Howard W. Hewitt – I generally hit the road during the summer for a handful of trips spread over three or four weeks visiting students and alumni. Going out and seeing Wabash men is one of the best ways to tell their story.

We often try to catch alumni while on campus to tell their stories and, of course, we do the same during the school year when students are here. We’ll have stories up on these three students before the start of the coming school year.

You can’t get the full story of anyone unless you see them in their own environment. I visited with three students this week doing very different things with their summer vacation. I visited Tuesday morning with Chris Pearcy ’10 at Marion General Hospital. Chris is a pre-med student interested in possibly becoming a surgeon.

Pearcy is getting the added benefit of working for two Wabash graduates, Craig Miller ’97 who is director of surgery at Marion, and Dave Callecod ’89 who is the hospital’s CEO.

Pearcy said one of the best parts of the internship was learning all the behind-the-scenes work and support doctors must have for the hospital to be successful.

That kind of close-knit working relationship is second only to family. And up the road in Fort Wayne, Chad Simpson ’10 is spending the summer working for his family. His mother and father recently closed two scrapbook stores downtown and opened a new store in a strip mall near I-69. They wanted to diversify the business and added a coffee shop adjacent to the scrapbook business.

Simpson has juggled a lot during the summer. He was a teacher’s aide north of the city working with small children and getting a feel for his chosen field of education. But he frequently works the scrapbook store and even more frequently is behind the counter juggling the drive through window, customers at the counter, and making a steaming hot cup of coffee.

He is close to his parents but working for them has its good and bad moments, then quickly added those moments are mostly good.

Rising sophomore Spencer Elliott has mostly good days. Elliott has attended or worked at Lutherhaven Summer camp, about 45 minutes northwest of Fort Wayne, for the last 12 years. This summer he is spending six days a week as a camp counselor.

Most of the time he has elementary-age children in his 7 person cabin for a week-long camping experience. This week was a special week for high school age boys and girls.

Elliott acts as a group leader and gushes trying to find the words of what the camp has meant to him and the leadership skills he has gained from the experience.

All three young men will be featured in student profiles online where you’ll be able to read much more about their experience.

And we’re hopefully not done yet. There are a couple more young men we plan to get out to see this summer. We started with a raw list of nearly 200 names and narrowed that to 20 before selecting the handful we try to visit.

The guys often ask, “why me?” That’s a good question and a fair one. We look to find students in different parts of the state doing all sorts of different things. There is no magic formula. The bottom line is Wabash students come from all over Indiana and nation with different backgrounds and they return home to take advantage of their Wabash education even in the summer months doing interesting summer jobs.

Getting out to visit with students each summer is one of the best parts of job!

In photos: On home page, Elliott reads the Bible with one of his campers. On alumni page, Pearcy takes a moment during his day to chat with Craig Miller.