Words: Bella McDonald ’24
Photos: Diana Rowan
Olivia Lorimer ’11 returned to Wheaton College in the fall of 2019, joining the Center for Vocation and Career (CVC) as the STEM career coach. She quickly moved through the ranks to become the associate director of career education in March 2022 and then interim director in August 2022. In January 2023, she was promoted to the role of director. After more than 10 years of experience in various leadership roles in nonprofit ministry, Lorimer is now serving the CVC team as they seek to equip all Wheaton College students with the tools they need to discover and launch into their next steps post-college. After completing her studies in interpersonal communication and economics at Wheaton College in 2011, Lorimer moved to upstate New York, where she began her career at a leadership development program in the Adirondack Mountains. Her love of the outdoors then brought her to Laramie, Wyoming, to work as a course support manager for a nonprofit ministry. She accumulated more than 80 days in the mountains over three summers as an instructor, leading 20-day backpacking and rock climbing expeditions. Lorimer moved back to the Chicago area in the spring of 2019, where she currently resides with her husband and children.
Visit wheaton.edu/cvc to read the annual “Life After Wheaton Report.”
In January, Wheaton College unveiled an updated plaque honoring missionaries Jim Elliot ’49, Ed McCully ’49, Nate Saint ’50, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming, who were slain in 1956 while carrying out the Great Commission with indigenous peoples of Ecuador. Based on the inscription of the plaque given to Wheaton College by the Class of 1949, the new and updated plaque was rededicated in the lobby of Edman Chapel, where it remains permanently. Its message commends the five men and their faithfulness to “go to the mission field willing for ‘anything, anywhere regardless of the cost.’” Dr. Beverly Liefeld Hancock ’84—whose mother, Olive Fleming Liefeld, is the widow of Pete Fleming—led the wording task force last year that developed the plaque’s new inscription.
The rededicated plaque hangs in the lobby of Edman Chapel.
Chaplain Angulus Wilson led a group of about 100 students to the Urbana Student Missions Conference in Indianapolis from Dec. 28–31, 2022. Hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship every three years, the conference held multiple worship sessions and over 150 group breakout sessions about vocation, missions, and the global church. Urbana22 was originally planned for 2021 but was rescheduled due to the pandemic. There were more than 5,500 Urbana22 participants, and 1,300 of them pledged their lives to global missions.
Read student testimonials from the conference here.
Wheaton College announced its new four-year engineering program in fall 2022. In addition to the successful 3-2 dual degree engineering program, the Department of Physics and Engineering now offers a four-year general engineering program. Wheaton also announced three new science majors: neuroscience, biochemistry & molecular biology, and conservation & ecological health.
An endowment of $1 million from the estate of Richard D. House ’52 will support geological education at Wheaton College. Thanks to House’s donation, the department will cover all student expenses for field trips to provide experiential learning. The endowment provides scholarships for required summer courses at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills of South Dakota. As a student, House shoveled coal into the campus steam plant to pay his tuition. His geology instructor, Cordelia Erdman Barber ’46, visited the plant to read House’s textbooks to him as he worked, inspiring his generosity. House later earned a master’s in geology from Northwestern University.
On April 18, the Center for Faith, Politics, and Economics hosted a celebration of the life and legacy of Michael Gerson ’86, a journalist, White House speechwriter, and inaugural FPE Fellow. The event featured a panel of people who knew Gerson best: David Brooks, Peter Wehner, and Scott Baker ’86.
Dr. Marlene Wall addressed the members of the Graduate School and the undergraduate class of 2023 at Wheaton College’s 164th Commencement ceremonies on May 6 and 7, respectively. Dr. Wall is the president of LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where 200 Ukrainian students study alongside Russians and Belarussians and are pursuing reconciliation in a time of war. She earned her master’s in linguistics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Kansas State University.
To watch the 2023 Commencement ceremonies, visit wheaton.edu/commencement.
On September 15, 2023, in the Edman Memorial Chapel, the Wheaton College Artist Series and the Wade Center will present Ballet 5:8, a professional ballet company in Chicago. Ballet 5:8 is dedicated to engaging communities in conversations of life and faith through innovative storytelling. Ticket holders are invited to attend Grace Notes, a pre-show talk, from 6:30–7:00 p.m. Since its founding in 2012, Ballet 5:8 has performed more than 45 critically acclaimed ballets in Chicago, the Midwest, and across the nation.
Read more Wheaton stories at wheaton.edu/news.