WA History

Our Mission

The mission of Wheaton Academy is to nurture growth in our students through relationships, excellence, and service to the glory of God. This mission forms the foundation of a student’s educational experience in academics, spiritual life, fine arts, leadership programs, service opportunities, and athletics. Over the past several decades Wheaton Academy has become recognized as a leading Christian high school in the United States. This did not happen overnight. Becoming the school that sets the standard rather than the school that follows it is a direct result of the heritage and legacy we have been given, and the responsibility that we have to prepare Wheaton Academy students for the future.

A Heritage

Wheaton Academy has been blessed with a rich heritage over the past 163 years. The commitment of devoted leaders like Jonathan Blanchard, Darien Straw, Edward Schell and others is evident as we look back on the founding principles of the school: prayer, truth found in Jesus Christ, and sanctification of the powers of the mind.

1853

Wheaton Academy began as Illinois Institute and was organized for the children of abolitionists. The founders wanted a school where science and morals were taught from the standpoint of Christianity and the Bible.

1860

The school was reorganized into Wheaton College Academy and Wheaton College.

1911

The Academy received first accreditation by the North Central Association which requires its Commission members to have accrediting processes that foster quality, encourage academic excellence and improve teaching and learning.

1915

The Academy acquired separate faculty and facilities on the Wheaton College campus.

1945

The move to our own 25-acre campus in West Chicago has been cited by Dr. Frost as an important “stone of remembrance” in the life of the Academy. Previously the Country Home for Convalescent Children, the new campus had boys’ and girls’ dorms, ten classrooms, library, kitchen and more.

1948

The construction of Le Tourneau Gymnasium, named after a generous supporter of Wheaton Academy, R.G. LeTourneau, became a reality.

1951

The addition of the landmark Chapel gave the school a place to worship. The chapel was a World War II army chapel that was sold to Wheaton Academy for $1,250 and brought from Camp Ellis, Illinois to the Academy grounds.

1970

Until 1970 Wheaton Academy was owned by Wheaton College, but due to a variety of issues the College decided to end the relationship. The Academy was renamed Wheaton Christian High School, independent of Wheaton College.

1979

Phase I building project took place to accommodate the projected enrollment of 400 students. Improvements included a single story classroom building and a library.

1983

The Phase II building project included construction of the multi-purpose room and science labs.

1995

Under David Roth’s leadership the school desired to return to its original name that better reflected the school’s history and vision. Roth stated, “Not many high schools can trace their historical roots back to 1853. The term “Academy” captures the historical flavor of the school and future vision.”

1998

Vision 2003 campaign provided funding for the second-floor classrooms and Fine Arts Center.

2009

The construction of the Heritage Fieldhouse and renovation of the Warrior Dome became realities.

2014

Performance Trust Field, a new track and practice field complex were completed, allowing many athletes to have increased accessibility to the game and practice fields.

A Legacy

With such a rich heritage comes a legacy that continues to be built upon from generation to generation. The dedication of teachers, staff, trustees, and caring alumni is evident in the nurturing community that is the fabric of Wheaton Academy. Carrying this legacy into the future means that the soul of our school needs to be protected. The words of Headmaster Emeritus David L. Roth say it well: “ The Soul of a Christian School is important because, when protected, God uses it to raise up men and women who glorify God with their lives….when it is protected, something very special happens. Something more than academic education and training occurs.The soul of the school is important because when it is protected we raise up a new generation who use God’s power not their own.”

 

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