Wheaton College (MA)– President Dennis Hanno stated that money from donors are pouring in after the announcement of the refugee scholarship on Wednesday.
“It’s interesting because we didn’t put a call out for fundraising but almost immediately and we were quite pleasantly surprised that the contributions have started rolling in,” said President Hanno.
In an interview with the Wire staff, Hanno stated that these contributions had not yet offset the full scholarship costs. He also stated that the scholarship would not interfere with other students’ financial packages.
“It is an incremental investment on the part of the college that will pay for itself with the fundraising impact that it has and also the positive benefit it has on everyone here at Wheaton,” he said.
Hanno also stated that international applicants were withdrawing their applications after the news of President Trump’s executive order, which would ban refugees from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the US. President Hanno said that the impact of the decision happened almost overnight.
“The last two summers we’ve done a project in the summertime with students here on campus from the United Arab Emirates. The day after the executive order we got a call saying ‘we’re not coming this year. We don’t think it’s a place we want to send our students.’ We had a student who we had accepted who was a citizen of Switzerland and the US– dual citizen– and she contacted us and said ‘you know I’m not going to study in the US, the political climate is not what I want for my studies.’ So it was clear to us that this executive order already had and would continue to have a very strong impact on who comes to this campus and the kinds of things that we could do outside with the global world.”
The full scholarship would go to a student refugee from one of those seven countries, incorporating incoming freshmen as well as current students at Wheaton.
Stay tuned for the full interview with President Hanno.