Eliza R. Knight, from Ipswich Seminary, became the principal of Wheaton Female Seminary in 1838, remaining until 1840. Miss Knight chose the Seminary motto, “Who drinks will thirst for more” (John 4:13), and designed a related seal containing a fountain.
1838 - 1840Eliza R. Knight
1855The Rushlight is Created
The first Rushlight was published by the Senior Class in 1855. Founded by Lucy Larcom, it is one of the oldest college literary magazines in continuous publication.
1878First Class Day Held
The first Class Day is held.
1889Founder’s Day Established
For Mrs. Wheaton’s 80th birthday, on September 27, the teachers resolve to celebrate a “Wheaton Fete Day.”
1889First May Day Celebration
The earliest recorded May Day celebration at Wheaton occurred during the Seminary years in 1889. Based on the medieval celebration of the coming of spring, students danced around a maypole and participated in various other activities. Traditionally, the senior class… Read More »
1900First Class Tree Planted
According to the Taunton News (June 14 1900), the senior class chose an already standing elm tree and conducted their commencement exercises around it. With time, the tradition evolved into each senior class choosing a day during the second week… Read More »
1903 - 1916Class Books Published
The first senior class book is printed.
1912First Senior Hoop Roll
The senior hoop roll is one of Wheaton College’s most familiar and longstanding traditions. Based on a popular children’s game of the 19th century, Wheaton’s event is reserved for graduating seniors on Class Day, and dates back to 1912.
1912First Baby Party
Baby parties, the first of which occurred in 1912, celebrated the rise from Junior to Senior status. They provided a chance to “let down one’s hair” — literally — and be silly one last time, before becoming a more sedate… Read More »
1916First Yearbook Published
The first yearbook is published. The Junior class edits it for the Class of 1916.
1921Wheaton News Published
On November 1, the first edition of the Wheaton News is published.
1923Candle Light Ceremony Established
The first Candle Light Ceremony was held in 1923, inviting new students to join the Religious Association or YWCA, which, with the Athletic Association, organized most campus activities.
1928Pan and Pegasus Symbols Adopted
The Alumnae Council standardizes the class rings to the Pan and Pegasus designs.
1958Fathers’ Weekend Organized
Wheaton students organize the first-ever Fathers’ weekend.
1979Mothers’ Weekend Organized
Approximately 430 moms attend the first campus-wide Mothers’ Weekend.
1989“Elephant” Beech Tree Removed
Everett Courtyard’s much beloved “Elephant” Beech tree, damaged by years of footsteps wearing paths over is shallow roots, is removed.
Rushlight celebrates 150 years of continuous publication.