Graduates and parents share why they chose Wheaton.
Perhaps the best proof of the return on investment for a Wheaton education comes from the testimonies of alumni and their parents. Their stories show the true value of being educated to become whole persons who glorify God by building the church and benefiting society worldwide.
Bill Bond '60, vice president for technical development
“My Wheaton education gave me direction in my choice of vocation, got me into graduate school and allowed me to perform well in graduate school. The friends I made while at Wheaton and Wheaton alumni assisted me in achieving all the Lord meant for me to achieve.”
Roger Burgess '74, principal and school counselor
“The value I received from Wheaton was NOT in getting a job right after graduation, it was in who I became during my 4 years on campus! My horizons were broadened, I received great Bible training (Heb. & Greek included), and my heart was touched to serve the Lord in a full-time ministry.”
Erin Hoekstra '04, marketing manager
"I have a degree from both Wheaton and Notre Dame. . . . I loved my experience at ND and I am proud to be a Golden Domer, but I would always recommend for someone to attend Wheaton College over Notre Dame. Notre Dame prepares you for a successful job. Wheaton does so much more. Wheaton prepared me for a successful career and to be a woman of God. It was an eternal investment."
Nathan Hatch '68, president of Wake Forest University
"Wheaton exposed its students to so many lasting influences. . . . [Wheaton faculty] skillfully opened to us the modern intellectual world. They taught us how to learn so that curiosity and exploration could motivate us long after Wheaton years. For some of us, they were models of how we might pursue a professional life of learning, scholarship, and teaching. Most importantly for me, they conveyed by example and instruction, a vision of Christian vocation: how one could live out a faithful calling in the world, of doing worldly work out of religious motivation—to serve Christ and his kingdom."
Heather Street Kocisko '97, school social worker
“I did not really appreciate how much I had gained from my education at Wheaton until I went to graduate school and experienced how much better prepared I was compared to my classmates. Wheaton's education also prepared me well for my career.”
Mary Ashley Miller '69, teacher
“My Wheaton experience prepared me well for teaching career experiences in Germany, public high school in the U.S., and M.K. boarding school in Africa. Wheaton taught me the value of rigorous learning integrated with faith while living in Christian community. My Wheaton education gave me the tools to sift through cultural, political, & ethical issues from a Christ-centered/biblical perspective.”
Tom McGhee '70, attorney
“For me, the return on the investment is not something that can be quantified in dollars and cents. The ROI that I have appreciated most is what it did for me as a human being and a follower of Jesus Christ. A liberal arts education from a Christian world view was invaluable to me.”
John Mury '95, pastor
"The faculty at Wheaton, especially the philosophy department . . . showed me that one could have a full life of faith without fear of the truth, a life in which I did not have to leave my brain checked at the door. In this regard, I believe Wheaton College delivered an education that cannot be rivaled."
Philip Sawyer '78, business owner and designer
"I received two things from Wheaton. Wheaton first of all taught me how to think critically and analytically about the world around me, and enabled me to contextualize other beliefs and ideas in order to do that. . . . It's possible to get these things elsewhere, but the second thing I got was a deep, and in a few cases lifelong, connection with a few key faith-filled professors, and others, to whom — along with my parents and grandparents — I owe who I am to this day. They nurtured and encouraged and broadened my own natural inquisitiveness about the world, and directed me to other resources as needed. I've told my children that THIS is what you pay the big bucks for in a college education."
Luci Deck Shaw '53, poet
“My education at Wheaton, class of '53, was invaluable. Not only did my years at Wheaton clarify for me what my life work was to be — writing and teaching — but the faculty were such fabulous role models of Christian scholarship and service that their examples still inspire me. . . . They set my feet on the path that I've followed ever since.”
Tim Stoner '82, vice president of operations, finance
“Wheaton provided me with a solid spiritual foundation that affirmed my faith and gave me tools to articulate its importance in my life. Wheaton gave me the experience of Christian community, gave me lifelong friendships, and started to develop disciplines to help me grow and flourish after graduation. Wheaton gave me a desire to learn, taught me how to learn and, through a variety of academic disciplines, stretched my thinking and nurtured the creative development of all aspects of me.”
Barbara Ruesche Winter '60, missionary
“My excellent Wheaton education prepared me for entering the world of public education at the elementary level and enabled me to serve as Director of Children's Ministries for 30 years due to the quality Christian Education classes taught by the Drs. LeBar and the elementary ed. courses taught by many different professors. In addition, the Bible requirements influenced my thinking and life for 53 years!”
As a class project, eight ambitious students, Jonathan DeMoss '14, Caroline Dirks '14, Grant Duncan '15, Grant Hensel '15, David Li '13, Alice Mends '13, Luke Sims '14, and James Yang '14, wanted to provided an opportunity for their peers to share a bit about their Wheaton experience. They created a website and invited submissions from students. We hope you enjoy the candid responses of these students sharing why they chose Wheaton.
John Biedebach '89, senior manager in sales consulting
“When I decided to send my son to Wheaton . . . I wanted to raise a 'Christian who can think.' I am not sure how you quantify that but it is something that the world woefully lacks. President Ryken does a great job articulating the value of a Christian liberal arts education, but make no mistake: our choice was an investment to receive an intangible reward. It was not made based on projected future earnings. I think if you do a 'pure dollars and cents' calculation then you can't beat community college and then transfer to a 4-year commuter school, but that was not what we wanted. We want to raise vibrant, thoughtful, well-rounded, independent kids who had a solid base of learning across many disciplines. Plus I wanted my kids to know Jerry Root!”
“The biggest value that Wheaton College has to offer is focused growth of the students in Jesus Christ and with a community of believers. High academics is number two. In short the growth of the student spiritually and mentally in Christ are Wheaton's greatest assets.”
Chris Jahns '82, business owner and sales vice president
“Wheaton prepares students to make an impact for Christ and His kingdom in the world. Love for God, His Word and people, leadership, vision, critical thinking, communication skills, Biblical and ethical world-view, strategic thinking, intelligence, passion, drive. These are the things that Wheaton fosters, encourages and develops. These are important qualities that any employer wants, whether in Christian ministry, industry or service.”
Susan Pratt Hansma '87, homemaker
"[My daughter] Jenny's apartment was in the mandatory evacuation zone and she fled Manhattan about 12 hours before the severe flooding hit. It was the parents of one of last year’s roommates who rescued her first. They drove down to Hoboken, New Jersey to pick her up and have her stay in their home for two days. Then, when Jenny had to return to the city for work, her class president and his three friends let her stay on their couch for a few days. This was not a long term solution so we all began calling anyone we remotely knew in Manhattan to see if someone could take Jenny. . . . My brother found a Wheaton football friend on a social networking site and called him. They had not spoken in 15 years but the man and his wife have graciously taken Jenny in for the last three days. I must say that in times like this the price of a Wheaton education is worth every penny."
Maurice and Julia Henderson
“Our oldest son is an alumnus of Wheaton College. What we most appreciate about his education at Wheaton is the passion to glorify God in all walks of life. Our son sees the value in the redemption of all venues of life for the glory of God. He does not see life as secular vs. spiritual but as a single unit created by God and for God. Not only is he a blessing on his teaching job with diligence and effectiveness, but he has brought a fresh and challenging perspective to our local body of believers. We have been blessed to see such a harvest in his life in just one year. We can't wait to be awed by God's harvest in the years to come as our son progresses through the seasons of life after Wheaton.”
Jeff Oslund '86, engineering manager
“Wheaton helps to develop high character men and women who love Jesus and have a critical thinking Biblical world view along with excellent academic preparation to make them leaders (both high and low profile) in the church, in their families, in business, in government, in education in the USA and across the world. That is why I think a Wheaton education is an excellent investment.”
“My son graduated from Wheaton last month after four years that went by so very quickly. I sent him to Wheaton not that he should learn anything in particular, but that he might live for a season in a community of scholars thoughtfully committed to Christ and His Kingdom. He had reached that natural point of development where home could no longer provide the resources for continued growth, so, with joy, we released him into the care of the Wheaton community. Four years later all of my hopes have been realized beyond my ability to express. He was blessed with wonderful classmates, teachers, and mentors, and he has become a Christian man of considerable substance. He is a delight to talk with and to listen to, and I have every hope that he will change his world for Christ. In short, Wheaton has fulfilled and exceeded my every hope and expectation. This fall, some other father will enroll his son at Wheaton with similar hopes. Keep up your good work for their sake and for the Kingdom.”