As your editor for the past 23 years, I can hardly believe that this will be our last issue together. After more than 30 years at Wheaton, I’ll be retiring.
On the shelves in my office are bound copies of your every issue, beginning with your debut in January 1929 as the Wheaton Alumni Quarterly. What a history you’ve had. Article upon article has chronicled the life of the College and, in so doing, revealed information and insights about the church, cultures, and countries around the world. All this, simply by telling stories of Wheaton and its people!
As one of your 26 editors over the last 85 years, what have I enjoyed about our relationship? Yes, I relish discovering those terrible typos before you’ve been published. I like putting together the puzzle pieces of words and images—and arranging them so that, I hope, they are meaningful and captivating. I haven’t minded the time, thought, and discipline it takes to produce you. But I must say, it’s exhilarating when I’m finished and you’re in the mail.
What I have most appreciated, however, is getting to know alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and other friends. Together you and I mourned the loss of three alumni on 9/11; the untimely deaths of students, faculty, and alumni; and the passing of Wheaton stalwarts of the faith. We felt the heartbreak of an alumna devastated by divorce but full of hope in the Lord, and we wrote about a seriously ill alumnus who died before he saw the article about him. We were inspired by alumni families who serve Christ overseas but whose names cannot be published without risking their lives. We learned about Professor Clyde Kilby’s 12 ways to live an abundant, joy-filled life and the 15 reasons why John Piper ’68 is thankful for Wheaton College. And we laughed at a student balancing on a slackline.
We’ve traced the lives of alumni through Class News (where, we’re told, readers turn first!). For two decades thousands of alumni have joined us outside on cold and hot days for reunion photos at Homecomings and Alumni Weekends. Our life together has become intertwined with theirs.
Thanks to you, I’ve met our readers through cards, letters, events, phone calls, emails, tours, and other remarkable ways. Last summer I went to the City of Wheaton’s Fourth of July parade. Finding a good viewing spot on Front Street, I sat on a bench next to a couple in front of Tate’s Ice Cream Shop. Soon the woman turned to me and asked if I was the editor of Wheaton magazine, having recognized me from my photo. Colleen Hale ’73, M.A. ’04 and her husband Keith M.A. ’09 were on furlough from their missionwork in Thailand. Imagine this: out of the thousands of people at that parade,I was able to visit with two Wheaton grads from the other side of the world. And theirs is one of 40,000 homes in 113 countries that receive you.
So it is with a sad but grateful heart that I bid farewell to you and to Wheaton. But, dear magazine, I’ll see you again soon—in my mailbox.
Georgia I. Douglass '70, M.A. '94