from the editor
Zach Hoover, the senior who gave the most memorable address I've heard
in six years covering Commencement here, is the first Wabash man I recruited.
Actually, I recruited Zach's mom. Janet Hoover had guided me toward
Wabash when we were editors in Indianapolis, so when I needed someone
to honestly review the articles in our first issues of Wabash Magazine,
I recruited her to copyedit for us.
I had nothing to do with Zach's choosing Wabash, but Janet read good
things in the magazine about the College and Wabash men-I hoped Zach's
experience would live up to the praises I'd penned.
The oldest of four kids, Zach vowed in junior high that he would get the
best education he could. He applied to Brebeuf Preparatory School in Indianapolis
and worked to help pay his way. Under the Jesuit's tutelage, he dreamed
of attending Georgetown University, and he was accepted and offered financial
aid. But he earned a Lilly scholarship to Wabash and decided that, with
three more siblings college-bound, he'd best serve his family by attending
So instead of throwing himself into the cosmopolitan power mix of Washington
D.C., Zach came to Crawfordsville. He joined the Phi Psis, screamed through
Chapel Sing, grabbed a part in The Grapes of Wrath, and found the College's
extraordinary religion department. He was eager to spend some time overseas
when we met at the town's Mexican food restaurant for lunch at the end
of his first year. There he spoke fluently with the restaurant's waiters,
who knew him well.
"Oh, Zach is in here a lot," Little Mexico's owner told me.
"He likes to practice his Spanish."
I realized then that, rather than being constrained by the College's small
size and rural locale, Zach was using his initiative and the relationships
he was able to build with his professors to fearlessly create the education
he'd dreamed of. He spent a summer in Israel, his junior year in Spain.
After playing a lead role in Mike Abbott's new play, he traveled to Mexico
during spring break as a research assistant to Professor Dan Rogers. He
returned in time to read his acceptance letter to Harvard Divinity School
and receive a satchel full of awards from the College. He capped off his
Wabash career with an inspiring Whitman-esque address that reminded his
"This education... does not give us a private perspective on truth.
Do not re-invent the world with your Wabash education,
Re-invent your Wabash education with the world,
And you'll find that you've done both..."
Zach Hoover is not your average Wabash student, but the way he and his
professors were able to craft his liberal arts education should be the
norm for all our students. The College believes this, and its Strategic
Plan takes that belief to heart. In this issue you'll read about some
of the ways professors and staff are taking action, and other ways students
are finding on their own, to make the exceptional the rule here at Wabash.
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