Steve Charles—“It might seem odd for a woman to claim such a kinship to a ‘school for men,’” University of Arkansas Professor Marta Collier writes in her essay “My Brothers for Life” in the latest Wabash Magazine. “But I found mentorship that I needed as an undergraduate, a young wife, a graduate student, and new university professor among the staff and faculty of Wabash and the Malcolm X Institute.”

Professor Collier’s story is unique—she met her future husband, Willyerd Collier ’75, when she was a student at Earlham College and he was brother in the formative years of the Malcolm X. Institute at Wabash.

“I attended Earlham College, but I feel more like an alum of Wabash,” she told me at last year’s reunion of the MXI, and I asked if she’d be interested in telling the Wabash community why that was the case. She writes beautifully about her experiences in this issue of the magazine.

Marta Collier (below left) and her story were one of the first inspirations for this issue devoted to daughters of Wabash and daughters of Wabash men. Another was Leslie Hunt, the daughter of Steve Hunt ’76 who was in the national spotlight last year as a finalist in Fox TV’s American Idol. Getting acquainted in Chicago with the music of both Leslie and her dad (the finest percussionist ever to attend Wabash) was a highlight of my summer, and Leslie’s photograph (above) graces the cover of this issue.

But every bit as compelling are the essays by “faculty brats” Susan Easterling Albrecht and O. Henry Prize-winning author Alison Baker, who recall very different experiences of what it felt like to be a girl growing up at “a college for men.”

Susan’s piece celebrates “coming full circle” at Wabash, where she grew up, works, and now sees her children joining the Wabash family.

Alison’s essay, at once humorous, insightful, and poignant, unveils the interior life of her years growing up at the edge of the Wabash campus. As she writes, “Pluck up a little girl who’s prone to daydreams, deposit her on the campus of a men’s school, and what’s she to make of it?”

I hope you’ll appreciate, as I did, the candor and tenderness of the writing in this issue, from Professor Bert Stern’s “Becoming Family” to Tom Runge’s reflections on the daughter he lost and Pat White’s thoughts on being the “necessary dad” to two very capable and accomplished young women. The “Daughters” theme not only allows us to view the College through a different lens, but her sons, as well.

I think you’ll be impressed by the creative ways men like Chris Braun ’81 and Denis Kelly ’84 find to share Wabash with their daughters. And our Faculty Notes article about professors Kay Widdows and Melissa Butler and their expedition through the Amazon on what Kay calls ‘the best immersion module I’ve ever led” reminds us how these women are such effective teachers and mentors of Wabash men.

We open the issue with a remarkable photograph by Thomas Florsheim ’53, taken during one of his many visits to India. We close with a photograph of a remarkable woman, Jasmine Robinson, on the day she was named an honorary alumna of the College. Another reminder of why it is as difficult to imagine Wabash without the inspiration and influence of woman as it is to imagine Wabash not being a college for men.

I hope you enjoy reading the work of the many and varied contributors from the Wabash community to this issue of Wabash Magazine, which arrives on campus tomorrow and in many of your mailboxes this week.