Category Archives: News

WheatonGives raises $238,578 in one day

By Micah McIntyre

Loud music and friendly competition set the mood as faculty, students and even the Chick-fil-a cow crowded into Lower Beamer last Wednesday afternoon. Blue and orange decorations covered the walls and playful banter between faculty coaches filled the air as student volunteers shouted over the commotion to get the attention of their classmates and bring in donations for Wheaton’s first annual giving day.

WheatonGives 2019 is described on its website as “Wheaton College’s first annual 24-hour giving campaign designed to empower you and other like-minded Wheaton alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends in supporting transformational Christian higher education.”

On March 21, the WheatonGives website opened for donations from any current students and alumni, with booths set up in Lower Beamer for students to donate in the name of their class. Student volunteers from various groups across campus, such as dekes and phonathon employees, manned the booths throughout the day.

In the end, the class of ‘21 hast the most donors at 134 followed by a close second with the class of ‘19 with 132 donors. The class of ‘22 finished third and the class of ‘20 rounded out the top four. Collectively, WheatonGives 2019 recruited 1,179 donors from 67 different classes of Wheaton and raised a total $238,578 to the Wheaton Fund.

Sophomore deke Collin Kavanaugh enjoyed his experience listening to the live music, all while raising money for what he believes is a worthy cause.

“WheatonGives is a way to directly support organizations we love on campus,” said Kavanaugh. “You were able to specifically request what you wanted your money to go to — whether that be Crew, Improv, A Rocha, or any other club — so you were benefiting your peers and (truthfully) yourself with whatever you donated.”

To energize the campaign and engage students and alumni, prizes were awarded to the class — past or present  — with the most donors. T-shirts were handed out to students who donated to the booths in Lower Beamer and those who shared the donation page on social media were entered into a raffle. In addition to prizes, a number of events were held that afternoon, featuring performances from Gospel Choir and Jazz Band as well as a trivia contest between the faculty coaches for each class.

“We are trying to put giving to Wheaton in a positive, exciting, stewardship kind of a context and get people excited about contributing to a Wheaton education for all of our students,” said Vice President for Advancement, Vocation and Alumni Engagement Kirk Farney.

While the event aimed to raise funds for this year’s budget, members of the administration explained that they hoped Giving Day would also help establish a giving culture in the Wheaton community, as well as show that current students can help support their classmates and the organizations they care about on campus.

“I think what’s important is the opportunity afforded to a student to know that they are a part of growing Wheaton,” said Associate Director of the Office of Multicultural Development and one of the coaches for the class of ‘20 Billye Kee. “Whatever the organization is that you have really benefited from, you can give your money [to that] organization.”

All proceeds from Giving Day and WheatonGives 2019 go directly to organizations and scholarships supported by the Wheaton Fund. Some of these groups include the Discipleship Ministry, Men’s Glee Club, International Justice Mission and Wheaton Women’s and Men’s Swim teams. All donors were allowed to choose the organization they would like their money to support.

One of the things that made this particular fundraiser unique was the participation of current students in making donations. Many students participated and donated money, however, others were not opposed to donating, they simply did not feel the situation warranted a donation.

“I can’t say I really felt compelled to give,” said sophomore Chris Baer. “Especially [with the donations] online — it feels much less personal and there is not much of a draw because of that.”

Others consciously chose not to donate — they were unhappy that the college asked for money from students who are already paying for tuition and did not approve of the way that Giving Day was conducted.

“My issue was that [Wheaton] made it seem like a time for the community to grow closer together and fellowship,” said freshman Luke Rutt. “To me, it came across as greedy more than anything.”

The administration understands that some students may not feel that they should donate money since they are already paying tuition. However, they say that the money will be used for things beyond what tuition covers.

“The cost of providing a Wheaton education is not entirely covered by your tuition,” said Farney. “Tuition pays part of that expense and we realize that tuition at any school is an expensive thing … but a Wheaton education is not covered by tuition even if you are a full-paid student.”

Farney went on to explain that the proceeds from Giving Day and the rest of the endowments in the Wheaton Fund go directly to the yearly operating budget, meaning that the donations of current students directly support the education of their peers.

“There are a lot of students at this institution who benefit significantly from the Wheaton Fund,” Director of the Center for Vocation and Career and one of the coaches for the Sophomore class, Dee Pierce told the Record. “How awesome [is it] for those students to say thank you with a dollar donation and how awesome for students who are blessed enough to pay full-pay to know that they are having an impact on their fellow classmates.”

Fifth and final player in hazing case charged with misdemeanor

By Tori Dobleske

On Friday, March 22, the open criminal case against Benjamin Pettway, the final of the five Wheaton College football players involved in the hazing case of Charles Nagy, was closed. The sentencing documents indicate that, per a plea agreement, the state dismissed all pending felony charges and Pettway entered a rare “Alford plea” to the Class C misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.

An Alford Plea is a rarely-used type of plea in which the defendant pleads “guilty” to the charges but does not admit guilt. In entering an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to lead to a conviction, but retains their stance that they are not guilty of the charged crime. By doing so, Pettway continued to assert his innocence to even the disorderly conduct charge for which he was found guilty.  The final sentencing order notes the state’s objection to the characterization of Pettway’s plea as an Alford plea, but the judge found a “factual basis” for the plea and sentenced Pettway accordingly.

Judge Brian Telander formally sentenced Pettway to 50 hours of community service, which the judge acknowledged Pettway had already served at Wheaton College, and one month of court supervision for the Class C misdemeanor. According to the Daily Herald, the judge deemed Pettway the “least culpable” out of the five originally charged football players and stated Pettway’s charges amount legally to little more than a traffic ticket.  The judge indicated that the case would be closed upon payment of court costs and fees.

Wheaton College, which was also named in a civil suit along with Pettway and other individual defendants, has since settled with Nagy. In response to the suit by Nagy for $50,000 for injuries he claimed to have sustained during the incident, Pettway has filed a countersuit according to the Daily Herald. A hearing on Nagy’s motion to dismiss the counterclaims is scheduled to take place on May 15. Wheaton Athletics staff and Administration declined to comment further.

Campus groups plan for Spring Break trips

By Melissa Schill

Several Wheaton-sponsored organizations, including Honduras Project, BreakAway Ministry and the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, will be traveling to work on projects over spring break from March 9-17.

A group of 27 students will travel to El Barro and Cooperativa Seales in Honduras with Honduras Project (HP). This branch of the Office of Multicultural Development sends a group out each year to install a gravity-fed water system and lead Bible studies.

Each Saturday from the beginning of the school year through fall break, HP students participate in service projects such as raking leaves and mowing lawns around the Wheaton community. All donations from these workdays go toward funding the water system. Once enough money is raised, the community in Honduras begins the installation process. During spring break, the HP team help finish installing the water system.

“It’s all about the relationships,” freshman HP team member Mark Pupkiewicz said. “We’re going down there to encourage them and put a face to who is helping them out in the U.S.” Pupkiewicz continued, “We’re not taking any phones with us and we’re not bringing any homework, so basically all our time down there is focused on the relationships we’re building.”

In preparation, the team has weekly small group meetings to build deeper relationships with each other. The whole team also comes together every Wednesday to learn about Honduras and the people they will be serving.

“I’m excited to meet people that we’ve been thinking about and praying for two semesters now and to put a face to where all this work has been going,” sophomore HP team member Zoe Talbott said.

BreakAway Ministry (BAM) is sending out six teams of students to participate in service projects. This year, students will be traveling to Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Angola, La., New Hampshire and Wichita, Kan. In each location, BAM partners with existing ministries to serve the area.

“Short-term missions can get a really bad rap, but the thing about BreakAway is that we really try to partner with people who are already doing good work,” said junior BAM chair Daniel Hanson. “We can come alongside of people so we’re not coming in and trying to steal the show. I think we serve a God big enough [to] do a lot of good in a week.”

Though students will be participating in different projects based on their location, the cabinet set a collective vision of “serving in unity with the body of Christ and growing together in love.”  

“We are very intentional about trying to address this not as ‘us going to serve’ with a savior complex type of thing … but to encourage a spirit of humility and servant-heartedness and the ability to learn,” senior Mollie Borchert said. Borchert is the BAM administrator and is also responsible for organizing the BAM trip to Tennessee.

The Wheaton Symphony Orchestra will be touring the East Coast over spring break to put on free concerts for various communities in North Carolina, Maryland and Washington D.C. They will also share their music with youth in schools and in a detention center.

When they aren’t performing, they will have the opportunity to learn from professional musicians and take master classes.

“Performing will be so great,” freshman violinist Rachel Noh said. “Spring break will be a really good time getting to know everyone in orchestra. Since I’m not in the conservatory I don’t really know anyone well so it’ll be a time to meet new friends.”

Though each spring break trip has a different agenda, all teams say their hope is to shine Christ’s love in the various destinations.

Sophomore HP team member Zoe Talbott summed up the sentiments of those spending their spring breaks on Wheaton-organized trips saying, “I’m thankful to go to Wheaton where I have this kind of opportunity in the middle of the school year.”

Bryan McGraw appointed Dean of Social Sciences

McGraw speaks to the Record about political theory and the social sciences

By Micah McIntyre

In an office lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves of books ranging from Plato’s “Republic” to volumes about Russian politics, Bryan McGraw fills out paperwork in preparation for his new position as Dean of Social Sciences. He will oversee the departments of politics and international relations, business and economics, sociology and anthropology and urban studies. McGraw — who received his Ph.D. from Harvard and taught at the University of Georgia, Notre Dame and Pepperdine before coming to Wheaton in 2008 — served as Chair of Politics and International Relations for the past three years. In 2010, McGraw published his first book, “Faith in Politics: Religion and Liberal Democracy.” Since then, he has continued to study the relationship between the Christian faith and politics. McGraw sat down with the Record to talk about his new role.

What brought you to Wheaton College?

The first job I got was actually at Pepperdine and I might be the only person in history to choose the Western Chicago suburbs over Malibu, Cali. This time of year is a particularly painful reminder of that. But Wheaton offered me a job. That’s the thing about political theorists — it’s a terrible job market. There’s not some great movement of God’s spirit but I was open to being in a lot of different places. This is the place that I landed.

With such a wide range of interests and extensive list of areas of expertise, is there a particular topic you love to teach or study the most?

I am finally doing political theory. On the research and writing questions, I am endlessly fascinated by trying to figure out how pluralist liberal democracies intersect with religion. I find myself continually drawn back to those questions. On the flip side, I am really fascinated by how Christians interact with pluralist democracies and that’s what I really love. I didn’t start doing political theory until I was in my Ph.D. program. I went back and I read my master’s thesis and my undergraduate honors theses and realized that I had kind of been doing political theory all along.

You mentioned that the integration of faith and politics is a big interest of yours. As the new Dean of Social Sciences, what are some of the ways you are looking to integrate faith into such a wide variety of subjects?

My job as dean is to help create conditions in which the faculty of the various disciplines are doing it themselves. There are, of course, ways in which we overlap and interact, that’s all quite natural. That’s kind of the way I see my role in that regard: My job is to help them do their job.

Is there a specific program or anything in particular that you are especially excited for?

I am excited to help continue to grow both the Center of Urban Engagement and the Center for Faith, Politics and Economics. They are both centers that have done really well and I think they will do even better in the future. In addition, I want to help the faculty and students in the social sciences think a little bit more about what role the social sciences play in the Christian liberal arts. I think all of us in this division feel a little funny, in the sense that everybody knows how the humanities fit into the Christian liberal arts. Everybody looks at the natural sciences and says, “Look it’s God’s creation, of course we should understand that,” but with the social sciences, people are kind of unsure how it fits. It won’t happen overnight, but maybe we can think a little bit more about how we contribute. Obviously we contribute, but we can maybe think a little more systematically about it.

What unique contributions do you believe you bring to this position?

Political theorists are notorious for stealing from everybody. If you look at a standard book by a political theorist, they will oftentimes be citing a wide range of disciplines. That can make us sometimes like dilettantes, but it also makes us sympathetic to the fact that there a lots of things to be learned from a wide range of disciplines. A lot of my educational background is in interdisciplinary studies. I have an intuitive sympathy for the range of disciplines that are there and I think that I am reasonably well-positioned to help people out. With the new dean structure, one of the things people naturally worry about is, “Are you just going to be doing things for politics and IR,” which is fair, but I think and I hope that my background makes me a little more sympathetic and able to navigate the whole of social sciences.

You have attended and taught at a number of renowned universities across the country. What has been different about your experience here at Wheaton?

The first time I came to Wheaton’s campus was to interview for the job. The thing that I’ve found really interesting is that there are family clans that come through Wheaton. I think that’s a mark of how much people value their Wheaton experience. I think it’s also very striking how eager Wheaton students are not just to learn, but to have their lives transformed by their learning. I’ve taught lots of good students over the years at different places and they’re all fun to teach … but it’s particularly different where students feel like there is more on the line. I had a student once who wrote me a note. It was probably in the Christian Political Thought class, and he suggested in the note that the class kind of saved his faith. He was really struggling with the fact that there are so many Christians in politics who don’t seem particularly Christian in their politics and that politics itself seems not particularly hospitable to the way we ought to act as Christians. To try and figure out how to negotiate those distinctions was really important to him. That’s amazing. That’s a whole different level of what we professors are doing. I find that a decent number of students who come into class want to know what’s true and they want to live according to truth and that’s unusual for American higher education.

Refuge ended in favor of new programs

Community program will not return following a fall semester hiatus

02.28.19

By Micah McIntyre

The Chaplain’s Office has decided to develop other programs for LGBTQ students instead of continuing Refuge, a support group that has met since 2013.

The changes in programming, which were instituted last semester, have caused some former Refuge participants confusion and disappointment.

One anonymous senior who joined the group as a freshman described the change as “disappointing.” She said that she and her peers were looking forward to the group’s return in the spring semester. “I was really hurt by the news because Refuge had been such an important space [for] the LGBT community on campus.”

Although Refuge did not meet last semester, because Ministry Associate of Care and Counseling Rebecca Meyer, who leads the group, was on maternity leave, students assumed that it would return at the beginning of this semester.

“To be honest, I never saw the programming changes as taking Refuge away,” Meyer said. “I believed I was improving our groups, ensuring their consistency with our Chaplain’s Office mission, for our learning to lead to loving Christ and His Kingdom. After listening to student feedback I understand the hurt and disappointment associated with the change. I am hurting with the students, the transition has been painful for us.”

Since the change in programming at the beginning of the spring 2019 semester, former members of Refuge have been meeting independently from the school in apartments off campus in addition to participating in the new groups. They hope to secure sponsorship from another organization on campus. Refuge averaged around 25 Wheaton students when it was sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office.

The Chaplain’s Office now sponsors two “Sexual Sanctity” groups open only to students who identify as LGBTQ: Refuge DSG and In Terra Pax (ITP). Refuge DSG meets weekly and aims to be a space for students to “read Scripture, apply the Gospel and listen in love.” In Terra Pax is a monthly dinner gathering to “discuss selected resources, exploring what it means to faithfully follow Christ in light of our non-standard experience of sexual attraction or gender identity,” according to a flier from the Chaplain’s Office.

Former members of Refuge received information about the groups — however, one anonymous freshman said that he did not know any of these groups existed or see any advertisements for the first three weeks on campus. “I learned about ITP about three weeks in and it was because of a [mutual] friend,” he said.

For this student, the Sexual Sanctity groups have provided a space to engage this topic in ways they had not been able to before. “These groups have given me an opportunity to discuss a subject that anywhere else would be incredibly taboo and be able to work through scripture and theological backings about this subject, but also to find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone.”

In addition to these groups closed to the rest of campus, two other groups are open to all students who want to discuss topics of sexuality and sexual identity. The Gathering is a monthly meeting “for any student to explore the convergence of sexuality and desire through questions, biblical inquiry and selected readings,” according to the Chaplain’s Office flier. Another group, Sex and Spirituality (S+S) explores the intersection between faith and sexuality for students who want a more in-depth and curricularly focused group.

“[The Gathering] feels very, very different than Refuge did,” one anonymous junior said. “We had a very specific goal and [the leader] was talking pretty much the whole time except when we split into groups of two to read a verse or two. It felt like a DSG, where we were less connected to each other and it was only once a month as well. It’s nothing like Refuge and really no other space was created to fill that need.”

One anonymous senior agreed and said they feel the new spaces are designed for academic and theological discussions, not for students to freely discuss “personal struggles” with others who have similar experiences.

“It has implications because it’s putting limits on us as far as our ability to have conversations — it puts us in spaces where we are more controlled,” she said. “It also puts us in spaces where it’s not the right place to talk about [our personal struggles].”

Justin Massey (‘15) was one of the founding members of Refuge during his time as a student. He helped draft the group’s first guiding document and worked with Wheaton’s administration to create a space approved by all parties involved. According to Massey, the new groups do not offer the same type of space as Refuge once did.

In a phone interview with the Record, Massey explained that when Refuge was formed in 2013, LGBTQ students were “feeling incredibly isolated,” some to the point of being hospitalized.

“Having an encouraging, neutral zone where students can come together with other students that know their life experience and feel like they can connect and feel supported as they navigate a really complicated journey [is necessary],” he said. “And that’s something that is not going to exist with this group canceled, [so] the school needs to bring it back.”

Former Dean of Student Care and Services Melanie Humphreys also helped draft the guiding document. In 2013, she spoke with the Record in an interview after Refuge became an official Community Group, in which she expressed her concerns about the safety of the LGBTQ community at Wheaton.

“Research indicates that this is one of the most at-risk student groups on campus. And what I mean by ‘at-risk’ is at risk for self-harm or suicide,” she said. “Each of the students I have come to know have experienced significant loneliness and isolation on our campus.”

The founders of Refuge hoped the group would provide a safe space for LGBTQ students. The original guiding document stated that Refuge “exists to be an environment where these students can come together and be supported by others who share a similar life experience.” The group was also meant to be a community that supported students discerning the implications of their sexuality on their faith and encouraged conversation within both the group and the broader campus community.

“The conversation of LGBTQ students well-being can be difficult to sustain as students graduate and new students enter the Wheaton community,” Massey said. “The administrative staff must also advance institutional spaces for campus dialogue and much-needed resources to support marginalized students. Too often the weight of advancing a safer environment for students is placed upon the students themselves.”

While former Refuge students hope the group will be sponsored again, they are also apprehensive about the process. “There is some concern about what exactly the administration wants to do with us or how they listen to us,” the aforementioned anonymous junior said. “It would be a message that Wheaton cares about us enough to have a group [that they sponsor].”

Meyer, who played a significant role in the formation of Refuge while she was a student at Wheaton, has been working on creating a better support system since she came on staff in 2015. As a result, administrators say they have better equipped their staff to care for and support LGBTQ students.

Justin Heth, Dean of Residence Life at Wheaton, hopes that his staff will “meet more needs of a wider range of students” when it comes to LGBTQ residents. “I believe our resources and care for students who are same-sex attracted or who have questions with their gender identity have gotten more focused and personalized over the past few years,” he said. “Understanding that students all have different needs, and no one person can meet the needs of all students, Res Life has attempted to partner with others in this particular care area, pointing to resources like the counseling center, the Chaplain’s office and individual relationships with faculty and staff.”

Chaplain Tim Blackmon told the Record in an email exchange that he understands the agitation surrounding the changes made. “I think we all care and long for a life-giving relationship to nurture and encourage us while we study and work at Wheaton.”

Any group sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office must follow the guidelines of the Community Covenant, which states that “Scripture condemns … homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman.”

“I do sincerely hope students in Refuge are treated with love at first sight, instead of with a hermeneutic of suspicion, outright ignorance, or — God forbid — malicious bullying,” said Blackmon. “Through engaging meaningful questions about sexuality face to face, and developing real relationships with one another, everyone will feel at home at Wheaton.”

Senior Adrienne Mohline has been a member of Refuge since her junior year and is currently one of the students leading the independent group. Mohline said that “the only spaces that exist for us now are highly curricular spaces that are structured to do very particular things with theology and the Bible [but] queer students on campus have so many more needs as a community than just that.”

For Mohline and other LGBTQ students, the discussion of this topic is not just another theological debate.

“What you are trying to think through theologically [has implications for] our lives,” said Mohline. “It’s really important to remember that we are thinking through these issues [at a humanistic level]. It’s a process … involving individual people’s lives.”

When asked about his experience in the Wheaton community at large, the aforementioned anonymous freshman explained that the love and support he received from his straight peers has been crucial.

“I’ve come out to [almost] my entire floor and I’ve never felt so loved somewhere,” he explained. “I met some really great people there who have definitely changed my life [by showing me] unconditional love.”

While he would love to see more relationships formed and conversations started about LGBTQ topics, he said that “the reality of it is that I don’t see a lot of straight students [engaging in conversation] because, why would they involve themselves with this? … [It’s] a shame.”

As Meyer hopes to move forward with new discussions within Wheaton’s LGBTQ community, she says she also understands the frustrations of students affected by these changes. “When one member of our body hurts, we all hurt,” she said. “I’m thankful for the students at Wheaton who are navigating questions of faith and sexuality. Wheaton and the church need their voices, their presence and their ministry.”

Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry and licensed clinical psychologist Barrett McRay said he has regularly met with Wheaton students who identify as LGBTQ, many of whom were involved in Refuge. He believes that conversation about this topic needs to happen, even if it can be “volatile in such a polarized culture.”

“There needs to be a recognition of the uniqueness of the LGBTQ experience,” he said. “[These conversations] are uncomfortable to have but we need to have them — it’s got to be addressed because of what’s happening all around us.”

Buswell Library to undergo renovations

02.28.19

By Melissa Schill

Buswell Library looks to upgrade and modernize their services either through an addition or an entirely new building in the next few years. Though the project is in its preliminary stages — primarily research and brainstorming — this week the college hired an architecture firm and prepared a proposal for Wheaton’s senior administration cabinet.

Buswell Library was originally constructed in two phases. The south side of the library was completed in 1950 and the north side in 1975. “The campus administrators have known for a long time that we needed to work on the library. “It has finally risen to the top of the priority list,” said Dean of Library and Archives, Lisa Richmond.

Renovation talks have been ongoing since Richmond was hired 15 years ago. Wheaton’s architect, Bruce Koenigsberg, was assigned to co-lead the project with Richmond a year and a half ago.

There are four primary goals for the upgrade. The first goal is to create not just more places to study, but higher quality spaces. “We want to have a library where you can come in and find the nook or the open space or whatever your preferred study [spaces] are,” Richmond said. “We want it to be conducive for your studies.”

A survey was sent out to all students, faculty and staff on Feb. 1 to research what the Wheaton community desires in a study space. The survey asked questions about preferred seating, lighting and general environment. Richmond plans to release results from the survey to the Wheaton community after they have been analyzed.

The second goal is to bring the department of Special Collections, currently housed in the Billy Graham Center, back into Buswell. Rather than having to walk between buildings, Richmond hopes to have everything in one spot, making research easier and more convenient. “We would love to bring that back so we just have one library and everything is together. We can be a real center of research,” Richmond said.

The third goal is to have room to grow. Freshman Caleb Penney works for Buswell and has to commute to Wheaton’s east campus to scan bound journals due to lack of space in the library’s main building. He said that the upgrade would “help with our continuous expansion — we constantly get a lot of new books.”

The fourth goal is to create a collaborative space for learning and teaching. Services similar to  the writing center, such as student advising, would be added to the library. The library would become a center for academic services. “It’s a way of being more organized about all the academic services that we offer students,” Richmond said. “Whatever your academic need is, come to this one location and you’ll have it available to you.”

HGA, a architecture and engineering firm based in Minneapolis, was hired this week and will help determine how to convert the needs and goals of the library into a plan of action.

Once a plan has been formulated and approved, fundraising will begin for the project. A building project like this must be funded solely through donations, not tuition dollars. Though it is too early to produce budget predictions, library additions and rebuilds at other similarly-sized liberal arts colleges ranged from $1 million to $11 million, according to data collected by Richmond from the Library Journal.

She says options will be drafted, each with a different budget. One option is to completely rebuild the library in a new, undetermined location on campus. Another option is to build an addition on the east side of the library where the road between Buswell and Wyngarden currently runs.

There is no concrete timeline for this project yet according to Koenigsberg. Because the project is contingent upon the generosity of donors, it can take years to reach fundraising goals. Years are also set aside for researching and designing, as well as for construction itself.

The first phase of the Armerding remodeling took seven years from initial decision to opening day. If Buswell follows a similar path, the library could break ground about five years from now.

“Whatever we do, we will make sure that students have access to the collection and have good places to study,” Richmond said. “The library is just essential.”

Wally S. Broecker 1931-2019

Climate scientist and former Wheaton student dies at age of 87

02.21.19

By Benjamin Hess

Wally S. Broecker, known the “Grandfather of Climate Science,” passed away on Monday, Feb. 18 at the age of 87. Broeker, who studied at Wheaton College in the 1950s helped lay the foundation for modern climate science, especially chemical oceanography. He is most famous for discovering that the thermohaline cycle that controls global ocean circulation can abruptly stop, which has had a massive impact on past earth climates. For this work, he was awarded the Vetlesen Prize in 1987 which is essentially the Nobel prize for the earth sciences. Furthermore, he was one of the first to popularize the term “global warming” when he published his paper, “Climate Change: Are we on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” in 1975. His work stands as a pillar for all modern natural and human-caused climate change science.

Dr. Broecker studied at Wheaton College for three years before transferring to Columbia University to complete his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. Two years ago, in the spring of 2017, Wheaton College welcomed Broecker back to campus for visit and give a lecture on one of the most pressing global issues: human-caused climate change.

Having dedicated his life to studying and understanding climate, he spoke about the science behind climate change, the need to reduce carbon emissions, and the need to develop new geoengineering techniques to mitigate the future effects of climate change. I had a chance to meet him that day, and he was a kind and intelligent man who was very willing to know and invest in undergraduate students. As an aspiring geochemist, it was a great honor to meet one of the most influential climate scientists of the 20th century.

His legacy will continue to inspire earth scientists for generations to come as climate change becomes an increasingly critical global issue.   

Conservatory reveals latest initiatives

02.21.19

By Santoro Giuggio

On Feb. 7, the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music announced new initiatives aiming to generate more opportunities for the performance, study and creation of musical works both on campus and in the wider community.

At a ceremony in Pierce Chapel, President Philip Ryken announced the creation of a Certificate of Worship Arts and an Associate Chaplain of Worship Arts faculty position. The certificate intends to equip students for a career in worship ministry by providing them with a program of study that will teach the theological and musical elements of worship arts. The Associate Chaplain of Worship Arts will be responsible for training students for service in the field of worship ministry and for improving campus worship initiatives.

Sophomore conservatory student Ben Moser was especially happy about the creation of the certificate in worship arts because of his interest in entering the ministry field after he graduates. He said the certificate would be useful since “worship ministry is something that many, many current and prospective students are interested in.”

Ryken also discussed the creation of a Center for Sacred Music. The center will commission the creation of new sacred musical pieces — that is, religious pieces that are based on biblical texts — and support sacred musical events and education. It will be led by the future Chair of Sacred Music.

Conservatory Director of Academic Studies Edward Zimmerman expressed his excitement for the potential global impact of the Center for Sacred Music, which he hopes will “[fund] new musical compositions around the world.” Dean of the Conservatory Michael Wilder is also hopeful about the future work of the center. He expressed gratitude “for the endowed funds that allow the establishment of [the center].” Due to the nature of the endowments, he believes that “until the return of Christ, these projects [will] still [be] in place with the resources necessary to fuel them.”

The initiatives also include new musical spaces created for conservatory students. The completion of Armerding Hall will add a six hundred and forty-eight seat concert hall, a choral rehearsal room and a new lobby to the building. Wilder is hopeful that the additions “make much more possible and accessible the musical flourishing of every person who would enter it.” He also looks forward to the ways in which the new spaces coming to Armerding will “fuel activities that aren’t necessarily musical … the concert hall, for example, will be a really important multi-use space for the college.”   

Sophomore music major Jacqueline Boutcher thinks the new concert hall is “a much-needed addition to the conservatory as a mid-size performance space for our ensembles.” She said that it would be especially helpful for “our vocal ensembles [which] currently perform in College Church.”

In addition to announcing the new initiatives, the ceremony included the performance of several musical pieces. The event began with a piano performance of  Rachmaninoff’s Étude-Tableaux Op. 33 Nos. 8 and 7 by junior conservatory student Garret Bone. It concluded with a performance of “To God be the Glory” by the Men’s Glee Club.

Moser said his favorite part of the ceremony was “when they revealed [that] the first named chair for the recital hall was dedicated in honor of Dean Wilder.” “If there is anyone who deserves to have their name on something in this building, it’s him,” Moser said.

Later this year an endow-a-seat fundraising event will allow more of the concert hall seats to be dedicated in honor of other individuals. Donors will be able to give to the conservatory and select a person of their choice to have their name memorialized on one of the chairs in the new hall.

Members of the conservatory believe that through each of these new developments God is at work. Zimmerman remarked that “so many blessings are poured out in all these initiatives that they are impossible to assign solely to man’s feeble efforts, essential though they are. Indeed, it is, in fact, all for Christ and His Kingdom.” Wilder echoed a belief in the Kingdom-focused purpose of the initiatives. “I think what [they are] all about is God stirring us to continue and better prepare artistic leaders for the Church and society,” he said.

Wheaton responds to mass shooting in Aurora

02.21.19

By Bethany Peterson and Tori Dobleske

On Friday afternoon, Feb. 15, a gunman entered Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Ill. and opened fire, killing five employees and wounding six others. Police later confirmed the gunman as Gary Martin, age 45, who had been recently fired from his position at the manufacturing company located just 30 minutes from Wheaton. Community members, including Wheaton students, faculty and staff, rushed to respond in the midst of the tragedy.

Following the day of the shooting, one of the pastors of HighPoint Church in North Aurora contacted Executive Director of the Humanitarian and Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College, Jamie Aten, to provide trauma resources for the congregation and assist in leading a prayer vigil on Saturday. According to Aten, “these types of gatherings are hugely important because [they] help to remind survivors that they are not alone in their suffering and pain. They can help them be able to make meaning out of what has occurred.”

Aten is an expert in how disasters impact communities, especially in relation to faith. The HDI presented the first in-depth empirical study focusing on the impact of faith on the aftermath of mass shootings to the American Psychological Association in 2016. They found that when people felt spiritually supported by church congregations and leaderships they experienced lower levels of depression and trauma following these kinds of incidents.

Junior Mackenzie Kennedy, an Aurora native, said that “It was such a weird experience when I was first told about [the shooting] — when you hear about these horrific events and tragedies, they are almost hard to comprehend. You can sympathize and feel empathy for the community because you know of the pain they cause, but I don’t quite think you can truly feel the weight of that pain unless you were there or have a connection.”

According to Aten, traumatic events like mass shootings don’t just impact people at the scene, but also the entire community. He said that the first response is usually shock and disbelief, followed by mourning and grief, a feeling of being unsafe within one’s own community and secondary trauma, depression and anxiety.

The entire shooting on Friday lasted roughly 90 minutes. Early shots were reported by employees of Henry Pratt Co. at 1:24 p.m. and first officers arrived on the scene within four minutes, according to police reports. Martin was shot and killed during a shootout with Aurora police after taking refuge in the warehouse after the initial shootings. Other agencies including the FBI were also dispatched to Aurora. Local schools went into lockdown until 4 p.m.

The five employees killed were later identified by police as Clayton Parks, a human resource manager at Henry Pratt; Trevor Wehner, a human resource intern and a student at Northern Illinois University; Russell Beyer, a mold operator; Vicente Juarez, a stock room attendant and fork lift operator; and Josh Pinkard, a plant manager.

A city-wide vigil hosted by the Aurora Prayer Coalition and local churches was held at the manufacturing plant on Sunday. Over 1,700 people attended the gathering, even as freezing rain fell on the area, according to USA Today.

Aten was in attendance at the vigil. He said one pastor called on the community to move towards healing in a nonviolent way, despite the flagrantly violent act. Though it is more difficult to put into action, Aten said that bringing people together in this way “can help to provide guidance for a community about how we move forward in the way that can start that healing and recovery process.”

Aten said healing will take time. “Once the media leaves and the news coverage stops, I’ve seen many experiences where communities affected by mass shootings report feeling like [they’ve] been forgotten by others outside of [their] own community,” he said. “I think it’s also important that we wait and listen to the city of Aurora for them to tell us when they need help and to be there when they ask for it.”

United States withdraws from nuclear treaty

02.14.19

By Melissa Schill

In a written statement on Feb. 1, President Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in six months. Russia followed suit and also announced their plans to withdraw. Until then, the treaty is suspended.

The INF Treaty is an arms control agreement between Russia and the United States established in 1987 during the Cold War. It prevented both countries from owning nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. This action has garnered both support and concern about potential consequences.

Any weapon that fit this description was required to be eliminated at the time of the treaty’s enactment. Between the two countries, 2,692 missiles were destroyed. Both countries were allowed to observe the other through satellites for the sake of accountability.

According to an article in the Washington Post, the United States has accused Russia of noncompliance with the treaty since 2014, claiming the country was in possession of missiles that fit the description laid out in the treaty.

President Trump released a statement on Feb. 1 that read, “For far too long, Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad…. The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions.”

Russia has also claimed in past years that the United States has violated the treaty.

“There’s been a lot of history,” junior Jonathan Dahlager said. The withdrawal from the INF treaty “just formalizes an already changing relationship.” Dahlager is an international relations major, pursuing a Peace and Conflict Certificate and a HNGR certificate.

The United States and Russia have also expressed concern about China’s nuclear arsenal, citing this as reason to eliminate the treaty. Wheaton students voiced their opinions on the withdrawal. “I would say that China is a bigger threat than Russia when it comes to this issue, but they are not under this treaty whatsoever, so I think it makes sense for the United States to pull out of [the treaty],” senior International Relations major Justus Hanson said.

Hanson also believes that remaining at the forefront of technological innovation is reason to withdraw from the treaty. “If our enemies are going to have these types of technologies, I would hope that our country would want to be able to counter those,” Hanson said. “Our country should always be on the cutting edge of technology.”

Some are not as optimistic about the termination of the treaty. Critics of the choice to withdraw worry the United State’s relationship with European allies such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will suffer. These countries that are closer in proximity to Russia and do not have the same level of military technology available are now more vulnerable with the treaty gone.

Junior Taylor Love said, “I think there’s a number of concerns [from NATO] given that the US hasn’t put any plan to replace the INF Treaty.” Love is an international relations major pursuing a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Senior international relations major Madylin Reno is currently writing her thesis on nuclear weapons, specifically in Iran. Like Love, she said, “I could imagine it’s not a position [NATO] is a huge fan of because Russia is so close to them. Any sort of destabilization in regards to Russia, any sort of deterioration of security is a threat to them first.”

Reno is primarily concerned not only with how the withdrawal might affect the United State’s relationships but also with its image. “Any time we pull out of a treaty, it is significant in that it sends … a signal of inconsistency that you don’t really want when it comes to nuclear weapons,” Reno said.  

There has been no talk of another arms control treaty being drawn up.