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From the Editor: Responsibility Begins Dreams

by Steve Charles
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"Responsibilities begins dreams."

That inversion of William Butler Yeats’ quote that Wabash President Pat White chose as the theme of his inauguration—"In dreams begins responsibility"—was my way of keeping the subject-verb agreement straight when we reprinted that aphorism on cards and programs.

But after editing this issue of WM, I think the inversion truer than the original.

Responsibility does begin dreams. Taking responsibility for learning —making it your own, and not your parents’ or your professors’—is the make-or-break proposition of a Wabash education. It has been the beginning of hundreds of dreams here, not to mention those headlong dives into disciplines, vocations, or avocations students may never have heard of before they got here.

That sense of ownership—"this is my life, and if I don’t do something meaningful with it, no one will"—is found in many of the writers and subjects of articles in this issue.

No more so than in senior Nate Mullendore. A Crawfordsville native who grew up fishing with his dad in Sugar Creek, Nate has since wet a line in some of the most gorgeous waters in the world, but his excursions into angler’s nirvana opened his eyes to the beauty and abundance right outside his back door—a heaven in need of his attention and care. He offers exactly that in "Angling Glory" in our Voices section, and he has joined Friends of Sugar Creek to find a way to help restore his home waters.

In this issue you’ll also meet Dr. Rick Sasso, who saw the inadequacies of spinal medicine, applied the liberal arts mantra "question everything," and now creates medical devices and procedures that have relieved the suffering of hundreds. His taking responsibility not only launched the Indiana Spine Group, but the dreams of
hundreds of his now mobile and pain-free patients.

Then there are Pat White’s parents, who spent money they didn’t have for a set of encyclopedias—books which ignited a love for learning and exploration that has led to their son becoming the 15th president of Wabash.

Reading his poem  "The Forest and the Clearing" for President White’s inauguration, Professor Marc Hudson proclaimed, "What is Wabash but friendship and story, the history of a hunger to know."

Yet Wabash was once a dream; a dream that became reality only after nine men, in 1832, took "meeting the wants of the country" as their personal responsibility.

As we begin in this issue of WM our observation of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the College, we celebrate the students, alumni, faculty and staff who have taken and continue to take on that responsibility—not only for the wants of the country, but the needs of the world.

Responsibility begins dreams. And dreams are born here every day.

Thank you for reading.


Steve Charles | Editor