Wheaton, IL
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4 College Freshman

Facilities: Great student center and recreation center

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: The student center is a fun place for students to hang out (and get good coffee!), the athletic center is technologically advanced and well-maintained, and the library is a good resource with lots of help and study space.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: We have chapel three times a week, and it really brings the school together when we worship.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Facilities are really amazing at Wheaton. They have great athletic centers and student centers. We have many campus activities too.

5 College Junior

Facilities: The unique thing about Wheaton is that they offer opportunities in which we can participate in helping with our neighborhoods, such as helping homework with children or teaching them English.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 52nd
    Best Student Centers
  • 169th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 227th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 313rd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 724th
    Best Library

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Debbie Knubley
St. Louis, MO
English Lit with Writing Concentration
View all previous student authors

The Todd Beamer Student Center, built in 2004, is the hub of Wheaton’s social interaction. Much of your time will be spent in one the three campus eateries, the coffee shop, the post office, study and conference rooms, or the game room. Next door is the Sports and Recreation Complex (SRC), aka fitness heaven. This structure contains three gymnasiums, a rock-climbing wall, a large indoor pool, dance and aerobics studios, and a recently renovated workout facility complete with free weights, nautilus equipment, and cardio machines. The Science Building, completed in 2010, is a gorgeous, state-of-the-art center, complete with a greenhouse and an observation deck. As this is such a new addition, Armerding hall, the old science building, is still hanging on to its place in the Quad, alone with its asbestos.

Wheaton’s campus is very aesthetically pleasing. Green grass, towering trees, and enchanting flowers adorn the entire campus. Blanchard Hill, located right in front of the iconic castle that is Blanchard Hall, is perhaps the most beautiful place on campus. Benches rest under the trees, which burst forth in a vibrant autumnal display every September. Across the street, the Billy Graham Center (BGC) stares back at Blanchard through huge, white pillars. Edman Chapel, host of the thrice-weekly mandatory chapels, is another remarkable structure with a very elegant interior décor—the blue stained-glass windows give even the grayest day a nice tint. Nevertheless, the campus is not perfect. The BGC is a complete architectural disaster inside, and everyone new to the building ends up asking for directions. Edman’s audio-visual technology is outdated, and even something as simple as a CD might not play in chapel. All things considered, the campus does have its issues, but most students are very satisfied with the mix of up-to-date facilities and classic charm.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
80 acres
Student Centers
Todd Beamer Student Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Buswell Memorial Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Dorm lobbies
  • Todd Beamer Student Center - the Stupe and Sam's are both located here, as well as a game room with TV, pool, ping-pong, shuffle board, and air hockey.
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Movie Theater on Campus
None, but there is the Arena Theater in Jenks Hall (433 N. Howard St.) that hosts live performances throughout the semester.
School Slang
  • All-School: The whole school is invited to take communion once a month in Edman Chapel at All-School Communion.
  • A-Quad/B-Quad: Wheaton has divided its semesters into quads, the first of which is A and the second B.
  • The Bench: Part of a crazy Wheaton tradition. If you are a man, you will, quite literally, draw blood at some point during your four years while fighting over this piece of Wheaton history.
  • BGC: Billy Graham Center
  • Bro-Sis: Each floor in the dorms has a complimentary girl or guy floor. These are known as brother-sister floors, and they have bro-sis events.
  • Chapel Knitters: It has become an odd Wheaton tradition for several women, and some men, to knit during chapel sessions.
  • Chappy K: Students' affectionate nickname for the current school chaplain, Chaplain Kellough
  • Church-hopping: When you are not sure which church you'd like to attend, you attend different ones until you can find it. It's kind of like party-hopping, only with communion wine instead of Natty Lite.
  • Community Covenant : Every student attending Wheaton must sign a Community Covenant, agreeing to abide by Wheaton's rules and regulations. While at Wheaton, you will live under the Community Covenant.
  • Connection: This is an event where prospective students visit and stay in Fischer and Smith-Traber dorms. Free pizza is provided for the high school students and their hosts, but students usually steal it.
  • Conservie: Nickname for Wheaton Conservatory students
  • C-PO: College Post Office, where all the mail comes and goes; pronounced "Sea Poe"
  • CU: Wheaton College Union
  • De-Tray: When there are just too many people at the table in the cafeteria, you must take your food off of your tray and put the tray on the floor in order to create enough space.
  • Dine with a Mind: An opportunity to eat breakfast or lunch with a professor of your choice for free
  • DL Smooth: Nickname for the last President, Dr. Litfin
  • DSG: Discipleship Small Group. As a freshman, your dorm floor will offer DSGs, where a group of freshman will meet weekly with two upperclassmen leaders. You can also start your own DSG with friends and a student leader.
  • DTR or RDT: A define the relationship talk, or relationship-defining talk, This occurs when a relationship between a girl and guy is kind of in the gray area. Are they dating? Are they just friends? This talk answers all these questions, or at least attempts to.
  • Dungeon: The basement of Armerding Hall, where the physics students work
  • Fischer U: Fischer Hall parking lot
  • Intra: Wheaton College Internet start page
  • Jersey Chase: The specialty of those Wheaton females who only date members of the football team.
  • Jewel: Jewel Osco, the local grocery store; great for students low on cash
  • Kingdom Run: The tradition of streaking across Blanchard lawn at midnight after the first snowfall.
  • Lobby Couple: Lobby couples are those that spend all their free time in the lobby of a dorm building, cuddling, whispering, caressing, and basically making every onlooker feel nauseous.
  • Los: Los Burritos, the infamous Mexican restaurant that hosts a large number of Wheaton student regulars. Don't try to refill your own chips. They don't like that.
  • Los Run: Taking a break from homework for a midnight snack at Los
  • MK: Missionary kid
  • OCO: Office of Christian Outreach, the place to go for community service opportunities
  • PK: Pastor's kid
  • The Quad: The grassy area in the middle of campus. Bonus: It has a fountain!
  • Raid: A brother or sister floor will surprise his/her complimentary floor with a midnight party. This consists of a midnight wake-up call, snacks, and a well-rehearsed skit, show, or dance.
  • Ring by Spring: Students at Wheaton, girls in particular, feel a lot of pressure to find a spouse before they graduate. The need for a "ring by spring" is felt by those nervous seniors who have not yet gotten engaged.
  • SAG: Student Art Guild. Say this one as a whole word, not just the letters.
  • SAGA: Anderson Commons, or the school cafeteria
  • SAO: Student Activities Office
  • SG: Wheaton Student Government
  • SRC: Student Recreation Center
  • StalkerNet: A page on the Wheaton Intranet where students can look up the picture of any Wheaton student they want. It is most often used for stalking fellow students, particularly crushes.
  • The Stupe: School burger joint and hangout, located in the Todd Beamer Student Center
  • Type A: The personality type of people who are unusually anal-retentive and perfectionists about their grades and relationships. Most Wheaton students fall into this category.
  • Type B: The opposite of Type A; this type of student is very relaxed.
  • WCF: World Christian Fellowship
  • The Bench: This is certainly the most passionate and obsessive of all the Wheaton traditions. The bench, made of concrete with dimensions of 3 inches x 2 feet x 7 feet, was supposedly given as a gift to the seniors by the graduating class of 1912. From the `20s all the way until the late `40s, the bench was placed in front of Blanchard and could only be sat on by Wheaton seniors. However, in 1947, some envious juniors decided to remove the bench. This little jest was kept up until 1955, when the true bench tradition actually began. The relentless juniors stole the bench again, made a replica of it, and put it back in front of Blanchard. The seniors found out it was a fake and vowed to get it back. And so, each year there is a bitter rivalry between the juniors and seniors to maintain possession of Wheaton's sacred bench.
  • Chapel Knitting: For some odd reason, whether starting from boredom or prudence, many women (and some men) knit throughout the chapel sessions-hats, scarves, socks, blankets, you name it. Especially in the balcony, you can look through the seats on any given day and see various people knitting.
  • Chapel Pranks: Every so often, some nefarious student or group of students will pull chapel pranks, thoroughly upsetting the president and delighting the entire student body. Here are two classic pranks of the past: 1) Changing the words of Wheaton's traditional hymn in every hymnal in the chapel (all 2,400 students sang along to ridiculously humorous lyrics), and 2) Floating mice down to the ground of the chapel with parachutes from a vent in the ceiling.
  • Crew vs. Swimming Rivalry: The crew team and the swim team have quite a history of pranking each other. A notable example in the past two years is the crew team kidnapping a member of the swim team and dying his entire body blue.
  • Films Festival: Every year, each class president, freshman through senior, chooses a film director from the same class. These film directors, also working exclusively with members of their own class, produce original films that they get to present to the entire school. The showing of these films, at the well-attended event known as the Films Festival, is sponsored by the College Union, and it is depicted like the Oscars. On the night of the showing, the producers, directors, and actors in the films walk down the red carpet into Edman Chapel. A large majority of the student body sits down to watch all four films (approximately 30 minutes per film). Afterward, an awards ceremony is conducted (again, just like the Oscars) with honors such as Best Actor/Actress, Best Original Script, and Best Overall Film.
  • Forum Wall: This wall, located prominently in the Todd Beamer Student Center, is an area for students to post their random thoughts on politics, religion, sexuality, or basically anything they want to rant about. Fellow students are allowed to write their thoughts and comments onto the original document. And, on many of these Forum Wall postings, it is more likely that you will run into Wheaton's clichĂ© rhetorical question, "Is this Biblical?"
  • Freshman Choir : Every year during orientation week, the incoming freshman class learns their official class song. On the final night of orientation week, all the freshmen stand up in front of the entire student body and sing this piece of music, along with two other songs, in kind of a presentation-like fashion. However, what all the freshmen don't know is that the upperclassmen have some tricks up their sleeves. And, as it is a secret, you'll have to wait and see for yourself. Here's some wise advice: Participate in Freshman Choir!
  • Kingdom Run : On Blanchard lawn at the very front of the campus, there lies a large stone engraving that reads, "Wheaton College: For Christ and His Kingdom." This is familiarly known as the Kingdom Sign. At the sight of the first snowfall of every year, certain floors will streak from the Kingdom Sign, making a circle all the way around Blanchard lawn and ending at the Kingdom Sign. This has become known as the Kingdom Run. The seventh floor of Traber Hall made this run notorious by getting caught by an RA in the school year of 2003-2004, making a well-known student event finally recognized by the Wheaton administration.
  • Powder Puff Football Tournament: Every Homecoming weekend, each class puts a team of incredibly intense, well-trained, glory-hungry females on the field to win the flag football tournament for their class. At this tournament, it is not uncommon to see the girls, especially the seniors, competing rather maliciously (all in good fun). It's supposed to be flag football, but it quickly deteriorates into a tackling match, where players have been known to punch stomachs, kick shins, and tear T-shirts in order to get the football. It's sure fun to watch.
  • Square Dance: From 1860 until 2003, Wheaton students were not allowed to dance on campus-except for square dancing. Thus, every year, the school hosts an official square dance where students will dress up in their rowdy, cowboy/cowgirl attire and do-si-do until the cows come home.
  • Swing Dance: This tradition was started in 2003, when dancing finally became allowed at Wheaton College. As the first official dance in the school's history, the first Swing Dance had dozens of reporters and cameras, interviewing every student they could find. It was a huge deal to the secular media. But, as it is, this dance has become, and will continue to be, an annual tradition, with swing lessons offered before the dance and a live band at the dance.
  • Tower Bell Ringing: The tower bell in Blanchard Hall is rung by students and alumni to announce engagements, and occasionally weddings and anniversaries. This is one of the oldest Wheaton traditions around. If students hear the tower bell ringing, they know that it has something to do with marriage. Students and alumni can make arrangements to ring the Blanchard tower bell through the Student Activities Office.
  • Town Hall Chapel: Dr. Litfin, more commonly called DL Smooth, retired as president of Wheaton College this past year. Whether his practice of Town Hall Chapels is carried over or not by President Ryken is yet to be seen. Here's a little description in hope of its continuation. DL Smooth preferred that all of his administrative decisions be crystal clear with the student body. Thus, during the Town Hall Chapel (the most popular chapel of the year), Dr. Litfin allowed the student body to ask him any question they would like. Dozens of students rushed to the microphones, asking both questions concerning school policy as well as absurd personal questions. To Dr. Litfin's credit, he answered every question with dignity and poise.
  • Variety Show: The Variety Show is the most anticipated and attended event of the school year. Try-outs are about two to three weeks before the actual show, and the College Union chooses about 15 acts from members of the student body. Acts can consist of anything, but they are usually dominated by music. With only 15 acts and a large number of talented students, it is usually pretty difficult to make it into the show. However, if you're chosen, be ready to shine. The show takes place on Parents Weekend, and 2,500+ are usually in attendance. Go there early to find a seat!
Urban Legends
  • Dave Matthews has asked to perform in Edman Chapel on three separate occasions. Rumor has it that he dated a former Wheaton professor.
  • The fifth floor of the Billy Graham Center contains an occult library.
  • The lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, went to Wheaton College, as well as Portia de Rossi, Ellen Degeneres' life partner.
  • The man who started the CIA of the federal government went to Wheaton. He supposedly comes back every so often to recruit possible Secret Service agents.
  • There is an underground tunnel that connects Edman Chapel to Pierce Chapel. Adventuresome students still go searching for the entrance.
Favorite Things To Do
After classes get out, (or in between if you so choose), you can squeeze in a workout at the gym, enjoy a hot latte from Sam's, listen to live music at The Stupe, play some pool and air hockey in the Todd Beamer student center, relax in the hot tub in the Student Recreation Center, and take in the occasional play at the Arena Theatre, all without ever leaving campus. Most popular activities on campus focus around performance. Every Thursday evening, students enjoy attending live coffeehouse music from peers at The Stupe. As for theater, a group of students called Theater Workout presents three productions a year, which are very fine, quality performances. Improv comedy groups are much loved by students and perform nearly every Friday for $1. Sports are also a campus favorite, and pick-up games can be seen all over campus. If you want a little more commitment than pick-up games, but aren't quite into Varsity Athletics, there is a myriad of intramural sports to choose from (including, but not limited to, inner-tube water polo). On the spiritual side of things, there are seminars with keynote speakers, monthly All-School Communion worship services, and prayer groups on any given night. Generally, student interests are all across the board, but the one common thread that brings everyone together is The Stupe. If you're hungry, bored, or in need of some companionship, the Stupe is always there for you.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Wheaton Record
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
There is a great variety of student clubs and organizations on Wheaton's campus. Club genres include academic, cultural, publication and performance, social justice and advocacy, and special interest. Some of the campus favorites are Wheaton Improv, Jukebox Theatre, and the Honduras Project. With so many clubs to choose from, it's easy to find a club or organization that pertains to your hobbies and passions, and most students participate in at least one club. If your interest is not represented in any of the already existing clubs, you are encouraged to charter a new club. To do so, you must complete the Club Charter Packet, which includes finding at least eight members for your club as well as a faculty or staff adviser. This packet can be found in the Student Activities Office, located on the ground floor of the Todd M. Beamer Student Center.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organizations
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • According to various college ranking systems, Wheaton College appears among the nation's best schools in college life categories. Specifically, Wheaton stands out in quality of life on campus, as well as student happiness.
  • Current Rules of the Bench Tradition: (1) The bench has to be within five miles of the campus at all times; (2) At least half the bench must be clearly seen; (3) The class president has to know the whereabouts of the bench; and (4) The class with possession of the bench must give a valid showing of the bench with at least 50 people from the opposing class present. (These showings are what generate the infamous historical Wheaton stories.)
  • The Class of 1959 decided that they were going to show the bench during Homecoming weekend of 1958. However, not wanting to lose possession, they cleverly hung the bench from a helicopter and flew it over the 1958 Homecoming football game.
  • In the bench trivalries of 1963, the juniors had possession and decided to show it at a train station right before the seniors left for the retreat in Colorado. At the surprise showing, 100 seniors jumped off the train, risking a complete federal offense and stopping the train. Nonetheless, the seniors regained possession.
  • Throughout the '60s, '70s, and '80s, students established illegal phone taps in the on-campus dorms, apartments, and houses in order to gain information of the bench's position.
  • In 2005, the juniors and seniors racked up over $1,000 worth of speeding tickets in a high-speed chase for the bench on a highway outside of Wheaton. That same year, for the senior showing of the bench, students put the bench in the middle of the cafeteria and disguised it as an appreciation cart with "thank you messages" to Bon AppĂ©tit food services. The next day, pictures were plastered all over campus as to what the "cart" really was, and the juniors were furious.
  • Finally, never let a senior girl, no matter how pretty, coax you into telling her where the bench is hidden. This happened in a recent year, and the juniors lost possession.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 30 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 46 responses

  • 0% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 7% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 52% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 41% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 24 responses

  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 4% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 46% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 50% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.



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