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WM From the NAWM


I love basketball. 

Growing up, my dad was my coach. We traveled all over the country for games. And then I had the good fortune to play for Coach Mac Petty at Wabash. Now, following in their giant footsteps, I coach my sons’ basketball teams. It brings me so much joy to watch them mature in their skills and learn how to be better teammates. 

It takes a lot of work—for them and for me. Hours in the gym practicing alone and with teammates, drills, shooting, honing, sharpening. Hours of teaching, guiding, encouraging, even in the losses—especially in the losses. 

It’s not always easy to keep up the grind, but because we are so passionate about the sport, we understand we have to put in the work to keep bettering ourselves and our team. 

Another team i am proud to be a part of is the National Association of Wabash Men (NAWM). This board spends hour upon hour working with the College to help recruit the next generation of Wabash men, and to keep our alumni engaged and connected with our alma mater. 

I am inspired to be a part of this journey. I get to hear the stories and endeavors of so many associated with the College—a few of those are shared here in each issue of Wabash Magazine. These stories are an active reminder that the cities, towns, states, and countries we all reside in need us. These places need our gifts of talent and time. These places need our ideas, our treasure, and our passions. 

Passions drive us intellectually in our career endeavors and steer us at home and in our communities. During our January NAWM Board of Directors meeting, we asked each other, “What are you passionate about outside of work?” The answers, as you might imagine, mirrored the breadth and diversity of our collective Wabash community. Answers included training as an America Ninja Warrior, baking bread, coaching, blogging, biking, managing a child actor, photography, cooking, producing music videos, and being an equestrian. 

These are just a small portion of the passions of the NAWM board members. Mind you, this is an alumni board that boasts a group of professionals including a presidential appointee to help lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a professor at Chicago State University, a managing director at Guy Carpenter, an internal medicine physician in New York City, managers for KPMG and Boston Consultant Group, the CMO for Stitch Fix, a partner at Barnes & Thornburg, a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer in the U.S. Army, and multiple presidents and CEOs of small businesses. 

The dialogue on the board’s personal passions provided a reminder that the story of Wabash College and all associated with it continues to be a work in progress. What makes this community a good place is not that people leave Wabash and are successful in a chosen vocation. It is more than that. It is because those people continue to lead incredible lives even outside their chosen vocations. Lives that are focused on helping and bringing joy to others. 

Time and again, the Wabash alumni community does indeed fill the gap so the next generation of teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, and business leaders can flourish. We help students get internships all over the globe. We work to ensure that our students get a good start in their professional lives— many being hired by Wabash graduates. We assist them in getting into their vocation or graduate and professional schools of choice. 

This is why the Wabash alumni network consistently ranks at the top nationally. Princeton Review ranked Wabash No. 1 for “Best Alumni Network” and No. 3 for “Best Internship Opportunities.” Forbes Magazine says, “Wabash ranks No. 9 in schools with the Happiest, Most Successful Alumni.” 

Why is this? Why does this place continue to be one of impact on students during their four years on campus, and one of lifelong commitment thereafter? 

Look across the breadth of our Wabash community. The Wabash community is powered by passions. The Wabash experience shapes classrooms, public policy, scientific exploration, artistic expression, and economic sustainability across the globe. 

This has been the case for more than 190 years. And our journey continues to push us to live and lead in a way that leaves the world better off than we found it. 

What are you passionate about? 

Kip Chase ’03 | President, National Association of Wabash Men