Howard W. Hewitt – The start of the school year means many things including selection of our student bloggers. It took awhile four years ago to convince everyone that it was a good idea to allow students to write unfiltered about their Wabash experience.

But we stuck our toe into social media three years ago with really great success. Each year incoming freshmen are surveyed about the College’s marketing and we learn that the large majority read the blogs and many read them regularly. We learned that as high school students the young men really appreciated the honest student perspective.
Daniel King ’10 was in that first blogging class and still writes. I guess that will make him our first blogger graduate. During freshman orientation week this year, we selected four freshmen to document their experiences for 2009-2010.
Associate Director of Admissions Chip Timmons and I have gone through this process each year. Frankly, the first few years we spent considerable time making sure we had the right balance of fraternity and non-fraternity and so on. And while we seek a balance in such things, we’ve found it more important to find three to four students who will simply do a great job of documenting their freshman experience.
How popular are the student blogs? This year 60 of the incoming freshmen expressed initial interest in the blogging positions. That number boiled down to a dozen resumes, five finalists, and then the four young men we’ve selected.
Ryan Lutz is a freshman from Sacramento, California. Ryan popped his head into my office very early last fall with his family to talk about journalism and writing. He also is a wrestler and made initial contact with Coach Brian Anderson on his own. He is embracing Wabash, its traditions and culture. Just read his blog! Ryan lives in Cole Hall.
Jim Martin continues our student pipeline out of Wisconsin. Jim is one of those lucky freshmen in David Hadley’s Fly fishing tutorial. The Kappa Sigma pledge is excited about Moot Court and community service. We liked his writing and desire to share with others his Wabash experience.
Michael Carper, a FIJI pledge, is from Indianapolis and our first blogger with experience. He was a contributing blogger for the Indianapolis Star. Michael is a bit of a reserved young man but one with a flair for writing. He is serious about nutrition and jogs each morning before heading off to class.
Tyler Swaim is following in his father’s footsteps as a Wabash man and a TKE. Tyler can be spotted wearing his cap and a smile. His easy-going spirit intrigued us. Tyler is interested in Biology and Theatre.
We got to know each of the young men even better this week as Kim Johnson put them through the paces of a photo shoot for new blog pages we’ll debut soon. Media Services Specialist Adam Bowen and his student assistants helped us do video biographies of each blogger.
Our lineup does extend beyond freshmen with Andre Adeyemi ’12 writing about his second year at Wabash. Jake Ezell is a junior studying abroad and has already posted some great entries as he explores Europe on his way to Greece. King is updating his blog as mentioned above. And, senior quarterback Matt Hudson writes about football and life as a Wabash student.
For years we’ve said “Wabash men speak for themselves,” and that no one explains the College better than our own students. Our blogs have made that possible in an honest, unfiltered way that is appropriate for Wabash men.
We train them and we trust them. They are our voice.

Some of Kim Johnson’s great shots from our photo shoot with each of the guys. Top to bottom, Ryan Lutz, Jim Martin, Michael Carper and Tyler Swaim.