The 250 members of the Wabash College Class of 2013 began their Saturday as boys. Those boys are now officially Wabash men – members of a select group of individuals – the band of brothers. See photos from the Ringing In here and here.
The Ringing-In ceremony took place in a packed, but unseasonable cool Pioneer Chapel. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Steve Klein, National Association of Wabash Men President-Elect Greg Castanias, and Wabash College President Patrick White welcomed the men and their families.
Dean Klein congratulated the group of freshmen on being the elite group of men chosen to enter Wabash. They were selected from a record 1,600 applicants. “It is a class that had to face tough competition for admission,” said Klein. While the academic standing of the men admitted is certainly high Klein said, “being a Wabash man goes beyond academic achievement. It requires character, competiveness, balance, a pioneering spirit, and a drive to impact society.”
This year’s freshmen come from 18 states and 10 countries. The 21 international students is believed to be the largest group in Wabash history. Forty-four freshmen are following in family footsteps to Wabash and one overcoming four generations of family members going to “an unnamed school 25 miles to the south,” Klein said. “Indiana roots, Midwestern values, national character, international intrigue. This class has it all and then some.”
The common characteristic held by all among the Class of 2013 is this: they are all now Wabash men. The uniqueness's the class brings to the table are many. They include 23 Boys State delegates, 14 Eagle Scouts, 27 actors, and 17 speech and debaters. In addition one is a dog sledder, one a PADI scuba diver, another an ambassador in the People to People Program, and another a school board member. The class also includes an assistant fire chief, an Iraq war veteran, an accomplished accordion player, a sculptor, and the second place winner in steer roping.
It is no doubt these unique characteristics and those unique to every member of the freshmen class that will enrich the Wabash community as students now, and as alumni in the future.
On behalf of the alumni, Castanias welcomed men to the Wabash family. “Today, you become brothers to one another. Today, you become my brother.”
He remembered back to the day he sat in Pioneer Chapel as a freshman in 1983. “My class was rung in by President Lewis Salter, using the same bell that President White will use in a few minutes to officially make you Wabash men, the same bell that the very first professor here, Caleb Mills, used to ring in the first Wabash students 150 years before me,” Castanias said.
While Castanais could not specifically remember the words spoken that day, he said, “I should have been thinking, ‘Wow, this is where it all starts.’ That was the time and this was the place where my world opened up to me.”
As President White began his remarks he invited the men of the Class of 2013 to meet those around them. “I want to introduce you to some of your greatest teachers,” White said. “You will be amazed at how smart they are, how much you will learn from them, and how much they will learn from you.”
“Imagine new possibilities for yourself, your friends, and Wabash College. Through you, Wabash will become greater than it has ever been before.