S.O.U.L, or Student Organization for Urban Leadership, was founded in 1967 by the first "large" group of students of color (black and latino/a) actively recruited by Wheaton College. Its purpose was to aid students in making Wheaton's education relevant for themselves and their culture/community. It was SOUL's desire to assist Wheaton in reflecting the body of Christ more realistically.

At the end of a chapel service in early February 1980 led by SOUL "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by James Wheldon Johnson was played. This song, also known as "The Black National Anthem" stirred some controversy among students and administrators as being divisive. This song had been adopted by the NAACP in 1919 as "The Negro National Anthem." The song held deep meaning for the civil rights movement. By the 1970s "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was sung immediately following "The Star Spangled Banner" at many public events.

SOUL was replaced by B.R.I.D.G.E (Building Relationships in Discipleship, Grace, and Experience) in 1981.