Wheaton College – Norton, Massachusetts
I have loved Wheaton College since my eldest son, Patrick, looked at it in 2001 in the pouring rain and said, “This is my very favorite school.” I recently had the pleasure of re-visiting the campus and seeing the “dimple” with the spectacular fall foliage. It is the idyllic New England campus! Nothing can compare with their non-Barnes and Noble Bookstore with the winding staircase and featured professorial authors – all dark wood and cozy nooks. The dining hall is totally remodeled but still overlooks the pond. There is a new Mars Center for Science and Technology – state of the art but so perfect, as Wheaton has always embraced the arts and the sciences, working in tandem. I love that every student gets a “funded internship” through the Filene Center for Internships and Careers. You cannot beat that.
New majors which impressed me were the Film and New Media Studies chaired by the English Department, but encompassing the English, Sociology, Studio Art and Computer Science Departments – with a wide range of critical thinking skills. These students will study in Prague, Copenhagen and Austria at the finest film programs. I was incredibly impressed by Professor Josh Stenger.
The new Business and Management Major will graduate its first cohort in 2016. It features an integration of business and the liberal arts, something being touted all over the business world. There will be concentrations in areas like globalization, social responsibility, non-profits, the arts, and new media.
I was especially touched by the story of a female student who was very homesick and having trouble finding her niche at Wheaton. A professor told her to get involved with the Roosevelt Project, a think tank, and also museum work. Now as a senior, she is the president of student government and continues to be an active member of the Roosevelt Project, even attending national conferences. She’s also done internships at the New Bedford Whaling Institute, and Trinity College Dublin. She is poised to pursue significant museum work in New York upon graduation. A great success story precipitated by her professors who encouraged her to get involved with these organizations, and gave her the opportunity to become a leader at Wheaton.