Throughout the Dartmouth generations, students, faculty, and alumni have discovered the richness of a life that holistically pursues faith, reason, vocation, and service. The story of EWS is a part of that larger story.
In 2006, a group of Dartmouth underclassmen founded the Dartmouth Apologia journal to articulate thoughtful Christian perspectives in the academic context and promote respectful dialogue on life's big questions. Mentored from the beginning by faculty of faith, the group became a college-sponsored organization, grew ecumenically, and multiple times has been voted Dartmouth's Best Publication. In 2009, students, faculty and alumni founded the Eleazar Wheelock Society to expand the conversation taking place in Apologia's pages and further the ways the Christian community could serve the College. To gather a larger community of supporters, EWS hosted its first Wheelock Conference in 2010.
In the nine years since, the pilot project has flourished into an organization that is supporting the lives of students and cultivating rich conversation and mentorship around integrating faith, reason, vocation and service. April 2019 marks the 10th annual Wheelock Conference, which has hosted distinguished keynote speakers such as Frank Young (former Commissioner of the FDA) and Gary Haugen (President of the International Justice Mission). In 2011, Dartmouth President Carol Folt affirmed the importance of EWS's mission and approach in her opening remarks at the Wheelock Conference: "Faith and reason are fundamental to what we each bring to the table, so discovering the way to do this well and with respect is essential to the life of our campus."
The conference has become a yearly highlight for the student Christian community on campus as well as an important gathering point for the broader community. Over the years, hundreds of alumni have traveled back to campus to speak on faith and vocation. The Dartmouth Apologia journal has published 21 editions, tackling questions ranging from the veracity of the resurrection to the perceived conflict between faith and science. Additionally, EWS has sponsored more than two dozen seminars taught by faculty and community members as well as hosted a range of student-alumni summer internships. In 2014, EWS purchased the Wheelock House to serve as a hub for these activities and a welcoming environment for spiritual exploration.