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A Soulful Woman

Mary Louise Mielke was the wife of Wabash Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Paul Mielke ’42, but I attended her memorial service Thursday in the College’s Detchon International Hall wanting to learn much more than that.

As it turns out, “faculty wife” wasn’t a bad place to begin.

As her son-in-law John R. Roberts noted, being the wife of a faculty member during the 40 years Mary Louise served this College “was like being a minister’s wife: a job with no position description, certainly no salary, but with heavy obligations and expectations.

“She was legendary with generations of Wabash students who were hundreds, thousands, and even continents away from home. She gave them a home, Sunday dinner, and perhaps even the mother’s care they needed.

“The way she touched their lives may have seemed to them like random acts of kindness. But there was no randomness to it. That was Mary Louise. She had a remarkable spirit of kindness, caring, and giving.”

Her daughter Margery recalled the hundreds of “hungry, lonely homesick sons of Wabash” her mother welcomed into their home.

“She loved those Wabash boys as if they were her own sons,” Margery said.

So it was right that Detchon Hall was packed last Thursday, that President White and Professor Mielke’s close faculty colleagues were there along with friends and family to honor this woman who served Wabash in the ways that define a college community at its heart. Mary Louise was one of those who gave our students those outside of the classroom moments that endear this place to alumni, the acts that make one’s alma mater literally a “fostering, nurturing mother.”

She did so with hospitality, “remarkable kindness,” good food, her performance and teaching of music, with her work as a librarian.

But that was just the tip of very bright and warm flame.

You felt that warmth as her daughter Kathy read Emily Dickinson’s “Nature, the gentlest mother,” one of Mary Louise’s favorites:

“Nature, the gentlest mother,

Impatient of no child,

The feeblest or the waywardest,

Her admonition mild…”

You heard it as the soprano voice of her granddaughter and professional opera singer Elizabeth Andrews Roberts—no doubt the most beautiful voice ever to grace this room—energized the air with Schubert’s Litanei. You could imagine a grandmother’s wonder and pride at such a voice coming from the grandchild she once held as a baby.

You heard it in the words of her daughter Margery as she recalled not only her mother’s many talents, but also a surprising sense of adventure : During World War II, Mary Louise led her girl scout troop on a 400 mile journey from Crawfordsville to Beaver Island, Michigan on single-speed bikes with balloon tires.

You heard it when Margery recalled how her mother loved not only playing music, but teaching it, how she enjoyed playing flute in the kitchen with her son Paul and daughter Kathy, and how she was tickled when the dogs joined in!

“In her mind, the perfect quintet was bassoon, oboe, and flute, with soprano and alto dog.”

She was a musician, a natural teacher, a librarian, a quilter and seamstress, and a lover of words—whether reading Virgil, doing the New York Times crossword, or reading aloud to her children and grandchildren.

“How can so much goodness, loving-kindness, and generosity of spirit be housed in such a small person?” Margery Mielke Roberts wondered aloud.

And that’s what most moved me Thursday—seeing how those talents and virtues continue to be housed in Mary Louise Mielke’s children and grandchildren. I’ve never been to a memorial service where the “departed” seemed so present in those she loved—in the singing, in the reading of her favorite Latin quotation by her granddaughter, Caitlin, in the embraces between readings, in the shared laughter at family jokes, in the carefully crafted quilts laying on the the table in the corner.

“We never doubted for one moment that she loved us; that was her great gift to us,” Margery Roberts said. “Her love was the bedrock on which we built our lives.”

It still is. As Mary Louise’s granddaughter, Jessica, added: “My grandmother taught me some of the most important things I will ever know—how to knead bread, how to knit, that words matter, and that loving means forgiving.

“Last summer I asked my husband what he thought the soul was, and he said, ‘the human capacity to love and to forgive.’ If that is so, my grandmother was a soulful woman.”

—Steve Charles

The Coach as Teacher

Steve Charles—With the exception of the Monon Bell Game, Little Giant football isn’t the beat I cover here for Public Affairs. And even at that Game, my assignment is “crowd shots.”

At Homecoming, I don’t take game or queen contest photos. I photograph Wamidan, the Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, and the Glee Club at that evening’s Homecoming Concert.

No one on our staff should have less to say about the departure of Chris Creighton. No one knows less about him as a football coach.

But I do know and respect him as a teacher and mentor. And the first time I caught a glimpse of that was, strangely enough, in my arts beat over at Salter Hall.

Little Giant quarterback Russ Harbaugh ’05 had just finished showing one of his documentary films, either Beside Myself, Russ’s film that traced the history of Wabash’s study of coeducation and the controversies surrounding those studies, or Thy Loyal Sons, the film he completed his senior year. I can’t remember which, as Creighton saw them both.

I do remember thanking Chris for attending the screening, which I realized, almost as soon as I said it, was a little like thanking a father for coming to his son’s play. But Chris was gracious, said he “wouldn’t miss it.”

Chris would later say that the experience of making that film and the response it received from the Wabash community contributed as much if not more to Russ’s confidence and remarkable senior year on the football field than any training or change of technique.

Chris sees his players not just as athletes, not just as students, but as human beings. His approach to the College’s mission to educate mind, body, and spirit is among the most holistic I’ve seen in 10 years at Wabash. He understands that men often bond most strongly working alongside one another, and that young men, particularly those of us who are kinesthetic or tactile learners, learn best not while we’re sitting on our butts in the classroom, or even engaged in debate afterward, but while we’re on the move, when we’re doing something, putting what we’ve learned into tangible, physical practice.

The football team’s 2006 immersion trip to Panama exemplified that understanding and approach. Ostensibly a trip to play a football game in Panama, Creighton, history professor Rick Warner and their colleagues shaped it into service learning/immersion trip with a football game at the end.

“Something extraordinary has happened to 39 of our students this week,” wrote Warner of the trip. “They have become immersed in a society considerably different than their own, rubbing shoulders with ordinary people in a developing country. Most importantly, they have reflected on the value of working toward an understanding of a different culture.”

This wasn’t just a coach making sure his students were doing well in the classroom; this was a coach extending that classroom into the world.

I believe coaches and professors can learn much from each other about the most effective ways to reach and teach Wabash students, and I believe all of us who care about teaching and learning could have learned from Chris Creighton. The good news is that history professor Rick Warner, Creighton’s partner in crime on the Panama trip, has just been granted tenure, so that learning is still possible.

As Rick has written, “I’ve realized that there are fruitful ways that professors and coaches can work as partners in bringing the world to our students. Not only do we teach the same students, but important life lessons well beyond the realms of academics and athletics can be learned when such partnerships are forged.”

The photograph of Coach Creighton I’ve included here reminds me of this holistic approach he brought to Wabash. Not wearing a headset or Wabash coach’s shirt, he’s on the sidelines of a different sort in this picture I took last spring at Commencement. Chris was watching and listening intently as Patrick Millikan ’07, the Little Giant lineman and NCAA Postgraduate Scholar, one of those 39 men on the Panama trip, delivered his 2007 Commencement Address.

“Proud of him?” I asked as Patrick finished and his coach and teacher applauded.

Chris just nodded and said, “Sure gonna miss him.”

Creighton and Wabash: Good Things to Come

Jim Amidon — Wabash football coach Chris Creighton will spend Christmas tomorrow with his wife, Heather, and their three children. They’ll wake early, open presents, and celebrate the wonders of the season.

On Wednesday, Creighton will turn the page to a new chapter in his life as the head coach at Drake University. He’ll have very little time to wrap up his time at Wabash and in Crawfordsville before moving to Des Moines to begin shaping the Bulldog football program in his image.

As Dean of Students Tom Bambrey told me when he heard the news that Creighton was leaving Wabash, it’s been a great run for Little Giant football.

While Wabash had great gridiron success under coaches Frank Navarro, Stan Parrish, and Greg Carlson, posting undefeated seasons, a run through the NCAA Division III playoffs, and winning for Wabash several conference championships, Creighton, Neal Neathery, and the entire coaching staff took a proud Wabash football tradition to a new level.

Creighton posted two undefeated seasons, three runs into the playoffs, and won four league titles over seven seasons. His teams were 63-15, an average of nine wins per season.

A new coach will soon arrive on campus and begin to make his own mark on a tradition-rich college football program that is sixth all-time in victories.

The X’s and O’s of game-day football and the student-focused work of recruiting will continue. Wabash will continue to contend for North Coast Athletic Conference championships. Wabash players will excel in the classroom, on the field, and as leaders on campus.

None of that will change.

In Creighton, though, Wabash loses a coach that was about more than football. He created a family atmosphere for players, their parents, and the entire Wabash nation. He grounded the program on values of integrity, dedication, work ethic, and commitment to team. He developed in his players an unwavering commitment to the youth of our community manifested in reading and mentoring programs, and in the wildly popular Youth Football Clinic.

The swagger that his teams took on as a by-product of their confidence in each other and success on the field extended across campus and throughout the alumni body.

Wabash alumni and friends developed what I can only describe as a love affair with the football team the last seven autumns. But it wasn’t love at first sight. In replacing Carlson, Creighton had more than a few skeptics that first season of 2001.

The Monon Miracle, the Hail Mary pass from Jake Knott to Curt Casper (via Ryan Short) that gave Wabash the victory over DePauw to end the 2001 season, instantly converted the critics.

Since that time, Wabash has experienced unprecedented success on the football field, which whether related or not, has coincided with record numbers of applications for admission and record-setting fund-raising results.

All of Wabash has taken on that swagger.

Dean Bambrey got it right on the mark — it’s been a great run for Wabash.

And while the Creighton era has come to an end, there is a very bright future for the football program. Creighton preached five fundamental program goals designed to create hard-working, dedicated men of impact.

I have to think that’s the part of the Creighton legacy that will continue long into the future. Doing things right — doing them hard and with dedication — not only produces wins on the football field, it produces winners in life.

All of us wish Coach Creighton and his family the best — on and off the field — in their time at Drake University. We bid them farewell as “Some Little Giants!”

A Wabash Man Is…

Kim Johnson - As I was clearing off my desk and getting things squared away before the holidays, I had some time to reflect about my first three months at Wabash. Even though I have not had a whole lot of interaction with students thus far, those interactions I have had have been particularly meaningful in shaping my view of Wabash men.

I have been working on updating a set of flyers for the Admissions Office that highlights each academic department including a junior or senior major from the department. I have been impressed with how articulate these young men are. Not that it surprised me, I guess, but nonetheless I thought sharing what these students had to say about their experiences at Wabash would be a great way to wrap up the semester and head in to the holidays on a high note!

Will Arvin ’08 – “I never knew that I could work this hard in academics and get such a great pay-off. I have never worked so hard in my life and I have never enjoyed working so hard in my life. I tell people looking at the program here, ‘If you are looking for an easy way to do it, then don’t come here.’ It is definitely worth it though. If I had to go back and choose again, there is no way I’d go anywhere else.”

Jay Brouwer ’09 – “I didn’t come to Wabash with the intention of being a music major, but when I thought about what I really enjoy I decided I probably won’t get a chance like this after I graduate. I’m still getting my pre-dental requirements met with my minors, but I’m also learning the theory and history of music. Music really encompasses all subjects — from mathematics and science to history and literature.”

John Chuang ‘08 – “Studying history makes me think a lot more about where I am in the world and the roots of how society came to be where it is today. It really centers me in a spot where I can fit into history. I see and understand the bigger picture. I am thinking more critically on today’s issues.”

Andy Deig ’08 – “The economics faculty here are brilliant. I think the work they have recently published is really going to be changing the way undergraduate economics is taught.”

“As I was researching colleges, what was really appealing to me about the program at Wabash was that I would not be getting a degree in finance or a degree in accounting but as an economics major I know finance and accounting. I know all of those special niches where many other people get a degree in one alone. I am learning those things without lending myself to one or the other. The skills that come along with being liberally educated in economics will be valuable in business and has made me competitive in the job market.”

Chris Geggie ‘08 – “I had the opportunity to study at the ICCS in Rome. After studying there I would argue I have received a better education at Wabash College than most of the other students including those from the Ivy League. The quality of the educational opportunities they had received was similar to mine, but at Wabash I have had the opportunity to work one-on-one alongside the faculty. They understand my individual interests, goals and needs, as well as those of all their students, allowing them to tailor our studies so we can better ourselves personally and professionally.”

Dan Gillespie ‘08 – Art Major “My relationship with the faculty is really good. It’s nice because we are so close. They make themselves very available to talk to — to bounce my ideas off. My relationships with them are the most personal I have ever had with teachers.”

Andy Leshovsky ’09 – “Wabash can get you wherever you want to go. I think in today’s world, whether it be employers or graduate schools, they are really looking for a well-rounded college graduate. Wabash definitely provides that. You get a breadth of experience during your time here majoring in whatever you want and you can still go on to do any other thing.”

Alex Nolan ’08 – “I spent the summers after my freshman and sophomore years doing research on campus with one of my professors. Most students don’t have that opportunity until graduate school or maybe as upperclassmen and even then only if they have good lab skills. I did not have good lab skills but because of that opportunity was able to develop good skills.”

Lincoln Smith ’08 – “The education at Wabash is tailored to what you want to do. It’s not prescribed—like if you want to do ‘this’ you come to Wabash. You come here to figure out what you want to do and the faculty and staff help you get there. The teaching is excellent and the mentoring that you get on research is phenomenal.”

Aaron Spolarich ‘08 – “The faculty in the English Department have pushed me to not just be content with achieving a high level of language and literature comprehension and analysis, but to excel at it. I feel I am well prepared as I look ahead to Law School. The critical thinking and interpretation skills I have developed will serve me well.”

I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear from these men. They are all heading on to do great things.

Daughters

Steve Charles—“It might seem odd for a woman to claim such a kinship to a ‘school for men,’” University of Arkansas Professor Marta Collier writes in her essay “My Brothers for Life” in the latest Wabash Magazine. “But I found mentorship that I needed as an undergraduate, a young wife, a graduate student, and new university professor among the staff and faculty of Wabash and the Malcolm X Institute.”

Professor Collier’s story is unique—she met her future husband, Willyerd Collier ’75, when she was a student at Earlham College and he was brother in the formative years of the Malcolm X. Institute at Wabash.

“I attended Earlham College, but I feel more like an alum of Wabash,” she told me at last year’s reunion of the MXI, and I asked if she’d be interested in telling the Wabash community why that was the case. She writes beautifully about her experiences in this issue of the magazine.

Marta Collier (below left) and her story were one of the first inspirations for this issue devoted to daughters of Wabash and daughters of Wabash men. Another was Leslie Hunt, the daughter of Steve Hunt ’76 who was in the national spotlight last year as a finalist in Fox TV’s American Idol. Getting acquainted in Chicago with the music of both Leslie and her dad (the finest percussionist ever to attend Wabash) was a highlight of my summer, and Leslie’s photograph (above) graces the cover of this issue.

But every bit as compelling are the essays by “faculty brats” Susan Easterling Albrecht and O. Henry Prize-winning author Alison Baker, who recall very different experiences of what it felt like to be a girl growing up at “a college for men.”

Susan’s piece celebrates “coming full circle” at Wabash, where she grew up, works, and now sees her children joining the Wabash family.

Alison’s essay, at once humorous, insightful, and poignant, unveils the interior life of her years growing up at the edge of the Wabash campus. As she writes, “Pluck up a little girl who’s prone to daydreams, deposit her on the campus of a men’s school, and what’s she to make of it?”

I hope you’ll appreciate, as I did, the candor and tenderness of the writing in this issue, from Professor Bert Stern’s “Becoming Family” to Tom Runge’s reflections on the daughter he lost and Pat White’s thoughts on being the “necessary dad” to two very capable and accomplished young women. The “Daughters” theme not only allows us to view the College through a different lens, but her sons, as well.

I think you’ll be impressed by the creative ways men like Chris Braun ’81 and Denis Kelly ’84 find to share Wabash with their daughters. And our Faculty Notes article about professors Kay Widdows and Melissa Butler and their expedition through the Amazon on what Kay calls ‘the best immersion module I’ve ever led” reminds us how these women are such effective teachers and mentors of Wabash men.

We open the issue with a remarkable photograph by Thomas Florsheim ’53, taken during one of his many visits to India. We close with a photograph of a remarkable woman, Jasmine Robinson, on the day she was named an honorary alumna of the College. Another reminder of why it is as difficult to imagine Wabash without the inspiration and influence of woman as it is to imagine Wabash not being a college for men.

I hope you enjoy reading the work of the many and varied contributors from the Wabash community to this issue of Wabash Magazine, which arrives on campus tomorrow and in many of your mailboxes this week.

A Filmmaker in the Liberal Arts Tradition

Steve Charles—One of my greatest frustrations in trying to cover the lives of Wabash alumni for Wabash Magazine is that I just can’t keep up.

Even with the help of class agents, professors, advancement officers, and great alumni affairs and public affairs teams, some important achievement or event always seems to fall between the cracks.

On the flip side, when we do finally hear about such moments, catching up is a blast. Learning—often, learning a lot—is always in the mix

Take award-winning filmmaker Richard Elson ’69, for instance.

When I last contacted him for an article back in 1999, he’d already produced the Academy-Award nominated The Colors of My Father, the extraordinary documentary about Canadian expressionist painter Sam Borenstein as depicted by Borenstein’s daughter, Judith.

He had produced Bonjour Shalom, a film about a neighborhood in Montreal where a community of Hasidic Jews lives side-by-side (though not without tension) with French Catholic neighbors. The film earned numerous awards.

In 1999 he also produced What if… a film about Judith Merril, the science fiction writer and host of the original Dr. Who series who was an icon of sci-fi’s heydey in the 1940s and 50s. The film won the Best Portrait Award at the International Festival of Films on Art.

He’d recently released Bittersweet Deliveries, an intimate portrait of young unemployed men and women in Montreal who deliver food to the elderly and form strong relationships with them. And he had completed The Mystery of the Blue Whale, which won the Rolex Grand Prize at the International Festival of Maritime and Exploration Films in Toulon, France.

The only thing all these films had in common was Elson’s passion for the subject matter. Through his production company, Imageries, Ltd., Elson was taking risks to tell the stories he believed needed to be told.

So as I was contacting alumni for a feature in the Winter 2008 issue of Wabash Magazine that we’re calling “That Entrepreneurial Spirit,” Richard’s name was among the first that came to mind. And Richard had just emailed me with change of address form, so I knew exactly how to get in touch with him.

I wondered what he had been up to lately. Richard sent me a link to the website of one of his latest projects and I ran a Google search of his name to find some other recent work. Talk about missing some remarkable accomplishments!

In 2002 he produced Chiefs, a six-hour TV series about the lives of such remarkable First Nations chiefs as Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Poundmaker, and Black Hawk.

Next he suggested to Gary Beitel (pictured with Elson at left), with whom he had worked on Bonjour Shalom, that Beitel direct a documentary about Montreal’s famed Chez Schwartz deli. The result is, as one reviewer put it, “a film to drool over.” (See the website here.)

He’s currently working with Oscar-winning director Terre Nash on “Once Upon a Story”, a feature documentary about storytelling.

I’m grateful that Richard has agreed to answer my questions about filmmaking and entrepreneurism for our Winter issue. But I’m more grateful for and amazed at the work he has done in his remarkable career as a filmmaker in the true liberal arts tradition.

Read Elson’s answers here to the question we asked him in 1999: What was the most significant achievement in your profession during the 20th century?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Kim Johnson - When I interviewed four months ago for my position at Wabash nearly every person I spoke with (ten different people if I remember correctly) asked me the same question. Why Wabash?

The answer is easy.

First, it’s Wabash! Having grown up in Crawfordsville I have always been around the College. The campus is beautiful. The faculty, staff, and students are always friendly. And Wabash is consistently ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

Second, I have always been drawn to the higher education setting. There is an energy on a college or university campus that just can’t be matched any place else. There is almost always something going on, there are always great conversations in which to get involved and there is so much potential just bubbling in every corner – the academic buildings, the athletic facilities, the residences. There is constant dialogue, struggling, growing, learning…

What can I say? I’m selfish. I like surrounding myself with great people and engaging environments.

Even today my absolute favorite times of the year include move-in weekend, move-out weekend/commencement, and finals week. (Yes, I was one of those freaks who loved taking final exams – I’m crazy, I know – all the studying, cramming, quiet hours, last minute study sessions – but after all the anticipation, I loved walking out of my last exam knowing I’d done all I could… I would do it all again in a heartbeat!)

Other days that rank pretty high on my list include the first snow of the season (today! see photo album here) and the first “warm” day in the spring. While they seem to be opposites, they are really quite similar.

When the first flakes of snow start to fall, the sleds come out, all studying gets temporarily pushed aside, and it’s all about getting outside and playing! There’s no better excuse to be a kid again than a blanket of fresh snow. (Read more from one Wabash freshman.)

It’s the same with spring. The heavy coats and hats get peeled off and thrown aside. Forget the paper that’s due tomorrow – that’s what midnight is for. The main objective – get outside and play! I love heading across campus and having to dodge Frisbees and walk around hoards of people just sitting on the mall enjoying the simple pleasure of the returning warmth after a long winter.

Ah, there’s just something about being on a college campus, especially this time of year.

Listen to President’s White’s Talk on Caleb Mills

Howard W. Hewitt – President Patrick White, the College’s 15th president, presented a special Chapel Talk Tuesday commemorating the 175th anniversary of the College. He harkened back to 1832 and the schools’ first teacher, Caleb Mills.

You can hear the entire speech in a Podcast here.

The President talked about the importance of history and asked the students gathered to join him with a ‘historical imagination’ to ponder what Mills would think of Wabash today.

“What would Caleb Mills do if he walked among us,” the President asked. “What would he say?”

White noted Mills’ first class was just 12 men. He ruminated on what Mills might think as he discovered his old home, Hovey Cottage, and Forest Hall where the first classes were held. What would he think of Hays Hall, the Chapel, or the Allen Center, the president wondered aloud.

He shared that Caleb Mills was known as a shy and quiet man but would get quite angry with Indiana’s Legislature until they began free public education. He shared Mills’ writing with the students. He noted Mills left Wabash in 1854 to become Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. He also talked of the tough life he had living on the frontier and trying to establish this small school.

Listen to the entire talk by clicking the link above.

 

The Playoffs: Cold Day, Warm Hearts

Jim Amidon — The Wabash College football team’s exciting run through the NCAA Division III playoffs came to an abrupt end Saturday. With winds howling at 25 miles per hour and steady snow showers throughout the game at Whitewater, Wisconsin, the Little Giants could bask only in the warmth of their loud and appreciative fans.

Check out three photo albums by clicking here, here, and here.

The statistics sheet and scoreboard were lopsided in favor of the host Warhawks, but determination and pride favored the Little Giants.

A huge crowd of Wabash fans from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, and even Florida descended on Perkins Stadium hours before the start of the football game. Wabash flags on 30-foot poles whipped wildly in the wind, but staked out the Wabash tailgating spot next to the field.

There was warmth, fellowship, and good cheer — a celebration not of an impending victory, but of the Wabash spirit and the Little Giants’ successful 2007 season.

It’s a shame the outcome was as unbalanced as it was. While the Warkhaws are an elite team that I can easily see playing for the national championship in two weeks, a rash of Wabash injuries, illnesses, and mistakes kept the Little Giants from playing their best on Saturday. The wind, cold, and snow were factors, but Wabash simply didn’t play well enough to stay with mighty Whitewater.

I walked the field, then covered in six inches of snow and ice, after the game in search of the players who have meant so much to Wabash this season and over the last four years. Saturday the seniors were sad and disappointed, but hopefully they will begin to hold their heads high today and in the weeks to come. They have much to be proud of; they represented Wabash with courage and integrity.

As a class, the seniors won three straight North Coast Athletic Conference championships, qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs twice, split the Monon Bell series, and shattered some of Wabash’s oldest football records.

Standing as a symbol of the team’s grit and determination is captain and All-American Adi Pynenberg (left). Quiet and soft-spoken, Pynenberg let his play do the talking — shouting is a better word to match his uncanny linebacking ability. Not even six feet tall and barely over 210 pounds, Pynenberg seems unlikely to be the player who would capture virtually every Wabash defensive record.

I bet you couldn’t even pull him out of a lineup of Wabash players if I asked you to identify the first Little Giant ever to be named a three-time All-American in the sport. Heck, by physical stature alone, you’d pick 20 guys before you’d select Adi.

If ever there was a football player who truly defined the school’s nickname – Little Giant — Adi Pynenberg is that player. He will be missed for sure, but my sincere hope is that his underclassman teammates remember not his records, but the way he conducted himself and the way he played the game. The records will probably be broken; his legacy of character and class, of playing the game with all his heart and might must endure.

I wish I had room to write about all of the seniors on this year’s Wabash football team. Each and every one of them is special in their own way, and each man’s contributions to the team are worthy of note.

But to list them one at a time would be to go against the fundamental nature of Coach Creighton’s approach to the game. For coach and this team, it’s never about the individual. It’s always about the collective product that is achieved when every member of the team contributes — sells out — not for himself, but for the players on either side of him.

So that’s how this team will be remembered. Not for its All-Conference and All-American individual players, of which there are many, but for the sum of its parts.

Coach Creighton has now been around Wabash a long time, but never before has his team-first philosophy rung so true. Never before in his Wabash tenure as the team lost as many valuable individual players to injury, yet every week, someone else — someone unpredictable — would step up for the benefit of the whole.

Indeed, it was a cold day in Wisconsin on Saturday. But the spirit of camaraderie among the Little Giants and their fans warmed our frozen digits and more importantly warmed our hearts.

(Tailgate and pre-game photos by Anthony Hart ’87)