Parent Newsletter - July/August, 2021

July/August 2021 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

I write to you from HoneyRock, Wheaton’s global center for leadership development in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. A highlight for me this summer is to see Wheaton students thrive as they learn and practice leadership skills in hands-on ministry with young people—beautiful!

Beauty will be on our minds this year, as we celebrate a “Gala Year of Faith, Arts, and the Imagination.” Plans include dedicating the new concert hall at the Armerding Center for Music and the Arts, as well as concerts, lectures, dramas, exhibits, and community projects. In late June a Taylor and Boody pipe organ was installed in the new concert hall to help us prepare for a year of worship and celebration. My monthly Chapel talks will focus on “Beauty is Your Destiny,” starting from Isaiah 61:3, where we are promised that beauty will rise from the ashes.

We greatly valued your prayers last summer as we worked to ensure a “COVID-Safe and Thunder-Strong” school year. We are excited to resume full in-person classes and Chapel this fall. Please continue to pray for progress in containing COVID-19 viruses that have disrupted life on so many levels.

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Parent Orientation August 19-21

The Parent Engagement team is looking forward to greeting new parents at Orientation. Be sure to stop by one of the Parent Welcome Tents on the lawn of Fischer or Smith-Traber residence halls before or after moving your student in on August 19 or 20. At the welcome tents, you will receive Orientation nametags, Parent Orientation materials, and a cold bottle of water.

An 2021 Wheaton College Orientation app will help you navigate all the Orientation events and programs and an email will be sent to students and parents in August with more information about the app.

Questions about Orientation? Review the Parent Orientation FAQs for answers to commonly asked questions, check out the Orientation Schedule to see which sessions parents are invited to attend, or email and the Parent Engagement team will gladly help.

Students sitting at table while in class 825 x 300

First-Year Academic Advising and Registration

First-year student advising is in full swing, and we are excited to assist incoming Wheaton students with their registration questions. Students received an email at their Wheaton email account at the beginning of June with information to prepare for registration. Each first-year student should complete the First-Year Student Questionnaire through the student-specific link in their email. Completion of the questionnaire then provides access to register in Wheaton’s Banner Self-Service system. Please encourage your student to review that email for access to the Questionnaire and the First-Year Advising and Registration information.

All students should be registered as a full-time student (12-18 credit hours) by July 26. Students who have questions about registration or need an appointment with one of the staff academic advisors are encouraged to email the from their Wheaton email account. All first-year students will have an opportunity during Orientation to make changes to their schedule if needed.

If you would like verification of your student’s enrollment, please use this form for enrollment verification after registration is complete. Please send those enrollment verification requests to the Registrar’s office at

First-Year Parents: An Important Note from the Registrar

The transition from high school to college is an adjustment for both parents and students. Many parents are accustomed to school portals that let them track their student’s daily assignments and grades. In college, however, the responsibility shifts to the students and many parents find this shift to be a stretching experience. Here are guidelines about student records:

Fischer dorm room 825 x 300

Campus Housing Opens

We are thrilled to welcome your student to campus in the fall. We are also excited that we can allow families and other guests to assist with move-in this year. If you plan to come to campus with your student, we ask that you and your family follow the Center for Disease Control guidance which requires unvaccinated individuals to mask when inside campus buildings.

Campus housing opens to new students on Thursday, August 19 and Friday, August 20. International students, music majors, ROTC, and first generation college students can arrive August 19 from noon – 5:00 p.m. All other new students can arrive between 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on August 19 or between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on August 20. 

Continuing students are invited to return to campus beginning on Sunday, August 22 through Tuesday, August 24, between the hours of 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students may arrive anytime between 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and do not need to schedule their arrival. Consideration for arrival without charge, prior to August 22, is given only to continuing students who are sponsored by a faculty or staff member and who are a required participant in activities which necessitates being on campus. Examples are fall athletes, student teachers, on-campus employees, and members of student leadership teams. All other early arrival requests will be subject to denial or a nightly charge. Approval will be considered, with a nightly charge, for students meeting these criteria:

Students must submit requests through the online application found on the Residence Life website. Questions may be directed to

Check-In Process

Students will…

  1. Complete the Student Health Services’ Vaccination Form located here. Due date is August 1, 2021.
  2. Arrive at their assigned residence hall and go directly to the front desk. Students living in campus apartments and houses should start by going to Public Safety during their specific check-in times.
  3. Get their ID:
    1. If your student has verified they have been vaccinated through completing the form they will receive their ID.
    2. Unvaccinated students must provide proof of being COVID-free upon arrival on campus (negative test result within the previous 72 hours; proof of positive test dated between the previous 10 and 90 days; or testing upon arrival and quarantining for 24 hours). Once their test result is verified or quarantine completed, your student will receive their student ID.
  4. Move into their new home.

For questions specific to COVID status requirements please contact Student Health Services.

 Students sitting around fire at HoneyRock 825 x 300

Launch the Wheaton Journey with Passage

By participating in one of Wheaton’s four Passage experiences, students will quickly form friendships, connect with faculty, and capture a vision for life at Wheaton.

Hear from fellow Wheaton parents Keith and Linda Ford as they reflect on their son’s experience:

“Passage played an invaluable role in supporting our son’s transition to Wheaton College. We could not have asked for a better orientation and welcome to the Wheaton College community. He is connected, energized, and feeling confident about his place on campus and within the college community, thanks in large part to the experiences with Passage.” – Keith and Linda Ford

Whether a student is excited or nervous about starting their college journey, Passage will provide a firm foundation for their years at Wheaton. Learn more and register at

Lead Wheaton Passage. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors can welcome new students by leading a Passage group whether they’ve participated in Passage or not. Learn more at

Important Information from Student Health Services

Student Health Services is preparing to welcome students back to campus with a return to pre-pandemic processes of scheduled and walk-in availability every week day to see our team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses for both sick and well care.  Physicals, rapid bacterial/viral testing, allergy injection therapy, ADHD and mental health medication management, and massage therapy are some of the many services offered. A mask will be provided for all students for use while inside our medical facility per current Illinois Department of Public Health guidance.

Starting with the 2021-2022 school year, Wheaton will simplify and encourage visits to Student Health Services by eliminating per visit charges. We will also continue our policy of not charging per visit for Counseling Services. Instead, a non-refundable $125 Health & Wellness Fee per semester will be charged to the student account of every degree-seeking undergraduate student attending classes on the main Wheaton College campus, except F1 VISA students who already incur a mandatory medical insurance charge.

This fee will also help ensure that the College has the human resources to continue providing access to low-cost, high quality counseling and medical care when needed, rather than charging a $45 first time visit fee and subsequent $30 per visit fee. The fee does not cover medications, lab tests, lab drawing fee, immunizations, allergy injections, medical supplies, and minor medical procedures. The fee—which is not being instituted because of COVID—will be included in the total cost of attendance. We are sharing information about this change now in order to be transparent about the new fee structure.

Please visit this FAQ page for more information or email with any questions.

As a reminder to all new incoming students, all medical entrance paperwork was required to be completed by July 15th.  In addition, all students have been asked to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Form by August 1st so  that testing packets can be prepared  for those who will be participating in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing. Please reach out to Student Health Services at with any questions.

Current COVID-19 Fall semester protocols were communicated to students and families in June.

Wheaton College strongly recommends that all students be enrolled in a health insurance plan with coverage in Wheaton. International F1 students are enrolled, and their student account billed for accident and illness coverage through a partnership with LewerMark insurance; the LewerMark plan is optional for qualifying MK/TCK students.  For any insurance related questions or concerns, please email

CVC Advice:  Take Advantage of Handshake!

The Center for Vocation and Career team eagerly awaits the arrival of students back on campus for another year. If your student is a graduating senior or will soon be looking for an internship, a great way to get ready for those searches is to invest time now getting the story of their skills, experience, and interests out to prospective employers. This includes a strong LinkedIn profile, a results-oriented resume, and a complete and public Handshake profile.

Handshake is our online career platform that includes an online job and internship board. The beauty of Handshake is that it is currently being used at schools across the country, and top employers are able to search for candidates for their open positions. If your student takes the time to complete their profile and make it viewable publicly, employers can actually find them!

First-year and transfer students will receive an email in early August with instructions for getting their Handshake account set up. If they are looking for on-campus employment, including federal work study, those jobs will all be posted on Handshake.

Other resources on Handshake include:

Here are your student’s action steps:

Happy Handshaking!

Campus Store

Course materials for the fall semester can be ordered 30 days prior to being picked up. Home delivery is also always available and encouraged. The Campus Store will gladly hold orders until students arrive on campus in August.

 McCully Thunder 825 x 300

Wheaton Athletics

Wheaton Athletics is looking forward to the upcoming 2021-22 sports season.

Live streaming of home football, volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer will be available this fall on the Wheaton Thunder Sports Network. Links to video of all available broadcasts, including away broadcasts will be available in August on each sports schedule on the Wheaton Athletics website and regularly here.

Last month the Wheaton Sports Medicine team sent a letter to the parents of our varsity student-athletes about athletics insurance. Please be sure to read over that letter and please contact us at with any questions.

Sign up to have live results sent directly to your phone, news and more from Wheaton Thunder app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

For complete information on Wheaton’s 21 varsity athletics teams be sure to visit for schedules, recaps, videos and much more. Be sure to follow Thunder Sports on Facebook (, Twitter (@Wheaton Thunder) or Instagram (@Wheaton_Thunder

For information on Wheaton’s club sports be sure to visit the club sports website.

How to pray for Wheaton in July and August

Pray for students as they are doing internships, working summer jobs, serving in ministries and camps, studying abroad, living at home and everything else in between. Pray for strength and perseverance as they are in the second half of the summer. Pray that they would shine as Christ's light wherever they are.

Pray for staff and faculty on vacation, or working and getting ready for students to return, and for those who are preparing to work on campus for the first time in nearly a year and a half. Pray for smooth transitions and grace as departments and offices are readjusting. 

Pray for the student leadership training weeks before classes begin as these students prepare to launch clubs, organizations, ministries, athletic teams, musical ensembles, and more. Pray for the students as they lead their peers with God’s love and joy. Pray for the staff as they seek to facilitate and engage with students in the Lord's will and ways. 

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

Blanchard with tulips in spring