Jim Clark '51 – A Part of Truman's Excellent Adventure

Matthew Algeo has a book out called: Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure.  The book chronicles Harry and Bess Truman’s exploits on a post–presidency road trip from Missouri to Broadway and back, plus a few detours.

In July, 1953, the Trumans stopped in Indianapolis and stayed at the home of the McKinney family who lived on North Meridian.  In the process of a reception that evening for the Trumans, the McKinney’s daughter Claire met the mayor of Indianapolis, Alex Clark.  Later that evening, Claire went out with some friends and ran into Mayor Clark.  Alex introduced Claire to his brother, Jim Clark ’51.  It wasn’t quite love at first sight…but close.  Jim and Claire are still together today – living in Indianapolis.

Harry and Bess Truman were the reason the couple met…and have lived happily ever after.  And "that’s the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey says…

Book supplied by the ubiquitous Jon Pactor ’71…

Jack Chase – Headed To Wabash!?!

So it’s Friday, and I am reflecting on the fact that the group of freshmen who started class yesterday are members of the Class of 2013.

Yep, 2013.

Born in the 1990s.  
What first Gulf War?
Elementary school during the attack on 9/11.
Cameras used to have film?
Gas could never have been 29.9!

Speaking of young…

That’s young Jack Chase in the picture.  He’s the son of Kip (Wabash ’03) and Nicole (DePauw ’01) Chase.  Kip’s a great guy and Nicole is world class.  Jack has the best of both.

Kip says "Wabash" for young Jack and Nicole just smiles.  That means it’s far from decided…but Jack looks pretty sharp in that t-shirt. 


Charlie Blaich To Deliver Keynote

Our own Charlie Blaich, Director of Inquiries at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, is scheduled to give the keynote speech at an upcoming conference at Lawrence University.

The conference is entitled "Researching Assessment Methods in Tutorial Education".  Much of the Center of Inquiry’s work is directly related to assessment focused on measuring the impact of a liberal arts education.

For the full story, click here.

Big Moments With Jeremy Bird '00

For Jeremy Bird ’00 it’s been three years of Big Moments, coffee (leaded, of course), and adrenaline.  While the economy is turning around, this health care "thing" is keeping him on his toes.

Thanks to a note from Bert Salinas ’97, we’re able to pass on that Jeremy was featured in the Washington Post recently.  Regardless of your side of the political spectrum, you have to be impressed with Jeremy and his accomplishments.   For the article, click here.

Alumni Family Brewing In Indy


Ryan Daming ’02 reports that he’s done a qualitative study on the new Sun King Brewery on N. College in Indianapolis and reports the product is exceptional.

The Sun King brewery recently made the news (for the article click here.) What you won’t see in the article is that Omar Robinson ’60 and his son Clay ’97 , who are principals in the brewery along with Dave Colt, are Wabash men.

In typical liberal arts fashion, the article closes with: "But Colt and Robinson are doing what they love, and when the cold beer meets empty glass, the whole process seems more art than science.  ‘You can look at art,’ Robinson corrected me once. ‘But you can taste beer.’

Photo: Clay Robinson ’97 making some adjustments at the Sun King Brewery.


Wabash Alumni Help Make Freshman Saturday Special

By now you’ve seen the coverage on the web site of Freshman Saturday and know that Greg Castanias ’87, vice president and president-elect of the alumni board, served as part of the official welcoming ceremony for our Class of 2013.

Many other alumni were also on campus.

As you might imagine, my good friend Jon Pactor ’71 was everywhere.  Welcoming freshman of all kinds especially those pledging the TKE house. (I think he actually lives over there!)

Craig Green ’59 and Greg Miller ’83, as representatives of the Sugar Creek Association of Wabash Men, passed out t-shirts to all the new freshmen.

At the Beta House, several alumni kept the tradition of Beta alumni cooking burgers for the new pledges and their families.  From the looks of it, there was also some pretty deep philosophical discussions as well.  Pictured: Jim Engledow ’78, Jack Wyatt ’58, Mel Machuka ’66, Ron Nichols ’64, and Sam Hildebrand ’61.

Does it matter?  You bet.  One lady, who was sending her fifth grandchild off to college, remarked that she had made every trip.  "No one is more welcoming than Wabash" she said. 


"Standing On The Shoulders" – In Action!

I hope you’ve been following the web blog of our Freshman Tutorial: Fly Fishing in Montana.  You can find it at: 

It’s Prof. David Hadley’s class and they have been in Montana learning the finer arts of life, learning, and fishing.  It’s the fishing, of course, but it’s also a whole lot more.  A part of me thinks this might be one of the best college classes ever!

Some might wonder how, in these tough financial times, Wabash sends a bunch of students off to Montana.  The answer on an academic level is easy – they are in search of knowledge…judgment…life…and the concepts behind proving beyond any doubt that truly pigs can fly.

On a financial level, the answer is just as simple…and time-tested.  It’s been this way at Wabash for decades.  These young men from the Class of 2013 are there because Wabash alumni care about their education and had the vision to help create a teachable moment both historic and fun.  This wasn’t just positive verbal support – the alumni cared enough to provide the resources for the trip as well as participating in the educational journey.  Those Little Giants are Jeff Perkins ’89, Brian Grossenbacher ’90, and Geoff Faerber ’98.  Jeff, Brian, and Geoff teamed with David Hadley to provide this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Jeff Perkins’89 (with the perfect cast in the boat) was a big part of making the trip happen.  Brian Grossenbacher ’90, who runs Grossenbacher Guides in Montana,  and Geoff Faerber ’98 of Flying Pigs Adventure Company, also in Montana, were also actively involved with every phase of the trip.  

Bottom line:  Young Wabash men standing on the shoulders of their big Wabash brothers.  Does it get any better?  

Not in the Grunge’s book. 

"Coach" Tony Neymeier '09

Stopped by football practice yesterday.  Wanted to get a couple of shots of the guys practicing without giving away any secrets or any killer plays.  Rounded the corner and caught sight of our stellar center last year, Tony Neymeier ’09.  Did a double-take – Tony wasn’t lining up at center – he’s a coach!

You see him in the photo (right) working with the "O" line.  In the back is head coach Erik Raeburn. 

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Had a chance Monday night to watch the entire Giants – Panthers game…in an airplane! (Didn’t watch any TV when I flew!)  We were "stuck" on the ground in Denver for over an hour in the airplane – Frontier (highly recommended!) offers Directv.  Stuck was weather all around, not Frontier.

While the Giants – Panthers game was typical for a pre-season game, it got the juices flowing.  Won’t be long until the Little Giants get rolling…hope to swing by practice in the next couple of days for some shots…will try to get some of the soccer team as well. 

Coach Morgan on the Elite List with USA Track

Wabash track and field coach Clyde Morgan is a rising star in the coaching world – of course, we’ve known that at Wabash since he arrived.  However, the USA Track and Field Association has also spotted Coach Morgan, thanks in part to our own legendary coach, Rob Johnson.

Coach Morgan recently took part in an Elite Coaches Camp sponsored by USA Track and Field.  For more of the story click here.  

Congratulations Coach Morgan!