John Pope '90: you can go home again

After graduating with an economics major/psychology minor, John returned to his hometown neighborhood on Chicago’s southeast side to pursue a career in public service.   He has worked in several positions in Chicago city government, and was first elected as alderman in 1999.  A third generation resident of the neighborhood, he is now in his fourth elected term.  Click here to read more about John’s public service career.



Information and photo provided by: 
NBC Chicago

Reginald Meeks '76 – Which hat today?

Director Meeks is Associate Director of Outreach Programs at the University of Louisville in the Arts and Science International, Diversity, and Outreach Programs. He has worked in various capacities at UofL for 20 years.  In his current job, he implements partnerships and programming which connect the College of Arts & Sciences with the Louisville community.  He also teaches political science and history and is a mentor to UofL students.

Speaker Meeks is available through the UofL’s Office of Community Engagement/Speakers Bureau to present programs covering topics such as Educational Motivation, Getting into College, Government Politics: State or Local, International Affairs, Native American People, Scholarships, Student Political Involvement.

Representative Meeks (State Rep – D- Louisville, 42nd District) has been active in Louisville public office for 18+ years.  A recent college study abroad news article reports Reggie is investigating possible use of state lottery money as an international educational resource to enable more college students in Kentucky to participate in study abroad programs. 

At Wabash, Reggie was a History major and minored in Third World Studies.  He earned his JD at the University of Iowa Law School, and worked as an attorney and in legal aid before joining the UofL and public service.  Click here to read Reggie’s life story which lead to his life service today.

Reggie Meeks, S.L.G.!

Bill Wheeler '83 named President of MetLife's Americas division

In a recent reorganization of MetLife, William J. Wheeler ’83 was appointed to president of the Americas division and remains a member of the executive group.  Click here to read more about the Metlife reorganization.  Bill has been with MetLife since 1997, holding various positions including in the Individual Business division, as treasurer, and he has been CFO since 2003.

Bill is a member of the Wabash College Board of Trustees.  After Wabash graduation magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, he earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

Photo courtesy of MetLife

D. J. McCallister '97 – happy anniversary!

D.J. McCallister ’97 is co-owner (with his wife, Erin) and brew master of the Black Swan Brewpub in Plainfield, IN, which celebrated its first year anniversary in October.  Since last year, the Black Swan has opened its on-site brewery and now serves its own brewed beer.  Nick Carter ’95, Kappa Sig fraternity brother, is the executive chef with creative food ideas, such as Black Swan Fries (you choose your own toss and a dip). 

This week the Black Swan is featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s video feature “Inside Dish: The Business of Running Restaurants.”  Click here to read the full story and listen to D. J. and Nick discuss first year results for the Black Swan.  Good beer and good food by two Wabash alumni – good idea!

Kelly Pfledderer '96 – his risk paid off

To help celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, WFYI Public Radio featured three Indianapolis entrepreneurs on its locally produced show, No Limits, on November 17.

Kelly Pfledderer ’96, Founder, President, and CEO of the Indianapolis IT company Apparatus , was part of the panel discussing their businesses.  The others were Martha Hoover, President of the Café Patachou restaurants; and Scott Jones, CEO of Cha Cha search engine. 

If you missed the show yesterday, you can still catch Kelly via podcast.  Click here for the No Limits podcast list and select the No Limits – Entrepreneur Week – November 17, 2011 link to listen.

Kelly, a German major, worked in the Wabash IT department for two years after graduation before he took his risk, which he discusses during the show, and funded by his own money founded and grew his company into one of the leading IT consulting firms in the Midwest.  Today Apparatus has almost 100 employees, is included on Fastest Growing IT Firm lists, and was named a Top Place to Work in Indianapolis.  Kelly has been named to the Indiana Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list.  Clients include Simon Property Group, Eli Lilly & Company, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Super Bowl.

Kelly was on campus as the Top Ten Scholarship Visit Day Keynote Speaker in early November.  At Homecoming 2011, he was the second recipient of Wabash’s Young Alumni Award. Kelly is the youngest elected member of the Wabash College Board of Trustees.

The Bell, Wally, and the BMV

If you could hear The Monon Bell as it is ringing on campus at this very moment, you would know that it is reminding you to buy your Wabash College Indiana license plate!

Here’s Wally and the Bell and happy alumni and students, as seen on the BMV web site:

Here’s the license plate:

Click here for the link to the BMV web site to order your plate if you don’t already have one, or if you already have one, click anyway to see the photo online. 

Thanks to Jake German ’11 for letting us know about the photo!

Dr. Garrard O. McClendon '88 wins Emmy

(Chicago) Talk show host and Wabash College graduate, Garrard McClendon (’88), won a Chicago Emmy at the 53rd Annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards hosted by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His Emmy was in the category for “Outstanding Achievement for Interview/Discussion Programming, awarded to a producer/host/reporter. McClendon and producer, Allison Hunter, won for their program, “The Challenge of Raising African American Boys” airing on WYCC. He currently teaches at Chicago State University.

This year’s event was at the Alhambra Palace, the Moroccan-themed venue and dining space at 1240 W. Randolph.

It was in January when McClendon launched his new show “Off 63rd,” debuting live on Chicago’s PBS affiliateWYCC TV-20. The 30-minute show, focusing on public affairs and featuring guests from the worlds of politics, pop culture, current affairs and education, aired on Thursdays

McClendon, a resident of Chicago’s South Side, also recently earned a Ph.D. in education from Loyola University.

His parents, Ruby and Milton McClendon of Hammond, were murdered in 2009 and two teens were arrested and charged with the crimes before pleading guilty in October 2010.

Late last year, Garrard and brothers, Theodore and Duane, announced the establishment of The Milton and Ruby McClendon Education Fund to provide educational materials to schools in Hammond.

McClendon has hosted “Garrard McClendon Live” on CLTV, The McClendon Report on WVON-1690 AM, and commentary for WTTW-Channel 11’s Chicago Tonight.

McClendon is also the author of the book, “Ax or Ask?: The African-American Guide to Better English.” 

Press release from
WYCC PBS Chicago

Photo from Wabash files

Derek Nelson '99 Receives Teaching Award

Dr. Derek Nelson ’99, Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion at Thiel College in Greenville, PA, is the 2011 recipient of the Judge and Mrs. George H. Rowley Endowment for Teaching Excellence Award. Derek will use the funds to study, adding a month-long study abroad component to the existing “Luther and His Legacy” course. Derek has taught at Thiel since 2006. 

Derek was a Religion major at Wabash, has a master’s of divinity from Yale University, and a doctorate in systematic and philosophical theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. 

Photo courtesy of
Thiel College

Wes Zirkle '98 – on TRAC

Wes Zirkle ’98 will be honored by the Indiana Bar Association at its Association/Foundation Recognition Luncheon on November 29.  He will receive the President’s Award for Service to the Profession, recognizing his work in founding and sustaining The Racing Attorneys Conference.  TRAC is co-hosted annually by the Indianapolis Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Law Section and the North Carolina Bar Association.  

Wes is Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Just Marketing Inc., the world’s largest motorsports marketing agency, which does contractual work with sponsors for NASCAR and Formula One. He was on campus last winter as part of a panel of Wabash grads who spoke with potential students at a Top 10 Visitation Day.  Wes was a Religion major at Wabash, and earned his J.D. at Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis in 2001.

Wes at the Top Ten Visitation Day last winter.

Congratulations, Wes!

Mac McLaughlin '83 – still a History buff today

Harry R. “Mac” McLaughlin, Jr. ’83, who was a History major at Wabash, has been named to the Board of Directors of Historic New Harmony, Indiana, a unified program of the University of Southern Indiana and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.  New Harmony is located in the very southern tip of Indiana on the Wabash River, about 30 miles from Evansville.

He continues his real estate practice as Harry R. McLaughlin, Jr., Broker, and covers a multi county area in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. He resides in Carmel, Indiana with his wife Margo.

He supports his local communities, too, recently assisting with the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors Habitat for Humanity Day in McCordsville and MIBOR Service Day in Indianapolis at the Bonner Center, providing volunteer landscaping labor for the respective communities.