Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Parent Newsletter

September 2022 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

Wheaton College maintains a vital relationship with our students even after they graduate, nurturing a strong alumni identity through the decades. Last May, Wheaton was ranked by Princeton Review as #12 among top private universities in the nation for alumni activity and visibility on campus.

Two years ago—in March 2020—seniors were understandably distressed to learn they would finish their college experience remotely, due to the global pandemic. This meant no way to say goodbye, and no Commencement.

At long last, hundreds of graduates from the Class of 2020 returned to campus to “Gather Again” last weekend—to see their lifelong friends and classmates, and to say farewell to beloved faculty and staff mentors. These young alumni participated in Chapel, took a class photo, posed for photos with me in their graduation gowns on front campus, worshipped together, and enjoyed a celebration dinner.

I am grateful that our current students experienced an example of how Wheaton students love to stay in touch with one another, and how the College will continue to support them.

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken
President 

PGR taking photo with 2020 grad  825 x 300

Parent Town Hall Recording Available

If you were not able to attend the virtual Parent Town Hall with President Ryken on September 7, a recording of the session is available at wheaton.edu/parents. Thank you, parents, for submitting so many helpful questions!

Family Weekend 2022

All parents, grandparents, and siblings are invited to attend Family Weekend on October 28-29. Details will be coming to your inbox soon, but in the meantime, mark your calendars!

Student Development: Resources

Wheaton College offers a number of resources to support our students. Residence Directors (live-in professional staff) and Resident Assistants (student leader on each floor) are some of the first staff members students know. If your student mentions any concerns with roommates, academics, emotional care, or adjusting to living away from home, please encourage them to connect directly with their residence life staff member for encouragement, assistance, and referrals to additional campus resources. Students also can request support from Student Care Services. This resource is found on the student section of the Wheaton Portal in the C.A.R.E.S area.

The link below will provide a starting point for the full range of available resources provided by the Student Development division:

Life at Wheaton

Parent Notification Policy

Parents sometime ask the question, “When will someone at the College contact me if a concern arises with my student?”  The Parent Notification Policy is a good resource to help address this question.  The policy is posted online in the Student Development section of the Student Handbook and is a resource to clarify expectations.  Follow up questions may be directed to student.development@wheaton.edu

Three male students praying together 825 x 300

Residence Life Check-up Guide

Community is beginning to take shape after a great start to the school year. Being back together creates an air of excitement. Students are building new connections in their living spaces, assessing past friendships, and figuring out who their people will be for the year. The purpose of the Residence Life department at Wheaton College (think RAs, GRAs, ARDs, RDs) is to create physically and relationally supportive environments where students are challenged to live out the body of Christ and grow in His likeness.

Students received this roommate check-up guide on building healthy relationships before they arrived on campus; it is a helpful resource for parents as well. Having a roommate, floor mates, apartment mates and a brother or sister floor can be one of the great joys of your student’s college years.  Friendships, adventures, late night talks, sharing joys and sorrows, meeting people from all over the world are enormous opportunities that can shape your student. Relationships, as we all know, can also be a point of conflict, misunderstanding and distress. It is absolutely critical to understand that community, both intimate and extended, is the workshop of your student’s relationship with God. It is not by chance that Jesus said, “If you love me, love your neighbor.”

It is by design that Campus Living is one of the four pillars of Wheaton’s educational experience (along with academic, co-curricular, and chapel). For eight months of the year, students live with roommates and floor mates in all their glory and mess. There are challenges of communication, expectations, teamwork, reconciliation, conflict management, and the working out of 1 Corinthians 13 within a real-life scenario. Students are not only building intellectual muscles while they attend Wheaton, but they are also putting their faith into practice with real people in a real community. That is why we do not simply change housing arrangements when roommate dynamics feel uncomfortable, challenging, or overwhelming. The Residence Life staff is here to walk alongside your student by giving them both support and challenge and help walk them through the practices of the Christian life as it pertains to their living situation. If your student mentions experiencing a glitch with their roommate, please encourage them to reach out to their residence life staff member who can help guide and empower them to have an honest and caring conversation with their roommate.

Student Health Services

Consistent with the beginnings of previous semesters, COVID-19 case numbers have also grown as students have regathered at the start of a new semester. New endemic COVID-19 protocols have minimized disruptions to students experiencing infections, with students now isolating in their own living spaces for five days, taking their meals to-go, and being given a Notice of Absence for classes based on the start of their symptoms through confirmation of infection at Student Health Services (SHS).

At SHS, one physician, two nurse practitioners, and a team of registered nurses are available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to care for the varied primary health care needs that arise for your college student. The SHS website highlights the types of services available. All provider visits are covered under the Health and Wellness fee paid at the beginning of each semester, with potential additional fees for medications, supplies, or blood work.

Flu shots are now available!  Please encourage your student to protect themselves and others in the Wheaton College community by getting a flu shot this year.  The cost of the vaccine is $30 billed directly to the student’s account.  Students can walk-in or call SHS to schedule an appointment.  SHS nurses will also be setting up portable “flu clinics” in lower Beamer or the Billy Graham Hall lobby during the month of October and November to make the flu vaccine even more accessible. 

Three female students displaying peace sign 825 x 300

Refer a Student

Do you know a high school student who would thrive at Wheaton? We’d love for you to invite that student to consider Wheaton! Visit wheaton.edu/refer and fill out the form so we can begin connecting with the prospective student.

Thank you for helping us build the future classes of Wheaton College!

Global Studies and Programs

Please join us in thanks and prayer for the 51 Wheaton students studying and interning around the globe this semester. Fourteen students are six-month interns through Wheaton’s Human Needs & Global Resources (HNGR) program; 11 students are participating in Semester in Jerusalem; and 25 additional students from 18 different majors are studying at approved semester study abroad locations.

Global Programs can complement any major at Wheaton and are offered fall, spring, and summer. Students are invited to explore all the opportunities at the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, September 14th from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. in Coray Auditorium. Applications for spring 2023 study abroad are due October 15 and applications to be part of the fall 2024 cohort of HNGR are due November 28. Applications for Wheaton’s summer 2023 programs will open later this semester.

Contact gps@wheaton.edu for more information on Global Programs and Studies.

The Wheaton Fund: Excellence and Affordability

Each year, hundreds of parents help make the Wheaton experience possible for our students when they support the Wheaton Fund. Gifts to the Wheaton Fund represent an ongoing investment in the College’s tradition of excellence by investing in Christ-centered faculty, formative programming, and keeping Wheaton affordable for every student.

Please prayerfully consider joining other parents who invest in the Wheaton experience by supporting the Wheaton Fund. You can give online today or by phone when a student caller from Phonathon reaches out to explain more about what the Wheaton Fund means to them. Large or small, your gift will make a difference by championing the essential role of the Wheaton Fund in maintaining both the world-class distinction and accessibility of a Wheaton education.

Thunder Athletics

Wheaton Thunder LogoThe 2022-23 Thunder fall sports season opened the week of August 29, with a number of teams beginning the campaign on Labor Day Weekend.

The Thunder football team is ranked eighth in the D3football.com Preseason Top-25 Poll and senior running back Giovanni Weeks was named to the Preseason All-American Team. The team kicks off the season on Sept. 10 at ninth-ranked Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas for its first-ever regular season game in the state of Texas. Parents and alumni are invited to join Athletics Director Mike Schauer for a pre-game tailgate (see p. 13 of Trinity’s visitor’s guide for tailgating info). Bring your own food and grill and Wheaton Athletics will provide drinks and other refreshments. When you arrive on campus, look for signs for the Wheaton gathering where we will have a short presentation at 5:15 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Anna Nussbaum at anna.nussbaum@wheaton.edu.

There are many ways to stay connected with Wheaton Athletics. Parents can watch several sports through a variety of ways both home and away. You can also stay connected with the Wheaton Thunder app available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app features real-time news alerts, schedules, exclusive multimedia content, gameday details and more. A key feature of the Wheaton Thunder app is notifications. Sign up for notifications to receive scores, schedule changes, breaking news, and stories on your phone or tablet. Sign up for notifications on your first visit to the app or on the "YOU" icon at the bottom of the app.

For complete information on Wheaton’s 21 varsity athletics teams, visit athletics.wheaton.edu for live broadcasts, schedules, recaps, videos and much more and follow Thunder Sports on Facebook (facebook.com/WheatonAthletics), Twitter (@Wheaton Thunder) or Instagram (@Wheaton_Thunder).   

For information on Wheaton’s club sports, please visit the club sports website.

Greetings from Chaplain Wilson

Chaplain Wilson 130 x 130

Grace and joy to you parents, my name is Rev. Dr. Angulus D. Wilson, and I am the Chaplain elect, to shepherd the Wheaton College community, and encourage us all in the work of the ministry. This mission is carried out through pastoral leadership, formational instruction and participation in and through the nurture and love of the Office of the Chaplain. I look forward to supporting each of your students and collaborating in any way I can to help advance the cause of Christ through the College’s overall mission and covenant.

As the Chaplain I am on a journey of discovery and service. Being challenged with the great commission to make disciples for the Kingdom of God, this endeavor demands that I continue to examine spiritual formation and calling on our campus. Through thoughtful reflection, interactive and interpersonal dialogue, I am encouraged to ask ministry questions through community conversations and partnerships.

In this leadership opportunity, I hope to build upon and live out the Life with God Together Strategic priorities for our campus. I pray to have opportunities to speak with you all, hear your hearts, take your advice and together develop and strengthen kingdom morale, listen to concerns, and create spiritually formative objectives that enhance the Chaplain’s Office, for vision and formation.

Through prayer, consultation, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit I believe that God will do great things in the earth through our community. Thank you for the privilege of serving you. Please do not hesitate to call on me. In the words of our brother Paul the Apostle: “ Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor.15:58) 

How to Pray for Wheaton in September

  • For new and returning students to have a smooth transition navigating the logistics of academics and campus life and to pursue both as unto the Lord;
  • For students who may be feeling the loneliness of being away from home and on their own for the first time in their lives. Pray that they will discover the reality and nearness of the Lord’s presence and for the provision of new friendships;
  • For Chaplain Wilson and the Chaplain’s office staff members, as they work to cultivate an environment in which the campus community learns to love Jesus Christ and His Kingdom more fully every day.

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

Blanchard in Autumn