Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

:"This article is about the college in Norton, Massachusetts. For the evangelical-affiliated school, see Wheaton College (Illinois)."Infobox University

name = Wheaton College
motto = "That They May Have Life and Have it Abundantly"
established = 1834 as a female seminary, 1912 chartered as a four-year women's college
type = Private
endowment = $172.8 million (6/30/2006)
president = [http://www.wheatonma.edu/President Ronald A. Crutcher]
city = Norton
state = Massachusetts
country = USA
undergrad = 1,550
postgrad =
postgrad_label =

faculty = 140
campus = Suburban, Residential
mascot = Lyons
free_label = Athletics
free = 21 sports teams
website = [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/ www. wheatoncollege.edu]

Wheaton College is a four-year, private liberal arts college with an approximate student body of 1,550. Wheaton's [http://www.wheatonma.edu/tours residential campus] is located in Norton, Massachusetts, between Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1834 as a female seminary, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States. Wheaton became a women's college in 1912. The school began admitting men in 1988, after more than 150 years as a female-only institution. Most classes are relatively small: the student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1 and the average class size is between 15 and 20.


In 1834, Eliza Wheaton Strong, the daughter and favorite child of Judge Laban Wheaton, died at the age of thirty-nine. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, the Judge's daughter-in-law, persuaded him to memorialize his daughter by founding a female seminary. [Helmreich, P. (2002) Wheaton College, 1834-1957: A Massachusetts Family Affair: New York, Cornwall Books. ISBN 0845348817]

The family called upon noted women's educator Mary Lyon for assistance in establishing the seminary [cite web |url=http://www.mtholyoke.edu/marylyon/factsa.html|title=Mary Lyon |accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Toffoli|first=Tom|coauthors=Wilga, D., Shin, S.|year=1997|publisher=Mt. Holyoke College] . Miss Lyon created the first curriculum with the goal that it be equal in quality to those of men's colleges. She also provided the first principal, Eunice Caldwell. Wheaton Female Seminary opened in Norton, Massachusetts on 22 April 1835, with 50 students and three teachers.

Mary Lyon and Eunice Caldwell left Wheaton to open "Mount Holyoke Female Seminary" in 1837 (now Mount Holyoke College) [cite web |url=http://www.mtholyoke.edu/marylyon/|title=Mary Lyon |accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Toffoli|first=Tom|coauthors=Wilga, D., Shin, S.|year=1997|publisher=Mt. Holyoke College] . Following their departure, Wheaton endured a period of fluctuating enrollment and frequent changes in leadership until 1850, when Caroline Cutler Metcalf was recruited as the new principal [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Metcalf.html|title=Caroline Metcalf: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] . Mrs. Metcalf made the hiring of outstanding faculty her top priority, bringing in educators who encouraged students to discuss ideas rather than to memorize facts. The most notable additions to the faculty were Lucy Larcom, who introduced the study of English Literature and founded the student literary magazine "The Rushlight;" [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Larcom.html|title=Lucy Larcom: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] and Mary Jane Cragin, who used innovative techniques to teach geometry and made mathematics the favorite study of many students [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Cragin.html|title=Mary Jane Cragin: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] .

Mrs. Metcalf retired in 1876. A. Ellen Stanton, a teacher of French since 1871, served as principal from 1880 to 1897. She led the Seminary during a difficult time, when it faced competition from increasing numbers of public high schools and colleges granting bachelor's degrees to women [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Stanton.html|title=A. Ellen Stanton: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] .

In 1897, at the suggestion of Eliza Baylies Wheaton, the Trustees hired the Reverend Samuel Valentine Cole as the Seminary's first male president. Preparing to seek a charter as a four-year college, Cole began a program of revitalization that included expanding and strengthening the curriculum, increasing the number and quality of the faculty, and adding six new buildings [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Cole.html|title=Samuel Valentine Cole: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] .

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts granted Wheaton a college charter in 1912. The Student Government Association was organized to represent the "consensus of opinion of the whole student body", and to encourage individual responsibility, integrity, and self-government. Wheaton received authorization to establish a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1932, twenty years after achieving college status.

President Samuel Valentine Cole died suddenly, following a brief illness, in 1925. During his career as Wheaton President, Cole oversaw the expansion of the campus from three to twenty-seven buildings, the growth of enrollment from 50 to 414, and the establishment of an endowment. On the campus, Cole Memorial Chapel is named after him. Its approximate geographical coordinates are: +41° 58' 2.01", -71° 11' 3.51".

The Reverend John Edgar Park, who became president in 1926, continued Cole's building program, and saw the College through the Great Depression, the celebration of its centennial in 1935, and World War II [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Park.html|title=J. Edgar Park: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] . He retired in 1944, and was succeeded by Dartmouth College Professor of History Alexander Howard Meneely. During his tenure, the Trustees voted to expand the size of the college from 525 to 800-1000 students, and construction of "new campus" began in 1957 [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Meneely.html|title=Alexander Howard Meneely: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] .

President Meneely died in 1961, following a long illness, and was succeeded in 1962 by William C.H. Prentice, a psychology professor and administrator at Swarthmore College. In the early 1960s, Wheaton successfully completed its first endowment campaign. The development of new campus continued, and student enrollment grew to 1,200. Wheaton students and faculty joined in nationwide campus protests against United States actions in Indochina in 1970 [cite web |url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Archives/Histories/FBF/Biographies/Prentice.html|title=William C.H. Prentice: Faces Behind the Facades|accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney|first=Zephorene |coauthors=Bussey,Holley| year=1999|publisher=Wheaton College] .

In 1975, Wheaton inaugurated its first woman president, Alice Frey Emerson, Dean of Students at the University of Pennsylvania. During her tenure, Wheaton achieved national recognition as a pioneer in the development of a gender-balanced curriculum [ Citation | last=Spanier|first=Bonnie| title=Toward A Balanced Curriculum: The Study of Women at Wheaton College|journal=Change|volume=14|issue=3|pages=31-34| year=1982.] . Wheaton celebrated its Sesquicentennial in 1984/85 with a year-long series of symposia, concerts, dance performances, art and history exhibits, and an endowment and capital campaign. In 1987, the Trustees voted to admit men to Wheaton. The first coeducational class was enrolled in September 1988.

Dale Rogers Marshall, Academic Dean at Wellesley College, was inaugurated as Wheaton's sixth president in 1992. She led the college in "The Campaign for Wheaton", to build endowed and current funds for faculty development, student scholarships, and academic programs and facilities. Enrollment growth encouraged the construction of the first new residence halls since 1964 (Gebbie, Keefe and Beard residence halls), the improvement of classroom buildings and the renovation and expansion of the college's arts' facilities [Citation |last=Iafrate| first=Jayne| title=A President Pondered| journal=The Wheaton Quarterly | url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Quarterly/Q2004Spring/president.html |accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney] . .

Wheaton's Board of Trustees appointed Ronald A. Crutcher at the seventh president of Wheaton College on March 23, 2004. President Crutcher came to Wheaton from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of music. [Citation|last=Benoit| first=Hannah|title=How Do You Get to Park Hall| journal=The Wheaton Quarterly | url=http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Quarterly/Q2004Summer/RACprofile.html |accessdate=2007-03-19|last=Stickney]


The following is a list of Wheaton College presidents with the years of their presidential tenures.
*Rev. Dr. Samuel Valentine Cole (1912-1925)
*George Thomas Smart, Acting President (1925-1926)
*Rev. Dr. John Edgar Park (1926-1944)
*A. Howard Meneely(1944-1961)
*Elizabeth Stoffregen May, Acting President (1961-1962)
*William Courtney Hamilton Prentice (1962-1975)
*Alice Frey Emerson (1975-1991)
*Hannah Goldberg, Acting President (1991-1992)
*Dale Rogers Marshall (1992-2004)
*Ronald Crutcher (2004-present)


Wheaton offers a liberal arts education leading to a bachelor of arts degree in more than 36 majors and 50 minors. Students are permitted to work with faculty members to design self-declared majors, if they wish. Students choose from over 600 courses in subjects from physics to philosophy, political science to computer science, art history to theater, English to economics. The course selection is extended further through the college's [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/Contents/LiberalArts/Programs/CrossReg.html cross-registration] programs with Brown University and nine local colleges involved in SACHEM (Southeastern Association for Cooperation in Higher Education in Massachusetts). Wheaton also offers dual-degree programs, enabling its undergraduates to begin graduate-level study in studio art, communications, engineering, business, theology and optometry.

A unique part of the Wheaton curriculum [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/Contents/LiberalArts/] requires students to complete "connections" which approach a variety of topics from the perspectives of different disciplines. During their Wheaton career, students must take either three linked courses or two sets of two-course connections. These courses are intended to encourage students to explore and think beyond their primary academic interests [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/CONX/] . For instance, the Connection entitled "Communication through Art and Mathematics" links Arts 298 (Graphic Design I) with Math 127 (Advertising Math). Although students may complete one of the numerous pre-designed connections, students are encouraged to consider finding and declaring their own.

[http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/Contents/LiberalArts/Foundations.html Foundations] courses focus on writing, quantitative analysis, foreign language study and non-Western perspectives. In their first semester at Wheaton, all freshmen take a [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/FSEM/ First Year Seminar] in which they explore contemporary issues and gain academic skills needed for college-level study. The [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/Contents/LiberalArts/Major.html Major concentration] and [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Catalog/Contents/LiberalArts/Electives.html elective courses] are also central to the Wheaton Curriculum, which culminates in a senior capstone experience—a thesis, research project, seminar or creative project.

Honor code

Wheaton uses an honor code system originally instituted in 1921 and is one of a select number of schools to use it in both academic and social settings. Incoming freshmen learn about the code and discuss it during Orientation, before signing the matriculation book.

The current Wheaton Honor Code reads: "As members of the Wheaton Community, we commit ourselves to act honestly, responsibly, and above all, with honor and integrity in all areas of campus life. We are accountable for all that we say and write. We are responsible for the academic integrity of our work. We pledge that we will not misrepresent our work nor give or receive unauthorized aid. We commit ourselves to behave in a manner which demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights and freedoms of all members of the community. We are respectful of college property and the property of others. We will not tolerate a lack of respect for these values."

As part of the honor code, most tests and exams are not proctored by professors and students are often allowed to leave the testing location to complete the exam elsewhere. In 2003, through student and faculty cooperation, it was decided that students would write "I have abided by the Wheaton Honor Code in this work" and sign their name on all work handed in.

Students in violation of the honor code are expected to report themselves to either a professor, the Dean of Students, or the Chair of the College Hearing Board. Students who witness and/or are aware of violations, are expected to confront the violator and encourage them to report themselves, before they report the violation.

The majority of minor violations are handled by the Office of Student Life, however certain, more serious and/or chronic violations are heard by the College Hearing Board, the judicial branch of the Student Government Association, which comprises four elected students and two appointed faculty members. Students found responsible face sanctions ranging from probation to expulsion.


The renovation and expansion of Wheaton's arts facilities (Watson and Mars Arts and Humanities) in 2000 set the stage for the [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/arts/vap/ Evelyn Danzig Haas '39 Visiting Artists Program] . Launched in 2003, the program brings distinguished writers, musicians, actors, directors, dancers and artists to campus for short-term residencies to share their work through lectures, master classes, concerts and exhibitions. [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/arts/vap/program/city.html Arts in the City] complements the visiting artists program by taking students and faculty members on trips to Boston, Providence and elsewhere to explore the arts and cultural offerings of the region.


Students can participate in intramural activities, club sports, and intercollegiate teams. Wheaton fields 21 intercollegiate teams for men and women, including Men's Intercollegiate Baseball, Women's Softball, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Indoor Track, Men's and Women's Outdoor Track, Men's and Women's Tennis, Men's and Women's Cross Country, Men's and Women's Swimming, Women's Volleyball and Women's Synchronized swimming. The school's teams play within the NCAA Division III and in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). Wheaton's mascot is a Lyon, named after founding principal Mary Lyons.

Wheaton is ranked as one of the top 50 NCAA Division III institutions in the final United States Sports Academy (USSA) Directors' Cup standings. Of 420 schools competing in Division III, Wheaton ranks seventh in New England for an annual program that recognizes the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country. Among 312 scoring institutions, the Wheaton Lyons tallied 338.5 points, placing them at 48th place nationally.

The women's track and field program won the NCAA Division III National Championship in Indoor Track for five consecutive years from 1999 to 2003, as well as the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Outdoor Track Championship. In 1975, Deborah Simocerian won a share of the AIAW individual collegiate golf championship.

Publications and media

*"Wheaton Quarterly": College magazine [http://www.wheatoncollege.edu/Quarterly/] ;
*"The Wheaton Wire": Weekly student newspaper (Caitlin Libby, Editor-in-Chief {2007-present}) [http://www.thewheatonwire.com/] ;
*"Nike:" college yearbook;
*"Rushlight:" Student arts & literary magazine (Gabrielle Kappes and Emily Ayer, Editors {2006-present});
*"Midnight Oil:" Student literary magazine;
*"The Underwire:" Alternative/underground newspaper;
*"WCCS": free-format student-run radio station (David Machado '07, General Manager {2004-Present}) [http://wccs.wheatoncollege.edu] ;


The following films have been recorded, at least in part, on the Wheaton campus or feature Wheaton students.
*"Soul Man" (1986)
*"Prozac Nation (film)" (2001)
*"Mona Lisa Smile" (2003)

Notable alumni

*Mary Ellen Avery, M.D. - pediatric physician and researcher
*Elaine Meryl Brown [http://www.elainemerylbrown.com/] - novelist and HBO executive
*Chris Denorfia - Oakland Athletics outfielder
*Diane Farrell - Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress (CT-4)
*Jean Fritz - Newbery honor-winning author of children's books
*Robie Harris [http://www.robieharris.com/] - acclaimed children's book author
*Catherine Keener - Oscar-nominated actress
*Nancy Mairs - Poet and essayist
*Adrienne Bevis Mars - Wife of John Mars
* Alexandra Marshall [http://www.alexandramarshall.com/] - novelist
*Esther Newberg - literary agent and co-creative director of ICM
*Barbara Richardson - wife of New Mexico governor Bill Richardson
*Catherine Filene Shouse - researcher, pioneering feminist and philanthropist
*Lesley Stahl - Journalist, CBS News
*Amanda Urban - literary agent and co-creative director of ICM
*His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck - King of Bhutan
*Christine Todd Whitman - Former Governor of New Jersey and former head of the E.P.A., appointed by George W. Bush in 2001.
* Alex Witchel - "The New York Times'
* Debbie Jamgochian - amateur golf champion, Winner of 9th International Senior Women's French Open (May 2007)


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