Parent Newsletter - April, 2021

April 2021 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

Given how hard the semester has been, including our COVID protocols, we regret not having Spring Break this year. However, last week we took the opportunity to limit meetings, tests, and papers in order to find renewal during Holy Week. Beautiful student-led Stations of the Cross featuring God-honoring liturgies, as well as the involvement of gifted musicians and skilled artists, helped set our focus where it should always be: on the mercy and life we have in our Savior.

Remembering what Christ suffered, with its brutal violence—a violence still so evident in our world—is in stark contrast with his glorious resurrection at Easter, promising life after death for all who look to him. As a nation, as a world, and as a campus we are hoping for the life after death experience of coming out of COVID. Please pray for Wheaton College as we focus on finishing the 2020-2021 school year in the beauty of springtime.

 In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Final Parent Prayer Gathering for the Academic Year

You are invited to join with fellow parents to praise God for bringing us through an extraordinarily challenging year and to pray for students as they complete year-end papers, projects, finals, and prepare for graduation, jobs, and summer plans. Prayer gatherings will be held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, from 7 - 8 p.m. in all U.S. time zones. Registration is required and closes on Sunday, April 18 at midnight. Please register here.

Commencement and Graduation Yard Signs

We are very pleased to be planning an in-person graduation ceremony for seniors on Sunday, May 9 at 10 a.m., CDT. Given public health guidelines from the State of Illinois, parents and other family and friends will not be allowed to attend the in-person ceremony. You will, however, be able to watch the ceremony via livestream and parents will receive a printed Commencement program in the mail to have as a keepsake.

Parents of graduating seniors might want to honor their student by placing a “Congratulations” yard sign in their lawn. Parents are welcome to download a generic yard sign or a customizable yard sign and send to your local print shop to be printed.

Two grad signs for parents to print out and use


Important Residence Life Updates 

Closing of Campus Housing: Housing closes on Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m. unless students receive approval from the Residence Life office to remain on campus. Graduating seniors may remain in housing until noon on Monday, May 10 and do not need to request permission. Siblings of May graduating students may remain in housing until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, but they must submit a request. Students are required to complete the checkout list provided by their residence life staff member. Incomplete or improper checkout could result in a fine, which Residence Life would prefer not to give. Students must check out of their living space with their residence life staff member before leaving for the summer.

Summer Housing: Beginning Monday, May 10, housing is available for the following students: those participating in a College-sponsored trip, those from an international country, athletes whose season has not finished, summer researchers, and summer school students. Residence Life is not able to provide housing for students requesting to work on campus or off, or those whose off-campus lease dates differ from the housing calendar. For housing questions, please contact

Summer Storage: Wheaton College offers limited space for students to store their belongings over the summer in the storage areas where they currently live. Generally, students may store several boxes, a small refrigerator (which counts as one box), and a bicycle. Each building has slightly different space limitations. Contact A Rocha for information on summer couch storage.

Find general information on storage opportunities, including furniture storage, in our student handbook. Students are encouraged to store their belongings in plastic tubs to protect their items from a possible summer rainstorm. The College is not responsible, and will not be liable for loss, theft, or damage to students' personal belongings, whether by act of God, accident, negligence, or intentional act. For these reasons, students are strongly encouraged to carry personal property insurance.

Fall Housing: Housing reopens to returning students on Sunday, August 22 at 2pm. Our Housing Calendar keeps you informed of opening and closing dates throughout the year.

Thunder Strong, All Day Long for WheatonGives

Next Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Wheaton will host its third annual 24-hour giving day. WheatonGives is designed to inspire Wheaton alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends to support transformational Christian higher education through the Wheaton Fund. Every gift, no matter the size, will make a difference and advance the excellence and affordability of the Wheaton experience for every Wheaton student. Learn more at

With your help, we will stay Thunder Strong, All Day Long!

Fruit Baskets offered by the Office of Ministry and Evangelism

As finals week approaches, the Office of Ministry and Evangelism invites you to help your student beat the stress of exams with an uplifting fruit basket. Each package will contain snacks and fruit and will be delivered on Saturday, May 1, the Saturday before finals week.

The OCO does not require a specific dollar amount for the fruit baskets, but asks parents to prayerfully consider a monetary donation to our work. Each donation helps fund Wheaton student ministry and service experiences on campus and, as the Lord opens doors, in our country and around the world!

Please submit your order by Tuesday, April 20. Parents will have the opportunity to include a personal message when ordering.

Center for Vocation and Career

Here for Your Student – All Summer Long!

Parents of seniors, here are a few activities we have hosted for your student in the last few weeks:

Our team of professionals is available to the Class of 2021 for the next two years, just as if they were a current student:  all the resources, all the staff, our online job board, Handshake, BigInterview, and Digital Career Communities on LinkedIn.

mySkills is back! This innovative program, designed to equip current students with specific skills necessary in the workplace, will once again be offered in June and July. Students choose from five different skills and participate in up to 10 hours/week of engagement with their cohort, including a final project where they put their learning into action. This is an especially good opportunity for students who are earlier in their college career or who haven’t landed an internship. Students will receive sign-up information later in April.

Learning & Teaching Collaborative

The Learning & Teaching Collaborative is three departments who support student success: Academic Advising Office, Academic Records and Services, and Learning & Accessibility Services.

Registration for the Fall 2021 semester is April 5 through April 16 for current students. We encourage students to remain mindful of important academic deadlines and the Fall 2021 course schedule. Students can meet with an Academic Advisor at any point in the semester by scheduling an appointment.

Welcome to Melissa Norton, the new Director of Learning & Accessibility Services (LAS). Melissa has over twelve years’ experience in disability services and is passionate about ensuring access for all students and promoting an inclusive environment for the disability community at Wheaton. If you have questions, you can reach out to LAS by contacting

Health Insurance News from announces there is a new Special Enrollment Period for the COVID-19 public health emergency. You can enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance plans February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021.

Conservatory News

This spring has been one of the busiest on record for the Conservatory, with over 40 student recitals, ensemble concerts, and professional performances. We rejoice that we can perform together now that we have a careful system to support COVID-safe musical performances. Check out our upcoming concerts below:

Symphonic Band Concert, Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

Choral Showcase Concert, Saturday, April 17, 7:30 p.m. YouTube Premiere 

Symphony Orchestra Concert, Saturday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. Livestream 

Summer Music Camp for High School Students 

We will again be hosting our in-person Summer Music Camp, June 20-26, 2021. This camp is for high school music students and is a fully residential program featuring faculty and alumni artists as teachers. Current Conservatory students will participate as counselors for the campers. Registration for campers is open today; learn more online or contact with your questions.

A Word with Admissions

Parents can influence the culture and community of Wheaton College simply by referring a student. Do you know a high school student who you think would be a great fit at Wheaton? We value your opinion and take every referral seriously. Thanks for helping shape the Wheaton Community!

Ways to Pray for Wheaton This Month

Pray that through Christ’s death and resurrection, many will receive new hope in these challenging times. Pray that all of us will reflect on the great cost of our salvation, the magnitude of His love for us, and the power found in the resurrection.

Pray for the Lord’s healing in body, soul, mind, and spirit for all who grieving losses and lamenting the realities of our broken world. Pray for the Lord’s own compassion to be ours, that we might weep with those who weep and learn how to uphold our brothers and sisters with His love, by His wisdom and grace.

Pray for students wrestling with doubts, that the Lord will remind them of the steadfastness of His word and surround them with people who spur them on in their faith.

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement team

Blanchard with tulips in spring