SOME OF THE BEST things in life are new. The first swipe from a new jar of peanut butter. The luxurious aroma of a new leather baseball glove. The soft skin of a newborn baby.
Happily, some things are new at Wheaton this fall. Our award-winning magazine has a new look, as you may have noticed.
But we have more to celebrate than simply a new magazine. This fall we welcome close to 700 new students to campus, from nearly every state in the Union and more than 50 countries around the world. More students than ever before—nearly one-third—come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. By God’s grace, they will help us deepen ethnic diversity and globalize a Wheaton education.
Our new students will be welcomed by a new chaplain. Reverend Timothy Blackmon was born and raised in the Netherlands, where he served as minister of the Protestant International Church in The Hague. His love for people, dynamic preaching, broad experience in the global church, and passion for the life of the mind will make a spiritual difference to our entire campus.
The Graduate School has a new mission statement, in which we promise “to form servant scholars and leaders through exceptional graduate programs for Christ and His Kingdom.”
The approval of this mission statement coincides with perhaps the most important strategic planning process in the history of the Graduate School. The needs of the global church—as well as the real challenges we face in growing our enrollment—have us thinking seriously about new programs for the future.
All of our students will enjoy expanded opportunities to prepare for life after Wheaton through our new Center for Vocation and Career. By locating the Center under the leadership of Alumni Engagement, we will help our students maximize relationships with alumni who can serve as mentors and provide internships.
What other new opportunities lie ahead? Next fall we will strengthen the liberal arts through a new general education curriculum, Christ at the Core. We also dream of building a new Conservatory of Music and Concert Hall. Planning is underway, on the strength of the more than 30 million dollars already received through generous gifts and giving commitments.
Not everything is new at Wheaton. We still have the same mission of providing an excellent, affordable, Christ-centered liberal arts education. We continue to strive to do everything “For Christ and His Kingdom.” And we still live in hopeful expectation for the day when Christ will come again and make “all things new” (Rev. 21:5, ESV).
All things, new. I can hardly wait.