President Chard: Social Sector Work Creates Change

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“I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be the kind of person who could change lives.”

Earlier this month, we shared a welcoming message from our incoming 14th President, Dr. David Chard. Now, in a more in-depth conversation, he shares just why being the president of Wheelock College is such a meaningful opportunity for him. A former chemistry and math teacher, he recognizes the power that teachers have to change lives. He traces that power back to his own experiences (“It’s not an exaggeration to say that my teachers changed my life”), noting that his decision to follow that path wasn’t always well received. “Everyone was willing to line up and tell me I would never make any money,” he recalls, “but that was not my commitment. My commitment was to people.”

In his mind, it was a no-brainer to continue that commitment to change-making people at Wheelock College. “The beauty of Wheelock is it knows where it wants to go, it knows what its mission is. It’s had that mission for decades.” And as he takes the helm of the College, he plans to employ that mission to guide us toward best practices, ones that emphasize change and adaptation where routine and tradition once thrived. This combination of honoring a mission, and pushing for innovation, will help students, faculty, and staff across disciplines truly help to change┬áthe lives of children and families for the better. “We need people who work in the social service sector to be excited about what they do, and to know early on that this is a really important option for them to consider. Wheelock is the kind of place where, that’s who we prepare.”

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  1. Welcome Dr. Chard. Wheelock holds special memories for me. I did my graduate work there and also had the privilege of teaching there. It is a very fine college with excellent staff and dedicated students. Welcome and best luck. Jean G. Cole, MSc.Ed.1978