Alumni News

A Word with Alumni

Eric Fowler ’81, President, Wheaton College Alumni Association Board of Directors

Wheaton College IL Alumnus Eric Fowler

Eric Fowler ’81

Photo by Mike Hudson

It’s been a long time since I graduated from Wheaton. The Wheaton I knew as a student was defined by a quiet carrel in the back of the library surrounded by math and science books. It was defined by my tennis and intramurals teammates and by the roommates I had over the four years. Chapel, a small set of close professors, and ministries in which I participated provided definition too. It was also shaped by the things I brought with me to campus: my upbringing, my home environment, my church, and my earlier education.

Serving on the Alumni Association Board for the past five years, I have seen that my Wheaton experience was often very different from the Wheaton that other alumni remember. Each graduate had different courses, different extracurriculars, and different friend groups, and they came from different socioeconomic backgrounds, experienced Wheaton from different ethnic backgrounds, and more. All of these things uniquely shape a college experience. While we each experienced a different Wheaton, we also experienced something very much the same.

Although my optics have changed, the Wheaton I know today is still for Christ and His Kingdom. It is still focused on the holistic development of students with Christ at the center. It still produces graduates that engage in society in meaningful ways and have the ability to bring the hope of Christ into places that are unique to them—just as you are doing. It’s still a place of wholesome fun, just like it was when you were a student. And I’m always inspired and humbled each time I look through the alumni rolls to see the noteworthy ways Wheaton alumni have been engaged in society. Yet we all know that most kingdom work goes unnoticed and without accolades.

My hope is for Wheaton to continue to attract students and generate alumni who are different from one another and who also help fulfill the mission of the College by bringing honor to Christ in unique and distinguished ways—visible or not.