Jim Amidon — Wabash lost one of its beloved alumnae over the weekend when Virginia “Ginny” Hays passed away in her home.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 5 in the Pioneer Chapel at Wabash College. The family requests that flowers not be sent. Memorial contributions may be made in Ginny’s name to the Montgomery County Community Foundation, Montgomery County Family Crisis Shelter, or MUFFY (details follow at the bottom of the story).
Ginny touched so many lives it’s hard for any one person to sum her up — to pay tribute to her — so please consider sharing your memories by posting a comment to this blog.
Ginny was passionate about and had great love for Wabash College and Crawfordsville. Her late husband, Will ’37, served as mayor of Crawfordsville for eight years and was an active member of the Wabash Board of Trustees from 1960 through 1974.
Ginny loved this community. She served the city as its First Lady and was committed to making Crawfordsville a better place to live. She demonstrated civic leadership by regularly attending City Council meetings, helping found the Montgomery County Community Foundation, creating the Crawfordsville Beautification Committee, and serving on the Boards of the Family Crisis Shelter, the Crawfordsville Country Club, and the local community theater.
She was also elected to — and proudly served — the Crawfordsville School Board.
Indiana Governor Otis Bowen named her a Sagamore of the Wabash for her commitment to Crawfordsville and the state of Indiana.
Ginny loved Wabash — deeply. She was a gracious host at alumni events near and far, and gladly opened her doors to Wabash men when they returned to their alma mater. In 1998, the National Association of Wabash Men welcomed her into the ranks of the alumni body when they named her an Honorary Alumna.
Ginny loved sports — Wabash sports. When I was the sports information director in the 1980s, I would arrive at the stadium on home football Saturdays just after sunrise to prepare for the day. Ginny was always right behind me in order to place her stadium blanket in exactly the right spot — the same spot every week — so that Wabash football players would know she was there and rooting them on to victory.
The same was true at basketball games. Ginny always cheered the Little Giants from right behind their bench.
And win or lose — continuing a tradition begun by her late husband — Ginny would write the teams notes of congratulation to honor their performance.
The NAWM noted her devotion to Wabash athletics and enshrined her in the Wabash College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Wabash College has had hundreds of loyal and dedicated alumni in its 175-year history, but few women equal the passion Ginny Hays had for this College.
We shall miss her in the stadium and at Chadwick Court, but we will hold her in our hearts forever.
Friends are invited to post their memories of Ginny to this blog entry.
Photos: On the home page: Ginny with Kathy and John Fox at the Will Hays Visiting Writer event last fall. At top:†Ginny and Kathy at the Phillip Caputo lecture. Bottom picture: Ginny with fellow Wabash Honorary Alumna, Fran Hollett.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Montgomery County Community Foundation (118 East Main Street, Crawfordsville, IN 47933), MUFFY (190 West Main Street, Crawfordsville, IN 47933) or the Montgomery County Family Crisis Shelter (814 East Market Street, Crawfordsville, IN 47933).