I have always been envious of voracious readers. However, because I’m not one, the books I usually end up reading are quite good. Endurance by Alfred Lansing (Basic Books, 2015) is an account of Ernest Shackleton’s journey to make history by traversing the South Pole. One of the most striking things about Shackleton’s journey is the resilience of his crew and their ability to battle adversity. They were constantly escaping death, only to realize they had to tempt fate again and again with little hope of survival. All accounts agree that in the midst of these dire circumstances, there was almost no dissent or negativity.
We too face significant challenges, as does Wheaton College. In my 24 years of being around the College, I have seen Wheaton experience both peaks and valleys. There will certainly be more of both to come, and it is my hope that we may, like Shackleton’s crew, stand strong and united in our steadfast support of the College.
So what can we, as alumni and friends of the College, do to support this great school most of us have such strong feelings for? John Biedebach ’89, one of our former Alumni Association Board members, summed it up in three words: “DO THE WORK!”
The most basic way to do this is to continue what you’re likely already doing. Some of you are teaching the next generation of leaders, some are powerful prayer warriors, others are saving lives in the healthcare field or lovingly raising families, and many are in the marketplace or serving Christ around the globe. Regardless of where you are serving, DO THE WORK for Christ and his kingdom!
In addition to this, consistently pray for the College. Serve as a positive ambassador for your alma mater. Support students by joining Wheaton in Network or asking where your financial gifts can be used.
And, of course, give generously. We all benefitted from those who supported the college before us, and for many of us, it’s our turn. It starts with asking the question one of my good friends asked me the other day at lunch: “How can I get more involved?” After you ask that question, listen for these not-so-subtle words to echo in your ears: DO THE WORK!