It is not easy to get to Wyoming Catholic College. And once you are there, it is not easy to get elsewhere. Located in Lander, a town of roughly 7,500 in the foothills of the Wind River Mountain Range, the closest Target is a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, and you will have to cross into Colorado to get to Costco. Walmart is only 35 minutes away, in Riverton, Wyo., along with the closest airport, where I was scheduled to land at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday in February….
The isolation, the raw landscape, the open sky—none of these are incidental to the education on offer at Wyoming Catholic College. They are a part of the curriculum.
They also make for a dramatic backdrop.
Two months before my trip to Lander, I sat in the back row for the sold-out final showing of Heroes of the Fourth Turning, a play by Will Arbery about the recent graduates of a small Catholic college in Wyoming, one that in many ways resembles W.C.C. Mr. Arbery did not attend Wyoming Catholic, but his father, Glenn Arbery, became the school’s third president in 2016, and his mother, Virginia Arbery, is an associate professor of humanities at the college. The production unfolds in the backyard of a professor, based loosely on Ms. Arbery, where four students debate faith, President Trump, abortion and other culture-war flashpoints.
The niche play inspired by an equally niche school was a surprise hit among New York theatergoers, and its nuanced portrayal of the oft-caricatured world of religious conservatism earned it praise from Catholics across the political spectrum. I wanted to find out what attracted real-life students to Wyoming Catholic College and its unique offerings in the world of Catholic higher education….
Read the rest of the May 1 story in America magazine.