Big Bash hits its collective stride on Saturday with plenty of positive vibes from start to finish. Pictuared here are Class of 1982 members, and FIJI pledge brothers, David Newby, Laurent Kahl, Scott Dreher, Greg Bruzas, and Joe Pfennig just prior to Alumni Chapel Sing.
Members of the Class of 2017 -- in thier first reuinion appearance -- got the Alumni Chapel Sing competition started inside Pioneer Chapel.
The Class of 2012 was well represented.
Paul Buescher '12 got a big hug once his performance of 'Old Wabash' was complete.
The Class of 2007 sang with energy.
Members of the Class of 1997 -- Evan Brown, Joe Klen, and Parker Lyons -- displayed great stage presence as a trio.
The Class of 1992 locked arms and powered through both verses!
Though only five voices, the Class of '87 sang with might.
Plenty of members from the Class of 1982 returned for thier 40th class reuinion.
The Class of 1977 was a robust group.
The Golden Little Giants -- those alumni classes beyond 50 years -- put forth a spirited perfornmance.
One had to know that the Class of '72 would do great things on stage, as the group paraded around the Mall and into Pioneer Chapel with a caliope. Well done, indeed.
Few Big Bash moments can match when all alumni crowd the Pioneer Chapel stage to sing 'Old Wabash' as one.
Haines Lockhart '67 chats with Laura Wysocki, Associate Professor of Chemistry, at the chemistry department's academic reception in Hays Hall.
Steve Flink '72 (right) chats with John Zimmerman, emeritus Professor of Chemistry.
Wabash professors Brian Tucker (right) and Dan Rogers (left) chat with alumni at the Modern Languages academic reception in Detchon Center.
Tucker (right), Matthew Greenhalgh, Assistant Professor of Spanish, converse with Zack King '17.
Wabash First Lady Wendy Feller (right) shares a moment with Frieda Helm at the Spouses and Partners reception in Lilly Library.
Leigh Rudicel was all smiles at the reception.
Zach Rohrbach '12 (right) talks with current Wabash student Nikolai Jones '24 at the physics academic reception in Goodrich Hall. Jones is working with Dr. Dennis Krause this summer on a research project that is an offshoot of work that Rohrbach and Krause did when Zack was a student here.
Alumnus Kerry Wilson '72 talked enthusiastically of his work and career.
An engaging conversation occurred at the psychology academic reception in Baxter Hall. Professor of Psychology Karen Gunther (center) listens to colleague Eric Olofson, Associate Professor of Psychology, talk through a point.
Reed Hepburn '12 was a thoughtful participant in the Baxter Hall discussion.
Robin Stout '77 makes an emphatic point.
Campus was booming with activity, as Wabash College welcomed back alumni for Big Bash 2022.
Reunion activities began Friday morning with a golf outing at Rocky Ridge Golf Club in Crawfordsville and ran through Sunday’s Big Bash Awards Brunch, where President Scott Feller presented several awards.
This year, Big Bash celebrated reunions with class years ending in 2 and 7, but many alumni from other classes and friends of the College attended as well. Steve Hoffman ’85, director of alumni and parent relations, said more than 350 guests, with class years spanning eight decades, are planning to return to campus.
“We are more eager than ever to host our alumni and friends for Big Bash this year since we’ve not hosted our traditional Big Bash since 2019 due to the pandemic,” Hoffman said. “A highlight for me is watching college friends reunite, sometimes after 50 years or more, and talking to alumni who have not been back to campus for decades.”
Big Bash weekend featured campus tours from the Sons of Wabash, colloquia sessions, great meals, spur-of-the-moment mini-reunions, and the ever-popular Alumni Chapel Sing Saturday, where alumni tested their memories by singing the beloved fight song, “Old Wabash” inside Pioneer Chapel.
After the golf outing on Friday, attendees enjoyed the Welcome Back Luncheon in Knowling Fieldhouse, and the opportunity to catch up with classmates, faculty, and current students.
Big Bash guests also attended the annual alumni/faculty/staff symposium, titled “Wally Salutes: A Symposium on the Military and the Liberal Arts.” The presentations, offered simultaneously throughout the afternoon, featured alumni, faculty, or staff and demonstrated the breadth and depth of the liberal arts on the topic of the military.
Colonel Mark Lee ’85, who has over 29 years of active-duty service experience, presented “On Leadership: Does Liberal Arts produce better leaders?” Lee shared stories from his deployments in support of four campaigns: Operation Just Cause, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. He also talked about the impact his Wabash education had on him throughout his military and professional career.
“Here at Wabash, we learn to challenge ideas. We learn to challenge our own ideas and challenge the ideas of others,” Lee said. “That is powerful leadership.
“Whether it’s in the civilian world or in the military, the liberal arts empowers you to be successful. I continue to benefit from that education today, and I believe the more we can have Wabash-type liberal arts in our society at-large — where we can have discussions and debates — it’s going to be a tremendous benefit to our nation.”
Reunion attendees enjoyed a lively reception before the Big Bash Banquet which highlights the weekend. President Feller presented the Class of 1972 with their 50th reunion medallions. The Class of 1972, in turn, presented the College with a $3.7 million class gift.
Saturday’s activities kicked off with an 8 a.m. bike ride throughout Crawfordsville and Montgomery County, and fun run/walk.
The Alumni Chapel Sing started at 11 a.m. Alumni sang “Old Wabash” with members of their own class and competed against the other nine reunion classes.
President Feller presented a state of the College titled, “Wabash Today'" and alumni attended colloquia sessions by Dean of Students Greg Redding ’88 and Trustee Greg Castanias ’87 on “The Future of Fraternities at Wabash;" Panelists Greg Birk ’77, Hugh Vandivier ’91, Rob Rudicel ’92, Dr. Frank Howland, and Dr. Warren Rosenberg H’98 presented “The Coeducation/Single-Sex Study of 1990-1992.”
A moderated Q&A colloquium, titled “Wabash and Four Years that Changed America: 1968-1972,” featured panelists Dr. Finley Campbell, Dr. David Hadley H’76, Dr. David Blix ’70, Coach Rob Johnson H’77, and Class of 1972 members Frank Hagaman, David Myers, Dr. Don Shelbourne, Dr. Michael Louden, and Steve York, USMC (Ret.).
Big Bash weekend wrapped up Sunday with the Awards Brunch with the Class of 1972 winning most of the awards including attendance, giving, and the Alumni Chapel Sing competition.
President Feller concluded the weekend with a few parting thoughts. "As you leave here, I want you to think about the ways the College is moving forward boldly into its third century—the Wabash experience remains timely. At the same time, the Wabash experience is timeless—you come and you are a part of a long arc that stretches back 190 years of engaged learning."