Located in Wheaton, IL, Wheaton College was established in 1860 as a private, interdenominational, Christian institution. Each year, approximately 2,700 graduate and undergraduate students attend the school. Its most famous graduate is Reverend Billy Graham, who served on the college�s board of trustees for several years. Like so many people affiliated with the school, he�s received more than one piece of correspondence in Tyvek envelopes. That�s because many of the college�s 90 departments use Tyvek.
As Stephanie Bemister, Wheaton�s assistant director of purchasing, explains, �We mail trustees� correspondence in security [tamper-evident] Tyvek envelopes because they don�t rip in mail machines. Often, the materials we send are confidential in nature, and the red, tamper-evident strip lets our trustees know if the envelopes have been opened.�
Yearbooks are sometimes sent out in easy-open Tyvek envelopes. The decision on what type of envelope to use is left up to the students, who have sometimes chosen to go for an alternative. The results of using ordinary envelopes have been predictable, as Bemister knows all too well. �I graduated from the college myself, and one year I received a yearbook in a regular envelope,� she recalls. �It tore in the mail.�
When it�s time to send mailings to donors, the college relies on cushioned, bubble-lined Tyvek envelopes. That�s because the envelopes are sturdy enough to hold the information packages, date books and other materials that are mailed in fund-raising efforts and the college�s capital campaign. The lining provides protection against breakage of fragile items. The packages are sent to alumni and friends of the college all over the country. �Basically, we use padded Tyvek envelopes for anything that we want our donors to get in one piece,� Bemister explains.
The bubble-lined envelopes are also used to mail items to student groups working far away from the school. Known as �Human Needs and Global Resources� student groups, they work in a number of remote locations throughout the world. �These young people go to developing and third-world countries,� Bemister says. �They really put their faith on the line.� For this reason, the college feels a special responsibility toward the students � and wants to make sure they get the materials necessary for their work. That�s why the school mails items to them in Tyvek envelopes.
But perhaps the most important task for which the cushioned envelopes with bubble lining are used is the annual mailing of books to missionaries. Each year, the college coordinates sending books to approximately 600 missionaries who are graduates of Wheaton and are affiliated with many different organizations. Various publishers donate the books. But to the missionaries living and serving their faith in such faraway locations, the books are a priceless commodity.
Some of the books, such as Bibles, are for the missionaries� use in their work. But many of the volumes help establish libraries or are much-needed additions to existing, rudimentary libraries. In the past, delivering books to these remote locations safely and inexpensively was no easy task. The packaging had to endure long-distance travel along dirt roads or through rainstorms. Oftentimes, they�d travel several days before reaching their destinations.
This is why in searching for an answer, the college had several issues to consider. First, the packaging had to be strong enough to stand up to the rough treatment associated with international mailings � especially to remote areas. Then, it had to be even sturdier to withstand the transportation and handling of primitive �mail systems� that deliver the packages to the isolated areas where the missionaries were located. The packages� trips could easily last weeks or more. Bubble-lined Tyvek envelopes have fit the bill on all counts.
�We use bubble-lined Tyvek envelopes because they provide security without a lot of weight. The envelopes also take up less space than boxes because they conform to the books in a way boxes can�t,� explains Bemister. �We�ve been using Tyvek envelopes for at least four years that I know about, and they�ve made the packaging process a lot easier. But best of all, we don�t have to worry about the envelopes tearing and the books falling out.� This is an important consideration for such precious cargo that must travel so far � and under such difficult conditions.
For more information, including sources for stock and customer envelopes and innovative recycling programs, call DuPont Customer Information Center at 800-44-TYVEK or visitwww.dupont.com/tyvek/envelopes.