Campus News

Campus News

A recap of exciting changes and events from around campus

Words: Grant Dutro ’25

Wheaton College IL Pep Band

The Wheaton College Pep Band

Photo by Brady McNeil

New Wheaton College Pep Band: An Athletics and Conservatory Collaboration

Last winter, the Wheaton College Pep Band took to King Arena for their official debut. Funded by the Athletics Department, the new extracurricular music ensemble energizes the atmosphere at athletic events, fosters school spirit, and provides an avenue for student musicians to explore pep band music culture, styles, and techniques. The ensemble is open to all majors and compensates its members for each performance.

In the spring of 2023, students Cara Forsberg ’24 and Michael Rocha ’24 founded the pep band after meeting with Athletics Director Mike Schauer ’93, M.A. ’96, and Dr. Michael Wilder, Dean of the Conservatory of Music. The ensemble held auditions later that fall, with space for instruments including saxophone, trumpet, piccolo/flute, French horn, baritone/euphonium, and drum set. Led by faculty adviser Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Brady McNeil, who participated in pep band when attending Auburn University, the group performed at four double-header basketball games.

New Undergraduate Humanitarian Action Certificate

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute announced its new Humanitarian Action Certificate for undergraduate students at Wheaton. The certificate includes multidisciplinary courses in humanitarian response, poverty alleviation, anti-trafficking work, refugee care, disaster response, and other related fields. Through research, exploration of best practices, and practical approaches, the certificate aims to equip students to serve those affected by crises, disasters, and systemic inequalities both domestically and internationally.

Wheaton Rankings in U.S. News & World Report

Wheaton College was one of the only Christian colleges in the 2023–2024 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Wheaton ranked #56 for National Liberal Arts Colleges and #50 among Best Value Schools, both higher places than the previous year. Two of the College’s undergraduate majors also placed in the USNWR lists for similarly sized programs, ranking #165 out of 300 economics programs and #264 out of 500 psychology programs.

Questioning Christianity Lecture Series

Wheaton College hosted the Questioning Christianity Lecture Series this spring. Sponsored by the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center and the Jean Kvamme Distinguished Chair of Public Christianity, the four lectures featured key experts who addressed some common doubts and concerns about Christianity in the present age. Speakers covered the following topics: “Is Christianity Sexist?” by Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing, “Has the Church Done More Harm than Good?” and “Are There Too Many Versions of Christianity—to take any of them seriously?” by Dr. John Dickson, and “Is Christianity Out of Date & Out of Touch?” by Dr. Rebecca McLaughlin.

“The Architecture of Prayer”

From February 9–March 1, the Wheaton College Department of Art and the President’s Art Commission brought “The Architecture of Prayer” to campus. Curated by Amanda Iglesias ’14, the traveling exhibition presented an international survey of the contemporary church, showcasing drawings and travel photography of historic church buildings in dialogue with new projects built between 1999 and the present. Over 20 global and local architecture firms contributed pieces to the gallery, which was displayed in the Walford Gallery in Adams Hall and the foyer of the Armerding Center for Music and the Arts.

Wheaton College Historical Review Spring Symposium

On March 12, Wheaton College hosted the Historical Review Spring Symposium in Barrows Auditorium of Billy Graham Hall. The second symposium featured Rev. Dr. Charlie E. Dates on the topic of biblical repentance, responsibility, and renewal. Dates, a highly sought-after speaker and pastor, is widely invited to preach at churches and speak at retreats, conferences, and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad. He became the youngest senior pastor at the historic Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago in 2011 and now serves as senior pastor at the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.

Opera Mainstage Merry Wives of Windsor

From January 10–13, Wheaton College Opera Mainstage performed The Merry Wives of Windsor, a German opera in three acts by Otto Nicolai. The work is adapted from Shakespeare’s comedic play of the same name. Conservatory of Music students involved in the year-long opera course sang in English, and the production featured classical pianist and composer Florence Price’s Encore Songs. Each performance took place in the state-of-the-art Armerding Concert Hall.

2024 Science Symposium

This year’s Wheaton College Science Symposium, titled “Machine Learning: A Tool for Good,” examined how machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies can benefit society and advance God’s kingdom. The April 3–4 symposium featured four speakers: Joshua Nemecek, Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass, Dr. Ying Li, and Dr. Emily Willson Wenger ’16. Speaker sessions covered a wide range of applications for machine learning, including medical research, humanitarian efforts, security, and Bible translation, while also accounting for the potential challenges and harms of AI technology.

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