Campus News

Arena Theater Performs “My Name Is Asher Lev”

Words: Melissa Schill ’22
Photos: Josh and Alexa Adams

The play, adapted by Aaron Posner, coincides with Wheaton’s 2021-22 Core Book, My Name Is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. The book and play follow the story of a Hasidic Jewish boy who feels torn between his call to faith and his call to artistry. Asher’s interest in drawing clashes with what his Jewish community, and especially his father, deem valuable. As Asher grows in his artistic ability and passion, he is faced with the question of whether art and faith can truly work together. Senior Evan Doan plays the part of Asher Lev. As he was reflecting on the play and the process of taking on the character, he said, “The biggest thing I’ve learned over the past four years—and it’s what the play really touches on—is that there is a way to be an honest artist and an honest Christian at the same time. If you’re dishonest in either of them, you’re doing a disservice to yourself.”

HoneyRock Gets a Brand Refresh

While the mission remains the same, in an effort to better represent the organization, a new name has been announced: HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development. The name highlights the emphasis HoneyRock places on experiential leadership development for each person that comes through one of its various programs, from elementary school students to graduate students. Alongside the name, a new logo was also revealed. It features the iconic HoneyRock bridge and adheres to the new Wheaton College brand personality. See the logo.

Summer Research Program Highlights

During summer 2021, 25 students were named Undergraduate Research Fellows and participated in Wheaton’s Summer Research Program under the guidance and partnership of their professors. Project topics included developing synthetic polypeptoids meant to stop protein breakdown brought on by COVID-19, dating minerals, researching how gender equity appears in program design among Christian nonprofits, and translating social connections in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy into visual data.

Annual Christmas Festival Makes Its Grand Return

Wheaton hosted the annual Christmas Festival Concert, this year entitled “Welcome All Wonders.” Women’s Chorale, Men’s Glee Club, Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and the Percussion Ensemble all performed selections from composer J.A.C. Redford and classic Christmas carols.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

Unidad, Wheaton’s Latinx/Hispanic student organization, invited the student body to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15. Events included a chapel service, a Latin dance class, and the first annual Hispanic Heritage Festival: Mercado y Musica. The festival brought Latin-owned businesses from the Chicagoland area and local musicians to campus. The College will celebrate Black History Month in February and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in spring.

Chapel Returns to In-Person Attendance

After making a move online due to COVID-19 restrictions last year, triweekly chapel services are happening in Edman Chapel again. Fall semester chapel speakers included Lisa Beamer ’91 in remembrance of 9/11 and Juli Slattery ’92, who did a three-day series on authentic intimacy. The campus also studied Ephesians, spending each Monday chapel working through a section of the book. The full chapel schedule and recordings of past services can be found online here.

Semester in Jerusalem Program Launched

A cohort of 18 students, led by Visiting Associate Lecturer in Biblical and Theological Studies Dr. Chris Vlachos, embarked on the inaugural semester-long study abroad program in Jerusalem. The group was housed at Jerusalem University College on Mount Zion where they took classes and went on field study excursions to the Mount of Olives, Samaria, and the Dead Sea. They also traveled to Athens to complete another class on the “Journeys of Paul.”

New Aequitas Fellows Program

The Aequitas Fellows Program— Wheaton’s highly selective, four-year cohort program—launches new tracks including Public Humanities and Arts, Sustainability, and Urban Leadership in fall 2022. Aequitas Fellows are placed in themed cohorts, take a series of common classes, and participate in reading groups, campus events, funded summer experiences, internships, and special research projects. All Fellows receive a $20,000 academic scholarship.

New Pre-College Program

The Wheaton College Summer Institute will host its inaugural program during summer 2022. This premier pre-college program provides high school students an opportunity to engage in Wheaton’s rigorous academic study, artistic expression, leadership training, and spiritual development with world-class Christian faculty—all on the beautiful campus of Wheaton College.

Welcome Center Named in Honor of Melvin E. Banks

In a celebration on October 15, the Welcome Center was named the Melvin E. Banks Welcome Center. The late Dr. Melvin E. Banks Sr. ’58, M.A. ’60 was a trustee at the College for 16 years. During his career, Banks planted several churches, created an urban outreach program to connect pastors, and established a campground for urban youth. He also founded the largest independently owned African American publishing house and was awarded with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1993 in recognition of his work contextualizing biblical literature for the African American Church.