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Notes from Wally-L: "Dean Moore" and the Great Wabash Water Fight

Dear Editor:

want to take a moment to try to appeal to a small group of people who have forgotten what Wabash really means. The group to which I refer is made entirely of alumni. I don't mean to say that all alumni have forgotten what Wabash means, but from my own experience, some Wabash men have obviously forgotten part of the grand tradition of Wabash.

I am a junior at Wabash and have been a student caller for the biannual student phonathons since my freshman year. I enjoy my job a great deal because I can chat with alumni, hear stories from days gone by, and update alumni about current events on campus. To those alumni who take our calls and treat us respectfully and with candor, whether to make or refuse a pledge (even if it is to simply say, "I don't want to give this year"), I thank you very much for your time and patience and appreciate your kind treatment of myself and the other student callers. This letter, then, is not addressed to you.

Not every call follows these lines. Some alumni hang up when the caller identifies himself as a Wabash student or can be heard in the background telling their spouse to say that they are not there. Still others begin a lengthy tirade, venting their frustrations on the student caller.

These alumni have forgotten how to show respect. We are Wabash students, but more importantly, we are Wabash MEN. Have the courtesy and courage to talk to the student. Keep in mind however, that being Wabash men, we do not deserve to be berated just because we called. Regardless of how vehement the response, we write down the questions and concerns of alumni and make sure that they are passed along. Volume, length, and hostility will probably make the student sorry that he called, but will not get your sentiments passed along any more quickly or with more importance. If you are one of these people, please be kind enough to ask to take your name off the calling list to prevent a student from being subjected to this kind of treatment the next year.

The other forgotten tradition is critical thinking. Some alumni have forgotten that Wabash is an institution that trains men to think for themselves and to effectively evaluate the facts before making a decision, not to act blindly from some tidbit that crossed your desk. Some alumni don't seem to realize that the Wabash Commentary is an opinion paper. For that matter, this Wabash Magazine is colored by the perceptions of those that produce it. To that end, talk to the students and ask their opinions. For those of you who have an interest in hearing another opinion besides your own (which unfortunately is not generally a characteristic of an angry alumnus), the phonathon is an excellent opportunity to find out about the College from a student's viewpoint.

For those alumni who have talked with us, whether to make or refuse a pledge, with candor and respect, I thank you wholeheartedly for myself and the other student callers. For that small group I mentioned before, I would like to reiterate that student callers deserve some consideration and respect. We will be calling, so please take the time to speak with us in an open and civil manner.

Michael A. Vance '98

Mike Vance has raised more than $140,000 through his work on Wabash phonathons. Among other awards, Vance was recently honored with the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier scholarship of its type for students in the fields of mathematics and the sciences, and is the recipient of the College's Dean Stephens Award

Notes from Wally-L
"Dean Moore" and the Great Wabash Water Fight
When Page Stephens '65 posted stories about Wabash deans on the College's Wally-L list server, his fellow Wabash men followed up with a flurry of tales of their own. Some excerpts from the "Dean Moore" portions of that correspondence:

My favorite story about "Stormin' Norman" Moore occured during the fabled and massive water fight in late May of 1964. My good firend and fraternity brother inadvertently (so he says) threw a bucket of water on Norm, whereupon, Norm promptly tackled Nick and told him to be in his office the next morning.

Nick sheepishly apologized, and Norm told him to foget the whole thing. Nothing ever came of that particular incident. It seems, however, that many of the men who loved Dean Moore the most were those whom he disciplined most severely.

Morrie Adams '65
Indianapolis, IN

...The water fight occured during my senior year. The Tekes occupied Kane House at that time, and I had the room directly over the front door. The water fight began on the other side of campus but soon engulfed all the fraternities on our side. Coward that I am, I snaked a garden hose out my window so as to douse anyone within range without subjecting myself to a similiar indignity.

...Dean Moore showed up, dressed in a bathrobe and smoking a cigar. His very presence exuded authority and control. He walked calmly up and down the block exhorting the students to return to their residences. Then, someone threw a bucked of water on the Dean. I think Dean Moore was really incensed because the water managed to extinguish his cigar. In any event, he charged up onto the lawn, tackled the offender and wrestled him into the mud. Everyone began to disperse, and I pulled my hose back inside my window.

The only official encounter, other than personal conversation, that I had with Norm Moore occured when I went to him in financial straights. Since a few hundred dollars was needed to get me out of my difficulty for the year, he offered me the job of taking attendence at chapel. He was a very important influence on the lives of many, and I'll always remember him with great affection.

William Barnett '64
Fayetteville, NY

Wabash Magazine welcomes your opinions and comments regarding subjects discussed in this journal. Write to Steve Charles, editor, at the college address, or email