Do you believe it? Lori Bachman ’78 does.

As the guest speaker for the Center for Vocation and Career’s (CVC) Declaration Dinner, Lori is a self-described “cowboy’s daughter” from the heart of Nebraska and at the dinner, she exhorted students to commit themselves to lives of “endless, openhearted learning.”

Lori’s talk, titled “Your Major Is Only the Beginning,” drew from her background as a Christian education and psychology double major, 25 years of financial and leadership development experience in the aerospace industry, and her current work as founder and CEO of the MentorShift Group, a mentoring consulting agency.

“God will use you mightily throughout your days on earth,” Lori told students. “However your path twists and turns, be brilliant in what you do. For Christians, there’s no difference between a secular and a sacred calling.”

The Declaration Dinner is the culminating event in Canvas, the CVC’s five-part program that guides sophomores in an interactive exploration of vocation and career.

The dinner formalizes an important rite of passage—the declaration of major, which students proudly post on small dry-erase boards in a nearby photo booth.

That evening, nearly 300 people gathered for the dinner in Coray Alumni Gymnasium, including 170 students—an increase of more than 50 over last year’s dinner—who sat with alumni and faculty who shared their chosen field.

“The Canvas program is about laying out an understanding of vocation and career for our students,” says CVC Director Dee Pierce. “We want to equip students to take their love of Jesus out into the world and do amazing things. The world needs Wheaton students. Their bright minds. Their good hearts. Their skills and experience. And their commitment to live Christ-like lives.”

Strategically designed to turn the stereotypical “sophomore slump” into a “sophomore surge,” Canvas has resulted in a discernable increase in students’ confidence levels and class unity

For sophomore Henry Prinz, the Canvas program has been invaluable in preparing his class for a world in which most millennials are expected to hold 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetime.

“Canvas has confronted us with the realities of the current job market,” says Henry, “while helping us to proactively consider what Wheaton students uniquely have to contribute to society.”

Jackie Westeren ’19, an international relations major and sophomore class president, notes how the Canvas program has developed cohesion among members of the sophomore class.

“Canvas has offered class members a great opportunity to connect with classmates they normally wouldn’t see,” she says. “And I have heard many stories of my peers being more confident in talking about their future vocational goals. I believe Canvas is an important stepping stone in the process of unleashing the Class of 2019’s fullest, God-given potential.”

Students will identify their God-given gifts, talents, and passions and where they intersect with the needs of the world.

Please consider investing in the Center for Vocation and Career. Through your gifts to From the Heart, For the Kingdom, Wheaton College students will more effectively articulate an understanding of vocation and career.