Swider reflects on legacy on and off the field

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.13.19

Head football Coach Mike Swider, following a 12-1 final season record and 24 years of leading the Thunder football program, announced his retirement on Tuesday. Coach Swider played football at Wheaton College and graduated in 1977. He served as the defensive coordinator for 11 seasons immediately following, then took over as head coach. In his tenure with the program, Coach Swider led the Thunder to nine CCIW championships, ten NCAA Division III playoff appearances and 140 total conference game wins.

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Campus reacts to legal pot

By Melissa Schill

12.13.19

Although recreational marijuana will be legal for adults in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020, it will not be permitted on Wheaton’s campus, following the same restrictions as the no-alcohol policy.

In preparation for the new law, the student handbook was updated for the current academic year with the following statement: “The College also prohibits the recreational use of marijuana in states where it has become legalized.” Violating this policy will result in suspension or expulsion, or, if the violating student is under 21, referral to prosecution.

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Sophomore jumpstarts Coast Guard cadet program

By Carolina Lumetta

12.13.19

After being approved by Provost Margaret Diddams and the Student Activities Office (SAO) this fall, the new Wheaton Coast Guard Auxiliary University program (AUP) is on its way to become the first university detachment of its type in the Midwest.

College of DuPage junior Evan Sheriff and Wheaton sophomore Penn Moffat began laying the foundations for the program at the beginning of the fall semester and have been given all the “green lights” required to start the program, according to Moffat. “We have everything we need except student interest,” he said.

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Extra point ends Thunder playoff run

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.13.19

Twelve consecutive wins, spring ball, summer offseason plans, fall practices and Monday film sessions all came to a halt in the final seconds of play as the Thunder football team fell 34- 33 to St. John’s (Minn.) in the DIII Quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“That one is going to hurt for a long time, but I’ll tell you this, nobody can question how tough these guys are,” Coach Mike Swider said during a post-game press conference. “Nobody can question how they’ve endured. We came up a play short. It’s just hard to swallow.”

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Provost reflects on accomplishments and reasons for leaving

By Micah McIntyre

12.6.19

Margaret Diddams will be stepping down from her position as provost of Wheaton College at the end of the academic year.

“Margaret Diddams is a champion for Christ-centered liberal arts education who will leave an enduring legacy at Wheaton College,” President Philip Ryken, who announced her departure in a campus-wide email on November 25, said. “She often goes out of her way to give me personal encouragement and to ensure that our academic division is fully aligned with Wheaton’s overall mission.”

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Student artwork captures publisher’s interest

By Carolina Lumetta

12.6.19

Following a four-week trip to Spain, faculty in the Spanish department are readying a book of student work for possible publication.

The book, which is in the process of being submitted to InterVarsity Press, will feature a collection of devotionals and watercolors from six Wheaton students about their experience walking the historic Camino de Santiago, a medieval Catholic pilgrimage route in Spain that has recently been increasing in popularity.

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Six steps to winning Wheaton’s first ever Division III football championship

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

1. Win the conference with a perfect record

Coach Mike Swider’s Gatorade shower, covertly deployed by seniors Caden Sigler and Spencer Rowland, celebrated the Thunder football team’s 58-0 win over the Elmhurst Bluejays on Nov. 16. This victory capped off their undefeated season and punched their ticket to the playoffs.

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Sports bring Gerze siblings together

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

“Let’s go, Gerze,” Nate Gerze yelled to his younger sister Audrey Gerze as she jumped up to spike the ball during one of her volleyball matches at King Arena.

“I try to be super loud and be an embarrassing brother. It’s fun to see her do well. I’m so proud of her, how hard she works.” Nate, who plays linebacker for the Wheaton football team, said that despite his busy schedule, he tries to make it to as many volleyball games as he can.

“It really means a lot to me, and he knows that,” Audrey said. “I don’t usually hear him in the stands, but I don’t doubt that he cheers for me. He will send photos of my games in our family group chat, too.”

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Wrestling coach praises team’s pluck, camaraderie

By Cassidy Thornburg

12.6.19

Since Coach Jim Gruenwald took over Wheaton Wrestling in 2009, the program has grown from just a few athletes to 24, relocated to its own complex and welcomed three new assistant coaches. As the wrestling season gets underway, the Record sat down with Coach Gruenwald to talk about life both on the mat and off.

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Soccer shootout ends NCAA championship hopes

By Amelia Sniffin

12.6.19

Although the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team faced numerous injuries throughout the 2019 season, the 6th-ranked Thunder battled their way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA postseason tournament, where they lost to the University of St. Thomas in a shootout.

The Thunder’s impressive 18-1-1 record at the time and 21st conference title allowed Wheaton to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. They were led by Head Coach Pete Felske, recently named CCIW Coach of the Year for the 13th time.

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