Dean of the College Gary A. Phillips announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Wabash College faculty that English Professor Tobey C. Herzog has been selected to be the first holder of the Anne and Andrew T. Ford Chair in the Liberal Arts.
The Board of Trustees of Wabash established the chair on the occasion of the retirement of Dr. Ford, who served as Wabash’s 14th president for 13 years. The chair celebrates the Fords’ leadership of Wabash College, their passion for students, and their belief in the vitality and enduring importance of a liberal arts education.
“Tobey is a great choice for this prestigious chair,” said Wabash President Patrick E. White. “His wide-ranging teaching — from Dickens to the literature of war to composition and technical writing — his commitment to the highest ideals of the gentleman student-athlete, and his modeling of positive leadership in many aspects of Wabash life show a teacher/scholar living out the liberal arts in his way of being in the world.”
Dr. Herzog came to Wabash in 1976 after completing his Ph.D. in English Literature at Purdue University with a dissertation on Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. He was graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honorary society.
“Professor Herzog has provided exemplary service both inside and outside the classroom for 34 years,” said Dean Phillips. “Recognized for leadership of the faculty, he has served as department chair and division chair, and has been elected to represent the faculty on key committees, such as the presidential search committee.”
Herzog is a past recipient of the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award and the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Fellowship. He is the author of three books (Vietnam War Stories: Innocence Lost, 1992; Tim O’Brien, 1997; and Writing Vietnam, Writing Life: Caputo, Heinemann, O’Brien, and Butler, 2008), and has contributed more than four-dozen book chapters, articles, and invited book reviews.
“I am somewhat uncomfortable with the recognition because there are so many equally deserving Wabash faculty,” Dr. Herzog said. “I am also deeply honored to be associated with an endowed chair that celebrates the remarkable contributions the Fords have made to Wabash College in so many areas. Their passionate commitment to the liberal arts made Wabash a better academic place, but more important their student-first philosophy enriched the lives of all Wabash students and alumni.
“I am proud to teach at a college where our students are adept at applying the scientific method, comparing economic systems, critiquing a piece of art, and interpreting The Iliad.”
Herzog’s service to Wabash covers the breadth of the institution. For 23 of the last 28 years, he has been chair or co-chair of the Freshman Tutorial Program. Since 1985, he has served as the College’s Faculty Marshal. He has chaired both the English Department and the Division of the Humanities and Fine Arts. And since 2002, he has been Wabash’s Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and the North Coast Athletic Conference.
His teaching excellence has extended beyond Wabash students. For 16 years, he was Director of Writing for the Wabash Institute for Personal Development (later the Wabash Executive Program), a summer liberal arts program for business executives. He was also on the faculty of the College’s Opportunities to Learn About Business program for rising high school seniors for nearly 30 years.
Dr. Herzog is Vietnam War veteran, who served as Personnel Specialist for the United States Army in Long Binh. He received a Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement. He received a Commendation Medal for his work as a Congressional Liaison at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“Tobey has time and again demonstrated passion for teaching and a belief in the vitality and importance of the liberal arts through conscientious service to his students, his faculty colleagues, his fellow service veterans, his College, and his country,” added Dean Phillips.
The Dean of the College will award the Ford Chair to a tenured faculty member who demonstrates excellence in his or her discipline, an understanding of the discipline’s role in the broader context of the liberal arts, and a commitment to students. Dr. Herzog will hold the chair for a period of five years.
Pictured right: Professor Herzog with Anne and Andy Ford.