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The 2012 Transit of Venus

A group of 60 amateur astronomers gathered at Wabash College Tuesday afternoon to view the transit of the planet Venus as it passed between the Earth and the Sun.

Wabash College Professor Wally Novak helps a young astronomer view the transit of Venus on Tuesday. Novak and Professor James Brown set up telescopes on campus for viewers to enjoy the event.

BKT Assistant Professor of Chemistry Wally Novak set up a standard telescope and a homemade pinhole camera to allow the members of the College faculty, staff, students, and their families watch the event as it took place. The next transit of Venus will not occur until 2117.

View photos from the event here.

“Viewing the transits of planets as they passed between the Earth and Sun was one of the earliest ways to understand our solar system,” Novak explained to the group. “Astronomers centuries ago used these transition to measure the size of the planets in addition to studying their orbital paths.”

Associate Professor of Physics James Brown brought a high-powered telescope with a solar filter so those who came could enjoy a clear view of the transit. People lined up and patiently waited for clouds to clear before eventually watching the event.

Midnight Munch Founder Back on the Line

Midnight Munch is a long-standing tradition at Wabash College. Students gather at the Sparks Center Great Hall on Tuesday night of finals week to enjoy some eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, mixed fruit, pastries, and other assorted study-break snacks — all served by the College’s faculty and staff. This year the students also had the opportunity to honor the founder of the Midnight Munch, retiring Political Science Professor David Hadley.

Days away from retiring after 43 years at Wabash, Professor of Political Science David Hadley returned to the Midnight Munch to serve eggs and other breakfast treats to the students. Hadley created the event during his time as Dean of Students at Wabash.

Hadley started the event during his time as Dean of Students at Wabash. Current Dean of Students Mike Raters brought Hadley to the middle of the Great Hall to be honored by the 381 students in attendance.

View photos from the Midnight Munch here.

This semester’s Midnight Munch was nearly postponed after severe storms forced Bon Appétit Chef Jordan Hall and his staff to the basement of the Sparks Center around 7 p.m. The crew returned to the kitchen around 7:30 p.m. to prepare all of the food for the hungry crowd.

Professors Laura Wysocki and Steffani Rossi spent the evening at the griddle designing pancake masterpieces for the students' enjoyment.

Returning to help the current Wabash faculty and staff were retired professors Melissa Butler, Don Herring, and David Maharry. President White was traveling on College business, so Assistant Professor of Chemistry Laura Wysocki and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Stefani Rossi spent the evening creating “W” pancakes in addition to experimenting with other creative designs.

As the clock struck 12 a.m., students, faculty, and staff all wandered into the early-morning fog to rest before the last three days of finals and a close of the 2011-2012 school year.

New Home for the College “Brain”

The summer of 2011 was a busy one for the Wabash College IT department. The schedule included the usual upgrade of computers across campus, installation of software upgrades for both individuals and computer labs, and prepare user accounts for one of the largest incoming freshmen classes in the College’s history. Added to the list of normal items was the development of the new college web site, which was completed in August.

However, the department had one more major project that was completed without much fanfare. The entire network server and telephone system room — the “brain” of the College’s computer services — was completely renovated in time for fall classes to begin.

View photos of the project here.

“The most pressing need was to provide a reliable base of operations to keep all of our systems functioning around the clock,” Director of IT Services Brad Weaver said during an open house and tech talk for faculty, students, and staff on Tuesday.

The renovation included the installation of an uninterrupted power supply to the servers, a new air conditioning and handling system to maintain a constant temperature for the sensitive equipment, modification of the systems to a virtual storage system across a series of blade servers. Wiring and fiber systems were re-organized, and security and safety systems were put in place to protect the systems from from possible damage from either natural disasters such as flooding, or outside attacks on the system.

With all of the other projects also needing attention, the planning for this renovation took several months.

“We developed a time line about six months before we began construction,” Weaver said. “We had a lot of help from campus services and our construction company in planning and executing this upgrade. We made the decision early on to move our existing equipment out of the room during the renovation and into another area. That let us keep things running without having to shut anything down for long periods of time throughout the summer. That helped a lot.”

While the renovation is complete, Weaver and his staff have additional plans to keep Wabash computer systems functioning in emergency situations.

“We have developed a redundant space in Hayes Hall that we use to mirror email, the web site, Moodle, and some of the other systems that we use day to day to function. We still need to look at overall IT services. We still have to address some issues of space and safety as we continue to expand with new technologies. We will need to address those items at some point in the near future.”

Almost Finished

The first wave of “finishing touches” are being applied to the Mud Hollow Field projects as the new school year draws ever closer.

With the installation of the FieldTurf Duraspine Pro at the soccer stadium completed and sod filling most of the new practice and intramural/recreation space at Mud Hollow, the major focus of the project now turns to a long list of smaller items that will provide the final detail to the construction.

New goals and team benches were completed early this week and will be waiting for the arrival of the 2011 Wabash soccer team for early season practice in few weeks. Actually, the nets got some early work when senior players Ian Kelly and Mike Hegeman took some of their lunch break from summer campus jobs to kick around on the field on a warm Tuesday afternoon. You can view photos from their impromptu practice session along with some of the other project items here.

Seniors Ian Kelly (left) and Mike Hegeman kick the ball around at the new soccer stadium during their lunch break.

The new scoreboard will installed the first week of August, with handrails and fencing to go up around the facility during that time, as well. Everything is on schedule to be ready when the stadium gets its first real shakedown on Sunday, August 28 when the Little Giant soccer team scrimmages against St. Joseph’s College of Indiana at 5 p.m. The first official match at Mud Hollow Stadium will take place on Saturday, September 3 when Wabash plays Trine University at 2 p.m. in the opening match of the Second Annual Robbie Dreher Classic.

Going Green!

Brent Harris — Work has continued throughout the warm Indiana weather over the past few days. The crew from FieldTurf have nearly completed the installation of the DuraSpine Pro surface at the soccer stadium and have the surface ready for play. Crews have added the new seats and will complete the final stages of the stadium over the next few weeks.

View the latest photos from the Mud Hollow project here.

Most of the attention will now turn to the practice fields and track and field competition areas on the eastern portion of Mud Hollow Field. Landscapers were laying the first sections of sod on Wednesday, and plan to have a entire green field in place by the weekend. With the new sod in place, crews were working on the irrigation system to make certain there will be no problems keeping the fields watered as the new grass takes root.

Fencing will be added in the coming weeks, along with some final pathways and landscaping, getting everything buttoned up for the debut and dedication of the new facilities in late August.

Soccer Turf Is Here!

Brent Harris — On Tuesday afternoon, the first two pieces of FieldTurf Duraspine Pro were laid out on the new soccer stadium at Mud Hollow Field.

View the latest photos of the project here.

The first section of FieldTurf Duraspine Pro is now in place on the soccer field.

Bob Horchar, senior installer for FieldTurf, said he and his crew will spend the next two to three weeks getting every detail completed.

“We will start sewing the turf panels together, working from the south end of the stadium to the north end,” Horchar said. “After that, we will install the sidelines and the rest of the markings to the surface. That takes about four or five days to get all the soccer lines in place.”

Heavy rains and wind Tuesday evening washed away a small corner of sub-material that will need to be replaced before the final edges of the turf panel can be completed. Otherwise Horchar and his crew were unaffected by the strong storms that have hit the area over the past few days.

“Generally the weather doesn’t affect us at this point of the installation,” Horchar said. “Winds can sometimes be a problem. I’ve had turf panels move around in heavy wind, but unless we had a day we are working with electrical equipment, rain really doesn’t stop us at this point.”

A worker stretches a section of FieldTurf to make certain the seams match.

Once the lines are cut and glued in place, the infill mixture of sand and rubber pellets can be added to complete the surface installation.

Work continues on other portions of the stadium, as well. Crews were pouring cement into forms for the new stands on the west side of the complex. New restrooms are also being constructed on the south end of stands. A brand new white storage building is also nearing completion on the south end of Mud Hollow Field. This structure will be used to store soccer and track and field equipment along with any other items that might be needed as part of the new fields construction project.

Portions of the east section of Mud Hollow Field are also beginning to take shape. Landscapers will prepare that area over the next two weeks before installing new sod for the fall practice and intramural season.

If everything is able to stay on schedule, the new soccer field should be complete “green” shortly after the Fourth of July holiday.

Championship Connections

While the 2011 spring sports season ended a few weeks ago for the current Wabash College teams, a former Little Giant claimed an Indiana High School Athletic Association girls softball championship and a future Wabash student added a high school baseball title and mental attitude award to his list of achievements.

Chris Jones ’04 took head coaching position for the South Putnam girl’s three years ago. Since that time his Lady Eagles have posted a 71-4 record. However, the team’s biggest accomplishment came two weeks ago when South Putnam won the IHSAA Class 2A state softball championship with a 5-1 victory over Woodlan in the title game.

Jones’ transition to coaching came about in a unique fashion.

“I did my student teaching at Tri-Central and Taylor High Schools. While I was at Tri-Central, my sister – Tricia Hall - was teaching and coaching softball at Lewis Cass. She had me help out as her out with her team. We made it to the semifinals of the state tournament that season, eventually finishing fourth. That kind of got me started in the coaching business.

Wabash College graduate Chris Jones led his South Putnam Lady Eagles girls' softball team to the IHSAA class 2A championship in his third season as head coach. Photos from the state championship game taken by Jared Jernagan '03, Greencastle Banner Graphic.

“When I took the teaching position at South Putnam High School, I started as a basketball and baseball coach. The next year South Putnam needed a softball coach. They saw my experience with my sister at Lewis Cass and asked if I was interested. The team had just won a sectional title when I took over, but we’ve really had some talented student athletes who have put in a lot of work on and off the field to get us where we are now.”

Jones and his South Putnam team have a bright future ahead of them.

“We’ve only had one senior player each of my first three seniors. My rising senior pitcher is planning to attend Arizona State and a couple of my players are already getting some Division I scholarship offers. We could have some success ahead with the hard work of our younger players. My goal, however, is to just be a positive figure in their lives. This is a great group of girls. They like to have fun, but they work hard, as well. I know they will be successful in life. I’m just proud to be a small part of their high school experience.”

You can view photos from the South Putnam championship game taken by Wabash alumnus and Greencastle Banner Graphic reporter Jared Jernagan ’03 here.

Adam Boehm and his Crawfordsville High School teammates practiced at Wabash Baseball Park days before winning the IHSAA Class 3A state championship. Boehm was named the Mental Attitude Award winner and will attend Wabash in the fall.

On Saturday, just moments after Crawfordsville High School claimed its second baseball championship with a 8-3 win over Mishawaka Marion in the class 3A state tournament, senior Adam Boehm was named the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award recipient. Boehm will be a freshman at Wabash this fall and plans to play baseball for the Little Giants.

 

Soccer Field Almost Ready for Turf

By Kenny Farris ’12

Construction work on the new soccer and practice/IM fields at Mud Hollow has entered a new phase this week.

“We want to lay turf on Monday,” Director of Operations for Athletic Field Development Mike Herron said. “That is our plan if things continue as scheduled.”

Check out an album of field construction pictures here.

Dump trucks came to the former site of the Wabash College baseball and soccer fields on Tuesday to drop off gravel. Workers have been using bulldozers, surveying equipment, and gravel rollers to flatten the gravel in preparation for laying turf.

“We’ve put in a sub-base and some fabric underneath the top layer of gravel,” Herron said. “This ground is called Mud Hollow, so we wanted to firm it up a little bit.”

In the past two weeks workers have taken advantage of largely dry weather to lay brick for the new soccer spectator stands. The dry weather has also allowed the project workers to flatten out the layer of topsoil on the Eastern edge of Mud Hollow.

 

Progress Continues on Outdoor Field Project

Construction crews have been busy throughout the spring at Mud Hollow Field. It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago the Wabash soccer team was finishing its 2010 season on the grassy field just east of what is now the former baseball field.

View the latest photos from the construction project here.

Work will continue throughout the summer at Mud Hollow Field. The new soccer stadium will be on the western (right in photo) portion of the field, while eastern half house grass practice fields along with throwing areas for the track and field team.

Crews have spent the spring leveling the field and cutting into the hillside next to the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house. The base structure for the new soccer stadium stands is in place, and according to project manager Mike Strolle addition cement for the restrooms located next to the stands should be poured within the next 10 days.

Stone is being applied this week to create a drainage base for soccer field, which will eventually be covered with a new FieldTurf Pro soccer-specific surface. Top soil has been put in place on the eastern half of Mud Hollow Field and sod will be installed in the coming weeks practice space and areas for intramural competition. The southeast corner of the field will provide throwing areas for track and field practice and meets.

“We are planning to begin the turf installation toward the end of June,” Strolle said. “Despite the storms in April and May, we’ve been able to continue working throughout the spring. Work will continue throughout the summer to have the facility ready by the start of the fall school year.”

“Storm”-ing into Regionals

If you had a chance to watch Matt Storm ’04 play basketball at Wabash, you know the drive and determination he showed on every single trip up the court.

Now he’s transferred that can-do attitude to coaching. Storm led his North Miami High School boy’s basketball team to a 48-41 victory in the Class 2A Sectional 39 championship against Manchester High School.

Storm played in 65 games at Wabash as one of the top 3-point shooters in Little Giant history. He connected on 107 3-point shots in his career, ranking him seventh all time. He also ranks in the top-20 on the Wabash career list in 3-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals, and assists. He was an Honorable Mention All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection as a senior, averaging 11.1 points and 1.33 steals per game as a senior.

After graduating, Storm spent two years as an assistant coach at Manchester College before turning to the high school ranks as an assistant coach at Plainfield. This is his first season as the head boy’s basketball coach at North Miami. His team finished the regular season with a 5-15 mark, but won three games in the sectional to claim the title. Storm’s team will face Carroll (Flora) in the regional at Tipton High School on Saturday.

The Journal Review ran a feature story on Storm and his coaching success. You can read the article here.


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