By Charles Hermesmann
Beloved Wheaton College professor and alumna Dr. Beatrice Batson passed away in Batavia, Ill., on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Born July 13, 1920, she was 98 years old.
Dr. Batson’s dream since age twelve was to become a university professor. After attending Bryan College for her bachelor’s degree, Wheaton for her master’s and George Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University for her Ph. D, she continued her studies at Northwestern University and Oxford University, before beginning her Wheaton teaching career in 1957. Dr. Batson taught at Wheaton for 33 years, serving as a professor and later Chair of the English Department.
Dr. Batson was known for her care towards her students, her insightful, renowned classes and her faith in Christ. She took Wheaton’s goal of integrating Christianity and education seriously by teaching in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We will go about our work on this campus with the deep persuasion that these minds of ours are gifts from God, not to be denounced or frowned upon, but to be used and trained for His honor.”Beatrice Batson
“When our academic thinking is geared and committed to God with His truth, we ought to be uncomfortable and dissatisfied with mediocrity in any area,” Dr. Batson said in the 1960 issue of Wheaton Magazine. “We will go about our work on this campus with the deep persuasion that these minds of ours are gifts from God, not to be denounced or frowned upon, but to be used and trained for His honor.”
Amongst her many accomplishments are her initiation of the Shakespeare Collection and Institute at Wheaton College in Buswell Library. She was the author of several books and helped to found the Marion E. Wade Center’s journal, VII. Dr. Batson was also Wheaton’s 2007 Alumna of the Year for Distinguished Service to Alma Mater.
Dr. Batson was honored in services in Tennessee on Jan. 28 and 29. Her family has encouraged those with connections to Dr. Batson to donate to the Shakespeare Collection and Dr. Batson’s scholarship fund.