From Center Hall
October 19, 2005
Though an erstwhile historian, I do not spend much time thinking about the past.
I prefer to look to the future. We are about the business of educating young men, and education
is about the future—the future of our students,
the future of our society.
When magazine editor Steve Charles asked me to write a column for an issue that reflected on the last decade at Wabash, I was reluctant—reluctant
to ask you to spend much time on the past, reluctant to spend time in self-congratulation for the College’s achievements. After some reflection, though, I chose to see this as an opportunity to invite you to join me in thinking about our future.
As you catch up on classmates, fellow alumni, and faculty in the pages that follow, consider this:
We all know a Wabash College that is grounded
in a well-established set of core values—a high degree of personal responsibility governed by the Gentleman’s Rule; a rigorous
liberal arts education for men; an environment of personal teaching and learning;
a strong sense of independence; and, a diverse student body. Yet every day those
values are challenged, even threatened by external influences.
I am frequently asked, "What is Wabash’s biggest challenge?" My answer is always the same: Admissions. After that, Wabash’s biggest challenge is remaining competitive and relevant yet true to its values in a rapidly changing society and industry.
That challenge will be on my mind as I read through the features and Class Notes
of this issue. In the next 10 years, what will be required of Wabash to attract students who will thrive on our campus? What will it take to hire talented, dedicated faculty members who believe in the liberal arts? What will be required to thrive as a liberal
arts college for men? What will be needed to engage you in the life of the College?
I hope you’ll join me in contemplating these questions. Use it as a lens to the College’s future.
I look forward to finding the answers to my questions in your experiences and your expertise. When you are on campus this fall please take a moment to drop by Center Hall or pull me aside at Hollett Little Giant Stadium to share your thoughts on our future. If we do not cross paths on campus, please drop me a line or give me a call.
Contact President Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org