is now thought irreverent to be a believer.”
-- G.K. Chesterson in George Bernard Shaw
“Don't waste time waiting for big things to do for God. You will not have the readiness to say yes to the great things if you do not train yourself to say yes to the thousand and one occasions of obedience that come your way throughout the day. Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love.”
-- Mother Theresa