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Wabash Lost A Great Lady

I was pretty sure this day would never come. After all, something told me that Ginny Hays just might live forever. It’s that way with all lovely young women who are timeless wonders…and Ginny certainly was.

Ginny continued the commitment to and love for our Alma Mater that has been in the Hays family for decades. I know that will continue – the entire family loves this College. In turn, we stand beside them mourning this loss as one big family.

I was at Kenyon when they announced on Saturday that their alumnus Paul Newman had passed away. It’s almost fitting that Ginny, with her fond memories of Hollywood, finally decided it was time to make the journey up North.

It’s a sad day…very sad…but there’s also just a wee bit of happiness as well. I always felt that Ginny, without her ever saying it, was looking forward to the day when she could be reunited with “her Bill”.

She is now…and forever.

Ginny Hays – truly Some Little Giant.

Photo: Ginny Hays at a Monon Bell game a couple of years ago.

Asleep With Heroes- Bob Armstrong '74

“Asleep with Heroes.” That was the title of the email I received. That simple marker at Arlington National Cemetery marks Bob’s final resting place.

Bob fought the Big “C” longer than anyone I know…he was the patient who simply amazed his doctors.

Bob was a driving force with our DC area regional group. He helped get the group off the ground and found a meeting place for their luncheons “back in the day”. When we started the Jim Graham Externship Program a few years ago, Bob was one of the first to host an extern at work. In those days Bob was involved in some sensitive programs dealing with terrorist activity – I was and still am amazed at the access he was able to get for our young men.

Bob Armstrong – St. Peter and the Big Guy no doubt know he served his Country and his College well. I guess the email should read “asleep amongst other heroes”.

(Thanks to Alison Kothe on our staff for forwarding the email!)

Finley Campbell – MXIBS Pioneer

Former Wabash professor Finley Campbell, in town for the Malcolm X Institute for Black Studies Alumni Weekend, stopped by the office last week. Finley wanted to look through some old yearbooks. He pulled out his movie camera and quietly dictated some thoughts and memories while he filmed some of the pages. He had a great time. I felt like I was intruding on something private and special.

At one point, he told me he had made the trip in 1968 to Crawfordsville and Wabash College to stay only a year. He then went on to explain that Dean Norm Moore talked to him…as you can almost predict Finley ended up staying a couple of extra years!

The years have added up on us all, but it was great to see the fire in his eyes still burned bright…and Wabash was still an important part of his life.

Fraternity Dedications – TKE and Delt – Liberal Arts in Action

Wabash dedicated the renovated Delt house and the brand new TKE house on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

The Delts had a “regular” dedication – a couple of short talks and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Traditional.

The TKEs? No ribbon to be cut. Instead nine speakers, including a poetry reading, and songs around the flagpole. A whistle to keep folks on time (they needed to get done in an hour.) Different.

(You can see photos of the dedications on our home page.)

I wasn’t able to attend either dedication – we had a few class agents back on campus for a meeting. But I did talk with many people who attended the dedications. All of them enjoyed the dedications – both of them. Great crowds at both. Different but fun and memorable.

Same College…and the houses are across the street. That’s liberal arts in action.

Our Wabash Family and Bill Melvin

The Mall earlier today. Beautiful day…not a cloud in the sky. Temperature perfect. Faculty, staff, students, friends, and families plus free lunch.

Perfect? Not quite.

If you have been on campus sometime within the last 30 years, you probably met Bill Melvin. Don’t worry if you don’t remember him – he’s a behind the scenes guy – someone who delivers more than you expect and doesn’t hang around to make sure you knew he was there. Not his style.

Today was for Bill…he has esophageal cancer.

Bon Appetit, his family on campus, threw a giant spread of food. No cost. All they ask is that the Wabash community make a gift to help defray the enormous expenses Bill and his family have. I won’t spoil the story I know will be posted shortly and reveal the size of our community’s generosity. Safe to say, though, that the Wabash community showed Bill and his family they matter…really matter.

Tonight, after you’ve read about the stock market, checked the weather, and before your head bounces onto that pillow, send a message up to the Big Guy for Bill and his family.

They are in a real fight – a fight for life – and they are giving it their all. Let’s be there with them.

Wabash Always Fights!

Bill Cook '66 – Back on Campus

I caught sight of Bill Cook ’66 in Chapel the other day as we were singing “Old Wabash”. Bill is back on campus this year filling in for Bill Placher ’70 who is on sabbatical.

Cook normally can be found teaching at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, New York. †In addition to a fine professor, Bill’s been a real contributor to our recruiting effort sending many a fine young man our way over the years.

Bill’s been recognized as an outstanding teacher. In fact, SUNY Geneseo has established The William R. Cook Fund for Excellence in Teaching.

Bill Cook ’66 – Some Little Giant – we’re glad to have you back!

Alumni Swim Meet – Oct 4 – 10:00 AM

Wabash will host an Alumni Swim Meet at Homecoming – October 4, 2008 at 10:00 AM. Wabash legendary Coach Gail Pebworth will be the honorary starter.

No, Michael Phelps won’t be there…but the picture did make you read on, didn’t it? Click here to go to the Wabash swimming web site for more details.

Don’t worry about how you look in your Speedos – just come back to see Coach and spend some time with your friends.

See you at Homecoming!

Marc Nichols '92 – Appointed COO for Green Advantage

(From the press release) “Marc A. Nichols has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Green Advantage. Nichols was most recently acting Executive Director for SB NOW, a community-based non-profit dedicated to building a more socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable local economy.

Nichols will be the first COO and General Counsel for Green Advantage. His responsibilities will include oversight of the organization’s overall operations, including their green building practitioner certification programs, their relationships with seat-based and online authorized training partners, as well as overseeing all community-building, marketing and communications functions. Nichols will also be responsible for all legal relationships and development of all required policies and partnerships.

Nichols is a member of the Washington, D.C., Colorado, and U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He holds a J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Business Network of Washington and serves on the business council of the Human Rights Campaign.”

Congrats, Marc – Well Done!