Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wheaton's Eighth President, Part II

I had the chance last Monday to meet Dr. Phil Ryken, Wheaton’s eighth president, who just took office two weeks ago. I was on campus, working, and decided while en route to call the President’s Office and inquire whether Dr. Ryken had a few free minutes when I could come by to say hello. His administrative assistant, Ms. Polansky was very helpful, and on my way to lunch I stopped by Blanchard Hall for my first-ever visit to the private office of Wheaton’s chief executive.

Though this was my first in-person meeting, I had once corresponded with Dr. Ryken. Upon learning of his selection as president in February, I emailed him, briefly introducing myself and offering my prayers for his family in their time of transition. He replied almost immediately with his gratitude (I guess I caught him at the time of day when he checks email). Since then I have made a point to familiarize myself with his ideas, through reading current interviews as well as one of his published works, Art for God’s Sake (see my post from March of this year, “Wheaton’s Eighth President”).

In person, I found Dr. Ryken to by a very warm and easygoing man (and I will also say that he was taller than I had expected). He welcomed me into his office and showed a genuine interest in my experiences and plans for my senior year, and at the close of our brief meeting prayed for me. I was glad to have those few minutes to interact with him, and I look forward to further interactions with him over the next year as a student and then as an alumnus.

I found out later in the day that Dr. Ryken had been interviewed that morning on Moody Radio Chicago. Dr. Ryken had some good things to say about "his vision for the school and his thoughts on the status of the American church." I encourage anyone with an interest in either topic to listen online.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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