"I'm saved in this big world by unforeseen friends"
-William Stafford, from Grace Abounding
As students and faculty returned full-time to the campus this fall, several events brought to my mind the theme for this issue of Wabash Magazine. First was Ides of August, the annual series of faculty and staff presentations initiated by Professor Tom Cole '58 more than two decades ago. This was the first without him as a member of the faculty, and Professor of Biology Aus Brooks '61 opened the gathering with a paper detailing how Cole's assistant, students, and friends had teamed up to complete a critical portion of his work over the summer.
The next day, Professor of English Warren Rosenberg brought us up-to-date on his soon-to-be-published book on masculinity, violence, and Jewish culture, remarking that a book given to him years earlier by Professor of Political Science Phil Mikesell '63 had led to his own interest in these topics.
That afternoon, Professor John Zimmerman overcame a power failure in the Fine Arts building and improvised his traditional Ides-ending photo presentation, but he struggled emotionally for just a moment when he mentioned his admiration for his former colleague, Ed Haenische. And Paul McKinney, the senior member among faculty speakers, lit up the room with a presentation as passionate as it was complex, adding wistfully that he believed his friend and colleague, the late Lewis Salter 'H57, would have enjoyed this most recent work.
These are connections worthy of remembrance-the types of relationships that make Wabash, as Professor Tom Campbell told me, a place where "you'll naturally have the opportunity to talk with people who can give you many different and valuable perspectives on your work. And you can do that over a cup of coffee!"
That collegiality extends throughout the Wabash community. Two weeks after Ides, I was sitting with dozens of alumni class agents who had returned to campus to better equip themselves to assist in the College's student recruitment effort. Two weeks after that, I met many of the alumni volunteers for The Campaign for Leadership as they gave up a long weekend to prepare to help Wabash raise $100 million. Those men also witnessed the Wabash community teaming up to put on a Campaign kickoff celebration unprecedented in Wabash history.
All these folks have in common not only this College, but also an understanding that some of the greatest joys we find in life come from working closely with others we respect toward a goal we deeply value. This issue of Wabash Magazine celebrates that fact, as well as the company of "unforeseen friends" who enrich and add meaning to our individual lives and our life together.
Editor, Wabash Magazine