Wheaton magazine

Volume 20 // Issue 2
Wheaton magazine // Spring 2017
L to R: Ben Love '19, Paul Green '19, Sade Bamimore '19, Noah Lawrence '19, Gabriella Siefert '19, Sarah Paul '19. Photo by Mike Hudson '89

Relevant: Center for Vocation and Career


The Center for Vocation and Career equips students to use their liberal arts education to thrive in careers that reflect Kingdom values and lead to flourishing lives that help build the church and benefit society worldwide.

On January 26, 2017, nearly 300 people gathered in Coray Alumni Gymnasium for the Center for Vocation and Career’s (CVC) second annual Declaration Dinner. 

The dinner is the culminating event in Canvas, the CVC’s five-part program that guides Wheaton College sophomores in an interactive exploration of vocation and career. The dinner formalizes an important rite of passage—the declaration of major, which students proudly post on small dry-erase boards.

The dinner drew 170 students—an increase of more than 50 over last year’s dinner—and is the largest campus event that intentionally brings together students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Students are seated with alumni and faculty who share their chosen field. 

Other special guests included Provost Margaret DuPlissis Diddams ’83, Vice President for Student Development Paul Chelsen '91, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences Dorothy Chappell HON, Dean of the Conservatory, Arts, and Communications Michael Wilder, and Vice President for Advancement, Vocation, and Alumni Engagement Kirk Farney M.A. '98.

Keynote speaker Lori Bachman ’78 drew from a successful career as an entrepreneur and former aerospace professional to offer “Your Major is Just the Beginning”—an inspiring address that challenged students to embrace an attitude of exploration and a “life of endless, open-hearted learning.”

“The Canvas program is about laying out a theology of vocation for our students,” says CVC Director Dee Pierce M.A. ’17. “We want to challenge students to increased self-awareness, to see where their God-given gifts and the needs of the world intersect.”

Strategically designed to turn the stereotypical “sophomore slump” into a “sophomore surge,” Canvas has resulted in a discernable increase in students’ confidence levels and class unity. 

Jackie Westeren ’19, an international relations major and sophomore class president, says, “Canvas has offered class members a great opportunity to connect with classmates they normally wouldn’t see. And I have heard many stories of my peers being more confident in talking about their future vocational goals. I believe Canvas is an important stepping stone in the process of unleashing the Class of 2019’s fullest, God-given potential.”

Pictured above (l to r): Canvas attendees Ben Love '19, economics and sociology double major; Paul Green '19, political science major with history minor; Sade Bamimore '19, environmental science major; Noah Lawrence '19, economics major with French minor; Gabriella Siefert '19, political science and Spanish double major; and Sarah Paul '19, psychology major. Learn more about Canvas on the CVC's website.