The Arboretum – A Model of Life and Wabash College

Earlier this week strong thunderstorms ripped through C’ville.  Nancy Doemel had a tree land on her deck.  A locally-owned Kia, near the corner of Grant and Wabash, received an overnight convertible mod thanks to another tree.  There were trees and countless limbs down all over town and the Arboretum was a mess.

Early the next morning our Campus Services team was busy – the Arboretum sounded like a beehive with all the chainsaws going.  

That got me to thinking…

Someone, at some point, with all the greatest intentions in mind, might say to themselves and others: "Just cut that all down – it will be much easier to manage."

But that wouldn’t be right – for a total boatload of reasons.  You see, the Arboretum is a Wabash landmark and a lot more.  It is a model of life…and of the soul of Wabash College.  On its best days, there’s simply no place more beautiful.  Some equally beautiful, but none more so.  The Arboretum can wrap its arms around a person and quickly reassure them them that their world is OK.

On it’s worst days, it can be a mess.  Trashed.  Tough to navigate.  But to most of us, that merely echos the challenges of everyday life.  Because we know the beauty is in there hiding…just waiting for us to rediscover it after clearing the "trash" away.

And that brings me to the end of the fiscal year. 

The end of the college’s fiscal year is June 30, 2010.  I am willing to bet that the 9 faithful readers of the blog are donors to Wabash.  Many thanks to you!  But here’s a favor I’m asking.

Go to your class Honor Roll – you can find it here.  Make sure your name is on there for this year.  Is it? Great.  Now, examine the list for a classmate/pledge brother/teammate who is a good friend but isn’t listed.  Give him a buzz.  Ask him to join you. Tell him it’s easy and give him this link: (  Tell him that any gift makes a difference.

Fire me an email – I’d like to hear from you if you took me up on the challenge.  (

The Arboretum isn’t what it is because of a few giant trees.  It is what it is because it’s made up of all different kinds, sizes, and shapes of trees.  The collective nature of the Arboretum is its power, beauty, and timeless nature.  Just like our Alma Mater.