to recent Wheaton Magazine Issues
do the names Blanchard, Edman, Buswell, Saint, Elliot, Graham,
and Armerding hold in common?
Someone newly acquainted with Wheaton might say they refer to
buildings on our campus map. And they would be right. But those
who know the College better understand theres more to it
than that; they know these names point us to Wheatons story.
They are names of key figures in our history, people whose memory
we want to celebrate and in whose footsteps we aspire to follow.
On September 11, 2001, the name Todd M. Beamer 91 was tragically
added to this list of people who have become significant figures
in Wheatons history.
In an account we all know by heart, Todd gained national prominence
by joining other courageous passengers aboard United Airlines
Flight 93 in our nations first response to the terrorists.
In the span of only a few densely concentrated, unexpected minutes,
the character of Todd Beamer was laid bare, and he was found true.
Rightly have his last words, Lets roll, resounded
in our nations ears.
We do not want to forget, nor see future generations of Wheatons
family forget, this impressive model of faith, prayer and courageous
action. Thats why, as you will read in this issue of Wheaton
magazine, we are naming our new student center after Todd M. Beamer.
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the Forgotten Places
was not an idea at all, neither my own nor anyone else's. It was
a lump in the throat. It was an itching in the feet. It was a
stirring in the blood at the sound of rain. It was a sickening
of the heart at the sight of misery. It was a clamoring of ghosts.
It was a name which, when I wrote it out in a dream, I knew was
a name worth dying for.
Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace
In May 2002,
a New York Times editorial commended evangelical Christians for
saving lives in some of the most forgotten parts of the
world. Evangelicals, columnist Nicholas Kristof
wrote, are using their growing clout . . . to fight sexual
trafficking in Eastern Europe and slavery in Sudan, and, increasingly,
to battle AIDS in Africa.
In response to the editorial, Mark Galli, managing editor with
Christianity Today, wrote a thoughtful and admonitory follow-up
piece to his evangelical readers. Galli advised them not to let
praise such as Kristofs lull them into a self-congratulatory
stupor. Although Kristof was accurate when he noted that
the 15 largest Christian charities collect more than $3 billion
a year, Galli sounded a cautionary alarm. Interest in missions,
he said, is declining in the evangelical church.
In our day, when we think of the billions who suffer hunger,
slavery, child prostitution, AIDS, or spiritual darkness, too
many of us pop into the nearest praise service, packed with Christians
rejoicing in their own security, in order to dull our spiritual
agony, Galli wrote. Some individuals among the faculty and
staff at Wheaton do not flinch or retreat when faced with images
of the worlds most grim settings. Instead, they seek Gods
help in trying to alleviate even a small fraction of the pain.
Among them are head volleyball coach Jennifer King Soderquist
77, Physical Plant carpenter Paul Minakov, and Dr. Lyle
Dorsett, professor of Christian formation and ministry. These
three individuals are the kind of people our students come in
contact with every day. From these three, and others like them,
students not only glimpse the world outside of Wheaton, they also
learn some of lifes most valuable lessons: lessons about
how to live and Whom to serve.
It is through servants such as these that Gods love transforms
broken lives in some of the most forgotten places of the world.
For these are people whose hearts, to borrow from Buechner, sicken
at the sight of misery, and know a name worth
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Jennifer King Soderquist 77 grew up on 80 acres in Kansas
with her parents and five siblings. Today she, her husband, and
their sons make their home in North Lawndale, an African-American
neighborhood on Chicagos west side. Her journey from the
farm fields of Kansas to the inner city has wound all over the
globe. After graduating from Wheaton and earning her masters
degree in sport administration at Wichita State University, Jennifer
joined the coaching staff at John Brown University in Arkansas.
While there, she went on a sports-evangelism trip to China.
Chinas overwhelmingly dense population, its strict government
control, and the fact that believers had to keep their faith underground
broke her heart. To me, there is no safer place to be than
broken in Gods hand, Jennifer says. She details the
ways on that trip, now nearly 20 years ago, that she felt Gods
presence. Authorities did not discover the Bibles she brought,
hidden in her suitcase. Despite the presence of listening devices
(Everything was bugged!) and language barriers, she
and her team were able to have many discussions about their faith
with the Chinese athletes they met. On the trip back to the United
States, Jennifer traveled alone through Korea. On a visit to a
Korean church, she saw the familiar words Go ye into all
the world. She then realized in a new light that the call
to missions was just as true for those around the world as it
was for her. And, by this time in her life, Jennifer had a passionate
desire to be a missionary.
She returned home and began praying about where God wanted her
to go. During her tenure at John Brown, she continued to travel
internationally, using her role as a volleyball coach as a means
to bring the message of Gods love to those who hadnt
heard it. After three years at John Brown, Jennifer says that
God nudged her heart and told her it was time to go.
She was poised to make a major life change and envisioned a possible
move to Papua New Guinea or to China.
I wanted to be on the front lines, Jennifer says.
She received a call from Wheaton, asking her to interview for
the job as head volleyball coach. She remembers planning to refuse
the job offer, but then decided that she would come to Wheaton
College, and come as a missionary. God imparted to me that
the front lines are where I draw them. If I dont draw them
under my feet, no plane ticket will put me there. We are all missionaries,
Jennifer says. The great commission is literally for each
one of us.
joined Wheaton's coaching staff in 1986. Two years later, she
married Mark Soderquist M.A. 88, who had a similar passion
for missions. Mark had already worked for five years with Operation
Mobilization, primarily in the Indian subcontinent. As a couple,
they prayed to learn where God wanted them to be missionaries.
In light of the worlds migration to cities, Jennifer and
Mark decided to combine college coaching and urban ministry. In
1989 Mark founded U.S. Urban and Ethnic Ministry, a division of
International Teams, a global missions organization. As the director,
he oversees teams in eight U.S. cities that work with nine different
ethnic groups. These urban and ethnic teams help local churches
transform their communities by working to promote racial reconciliation,
and by assisting refugees, children, and the poor.
Locally, the Soderquists and their sons Dane (9) and Anders (5)
live near their partner church, Westlawn Gospel Chapel. They lead
the Chicago Urban Team, which is involved in tutoring in the public
school, staffing summer day camps, after-school programs and church
clubs, hosting urban immersion trips for college and
church groups, and running sports clinics.
The Chicago Urban Teams goal is to communicate the Good
News of the gospel through presence (making our homes and living
our lives here), service (addressing needs in these under-served
communities), vulnerability (sharing honestly our faith journey
in the context of relationships), and community (living intentionally
the biblical message of reconciliation).
In the Bible, place is so important. We live with our black
brothers and sisters. We dont wish them well and leave,
were there, Jennifer says. The volleyball team at
Wheaton works with the Soderquists church, creating sports
clinics and other events for young people in the neighborhood.
I tell my Wheaton students that theyre not coming
to do a service project. There is as much to learn as there is
to give. Those we call poor are much richer than us in other
areas. Being in the city exposes us to how much we need the Lord,
Zacatecas, Mexico In 1991, Professor Lyle Dorsett had a dream
that would change not only the course of his life, but would transform
the lives of countless families in one of the poorest states in
Mexico. In the dream, he saw a vision of many Latin American girls
asking for help. Come here and help us, they implored.
Lyle and his wife, Mary M.A. 91, knew they must respond
to this vivid dream, but didnt know where to start. A few
months later, an acquaintance they had not seen in about a decade
contacted them, telling them hed relocated to the Wheaton
area. As a relationship developed, their new friend told them
about an impoverished colonia, or barrio, in Fresnillo, Mexico.
After one visit, the Dorsetts were certain that this indeed was
the place they were meant to serve.
Six months later, Christ for Children International, the organization
the Dorsetts formed, sent six missionaries to Fresnillo, Mexico.
Fresnillo is in the Mexican state of Zacatecas in central Mexico.
Christ for Children International reaches about 400 children and
adolescents each week with the gospel message. On Saturdays, about
350 children are fed a nutritious meal. Missionaries seek to assist
members of the community by helping them to find employment, caring
for those who are sick and elderly, feeding children, and creating
childrens programs. A scholarship program, tutoring, and
music lessons help area children stay in school and, Mary says,
off the streets.
This community service flows from the missions church, Iglesia
del Gran Pastor. Church of the Great Shepherd, a church in Wheaton
pastored by Dr. Dorsett, planted this church in Mexico. Increasingly,
Mexican nationals are taking over leadership in the congregation.
Our goal is to keep working the Anglos out of their jobs,
Lyle says. We want to give Mexicans a vision for Christ,
One Mexican national has been sent from the church on a missions
trip to Spain. Christ for Children International has built a metal
building for worship, meal preparation, and classes. Today there
are 10 full-time American missionaries and four full-time Mexican
nationals serving in Fresnillo. Several of the missionaries are
recent Wheaton College graduates, including Jon Bell 85,
Christine Yoder Escareño 94, Pastor Doug Jones 95
and his wife Christy Hudson Jones 95, Tim McRoberts 95,
Meredith Omland 97, Gretchen Ruble 01, Todd Johnson
02, and Chris Tofilon 02.
Mary Dorsett is the general director of the mission and spends
about one-third of the year in Fresnillo. She explains that as
the American missionaries became more culturally Mexican,
the focus shifted from assisting impoverished children to assisting
whole families. We realized we couldnt separate just
one part, like children or youth, away from the needs of the whole
family, she said.
Lyle speaks glowingly about the role his wife plays with the mission.
There would be no mission to Mexico without Mary,
he says admiringly, adding, I dont carry on much of
the work. I just try to teach and help to recruit for the mission.
In January, Lyle will take a sabbatical from the College. He plans
to spend it in Mexico, writing a scholarly book on the spiritual
formation of C.S. Lewis. He also plans to teach courses for missionaries
and church members in Fresnillo. You might ask why Im
so involved with this mission, he says. I teach in
the Christian formation and ministry department at Wheaton. How
can I teach a craft Im not practicing? You cant teach
it if youre not doing it.
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Paul Minakov, his wife, Luba, and their three children, Marina,
Tim, and Max, came to the United States in 1993 from Estonia.
Minakov was 31. Only four years before, he had been released from
prison. His crime: working as a youth pastor at a Christian camp.
The KGB knew about the camp. They arrested me in October
1986; the camp was the summer before, Paul says. But
my heart has always been with younger people. I accepted Christ
myself at a Bible camp when I was 13 years old. Paul served
more than two years in a Soviet prison before he was released.
Shifting politics, and the new presidency of Mikhail Gorbachev,
shortened his term. While Paul was in prison, Luba gave birth
to their second child, Tim.
imprisoned for ones Christian beliefs is part of the Minakov
family history. His father, a pastor, was arrested four times
for his faith and has spent almost 20 years in prison. Now 81,
he continues to preach in the former Soviet Union. Says Paul,
I was three years old when I met my father. My mother said
I didnt know him, and he didnt enjoy that so much.
Years later, Paul would meet his own son for the first time when
Tim was already 10 months old. After coming to the United States,
Paul learned of a job opening from a friend at church and, shortly
thereafter, he began work at Wheaton Colleges physical plant.
Paul is a carpenter and repairs college dormitories, apartments,
Alongside his work maintaining college property, he is constructing
something vital and life-giving in his spare time: a mission called
Hope International Ministries that brings the message of Christ
to troubled Estonian and Latvian youth. In the summer of 1997,
Paul returned to Estonia for his first visit since emigrating
to the United States. I knew there was some trouble with
the children, he says. So many of the parents are
alcoholics. So many are in jail.
He returned to his former church, helped to generate a Sunday
school program, and worked to create a week-long Christian summer
camp for local youth. Local churches then follow up with campers
and become the church home for those who make Christian commitments.
In the first year, 25 children came to camp. The numbers tripled
by year three. Very few of these campers come from Christian homes
and many of them would be labeled at-risk in the United
States. These teens have been exposed to drugs, violence, and
have been given little, if any, reason to hope in their young
lives. After the first few summers, Paul was asked by pastors
in Latvia to form a similar program for children there. He turned
responsibility for the Estonian camp over to his brother, a pastor.
The summer of 2002 marked the second year that the Christian camp
operated in Latvia. More than 100 children, ages six through 15,
attended. The camp was staffed by local church members, as well
as an international team of counselors, recruited by Paul.
The international team included Sam Shellhamer, Wheatons
vice president for student development, a Wheaton student, Jared
Abuhl 03, one of Pauls coworkers from Wheatons
physical plant, Jonathan Stevens, and Pauls two sons, Tim
and Max. Sam Shellhamer now serves on the board of directors of
Hope International Ministries. The ministry rents a campground,
provides food, and works with Voice of the Gospel Church to follow
up with campers and their parents. An end-of-camp program with
the campers parents affords the camp staff the opportunity
to present the gospel to families. Paul tells the story of the
young people in Liepaja, Latvia, who attend a boarding school
for difficult children. Many of the children are orphans.
The rest have been removed from their homes for a variety of sad
There is little good there, putting it mildly. There are
about 400 childrenviolence, fighting, smoking, alcohol,
and drugs are a way of life, he reports. Pauls colleagues
in Liepaja have recruited about 40 of these children to a weekly
Christian AWANA program. These children also attended his camp
last summer. Working with such unhappy young people isnt
easy. Paul and the other staff members gave special care to the
most troubled children and were delighted that a few made Christian
commitments after spending a week at camp.
From Estonia to the suburbs of Chicago and then back across the
globe again, Paul Minakov strives to introduce the love of Christ
to young people, to give them reason to hope.
Mother Teresa once said, Many people mistake our work for
our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus.
Jennifer Soderquist, Lyle Dorsett, and Paul Minakov exemplify
other Wheaton employees who bring to their jobs their one true
vocation. It is this spirit that touches the lives of Wheaton
students who have daily opportunities to work, study, train, and
pray side-by-side with faculty and staff who, for the love of
Jesus, serve those in need.
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Since 1992, the Gieser Presidential Award has
recognized members of the College family who serve in ministries
beyond their regular jobs on campus.
Over the past 10 years, award recipients have included faculty
and staff members who have ministered to prisoners and the homeless,
who have built homes and churches for the poor, who have taught
theology in third-world nations, and who have used athletics to
cross cultural barriers and share the love of Jesus.
This academic year,
the award was presented to Drs. Norman Ewert and Sharon Coolidge
Ewert 72, who in addition to working as associate professor
of business & economics and professor of English, respectively,
also provide a market for the handicrafts of third-world nations.
Like each recipient before them, the couple received $5,000 to
support their endeavors to minister and serve outside the classroom.
This award is given each year in memory of Dr. P. Kenneth Gieser
30, LL.D. 76, whose life was given to service. He
and his wife, Kay, traveled to China as medical missionaries,
before returning to the United States after six years due to poor
health. After his health improved, Dr. Gieser established the
Wheaton Eye Clinic, now one of the worlds prominent eye-care
Throughout his life, Dr. Gieser often accepted short-term missions
assignments and served tirelessly on many boards, including the
boards of the Evangelical Alliance Mission, the Medical Assistance
Program, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association. Dr. Gieser also founded the Missionary
Furlough Homes in Wheaton and was a founding member of the Christian
Medical Society and the Christian Service Brigade.
A trustee at Wheaton for 42 years, Dr. Gieser will be remembered
not only around the world for his work in the fields of ophthalmology,
education, and evangelism, but especially at Wheaton for his spirit
Gieser Award Recipients
1992 Donald Church 57
1993 Lyle Dorsett
1994 John Fawcett 85
1995 Jack Swartz 52
1996 Timothy Phillips 72
1997 Dave Haidle
1998 Jennifer King Soderquist 77
1999 Paul Isihara
2000 Em Griffin
2001 Walter Elwell 59, MA 61
2002 Norman Ewert and Sharon Coolidge Ewert 72
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Bridge to a Career
was January when Emily Zimbrick 05, an English major, started
searching for a summer internship. Intent on finding not just
any internship but one that would give her the experience of working
at a daily newspaper, she made more than 190 calls to papers near
her hometown, Spring, Texas. In addition to her phone marathon,
she sent 20 résumés before receiving four or five
solid offers. She chose the Conroe Courier, a small daily about
45 miles from her home. The paper offered an internship for two
days a week and a chance to see if she was up to the challenge
of a dailys typical deadline frenzy and long hours.
By her third day, Emily had written four stories and followed
a reporter on his court beat. She spoke with the county fire marshal
about a case and took notes. Late in the week, she covered a Juneteenth
celebration which commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation.
She was surprised at how helpful her coworkers were. Theyve
given me so much to do already, she said early in her internship.
Even the editor took time to encourage her and critique her writing.
By the end of her first week she was offered a paid position for
the summer for 30 hours a week; she was the first intern the newspaper
had ever paid.
Emily was writing five or six stories a week by the end of the
internship. One of her stories made the front page, and she also
contributed some photography. Her favorite day was a long one,
10 hours, in which she covered a capital-murder case during first-day
proceedings. She took 20 pages of notes over four and a half hours
and met reporters and interns who were working in the field of
Overall, Emily was satisfied with her experience and found the
workload manageable. In fact, she worked a second job while interning.
Its just really exciting to see my name in a real
publication, she says. It couldnt have been
a better internship. I didnt want to quit. The Courier
editor said the key to her success was that she put so much in.
If youre willing to put forth effort, it will be rewarded,
says Emily, who now serves as the associate editor of the Record,
Wheatons student newspaper.
Putting Theory into Practice
Meredith Lindsay LaBonte 03 also decided to pursue an internship
near her hometown, Temula, California. A psychology major, Meredith
was familiar with statistics and wanted an opportunity to put
some of her academic knowledge into practice. She discovered a
two-month internship through a connection at her church and called
to arrange a starting date before leaving Wheaton in the spring.
She worked with E-Perceptions, a small company that was in the
market for an unpaid intern to help with statistical analysis
in its human resources department.
After her first week, Meredith said she was enjoying her time
and that the anxiety of working at a new job had faded. Its
a lot better than waitressing, she said. Her main responsibilities
were creating pivot tables for a company and typing an online
survey that E-Perceptions was conducting. She also worked on validating,
through statistics, the companys business model.
As the internship progressed, Meredith noticed some valuable differences
between learning in the classroom and learning on the job. The
internship hasnt been structured like a curriculum,
she said. You have to be assertive. Like Emily, she
noticed that the more effort she made, the more she received from
the experience. She needed to ask questions and request work on
In addition to learning the responsibilities of a new position,
Meredith also dealt with the relational aspect of a workplace.
Most of the employees were Christians, but the two people she
worked with most closely were not. Meredith says interning was
worth the effort. As she became more comfortable at E-Perceptions,
she was given more responsibility and learned new skills, such
as programming surveys using hypertext markup language, or HTML,
the code used to format pages on the World Wide Web. It also gave
her a chance to put her theoretical knowledge of statistics into
practice. I was working with an expert statistician,
she says, so I started bringing my statistics book to work.
Behind the Scenes
When Laura Huff Larsen 01 graduated from Wheaton, she returned
to the theater for her internship. As a Work Out alumna, Laura
had designed and sown costumes for many Arena Theater shows at
the College and displayed her work as an art major in Adams Hall.
On the recommendation of a professional designer who had assisted
Arena, Laura landed an internship at Chicagos prestigious
Goodman Theater doing whatever needed to be done,
Laura says, for 30 hours a week.
In the theater field, networking is a must, so an internship is
key for career advancement. Laura ended up sewing parts of costumes
and doing preparatory work for three shows. She was enlisted as
a shopper for shows in the early stages, visiting all kinds of
stores in Chicagos Loop searching for the perfect pair of
shoes to modify or a vintage-looking gown for a period play. She
indexed costumes and helped with fittings, some draping, and dressing
understudies. I learned a lot from the caliber of the work
they do, Laura says of her coworkers.
Because of the varied nature of the position, she also got a glimpse
of the business side of theater, recording receipts and paying
bills, something she hadnt expected. One of the biggest
challenges, she says, was the stop-and-go nature of working behind
the scenes, knowing what was her responsibility and what wasnt,
and how to prioritize. The hours are crazy, she says.
It amazes me how much the [people at the Goodman] do.
But she enjoyed using all of the new skills she gained. Even finding
her first apartment in the city was an intimidating but valuable
learning experience. Lauras internship turned into a job
offer, and as a recent graduate, she was able to accept, working
until July 2002.
to the Top
Internships help students step quickly into careers.
difficult to measure the value of an internshipin part,
because many of the benefits are intangible. But the results speak
for themselves. According to Wheatons Career Services, graduates
who have completed internships find jobs faster and earn higher
salaries than those who have not. Many employers view internships
as evidence of real work experience, while students often make
valuable connections for future permanent jobs.
Wheaton students are catching on to these many advantages in increasing
numbers. For some majors, internships are required, and at least
75 percent of the student body completes some form of internship
today, says Nancy Lewis, assistant director of Career Services.
While employers also benefitpaying little or nothing for
valuable workit is often the student who gains the mostlearning
everything from invaluable life lessons to very specific job skills.
Even the process of searching and preparing for an internship
introduces students to new challenges. After all, searching for
an internship and interviewing with companies mirrors an actual
job hunt. Once secured, if the work necessitates moving away from
home, the student must find a place to live, learn to pay bills,
and secure transportationoften for the first time.
The right internship will provide opportunities for students to
try out and refine career goals. Even general skills such as editing,
analyzing data, or planning events can later be applied in a wide
variety of settings. Understanding office politics and learning
how to handle criticism, praise, confrontation, and other aspects
of communication are all part of the experience. Interns may even
be faced with questions of business ethics while on the job, and
have the opportunity to work out solutions and be prepared for
Insights from employers can make students aware of their strengths
and weaknesses. Even simply learning about the structure and operation
of a company can be helpful. Internships can also help students
make the transition from student to professional life before graduation,
easing the anxiety of leaving college. Although many students
find internships through connections outside of the College, Career
Services has extensive resources to aid in preparing for, locating,
and securing an internship, including everything from a computer
database to resource books and brochures.
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For Such a Time
Todd M. Beamer 91 and Lisa Brosious Beamer 91 receive
the Distinguished Service to Society Award.
Lisa Beamer came to campus for Homecoming this year, sons David,
4 1/2, and Drew, 2, got to run the bases where Todd once played
ball. Did Daddy hit a home run here? asked David.
Sports runs in their blood, explains Lisa about her
two growing boys, who enjoyed learning more about their father,
and revisiting some of his old Wheaton haunts.
For Lisa, returning to Wheaton brings back memories of dates with
Todd after graduation, of long scenic Saturday bike rides on the
Prairie Path, even memories
of their first date.
They drove to Chicago, then walked the windy streets trying to
locate the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. When we got
there, I remember looking in the mirror. My makeup had streaked
down my face, and my hair was blown everywhere.
I remember thinking, Youre going to have to
woo him with your personality because its not going to be
with the way you look right now.
With the same easy humor, Lisa charmed the packed Homecoming chapel
audience this past fall, before delivering a message about taking
Gods mannaaligning our hearts with Gods heart.
Its not up to us to know His plans for our lives.
. . . Its only up to us to walk humbly with Him, she
It has been more than a year now since September 11, since Todds
faith and heroic actions aboard United Airlines Flight 93 helped
buoy our grieving nation.
The couples baby, Morgan Kay, born almost four months after
September 11, is now more than one year old, and dearly loved
by her big brothers. David told Drew one day, Youre
only my third best. I love Morgan first, then Mommy, then you,
Never has trusting Gods plans completely been more important
for Lisa, who went virtually overnight from an unknown homemaker
to a single mother, and sought-after speaker and author.
Proud of Todds heroism, and the faith he showed in his final
moments, Lisa says she initially consented to interviews in order
to have a video tape that I could pop in a VCR someday for
my kids . . . so that they would know the role their father played,
and have something to remember it by.
Later, her response to our nations loss became an integral
part of the story. At Wheatons Homecoming brunch, President
Duane Litfin remarked that when the media embraced Lisa, they
got much more than they bargained for.
Perhaps that is, at least in part, why she has appeared on Larry
King Live 11 times, on Good Morning America, and on Oprah. She
was recognized at President Bushs address to the nation
just after September 11. She has also written a book titled Lets
Roll, which after 16 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list
has sold one million copies, making this past fall a little
crazy with promotions.
My kids travel a lot these days, she says, adding
that it is now not uncommon for David to ask the questions of
a seasoned traveler: Is there a plane at our gate again?
or Where do we have to go to get our rental car?
With the help and support of close friends and family, Lisa is
able to turn these small trips into opportunities for one-on-one
time with her children.
She explains, Todd and I believed that we were put here
to know and love God and to help others do the same. I cant
think of anything we could have accomplished in our lives that
would have allowed that to happen in a bigger way than it has,
so I guess thats been my driving force in evaluating what
to do and what not to do in the past year, she says candidly.
At first Lisa didnt believe she could fill a book with their
story. When they first came to me, my reaction was, Youre
kidding me, right? But she later decided to write
Lets Roll so that she could have the truth in black-and-white
from her perspective, allowing her to return as much as possible
to the routines of homemaking. She adds, Obviously the whole
point of the book is to point people to the God who was true to
Todd on September 11, and who has remained true to us every day
In her book, Lisa recalls the moment at Wheaton when reading through
the book of Romans changed her perspective on her fathers
untimely death. I came upon a section in chapter 11 at the
end that reads, Who has known the mind of God? Or who has
been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should
She says, I was struck by my pompousness. . . . At that
point I had a real turnaround. I went from being very resentful
at the one thing He allowed to be taken away . . . to appreciating
all that He has given me, by His grace.
Though her circumstances have changed dramatically since those
days at Wheaton, Lisa would say her God has not, and neither has
In interviews on television and in print, she consistently speaks
of the faithfulness of God and of His higher pur-poses for our
Perhaps it was this eternal perspective that led her to want to
use the generous gifts that flooded in following September 11
to help others.
With the help of one of Todds friends, Lisa established
The Todd M. Beamer Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to equip children experiencing family trauma
to make heroic choices every day.
Now in the final stages of development, Lisa says they plan to
launch a mentor program this May that will combine inspirational
retreats for children and their families with a curriculum that
mentors may use to follow-up.
It is Lisas hope that the foundation will help kids
who are at a very vulnerable place in their lives, equipping
them with a strong vision and the capacity for character,
faith, and courage which make a difference in our world.
Certainly, this is also part of her prayers for David, Drew, and
Morgan as the family continues to adjust to life without their
dearly loved father, husband, and friend.
At Wheaton, President Litfin announced recently that the proposed
student center will be named the Todd M. Beamer Student Center,
(See the story on page 44.)
In light of this honor, and accepting the Alumni Associations
award for both herself and Todd this fall, Lisa spoke with characteristic
eloquencedrawing attention back to the God who uniquely
prepared both her and Todd for such a time as this
She said, Looking back at the other recipients of the award,
I see lots of people who have made lifelong choices of service.
. . . But what happened September 11 wasnt about our choices.
I think the fact that I am standing here today speaks to the many
people and experiences that prepared us for this. It speaks to
our families, our siblings, our friends, and this College, but
primarily it speaks to the God of grace and love.
by Katherine Halberstadt Anderson 90
to the Top
2002 was an unforgettable chapter in the life of Wheaton College
for alumni and students. Not only did Lisa Beamer 91 and
her family join us, but for the first time in many years we enjoyed
spectacular fireworks, and the Conservatory concert drew the largest
crowd in recent history.
Ever wonder how all the events of Homecoming weekend come together
so seamlessly? It isnt simply entertaining more than 2,000
people, for two or three days, with a variety of activities held
on and off Wheatons campus.
Volunteers make it happen is more than simply the
Alumni Associations motto. Volunteer alumni truly make this
weekend happen in a spectacular way. Students, staff, and faculty
pitch in, but class reunion committees contribute hundreds of
hours of hard work before and during the events. We thank all
The 11-member Student Homecoming Committee organized weekend events
for students, including class competition on the gridiron with
Powder Puff football games and a thunderous pep rally in King
Arena and east McCully Field.
After a student picnic, the College Union square dance moved into
full swing. Throughout the weekend, fans packed the stadiums to
cheer the Thunder athletic teams to a 3-1 record for the weekend.
Students and alumni gathered on Saturday morning for the annual
5k run/walk through Wheaton. And what was the grand prize? An
hour of spa treatment, donated by a local business.
The festivities concluded later that evening with the Conservatory
Concert, featuring the Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra, and
the Late Night Concert, with Jason Harrod 94, and Stephen
Kelly 01 and his band, Kingdom Kru.
Alumni of the Year
The Alumni Association recognized Todd 91 (posthumously)
and Lisa Brosious Beamer 91 as Alumni of the Year for Distinguished
Service to Society, in recognition of Lisas witness and
Todds ultimate sacrifice through the terrorist attacks of
the previous year. Lisa received a warm welcome from a standing-room-only
audience at Homecoming Chapel as she shared her message of hope
and exhorted students to live in the present and trust in Gods
provision for each day.
At the Homecoming brunch on Saturday, President Litfin announced
the naming of the new Todd M. Beamer Student Center, now in its
initial funding stage. Todds father, David Beamer, closed
the event, challenging the audience with some of Todds last
words, Are you ready? as Gods call on each of
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Class volunteers began planning six months in advance for their
Class of 1977Carlene Ellis Ellerman and Randy Ellison, both
Alumni Association board members, agreed that the weekend with
their classmates was unforgettable. As students, they couldnt
wait to leave campus, recounts Ellison. But, he added, they are
already planning their next reunion, in 2007.
Class of 1982This class set records for a 20-year reunion,
with more than 280 attending. Cindra Stackhouse Taetzsch commented
that classmates enjoyed being together,
catching up, and laughing together, over dinner Friday night
and on the basketball court at the Wheaton Sports Center the following
Class of 1987Their Saturday evening dinner honored the memory
of classmate Barry 87 and Julie Kettleson Colmery 88,
who perished in the Swissair flight #111 crash off the coast of
Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1998. Barrys parents shared stories
of their pain, struggle, and miraculous hope with the audience
of classmates and friends. Eirik Olsen said his family walked
away from the weekend pretty much blown away by the best of Wheaton,
and my classmates.
Class of 1992This class turned out in record numbers, overflowing
Coray Alumni Gym on Friday night with well over 300 attendees
enjoying the live acoustic music of their classmates. The total
attendance of this class for all weekend festivities exceeded
430 alumni and family members. Jody Jabaay Onstad wrote, We
thank the reunion committee and Stan Ueland for all their hard
work. We thoroughly enjoyed the revisiting!
Class of 1997This class celebrated their five-year reunion
with an evening coffeehouse and pizza dinner. They also completed
the funding of their Senior Class Gift, which honored the memory
of their classmate Jeff Keul.
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Oceanic discoveries shed light on the faithful lives of two
Debris from the Swissair Flight 111 still lingered in the water
five miles off the coast of Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, about
six months after the tragedy. When a local fisherman pulled up
more in his net than just the days catch, he probably knew
where the small, womens Bible had come from. The Bible,
complete with crocheted bookmark and gold embossing, was intact
except for a few missing pages. The name on the front read Julie
The flight had been carrying passengers en route to Geneva, Switzerland,
on September 2, 1998. Barry 87 and Julie Kettleson Colmery
88 were on their way to Europe to celebrate their seventh
anniversary. The new life Julie carried, the couples third
child, was to be born in just three months. Barry, a financial
planner, was to receive an award from The Kemper Funds, along
with the vacation.
But instead of a business award, and in Gods perfect
plan for their lives, they received their reward of eternal life
in heaven, says Charlotte Colmery, Barrys mother.
In an unusual twist of events, Barry and Julie had missed their
connecting flight and chosen one of three alternatives, Flight
111. About an hour into the flight, smoke flooded the cockpit
and the plane turned around and headed for Halifax airport. Only
10 minutes away from a safe landing the plane went down in the
The 1,000 people that attended the memorial service for Julie
and Barry a few days after the accident attested to the many lives
they had influenced. In the midst of their loss, the family and
friends of Barry and Julie turned to each other and to Scripture
Barry and Julie left behind twin two-year-old boys, Scott and
Kyle. After a period of adjustment, the boys were formally adopted
by Barrys sister, Cathy Sutton, and her husband, Ben, and
three children. Cathy and the family make every effort to keep
the memory of Julie and Barry alive. To the twins, Cathy and her
husband are now mom and dad but Mommy
Julie and Daddy Barry are often part of the
conversation. Mementos of the Colmerys lives have been saved
to remind the boys of their birth parents.
About one year after the Swissair crash, Barrys Bible was
found deep in the Atlantic Ocean. Both Barry and Julies
recovered Bibles form a fitting legacy for the friends and family
they left behind, as well as a poignant reminder of what was most
important to the couple.
Athletic Fund Honors Barry and Julie
Wheatons Class of 1987 is celebrating the lives of the Colmerys
by establishing an endowed fund for athletics. The Barry S. and
Julie A. Colmery Intramural and Intercollegiate Athletic Endowed
Fund will pay a full salary for at least one student director
of intramural sports. Barry and his roommate, Jeff Pott 87,
were the first students to hold the intramural director position
after they proposed the idea in the fall of 1984. Barrys
friends Carl Ecklund 87, Dave Becker 87, and roommates
Kevin Gustafson 87 and Jeff Pott came up with the idea for
the scholarship. His classmates have made this project their 15th
reunion landmark gift, along with matching support to the Wheaton
Alumni Fund. Gifts designated for the Colmery Scholarship may
be sent to the Alumni Association, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
60187; or given online at www.wheaton.edu/giving.
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The Graduate School celebrates the induction of the first class
of Bible and theology Ph.D. students.
Wheaton introduced its first doctor of philosophy degree program
over the weekend of October 10. Led by Dr. Jill P. Baumgaertner,
dean of humanities and biblical studies, the celebration welcomed
the first class of five students who will earn a doctor of philosophy
degree in biblical and theological studies.
The weekend featured lectures by program mentors and speakers,
questions and answer sessions, and opportunities to sit in on
undergraduate Bible classes. Guest lecturer Rev. Dr. Bruce Winter,
head of Tyndale House, Cambridge, England, spoke on the eternal
merits of the program in a lecture titled, The Academy for
the Kingdom: The Gilt-edged Investment.
This unique Ph.D. program provides a select group of five or six
students a year with a full tuition scholarship and a research
fellowship. The small class size offers students an education
tailored to their interests and strengths. The College received
33 applications for this first year.
The concept for the Ph.D. originated with Dr. Julius Scott, a
professor emeritus; The impetus was the sense that Wheaton
was the appropriate place to develop a program that was fully
funded and distinctly evangelical in focus, says Dr. Douglas
Moo, director of the Ph.D. program.
Generous funding of the Wessner and Knoedler faculty chairs provided
the catalyst for establishing the program, and made it possible
to offer it tuition-free. But another key component to its success
is funding for endowed fellowships, which will pay students
living expenses. These scholarships give students the unusual
opportunity to devote themselves to highly academic work in the
areas of Bible and theology, Dr. Moo says, adding, We
are still in great need of donors.
Admission to the program is highly selective. Candidates must
hold a masters degree in Bible or theology, a master of
divinity degree, or the equivalent, and have a minimum grade point
of 3.5 and a solid composite GRE score. They also must demonstrate
competency in Greek and Hebrew, Old and New Testament studies,
and syste-matic and historical theology. A research paper and
three recommendations must be submitted for evaluation. Students
must be proficient in German upon matriculation. Before entering
the second year of the full-time, three-year program, a second
research language must be learned. International students are
welcome to apply and must also submit English language proficiency
tests if they are non-native English speakers.
Once accepted, each student will choose a concentration in biblical
theology or systematic theology, as well as a mentor whose area
of scholarship most closely matches the subject of their dissertation.
New Testament mentors include Wessner Professor Dr. Greg Beale
and Dr. Douglas Moo; Old Testament mentors are Dr. Andrew Hill,
Dr. Paul House, and Dr. Richard Schultz. Mentors for systematic/historical
theology are Knoedler Professor Dr. Henri Blocher and Blanchard
Professor of Theology Stephen Spencer. Many other professors from
the Bible department will offer lectures and seminars.
In addition to their exposure to Wheaton, students will study
with visiting international scholars. For the 2003-2004 year,
Dr. C. Rene Padilla 57, M.A. 60, D.D. 92 of
Kairos Communications in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be lecturing.
Dr. Padilla is one of the most distinguished evangelical Latin
American scholars, and has been on the cutting edge of contextualization
in his region.
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Tenor Ben Heppner brings more to Wheaton than just his globally
Chapel joined the ranks of the worlds finest opera houses
with the 2002-03 Artist Series performance of Ben Heppner, hailed
as one of the greatest heldentenors (heroic tenors) of our day.
But for 46-year-old Heppner, Wheatons concert series was
more than just another prestigious engagement, it was also an
invaluable opportunity. I got to see Ashleigh, says
the star, whose commitment to family sets him apart from many
in the performance industry.
Heppners daughter, Ashleigh 03, feels fortunate that
her father has been able to combine concerts and opera productions
with visits to Wheaton. He was in Chicago (with the Lyric Opera
of Chicago) for several months during her freshman and junior
years, a rare treat for any father and student far from home.
Last falls concert at Edman highlighted the depth and breadth
of Heppners repertoiremoving seamlessly from boisterous
German to tranquil Italian and French. While on campus, Heppner
also conducted his third opera master class, with accompanist
Craig Rutenberg, providing analysis and advice that included a
reminder for performance majors that the thrill is the audiences,
not the singers.
The three-time Grammy winner, who has performed nearly every title
role in every famous opera house in the world, also happens to
be an evangelical Christian who, along with wife, Karen, served
as a music pastor until winning the Metropolitan Opera auditions
in 1988. At that point, The floodgates opened, with amazing
amounts of work coming my way, he says.
Thanks to her fathers rise to fame, Ashleigh, who will graduate
in May with a music degree in piano and fine arts ministries,
has seen first-hand the demands and rewards of a professional
music career. Every career has its costs, she says.
I am in a unique position, having already experienced many
of the costs related to my major. Were I to pursue a similar path,
I would not be walking into it blindly.
Although she plans to have music play a central role in her life,
shes not sure she wants to follow her fathers career
path, as it has meant a great deal of travel time away from their
Toronto home. But growing up surrounded by music (her mother is
a pianist), Ashleigh says, I dont know what else I
would do outside of music.
More fundamental than even this passion for music, Ashleigh and
her two younger brothers have also learned a great deal from their
fathers active Christian witness. Although no longer in
pastoral ministry, the familys integration of faith and
the arts (with a focus on consistency and integrity) continues.
I try not to compartmentalizenow Im at work,
now Im at church, says Heppner, adding, I hope
my interactions are authentic and spiced with salt.
Ashleigh says her father often ministers as a friend to the spiritually
lost in the opera world. Bearing testimony to the familys
closeness, Ashleigh then explains, A lot of families disintegrate
under these circumstances. How he copes with our familythats
been his witness.
by Emily Louise Zimbrick 05
to the Top
My Mind: In His Time
by Dr. Walter Elwell, 59, M.A. 61,
Professor of Graduate Theological Studies
an undergraduate student at Wheaton more than 40 years ago, I
felt something of a call to the mission fieldfirst as a
medical missionary and then as a Wycliffe translator. Neither
of these materialized, and instead I pursued an academic career
in New Testament studies.
I was never sure why the Lord led me in another direction rather
than to the mission field, where I felt the need was so great
and the laborers so few. I prayed about that over the years, but
nothing seemed to take any particular shape in my mind.
Then, in 1989 to 1991, the Soviet Union fell and that part of
the world opened up to missionary work from the West. By that
time, urgent stirrings had arisen in my heart, and in a wonderful
moment it all became clearEastern Europe was in desperate
need of guidance and help at the academic level to train people
for the next generation of leadership. More than two generations
had been lost and there was no time to lose; cults and charlatans
were trying to take advantage of the surging spiritual hunger
in that part of the world.
God then answered my prayer of 40 years earlier, directing me
to a ministry of training young Europeans academically for leadership
in the church and the preaching of the Gospel.
Almost immediately after the fall of Communism, the Graduate School
inaugurated a program of on- and off-campus training for these
East Europeans. Other Wheaton professors and I made numerous trips
to all parts of the former Soviet Union to teach in seminaries,
help establish M.A. and Ph.D. programs, visit refugee camps, and
sometimes (literally) walk through mine fields to reach the schools
and churches where we were speaking.
Since these East Europeans also needed relief from their often
oppressive situations, the Graduate School also established a
six-week tutorial for scholars and educators from the former satellite
nations. We bring anywhere from 15 to 25 participants (free of
cost to them) for intensive personalized training in an area of
study they have selected. While here, they are assigned a faculty
mentor, make field trips to view local ministries, attend seminars,
hear a series of speakers, and also work in their chosen area
In the last eight years, more than 90 scholars from 13 different
countries have participated in the program. As a result, over
15 books have been written, eight Ph.D. degrees have been earned,
and numerous other goals have been accomplished from establishing
childrens ministries to running a school. All this has been
a great blessing to us, and we solicit your prayers on our behalf.
How could anyone have guessed at the height of the Cold War that
someday the Iron Curtain would be removed and teacher/administrators
would be needed to rebuild what had been torn down, seemingly
for all time? But God knew. And in His time, he directed me, and
others, to prepare for it.
What a blessing to follow the Lord, even when the way is unclear.
For as William Cowper said, He will make it plain.
It is testimony to the grace of God and the mystery of His ways
that this door has opened and Wheaton has been enabled to step
into the gap.
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The missions effort is aided by advancements in information
majored in physics as an undergraduate at Wheaton, I thought I
had left the technological world behind once I stopped teaching
physics at a high school in Swaziland and began training seminary
students in missions.
And in fact, until 1991 when I returned to Wheaton, information
technology took only a peripheral role in my normal teaching and
research environment. Yes, I had a computerthe 26-pound
Kaypro that was deemed portable. My course notes were
all on disk, and the computer served as a type of glorified notebook
and file cabinet.
All of that changed during the 1990s. E-mail, the Internet, CD
Rom libraries, CD burners, clip art, PowerPoint, digital videomany
of which we now take for grantedwere not even on the map
when I started teaching at Wheaton. We live in an amazing period
in history, one that is addictive to former physics majors!
Next to the monitor on my desk now stands a rack full of CDs.
Many are programs, some are music or clip art, and some are biblical
tools. But the ones that mean the most to me as a missiologist
are the CDs with resources for missions that were unthinkable
a decade ago. For example, The World of Islam CD contains 50 of
the best books on Islam, an 850-page extended outline, nine sets
of graduate-level course notes, maps, and photos. The entire collection
can be searched by word or phrase in a single command.
Next to this is the African Proverbs CD, which contains more than
23,000 African proverbs and almost 300 articles on understanding
traditional African wisdom. Further down is Operation World, with
information on the church and how to pray for it in every country
of the world. It even enables me to go to the Web for updates
For every class I teach, a host of resources is now available
that was unimaginable when I graduated from Wheaton. PowerPoint
shows, live Internet browsing, videos edited to enhance an important
point or idea are all now normal to my students in
class. For example, over the past several years I have collected
more than 300 images of Christ as portrayed by non-Western artists
from around the world.
Arranged to trace the life of Christ in rough chronological order,
the images provide a vivid portrayal of the Savior seen as our
brothers and sisters from a wide diversity of contexts see him.
Often these images are quite different from what we would expect.
They have been gathered from the Web, from books, and from collections
available through mission agencies. They make courses in areas
such as contextualization (making the gospel relevant in other
contexts) come alive.
Information technology has also dramatically changed how I research.
For a recent project, I needed information on the Silk Road, the
old trade route across China through central Asia to the Middle
East. I opened Endnote, a program that connects the dozens of
databases Wheaton makes available. A quick search uncovered more
than 1,000 articles and books of interest, and in a matter of
minutes I had downloaded the list of them to my computer. A few
seconds later, the results were printed in a properly formatted
bibliography. Total time? Roughly 20 minutes. Over the next hour,
I also was able to use the connections provided by our library
to download and print out the full text of several dozen articles
that were of special interest. To do the same tasks just 10 years
ago would have taken several weeks of full-time work. Today it
takes a few hours at most.
One of the things I like most about information technology is
that it can be used to level the playing field for people who
do not have access to the rich library resources we enjoy. There
are still many issues related to the digital divide, but I have
colleagues and friends in countries around the world who lack
library resources, but who do have Internet access.
To help alleviate some of that imbalance, for the past two years
I have been involved in a collaborative project of securing permission
and posting mission articles on the Web for others to use.
All they need is Internet access, which is available to scholars
in most countries of the world. The database, called the Network
for Strategic Missions Knowledge Base (www.strategicnetwork.org),
currently has more than 10,000 items online ranging from news
releases to journal articles, even audio recordings. It is the
largest on-line collection of mission materials available.
We have been given permission to post the complete collections
of the major mission journals, and the collection is growing continuously.
A generous Aldeen grant from Wheaton has enabled me to hire three
graduate students to add and index articles. With permission to
add articles from almost 200 sources, the Knowledge Base has the
potential to put an entire missions library, otherwise unreachable,
into the hands of researchers around the world.
Over the past several years Mike ORear 81, president
of Global Mapping, and I have collaborated to develop a Web-based
directory for missions resources called MisLinks (www.mislinks.org).
Originally designed to provide a service to the missions community
through our department Web site, the site now provides more than
3,000 links to important missions resources in areas such as practical
missions, academic research, missiological topics, and the continents
of the world. MisLinks is updated and expanded on a regular basis
to support a column Mike and I write for Evangelical Missions
Until recently, the means of researching and gathering information
was rarely as interesting as the information itself.
I have found, however, that students who learn to enjoy the discovery
process will carry an infectious attitude toward learning and
growing for the rest of their lives.
Being able to combine my interests in information technology with
my passion for missions has provided me with the most stimulating
phase of scholarship and learning I have ever had, and I pray
that others will catch the same vision to hasten the day when,
as John Piper says, worship will be complete and missions will
to the Top
Jay, vice president and general manager of the Round Rock Express
of Texas, just finished his 21st year in professional baseball.
He still sounds like a man who thinks hes getting away with
Its almost not fair, he said from his office
overlooking the playing field of the Express, the Class AA affiliate
of the Houston Astros. I get paid to do this.
was hired in September 1998 by Express owners Nolan Ryanyes,
that Nolan Ryanand Reid Ryan to put together the teams
front-office staff. He is responsible for, among other things,
marketing, promotions, and getting fans in the seats.
One of Jays first dutieshe would call it a privilegewas
overseeing construction of the teams $20 million stadium,
The Dell Diamond.
It was the fourth building project of his baseball career, following
two when he was with the American Leagues Texas Rangers
and another when he was general manager of the Class AAA New Orleans
Filling the stadium is one of the first lines in Jays job
description, and hes one of the best in the game at meeting
that objective. During his last two years in New Orleans, 97
and 98, the team set franchise attendance records.
In his three seasons in Round Rock, the Express has broken the
Class AA attendance record each year and last season drew 670,176
fansmore than all but two minor league teams.
The Sporting News in 2001 named Jay the Minor League Executive
of the Year, and he has been selected by his peers as executive
of the year at three levels of the minors.
Jay is quick to pass the credit on to others. When he joined the
Express, he brought with him a number of staffers he had worked
with for 10 to 15 years. Weve got the best in the
business, says Jay, who lives in Texas with his wife, Joy,
and their children, Amanda, 15, Michelle, 11, and Derek, 10. We
have a bunch of people dedicated to their jobs, and it shows in
the way fans are treated.
While fan interest in major league baseball has declined over
the past decade, minor league teams in many parts of the country
are soaring in popularity.
Jay says the main reason for this rise is affordability. Tickets
to see the Express cost between $4 and $9, and fans can expect
to be entertained.
Theres a fireworks show every Friday, kids run the bases
on Sundays, and face painters add to the carnival-like atmosphere.
Last year the Express promoted a used-car night and gave away
nine automobiles. Next season they plan to give away $10,000 in
one night. Upon entering the stadium, all fans will receive an
envelope with anywhere from $3 to $500 inside.
And then there are the players. These ballplayers are fighting
to make it to the big leagues, making $1,800 to $3,000 a month,
Jay says. Fans can relate to that guy more than the guy
whos making $10 million and complaining.
As for his own path to the majors, Jay says hes already
been there and doesnt want to go back. Im so
Jay Miller, who played baseball and football at Wheaton, is a
member of the Colleges Athletics Hall of Honor. Going
to Wheaton was the best experience of my life, he says.
Jay identifies former coaches Don Bubba Church 57,
Lee Pfund 49, and Gary Taylor 62 as influences on
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Dr. Herbert Martin Wolf 60
faculty, staff and students of Wheaton College were deeply grieved
this fall by the death of Dr. Herbert Martin Wolf 60, one
of the schools best loved and most highly respected faculty
members. Dr. Wolf died on October 18, 2002, after a one-year battle
During his tenure at Wheaton, Dr. Wolf left an indelible mark
on the campus. Many students wrote letters of thanks and encouragement
during his illness. Gregory Sabarese 05 spoke for many students
when he wrote, I love talking to you, because every time
we depart, I want to know God better. Thank you, Dr. Wolf. You
changed my life.
Dr. John McRay, professor emeritus, said at Dr. Wolfs memorial
service: I have been a college professor for 45 years, and
during that time I have taught in a variety of academic institutionsa
large state university, a well-known private university, and three
Christian collegesand served closely with many well-respected
teachers and competent scholars, but I have never known one who
was more genuinely respected, more sincerely honored, and more
deeply loved than Herb Wolf.
Dr. Wolf was born July 15, 1938, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
A son of two German immigrants, he spoke both German and English
at home. Herb met his future wife Clara, while president of the
youth group at his home church. Her family fled from Russia to
America in 1951 after fleeing the German and Russian armies across
Russia and Europe for two years (1943-1945). The family spent
the next six years in a displaced persons camp in Europe after
which they worked their way to America, and eventually, Springfield.
Since in addition to English, Clara spoke Russian and Herb spoke
German, their children grew up in a multilingual environment.
In addition to these languages, Herb earned a Th.M. degree from
Dallas Seminary, and a doctorate in Old Testament and Hebrew from
Brandeis University in 1967.
He joined the faculty at Wheaton College in 1967 as a professor
of Old Testament, and began his career teaching courses on the
Pentateuch, the Psalms, the historical books, Isaiah, Hebrew exegesis,
and other ancient languages. He also wrote books on the Pentateuch,
Isaiah, and Judges.
Herbs expertise in biblical languages and hieroglyphics
was so highly respected that he was invited to join the team of
translators who produced the New International Version of the
Bible. He worked on the committee until the time of his death.
Dr. Wolf is survived by his wife, Clara; three children; David
86, Philip 92, and Larissa Van Vleet; nine grandchildren;
and one sister, Irmie Heath.
Leroy King loved to give, and, as good friends do, he didnt
give at arms length. He got involved with the people and
organizations he loved.
he loved Wheaton. He sent five of his six children here, and three
of his grandchildren are current students. His gift to the student
life initiative of the New Century Challenge renovated and outfitted
an indoor stadium, now the King Arena in the Student Recreational
Complex. And this year alone, the scholarship fund he established
provided significant assistance to 26 studentsan endowment
that will extend to hundreds of students for years to come.
I have been meeting with thoughtful Christian stewards for
20 years, says Mark Dillon, Wheatons vice president
for advancement, and I can tell you that Leroy was the most
generous, joyful giver I have ever known. I will miss his infectious
delight in giving, and I will miss his unabashed love for students.
While in Atlanta to attend his older sisters memorial service,
Leroy King died in his sleep on September 16 of natural causes.
Born in 1919 in Hesston, Kansas, he attended Asbury College (KY)
and graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Kansas State
University. In 1950, a year after his marriage to Lois Wilson,
he and his brother founded King Construction Company. Though the
successful company went on to build about half of the interstate
bridges in Kansas, King often referred to himself as just
a simple construction worker from Kansas.
In 1960, he and Lois also started a small Methodist church in
Newton, Kansas, where they ministered and opened their home to
missionaries. Leroy enjoyed traveling, music, debate, and sports.
Preceded in death by his wife, Lois, and two brothers and one
sister, King is survived by daughters Joan Sawyer 72; Deborah
Winter, who serves on Wheatons Parents Council; Jennifer
Soderquist 77, Wheatons womens volleyball coach;
Jill Alexander 79, and Kimberly Dodd 82; a son, Don
76, who serves on Wheatons Board of Visitors; and
18 grandchildren including Krista Sawyer 05, Preston Winter
02, and Devin Winter 05.
to the Top
Professor Alva Stefflers selective artistry informs his
writing and teaching life.
From Alpha to Omega to the cross itself, the Christian faith is
awash in symbolism, a pageant of complex images rich in meaning
and implication. Art professor Alva Steffler has written a guide
to navigating the historical imagery of the church. Symbols of
the Christian Faith (Eerdmans) was first published last spring
and is currently in its second printing. With cross-references
and a scripturally indexed glossary, the book is a helpful resource
for laymen that will, as Professor Steffler hopes, refresh
the old symbols for the church of today.
Spanning 20 years of writing and research, Stefflers exploration
of Christian symbolism reveals images from the walls of the catacombs
to the pages of the Bible itself. Arranged to echo the themes
of the Apostles Creed, Symbols draws heavily from the imagery
of the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, not to mention
the authors own Presbyterian background.
But this book is not just reformed or liturgical,
he says. It relies on the wide body of the church, on those
outside of my own experience.
his two decades of work on Symbols, Steffler also became involved
with CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts). A current member and
past president of the organization, Steffler has joined with other
artists, art teachers, and art historians from all over the country
to regularly discuss how to combine their talents with their Christian
beliefs. We are a pretty diverse group of artists,
he explains, adding, but our unifying constant is a commitment
to Christ and to glorifying Him with our art-making.
Alva Steffler believes that the current challenge facing Christian
artists is one of incorporating new media and technology into
their expressions. We are constantly inundated with good
images, he says. And while it is amazing and very
stimulating, it is possible to saturate [ones art] with
too much of it. Because technology has made so much available
to todays artists the challenge is to be discriminate
with your resources. You have to do a better job of editing yourself.
Artistry comes in the selection process, he continues.
It is important for artists to learn to apply design principles
at the start of the artistic process. That way artists can choose
what they create, rather than allowing the vast mix of resources
to dictate their creation.
As a senior member of the art community at large, Professor Steffler
feels a responsibility to provide the best examples of art (as
well as the best artists themselves) to new artists coming up
through the ranks. His 32 years at Wheaton have given him an opportunity
to live out this very philosophy. But it has also given him a
chance to teachand to learnsimilar lessons about life.
This spring, he will retire.
One-on-one mentoring of students has been my greatest joy
and satisfaction, he says. There has been such
a sense of mutual support and help. Students have greatly impacted
my lifeit isnt a one-way street. We have shared struggles
with one another and have had input in one anothers lives:
This is the joy of teaching.
by Lena James Fenton 99
to the Top
of Jonathan Blanchard
A Name of Honor
Like every Wheaton student, Todd Beamer 91 liked to pick
up packages at CPO. If the package contained brownies from his
grandmother, he would hide it under his bed to keep them from
his roommates. And, like other Wheaton students, Todd ate his
meals in Anderson Commons. Once, while joking around with his
buddies, he even tried to sneak out with a whole pie, before getting
caught by the SAGA police, reveals his wife, Lisa
Brosious Beamer 91.
During these light-hearted days at Wheaton, Todd certainly could
not have guessed the path his life would take. Or that the very
building where he once ate, laughed with friends, and prayed over
meals would one day bear his name.
But this fall, President Duane Litfin announced that the proposed
$21.6 million student center will be named in Todds honor,
So that generations of faculty, staff, and students will
remember his story. For though Todds life at Wheaton
might have been filled with ordinary moments, the faith he demonstrated
in what was to become the defining moment of his life was far
from ordinary. On September 11, 2001, it was this faith that led
Todd to heroic action on United Airlines Flight 93, an action
that inspired even our Nations president.
In a letter read at a memorial service on Wheatons campus
following that tragic day, President George W. Bush wrote: On
September 11th, Americans saw terrible evil. We also saw how a
man can face evil: soberly, directly, without flinching. Our entire
Nation now knows what bravery looks like. And we will not forget.
The building that will bear Todds name will be the place
where generations of future students will gather for study, for
meetings, for meals, for fun, and for prayer. It will include
a chapel, an expanded college post office, a larger Stupe with
a grill, a large auditorium for special lectures and campus events,
study and conference rooms, as well as offices for student activities
and organizations. With gifts already at $9.4 million, construction
can begin once commitments reach $13.5 million.
Though named for Todd, this hub of student activity will also
honor the memory of alumni Jason Oswald 95 and Jeffrey Mladenik
MA 95, two who lost their lives at the World Trade Center
on September 11.
Affected by the events of that unforgettable day, the anonymous
donors of a generous lead gift suggested using Todds name
for the center, reasoning that his life exemplified the ideals,
principles, and devotion to the Lord that Wheaton attempts to
instill and nurture in its students.
Todds parents, David and Peggy Beamer, expressed their hope
that the Todd M. Beamer Student Center would not only serve as
a reminder of the blessings and freedoms we enjoy in this country
but especially of the blessing of our Christian assurance.
Speaking at this falls Homecoming banquet, David Beamer
recalled the question that preceded Lets roll!the
phrase most associated with his son. Todds first set
of words were, Are you ready, guys? And really, isnt
that lifes most important question?. . . . If today happened
to be the day that you meet God, are you ready?
In the coming years, the Todd M. Beamer Student Center will no
doubt be a place where generations of students go about the ordinary
routines of each day. But hopefully the name it bears will also
be a daily reminder of lifes higher purposes, as well as
of Gods power to transform the prayers and actions of one
man into a portrait of faith for a Nation.
to the Top
The large mirror in the center of the 1980s-style sitting room
is more than just an evocative prop in Arena Theaters production
of Misanthrope. It is a tool to aid the audience in examining
their own lives in light of the follies and successes of the characters
on the stage.
Arenas production, directed by professor Mark Lewis during
the weeks of October 25 to November 2, was a new translation by
London-based Neil Bartlett, who moved the setting of Jean-Baptiste
Molieres original play, The Misanthrope, from the court
of Louis XIV into the 1980s, bringing the audience that much closer
to a personal connection.
In addition to the modern set designed by professor Michael Stauffer,
complete with Warhol-like art and vertical CD player, the play
incorporated songs by the present-day artist, Sting, between scenes
and at pivotal moments in the play.
Although originally set in the late seventeenth century, Misanthrope
is an exploration of issues of integrity in modern relationships,
in a world where sociability often trumps substance and honesty.
Frequently, the vigor with which the characters judge others prevents
them from seeing their own faults. It is the ironic disparagement,
at once sad and funny, that makes this introspective, dark comedy
a timeless mirror worth examination.
For more information and to purchase tickets for Arena's next
performance, Kaspar, by Peter Handke, February 21-March 3, call
the box office at 630-752-5800.
to the Top
in the Ordinary
The significance of the everyday and its relevance to the spiritual
life are often overlooked. But on September 26 and 27 writers
and believers examined the value of lifes ordinary moments
at Wheatons 47th Annual Writing and Literature Conference,
Out of the Ordinary: Writing and Spiritual Life.
Keynote speaker Kathleen Norris, who is an author of two New York
Times best-sellers and an award-winning poet, described her journey
into realizing the importance of the everyday during
readings of her work. In matters of life and death, if I
sense that I am in the shadow of God, I feel light, so much light
that my vision improves dramatically. I know that holiness is
near. It reveals that ordinary circumstances of my life are fully
of mystery. . . . This is good news.
Each featured writer at the conference drew out the meaning behind
the mundane in different ways. Alison Gresik, a technical writer
and novelist, read excerpts from one of her books and a short
story to illustrate the theme of her talk, The Story as
Prayer. She emphasized that wherever the truth can be found,
even in the everyday, there is grace.
Wheatons dean of humanities and theological studies, Dr.
Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner, read poems from her several collections,
and also addressed the relevant subject of the artist and the
purpose of art in a post-9/11 world.
Other writers featured at this years conference were Wheaton
English professor Dr. Kent Gramm, who read from his book, November;
John Leax, a poet and professor at Houghton College (NY); and
Jeff Gundy, a poet and essayist from Bluffton College (OH).
to the Top
HoneyRock, formerly Honey Rock Camp, enters another 50 years of
ministry with an updated and improved image, strengthening ties
with the College and more clearly communicating the essence of
HoneyRocks camper and student programs.
Following a year-long process of clarifying vision, HoneyRock
begins 2003 with renewed and redefined focus, enabling the campus
to serve both Wheaton and all of its constituents more effectively.
Notice, too, the name change to HoneyRock (by taking out the space
and dropping the word camp). This change communicates
an important message: HoneyRock is more than just a camp. HoneyRock
is 100 percent camp and 100 percent college. All of this comes
in conjunction with the recently completed $1.72 million Nehemiah
Project, aimed at raising funds to expand and upgrade the facilities
to meet the growing student and camper ministry.
As a department of Wheaton College, the HoneyRock Northwoods Campus
serves more than 600 students each year. HoneyRock Camp serves
more than 1,000 youth each summer, nearly 800 in fall adventure
challenge experiences, and more than 1,500 in winter group retreats.
The name and logo change is part of a comprehensive new identity
system developed for HoneyRock that also includes a viewbook,
a new Web site, new camper and student opportunities brochures,
as well as an on-line identity standards manual. Visit HoneyRock
on the Web at www.honeyrockcamp.org
to find out more.
to the Top
Photographer Luis González Palma grew up in Guatemala City
during the unrest of a long civil war. Through his portraits of
the people of the city, he attempts to explore the political,
spiritual, and psychological issues that are the aftermath of
war. Rich with the language of symbols and costumes, his photographs
are toned and treated to create a sense of a by-gone era.
Throughout the month of October, Palma displayed his work in Adams
Hall Gallery, and spoke at the gallery on October 30.
Photographer and art professor Gregory Halvorsen Schreck considers
Palma one of his favorite photographers. He says, Palma
is really responding to the grief and pain in the world, and also
the grief and pain in Guatemala.
John Wood, author of Luis González Palma: Poems of Sorrow,
describes the photographers work in the following way: Palma
is no documentary photographer. His landscape is not that of Guatemala
but that of the soul. . . . The shadows that pervade it stem less
from politics than from the sorrow of the human condition.
Back to the Top
Reflections on the Christian life by published Wheaton alumni
Coming to Attention
This past November marked my first return to Wheaton in several
years. I sat in on a football chapel, listened to a concert at
Edman, took a chilly walk along leaf-covered streets, and recalled
the tang and colors of my arrival in the fall of 1949.
A part of me would like to reapply for admission and do it again.
Why waste a Wheaton education on someone as young as I was? Of
course it was not wasted. Those years were vital in shaping the
young man I was becoming. Yet, how much more it might mean to
the older man I have become.
We shall not cease from exploration, wrote T.S. Eliot.
Knowing what I now know (or know I dont), I still hunger
to explore more fully and deeply all the riches of knowledge there
are in Christ and His creation.
For I have sensed that I am on a second journey, one that began
about my fiftieth year when I met my birth mother for the very
first time, and the year before our older son died. Those mid-life
events set me on a journey of paying attention much
more carefully to what is going on both inside and around me.
During those years I came across Simone Weils description
of prayer as coming to attention. For myself, attentiveness
has meant coming to terms with important parts of my soul. An
introvert by nature, I was immersed in a fulfilling ministry of
evangelistic and social activism. But my soul needed attention.
My daughter Debbie has said, Dad is not a workaholic. Hes
a thinkaholic. The life of the mind has been important to
me, but depths of feeling needed attention, and busy thought could
distract me from them.
True attentiveness does not happen at warp speed. Dallas Willard
told a busy pastor who asked how to cultivate his spiritual life
to ruthlessly eliminate hurry. As one who impatiently
looks for the fastest-moving traffic lane, I have been trying,
with difficulty, to learn this lesson.
And I have been trying to pay attention to the sacrament of the
present moment. A friend used to say, Leighton can do two
or three things at once. I no longer take that as a compliment.
The practice of doing one thing at a time, says Margaret
Funk, is a first step toward a single heart. And that
does demand practice.
I want very much to be home when I am home. To pay attention to
my wife Jeanie. To be fully present to the young men and women
who come for spiritual mentoring. To see God in all things and
all things in God.
Poetry, art, and music have become increasingly important to me
as windows of the soul through which to see God at work in His
Word and His world. Increasingly, prayer has become for me more
of a being, a looking, a listening with attention than of forming
So my second journey goes on. I confess I find it
both as challenging and as difficult as the first part. But there
is a Companion of the Way who knows how to get our attention.
He got mine last May. At 4 a.m. one morning, I woke with deep
pain in both arms and shoulders. Jeanie drove me to the emergency
room and we found I was having a heart attack. In the cath lab
they opened a blocked artery and inserted a stent.
It was weird to watch on video the probe that was circling and
searching out the anatomy of my heart. I thought later of the
Psalmists prayer, Search my heart, Lord, search
coming from the Latin circare, to circle.
After full recovery, my fine young cardiologist told me, Go
ahead and do whatever you want. Dont slow down. Do listen
to your body.
I smiled, thanked him, and thought to myself: But I will slow
down. Enough at least to listeninside and outto the
Lord of the Journey.
Ford is an author, social activist, communicator, and mentor.
As president of Leighton Ford Ministries and an ordained minister,
he has spoken to millions of people worldwide. Leighton has written
ten books, including the award-winning Sandy: A Heart for God
(InterVarsity Press, 1987) and Transforming Leadership (InterVarsity
Press, 1993), considered to be one of the most comprehensive books
on leadership ever written. In addition to being vice-president
of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for 31 years, he
currently serves on the boards of World Vision, Gordon Conwell
Theological Seminary, and many other organizations. He lives in
North Carolina with his wife, Jean Graham Ford 53.
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