Fall 2006: Moments
December 12, 2006
"The music of our community"
Before Wabash President Patrick White rang in the Class of 2010 on Freshman Saturday, he asked them to stand up.
"Look into the eyes of the men in your class, these men around you," White said. "These men will be your teachers."
Twelve days later, White made a similar request of upperclassmen, faculty, and staff at the first Chapel Talk of his administration.
"Students, professors, and staff—all are teachers in our community," White said, calling the Chapel "a holy place at Wabash—a place sanctified by conversation.
"You are teachers of one another—participants in the grand conversation of the liberal arts. This is the play of the mind; this is why we are here."
Setting the tone for campus discourse, White noted the conversations
students, faculty, staff, and alumni have over the issues and ideas that matter most "are the hardest work we do, but when we do it well, it is the music of our community."
"I know this is not easy," White added. "But to turn our backs on the conversation is to turn our backs on our mission to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and, perhaps most important, to live humanely.
"In our best imagination of this College and ourselves we will find the courage, clarity, and kindness that will make our conversations grand, that will enable us to say for years to come, ‘Wabash always talks.’"
Eating with the President
My family and I had just sat down to eat when a couple introduced themselves to us.
After some conversation my mom asked the man, "I take it you work here?" "Yes, I am the president, Dr. White," the man responded.
So I spent my first day at Wabash eating lunch with the president!
—Jacob Lee ’10 from his blog at www.wabash.edu
Hope for the Hopeless
When Stephen Judah ’72 stepped onto the set of ABC’s "The View" to promote his book, Staying Together—When an Affair Pulls You Apart, he faced an intrigued but skeptical Barbara Walters and company. When he said he preferred to have the unfaithful spouse reveal the affair to his or her spouse during a session in his office, co-host Joy Behar was incredulous.
"That’s like setting up a homicide," quipped the comedienne.
"I’d rather have a controlled nuclear reaction in my office than a nuclear explosion at home," Judah replied, earning affirming applause from the studio audience.
"This is extraordinary—for leaders of national fraternities to get together with college administrators to talk about the opportunities we have to collaborate on to reach our common goals."
—Bill Martin, the chief executive officer of Phi Gamma Delta International, moderating discussions as Wabash brought to campus CEOs of six fraternities to discuss mutual challenges and opportunities with four college presidents and the Wabash Dean of Students’ office.
Wilderness in the heart of America
Professors plan the Visiting Artists Series so that students will benefit from our guest musicians, artists, and writers, and it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving a stronger impression on Wabash than Terry Tempest Williams.
In the hours sandwiched between two memorable readings, the author/naturalist had numerous conversations in and out of class with students, calling them "some of the most tenderhearted men I’ve spent an hour with." She met with Crawfordsville High School students as part of the College’s community outreach. She woke up early to have breakfast with members of the College’s environmentalist organization, reinvigorating the group and even inspiring its new name—Students for Sustainability.
During a break in her schedule, the Utah native and author of the acclaimed memoir Refuge hiked Shades State Park, guided by bookstore manager and Sugar Creek aficionado Mike Bachner ’70 and his wife, Pat Galloway. Williams returned that evening to read her work, including a freshly penned essay about Shades.
"I will never think of Indiana as only a domesticated landscape of cornfields,"Williams wrote. "Wildness resides in the heart of America."
IT WAS A STUDENT’S EMAIL THAT FIRST ALERTED the Wabash campus to the destruction of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge by an arsonist in April 2005.
And Wabash students and staff were among hundreds who helped rebuild the bridge a little more than a year later.
John Meara ’07 spearheaded the Wabash effort with help from Web Editor Howard Hewitt. Meara had chosen the state’s covered bridges as his summer research under the College’s Present Indiana program. When he received word of the rebuilding effort, helping out seemed a natural extension of his project. Twice he organized more than 20 students to lend a hand.
"Just having the opportunity to contribute to the rebuilding of the bridge was a rewarding experience, and it was great to work side by side with fellow Wabash men, who were willing to donate their time and strength out of the goodness of their heart," Meara says.
"In his quiet and unassuming way, Bill Placher has a greater national impact on the humanities in colleges and universities and on theological reflection in theological schools and churches than any theologian I know."
—Professor Emeritus of Religion Raymond Williams H’68, commenting on the Indiana Humanities Council’s awarding Professor Bill Placher ’70 with the 2006 Indiana Humanities Award.
Only at Wabash!
The curtain had fallen on the Wabash College Theater Department’s hilarious production of The Braggart Soldier when Janathan Grandoit ’06, who had played a servant forced to dress as a woman, stepped back onstage.
Then Grandoit invited Butler University coed Delphia Flenar to join him. And there, in a white wedding dress, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Delphia said, "Yes," the crowd cheered, and the cast threw confetti.
Some things you should know about the freshman class, which includes:
➤ 37 legacies—men whose fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, or brothers have attended Wabash;
➤ an average high school GPA of 3.7;
➤ 28 Indiana Boys State and 9 Eagle Scouts. While the majority of the men hail from Indiana, the class includes:
➤ 15 students from Chicago, 10 from Texas, 5 from California, and 4 from Mississippi;
➤ 16 students from other countries—the largest international class in more than a decade;
➤ a master gardener, a skilled pastry and dessert chef, a world class archer, a strawberry farmer, the Central Indiana Young Marine of the Year, a young man who owns his own store, and another who is the proud owner of a 1980 Blue Bird school bus.
Keep track of four members of the freshman class on the Student Life blogs at the Wabash website: www2.wabash.edu/blog/
Ben Esbaum ’07 learned marketing skills as an intern with Hannapin Marketing founder Pat East ’00, one of many internships funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. through a grant that also includes the College’s Summer Business Immersion program.
—Read more in the Student Profiles at www.wabash.edu
I saw my friend’s talent and wisdom, and how it benefited him, and I knew that Wabash was the best choice for me.
—Saidel Mayar, freshman student from Kabul, Afghanistan, who first heard about Wabash from his friend, Ashraf Haidari ’01, first secretary to the ambassador in the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.
Dustin Foster ’09 enjoyed his first taste of Sugar Creek during a kayak trip down Indiana’s most beautiful stream. The trips, guided by Mike Bachner ’70 as part of the College’s Experience Indiana program, celebrate the historic connection between Sugar Creek and Wabash, which was founded on the bluffs overlooking the stream.
To be granted the opportunity to sing in this building is a memory I’ll cherish. The sound continued to resonate for seconds after the final cutoff. I particularly enjoyed hearing the music swirl around the cathedral at the end of "Cantate Domino."
—Jeff Sostak ’06, singing with the Wabash Glee Club at the Cathedral of York Minster during the group’s tour last summer of England, Scotland, and Wales.
"THE RESURRECTIONS RAIN ACCOMPLISHES"
"Marc’s is a voice we needed during these difficult times," Professor of English Tom Campbell said as he introduced his colleague, Marc Hudson, for the college poet’s first reading on campus in several years.
"I wanted to read some poems about places," Hudson began, "and about coming home to them.
"It takes a bit more time to find the poetry of Indiana than it does the poetry of the Cascades, or Puget Sound, or Iceland," Hudson said. "A more subtle beauty, it requires a more rooted heart. Perhaps the muse is a little thinner, but the vein grows deep."
—Read more about the reading at www2.wabash.edu/blog/pa/2006/03/
OLAB—THE COLLEGE’S OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN ABOUT BUSINESS PROGRAM—has been giving high school students an intense immersion in business and marketing for 35 years, and Professor of English Tobey Herzog has been teaching advertising to the group for 28 of those. Professor of Economics Bert Barreto and fellow OLAB faculty and participants honored Herzog’s many contributions to the program during a ceremony at the conclusion of this year’s OLAB.
Chris Greisl ’06 walks off the Indianapolis Airport runway with Crawfordsville Special Olympian Ben Gregory after Ben joined the Little Giants at the Fed Ex Plane Pull, where Chris and the team raised more than $1,100 for the Special Olympics. Ben was thrilled to join the Little Giants, who appreciated his contribution in the "lightest team" competition.
"Without Ben," Chris laughed, "I don’t think we would have gotten the plane moving at all."