Wabash and DePauw – Working Side By Side

I knew that headline might take readership into double digits…at least for a day!

Wabash and DePauw alumni in the South Bend – Mishawaka areas were invited to be a part of a special open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday evening, December 9, 2009, at the brand new St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.

Why Wabash and DePauw alumni you might ask? 

Well, the CEO of the new hospital is Nancy Hellyer, DePauw Class of 1977.  The Vice President for Marketing is Andrew Snyder, Wabash Class of 1983. The two of them thought it would be fun to include their respective alumni groups….and it was.

The weather may have limited attendance but those who did make it were treated to tours of the new Regional Medical Center which will open this coming Monday.  The place is absolutely state-of-the-art and every detail is designed around offering the absolute best patient experience.  Everything from the wall color schemes to the labels of the sound system speakers (I am NOT kidding) are designed to aid hospital navigation by the patients.  Every single room is a private room and they are all identical in layout.  Hospital staffs will know exactly where everything is when faced with an emergency.

Thanks Nancy and Andrew for a look at 21st Century hospital care – impressive!

For a few more photos, click here.

Photo:  the ribbon cutitng ceremony – that’s CEO Nancy Hellyer on the far left.


Bill Cook '66 – New Honorary Sphinx Club Member

Bill Cook ’66 is a great guy – and in many ways his selection as the substitute for Bill Placher ’70 during Bill’s sabbatical year was a message from above. 

Bill Cook has had an immediate impact on our young men so it was especially fitting this past Sunday night that Bill was initiated as an honorary member of the Sphinx Club.  You can’t see it but Bill dressed for the occasion – that’s a tux he has on!  When he was told to dress up, he took it seriously.

President White came out at midnight for the ceremony.  It meant a great deal to the honorees to have him there.

Also initiated that evening was the guy on the right.  Now, he dressed in a Wabash t-shirt, old jeans, and a flying jacket.  What was he thinking?

Photo (courtesy of Jeff Kessels ’10) – President White (already an honorary member) with Bill Cook and the Grunge.

Dudley Burgess '64 Leads Grand Canyon Expedition

Dudley Burgess ’64, an experienced hiker and Grand Canyon veteran, led a group on family friends and Wabash alumni on a hike into and out of the Grand Canyon.

It was…well…simply indescribable!  No, better than that!

It was also a family affair as Dudley’s three sons – Andy ’90, Matt ’92, and Mark – joined him in the hike as did close family friend Tim Oliver ’91. Rounding out the Wabash contingent were my son Chris Runge ’94 and the Grunge ’71.

The trip took place right before Thanksgiving.  The group traveled down the South Kaibab trail into the Canyon on Monday, spent Tuesday on day hikes and loosening tight muscles, and Wednesday hiking out on Bright Angel Trail.

Dudley led us in and back out and, as you can see, provided us with a lot of knowledge and insight throughout the trip.

We hope to have a short piece and some photos in an upcoming edition of the Magazine.

Yes…I am ready to go again!


This is the 1,000 Grunge Report blog.  Fitting.  Very fitting. 


Sherry Ross – Grand Slam Chapel Talk

Sherry Ross, assistant to the Dean of Students and Second Mom to our 900 guys, got the Standing O at the conclusion of her Chapel talk yesterday. Sherry started out by telling everyone she wasn’t a public speaker then preceeded to prove to all in attendance that she was that and more, much more.

Sherry talked about her view of Wabash from a small window in Center Hall.  As I expected, it wasn’t a small window but a giant picture window chocked full great views of our college.  There was also more than a little of a reflection on how much this college means to her and how much she treasures Wabash.  But enough from me, go watch it here

For a few photos, click here.

Chris Amidon – Nurse of the Year

One of the neat things about coming back to Wabash after a 25 year plus hiatus has been to meet and get to know great people who share the Wabash experience but during a different period of our history.

Certainly, Jim Amidon ’87 and his lovely bride Chris fit that category.  Jim’s given his heart and soul to Wabash – and that started even before he graduated.  Chris Amidon has done the exact same thing – for the college community and for the greater Crawfordsville area.  So it wasn’t a surprise to those of us who know Chris that she was recently selected as the Indiana School Nurse of the Year! 

Chris competed with over 1,150 other deserving people but the combination of her caring spirit and unequalled ability carried the day.  No surprise to any of us here.

Chris is a DePauw graduate and their web site has a nice story about Chris and here many contributions.  Click here for the story.

While Chris has DePauw to thank for her education, we have Jim to thank for bringing Chris to our community.  She has done so much for us and almost all of it under the radar.  Thankfully, this award has placed the spotlight on Chris and her accomplishments – long overdue.

Well Done Chris!

Blake Zachary '03 – Teacher of Excellence

Local Southmont and Wabash grad Blake Zachary ’03 has been honored with a 2009 Teacher of Excellence Award by the Southmont School Corporation.

Blake is the Technology Director of South Montgomery Community Schools. He rarely sets foot in the classroom but his footprints are all over the school corporation.

From the press release: "Blake is described as a "blessing", "a huge contributor", an "educator at heart", a teacher of teachers" and a "respected authority" by those nominating him for this award. Blake’s many jobs include developing the corporation Technology Plan, maintaining the stability of the corporation computer network, integrating technology into the school setting, providing professional development for staff and acquiring hardware and software for all buildings within the corporation. This includes each elementary building, the superintendent’s office, the bus barn, and the junior-senior high complex."

Congrats Blake!