From the moment students step on campus, the Wesleyan mission statement is instilled in them through the actions of teachers, administrators and peers. The Statement, “To be a Christian school of academic excellence by providing each student a diverse college preparatory education guided by Christian principles and beliefs; by challenging and nurturing the mind, body and spirit; and by developing stewardship in our changing world.”
John Wesley was an English clergyman and theologian who founded the Methodist Church. When Wesleyan School was founded in 1963 (Christianity Today), many of the ideas and beliefs of John Wesley were taken into account while building the school. Wesleyan has grown so much since 1963, but Wesley’s ministry still holds true to the school and without donors, Wesleyan would not be where it is today.
John Wesley Day gives the school a chance to express their gratitude for donors who help the education Wesleyan gives to their students possible. “It is a day set apart at Wesleyan to say thank you for the sacrificial giving of both the founders of the school and those who sustain the school through their continued generosity,” said Director of Donor Relations, Chad McDaniel.
“Showing gratitude on John Wesley Day is such a special opportunity for us to say thank you to the donors of the school. I am personally so thankful for the people who donate to make our extracurriculars and other school activities possible,” said senior Megan Bielan.
John Wesley Day took place on Nov. 15, which is something that has changed over the past few years, because “historically, it used to take place on the 18th day of the 180 day school year, but [we] decided to move it to November, since it is the month for our nation and our families to focus on thankfulness and gratitude,” said McDaniel. Our students spend all of John Wesley Day practicing their gratitude.
“This John Wesley Day I am thankful for the ground crew. They keep the campus so clean, and it really makes our school unique,” said sophomore Megan Massey.
John Wesley Day is full of different events for students and donors. Alumni, Nick Salyers (’12) spoke in chapel while alumni Russell Matherly (’12) and Chase Kelley (’16) lead worship for the middle school and high school.
“I am so grateful for the community that I found at Wesleyan, the principles upon which the school was founded, and the great experience that I had at Wesleyan. My time at Wesleyan sharpened me as a follower of Christ, as a student, as an athlete, as a friend, and as a man. Wesleyan School played a significant role in shaping the man I am today and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to talk to the students about it,” said Salyers.
After chapel, all of the leadership level donors were invited to a luncheon where junior Carmen Cook and trustee Land Bridgers spoke about generosity. On November 16, the school sent out hand written letters by students to every donor for the 2018-2019 school year.
“I loved writing letters to the donors. It is such a cool opportunity to get to personally thank them for contributing to our school,” said Bielan.
“I had the opportunity to thank the donors and let them know how thankful I am for their support. Without them donating and helping with financial aid it would be hard for not only me but for my brothers to come to this school as well,” said Carmen Cook.
Although, John Wesley Day is an event celebrated only one day a year, it does not mean it is the only opportunity to express gratitude. Wesleyan is a place full of opportunity, and they’re things about it to be grateful for all year long.