From the Hills of Maine to the western
o begins "Old Wabash," a school song with more geographical references than a Rand McNally Road Atlas. Lyricist Edwin Robinson '00 may not have intended to convey the importance the land has played in the College's formation when he penned these words almost 100 years ago, but it wouldn't be surprising if he had--generations of Wabash men have shown an uncommon affinity for the natural world. One look at this campus--it's entrance dominated by the Fuller Arboretum, one of the most impressive stands of trees in Indiana--reveals a College rooted deeply in the land.
That fact stems, in part, from the history of this place. After all, Wabash was "carved" out of the wilderness in 1832--it was born a frontier college in a time when survival depended upon a working knowledge of the land.Wabash co-founder Edmund Hovey, a minister and teacher, was so intrigued by the College's surroundings that he began studying the rocks and fossils of the area--an interest that drove the establishment of the science department here. Hovey's son, Horace, inherited both his father's quest for the spiritual and his love of the land, becoming a minister, cartographer, and "the father of modern American cave exploration" (see "From Our Archives"). And so it has been throughout the years--for many Wabash men, finding a place in the world has meant not only entering a profession or becoming a leader in a community, but also finding, quite literally, a place.
Wabash poet Marc Hudson writes: "In each of us there is a country." In this issue of Wabash Magazinecelebrating Wabash men and "the land," you'll meet Wabash men who have found that "country," who cherish it, and who are finding ways to give back so to preserve it for generations to follow. In "Ecology vs. the Peaceable Kingdom," you'll find Steve Webb '83 discussing his attempts to understand how nature fits into a larger, theological perspective.
In this issue you'll also read tributes to two men who have been intellectual landmarks on the Wabash campus for decades: Professor of Speech Joe O'Rourke and Professor of English Bert Stern. Our place, our "country," will not be the same without them.
In the spirit of professors such as these, I'd also like to invite you to take a step beyond reading as you turn the pages of this magazine. If you agree, disagree, or simply want to discuss the facts or opinions stated in our feature articles or other stories, contact the author using the address or email address you'll find accompanying the story. If one of our alumni profiles interests you, use the contact information on that page and get in touch.
It is the mission of the College to engage you in such discussions, and it is the mission of this magazine to reconnect you with Wabash College. So use this magazine to join in the conversation at Wabash.