"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..."


Summer/Fall 2001

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 Wabash.

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 classmates:

"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.

Steve Charles

Return to the table of contents