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Gum’s Intensity Sets Monon Tone

Jim Amidon Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes the 118th Monon Bell Classic.

Fans who’ve watched the annual battle between Wabash College and DePauw University over the last quarter century have seen epic struggles, big plays, record-breaking offenses, and last-second heroics.

C.J. Gum moments before kickof

But no one could have predicted what happened Saturday in Greencastle, when the Little Giants rode an unrelenting defense to a 45-7 win and a perfect 10-0 regular season record.

After a sluggish first 10 minutes, Wabash blitzed the hosts with 21 points in just over two minutes. A fumble recovery led to Vann Hunt’s 33-yard touchdown run, which was followed by Jonathon Koop’s interception return for a touchdown and a Wes Chamblee punt return touchdown.

While Wabash’s offense sputtered and fizzled for much of the game, the team’s defense swarmed, pounded, ran like the wind, and aggressively punished a DePauw offense that had been decimated by injuries all year long.

It was one of the most awe-inspiring defensive efforts in Monon memory.

And while maybe it shouldn’t have been surprising given the personality of the team’s defensive leader, C.J. Gum , it was a stunning game plan executed to near perfection.

Gum has never been as focused for a game. When the second quarter started and Wabash was already on top 24-0, I said to someone, “Has C.J. made every tackle or does it just seem like it?”

By game’s end, he had made 16 tackles and a sack. But his pile-driving hits set the tone for the day and clearly rattled the Tiger offense.

Pat Clegg is congratulated after his touchdown

Freshman linebackers Cody Buresh and A.J. Akinribade fed off Gum’s energy and focus. It’s rare when freshmen perform well in their first Bell game, but those two guys played like senior veterans.

Akinribade, who was recruited by DePauw, had five tackles and a sack; the sack resulted in a fumble and a Wabash touchdown. Buresh had six tackles and helped Wabash limit DePauw to just 39 rushing yards.

Another freshman performed every bit as well. Denzel Wilkins, a safety, had five tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.

Just before halftime, the defense took what little life DePauw had and snuffed it out. Akinribade hammered Tiger quarterback Will King, who fumbled the ball into his own endzone and Pat Clegg pounced on the ball for a 31-0 lead at the break. It was Clegg who had hit King earlier in the game, which led to Koop’s interception.

It was a literal feeding frenzy for Wabash’s defense; each player on the field seemed to want to get his name in the box score.

The defensive intensity helped offset Wabash’s sluggish offense. The key going in, according to Coach Erik Raeburn, was to avoid offensive turnovers. While Chase Belton completed only two passes (and All-Conference receiver Jonathan Horn never caught a pass), the offense held on to the ball and scored when it needed to.

DePauw’s defense played a valiant game, but the Tigers’ offense was no match for Wabash.

Wes Chamblee scored on a 44-yard punt return.

I’ve seen a lot of Monon Bell Games, but I’ve never seen one quite like the 118th clash. The defense scored three times and set up two other touchdowns with turnovers.

The win, the defensive performance, the undefeated regular season — all had to be satisfying for Gum, who returned for a fifth year with a medical redshirt. Chamblee, his fellow co-captain, was all smiles after the game. Wes blew out his knee in the season-opener last year, but worked so hard in rehabilitation, he returned for his final year better than ever.

Chamblee got his Monon Moment, too. Late in the first quarter, DePauw punted high into the wind. Chamblee spied the ball and with a running start caught the punt. Five seconds later he was in the endzone celebrating his fourth return touchdown of the year. And as he has done all season, he pointed to Heaven in a salute to his grandfather.

The Monon Bell rivalry is special because both DePauw and Wabash are excellent institutions and alumni from both schools are proud and generous.

But when the day is done and the bell is ringing on the winning sideline, the thing that matters most is the intensity of the athletes who put it all on the line for 60 minutes with the world watching. On Saturday, it was Wabash that delivered the intensity and focus, and the Little Giants will ring the Monon Bell for another year.

 


A Win for the Seniors and a Win for Josh

Mike, Debbie, and Chad LInthicum.

Jim Amidon — For about 15 years, I’ve taken senior photos at Wabash College sporting events. The drill is almost always the same: Line up the seniors and their parents before the start of the last home game/meet/match and snap a photo of the senior, the coach, and the family.

I say “drill” because for my part, it’s pretty consistent from sport to sport and season to season. But I do consider it an honor to take those photographs. The parents are usually beaming with pride (moms will occasionally shed a tear) and the student-athletes exude confidence and accomplishment.

At the moment I snap the shot, I think about that particular senior and the mark he’s left at Wabash — in the sport and across campus. Most of the College’s athletes have back stories — maybe they’re actors or mathematicians; moot court competitors or economics tutors. When I take the photo, I think about the whole man and the opportunities he’s seized during his four years at Wabash.

The seniors carry Josh Linthicum's jersey and memory into the conference championship game.

Saturday, 20 minutes before kickoff of Wabash’s North Coast Athletic Conference championship game against Wittenberg, I was on the field as the senior football players gathered under the west goal posts. Coach Erik Raeburn stood on the goal line as each senior was introduced with his parents.

I chatted with Wes Chamblee, the All-American kick return specialist and national qualifying hurdler. I told him I was proud of him. He responded by saying, “We’ve got a lot more to do before you can be proud of us.” And then he told me he’d catch up with me in a couple of weeks. For the second time, he’s editor of the X-Position, the magazine of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies.

It was heartening that moments before one of the biggest games in his career, Wes had no interest in celebrating his past accomplishments. He was looking forward — and even thinking about his duties as editor of that magazine.

(By the way, he caught a touchdown pass in Wabash’s championship victory.)

C.J. Gum, Wabash’s fiercest fifth-year senior ever, had a look of focused determination as he gathered with his family before the player introductions. Eyes forward and emotionless when I took the photo, Gum walked across the field with his parents holding each of those mammoth arms. As usual, he let his play do the talking — crushing tackles, forcing a huge interception early in the game, and covering a late onside kick.

If ever there was a lead-pipe lock for a repeat conference defensive player of the year, Gum is that player.

The hulking senior offensive linemen — Jack Ruddy, Jake Shaffer, Bryan Elliott, Quintin Burkett, and Chris Daniel — have gotten little recognition during their playing careers. They just show up and do their jobs. On Saturday, each man had a face and a name, and earned the accolades they richly deserved. And by game’s end, they enjoyed the ultimate tribute — their blocking paved the way for a punishing rushing attack that tamed the Tigers.

The most gripping moment came last. After the final senior football player had been introduced, the stadium grew completely silent. A proud father, forcing back tears, propped up his sobbing wife as Josh Linthicum’s name rang out over the public address speakers.

Josh was one of those hulking offensive linemen; bigger than all of them, in fact. It was to have been his senior day. It was to have been a day when a proud family could stride across the field to celebrate his Wabash career.

It was not.

Josh died from complications during what was thought to be routine surgery over the holidays a couple of years ago.

His passing was a crushing blow to Wabash, to the football team, and to scores of parents who think little of those “routine” off-season surgeries so many athletes undergo.

For Mike and Debbie Linthicum, it was the ultimate loss, and no parent can ever imagine a tragedy that strikes so quickly and painfully.

I’m told that his parents have gained strength by knowing the impact Josh had at Wabash, the friendships he made here, and the easiness of his personality that made him an instant buddy with every person he met. I can’t imagine they would have returned to Wabash for senior day had they not felt a profound connection to the College and Josh’s senior teammates.

I don’t know that Coach Raeburn had to give any kind of “Win this one for Josh” speech. I do know that Josh’s presence was felt by every senior in every game they played following his death.

Each man who stepped on the field Saturday did so with the number 70 on the back of their helmets and with a little piece of Josh in their hearts. Yes, the win brought another conference championship to Wabash. More important, it provided a meaningful tribute to the seniors’ fallen brother.


Webb Quoted in NY Times

For more than two decades, Wabash Professor Stephen Webb ’83 has written about the theology of the relationship between man and animals. His 1998 book On God and Dogs (Oxford University Press, 1998) received much national attention.

On Saturday, Dr. Webb was quoted in a New York Times story on the growth of pet ministries in Christian churches.

Read the article here.

Webb graduated summa cum laude from Wabash in 1983 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago and began teaching at his alma mater in 1987.

He is the author of 11 books, including the recent Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter (Oxford University Press, 2011), The Dome of Eden: A New Solution to the Problem of Creation and Evolution (Cascade Books, 2010), and Good Eating: The Bible, Diet, and the Proper Love of Animals (Brazos Press, 2000).


Lake Gives Lecture in Gambia

Associate Professor of English Tim Lake is making the most of his sabbatical leave. He’s just back from giving an invited lecture at the University of The Gambia (UTG) in Africa.

“I received the formal invitation from the Vice Chancellor of UTG to deliver an African American History and Culture Seminar,” Lake said. “I also gave two talks at the United States Embassy there on Black culture and recent Black immigrants to the US.”

Lake first met faculty and students at the University of The Gambia in 2009 while on a Fulbright-Hays Group Abroad trip to Senegal and The Gambia. While there he researched the transatlantic slave trade and visited the important sites of Goree Island (Senegal), James Island, and Juffure (Gambia).

“It was an honor of the highest magnitude to be invited back to deliver an African American History and Culture Seminar at the UTG,” Lake said.

His US Embassy talks focused on the “Global Influence of African American Culture” and the impact of recent African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the US.

“This was an exciting opportunity to connect with an international learning community,” he added.

While in The Gambia, Lake met Wabash alumnus Gabriel Ndow (in photo), who is a lecturer in the physics department at UTG. Ndow is a former vice chairman of Wabash’s Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies, which Lake formerly directed.

 

 

 


Autism Expert Speaks Tuesday

Join Dr. Stephen Shore in his autobiographical journey from the nonverbal days as he relates his life to the many challenges facing people on the autism spectrum.

Shore’s talk, “Life on and Slightly to the Right of the Autism Spectrum: An Inside View Towards Success,” will be presented at 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 6 in Salter Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center.

Some of the areas discussed include classroom accommodation, teaching of musical instruments, as well as issues faced by adults such as relationships, self-advocacy, higher education, and employment.

The session ends with a short audience activity demonstrating what it feels like have autism and to struggle through some of the challenges surrounding communication and socialization.

Dr. Shore is Professor of Special Education at Adelphi University. Diagnosed with “Atypical Development with strong autistic tendencies,” Dr. Shore was viewed as “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much help from his parents, teachers, and others, Stephen completed his doctoral dissertation at Boston University focused on matching best practice to the needs of people on the autism spectrum.

Dr. Shore will also present a talk entitled “The Current State of Autism and Advocacy Issues” on Wednesday, September 7 at 4:15 in Baxter 101.


Math Prof’s Woodworking on Display

Professor Foote

People around Wabash know Math Professor Bob Foote mostly for his excellent classroom teaching, though some know him as a musician in the brass ensemble and civic band.

He’s also an artist and craftsman, who has spent the last decade working as a woodturner — creating stunning pieces from seemingly ordinary pieces of native timber.

Fifty of Foote’s pieces are on display at the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery at the Crawfordsville District Public Library. The exhibit, entitled  “S1 Actions in Wood,” is on display through the month of September.

The title of his exhibition springs directly from his work as a mathematician: S1 is the mathematical term for a circle, and an S1 action is when something is spun in a circle.

The professor began working with wood as a teenager learning from his grandfather, who was a finish carpenter and furniture maker. He picked up the hobby again in 2003 and has participated in the Crawfordsville Art League’s annual downtown exhibition for the last five years — earning distinction for his work.

“When I first set up my shop, I thought I would do general woodworking, but as soon as I started using my grandfather’s old lathe, I knew that was what I really wanted to do,” Foote said.

He now crafts bowls, vases, and platters, but has also experimented with earrings, small containers, and tree ornaments. His specialty is honoring the wood’s natural irregularities — holes, bark, odd growths, and the grain of the wood.

Foote is an artist and member of the Athens of Indiana Art Studios and Gallery in downtown Crawfordsville, where his work is on display and available for purchase.

 


Launch Day!

Jim Amidon — After months of meetings, planning, programming, designing, recording, and writing, today is launch day for the newly designed Wabash College website.

We greet this day with a little anxiety and a lot of pride in the collaborative work that’s gone into bringing about this new website. We made the choice to do all of the work in-house, which meant using our best people to the best of their abilities — challenging them to add the project to their already full to-do lists.

The focus of the new site is prospective students, their families, and the public. We hope the new wabash.edu home page shows people the real face of Wabash College — our mission and those qualities that make Wabash distinctive in a higher education landscape filled with look-a-like colleges and universities.

The home page will feature videos from students, faculty, and alumni telling their stories and sharing their successes. Our Voices page will include blogs from students, faculty, and staff, The Bachelor, This Week in Wabash Sports, and Chapel Talks and other videos from our YouTube channel.

The new Academics pages, while still in construction, put our majors and faculty front and center. The Wabash faculty are consistently ranked among the nation’s most engaging and most accessible professors. Now you can learn more about those people whose work with students in and out of the classroom changes lives.

The new student life page provides a nice snapshot of the ways in which Wabash men live their lives — in service to the community, leading clubs, playing sports, and governing themselves in accordance with the Gentleman’s Rule.

The new Admissions and Financial Aid pages are still developing, but we think they’re much more user-friendly and will serve prospective students and their families even better than before.

For folks within the Wabash community, the new myBash page (accessed from the top of the home page) will take them to easily accessible links to webmail, Moodle, the scheduler, and all of the tools and resources we use daily as we live and learn at Wabash.

The new Alumni Office page is another that will evolve. It includes our amazing alumni blog, and within our Alumni Voices page, you’ll find links to blogs written by alumni from all eras, all across the globe, covering an amazing range of topics. NAWM President Greg Castanias has committed to updating the alumni with a video message each time he returns to campus.

Finally, the Sports site has undergone a big transformation. This is the one part of the overall Wabash site for which we chose a partner. Using Sidearm Sports, one of the nation’s leading sports information software companies, we’re presenting the Little Giants in a whole new light. Among the many features of the new sports site are much improved social media sharing, deeper roster information, and the ability for fans to watch the Little Giants, purchase photos, and have the latest information as it happens.

A project of this magnitude could not have been completed without incredible leadership and management of Brad Weaver and Howard Hewitt, slick programming by Mark Siegel and Tyler Koch, beautiful design by Kim Johnson, and, of course, Brent Harris’ non-stop attention to the details of the sports site construction. Along the way, our work has been guided by a committee comprising Jenn Abbott, Lexi Hoerl, Dan Rogers, Bob Royalty, Chad Westphal, Chip Timmons, Tosh Everson, and students Kenny Farris and Paul Liu. And these are just a few of the people whose work made this new site possible.

It’s amazing that virtually all of this was done with our own people — working at their best with a Wabash Always Fights attitude.

Sure, there will be hiccups along the way as we transition well more than 100,000 pages of stories, tools, photos, and resources. There’s a lot of work to be done. But at this moment early on a Friday morning on the eve of Freshman Saturday, I’m proud of my colleagues and their commitment to giving Wabash a fresh face on the world wide web.

 


Here We Go!

Jim Amidon — August 15, 2011

By the time you read this, 200 Wabash College students will have arrived on campus signaling the start of another school year.

Coach Erik Raeburn welcomed over 140 football players to training camp, which began Sunday and continues through this week. Soccer Coach Roberto Giannini has a senior-laden team working out at the new Mud Hollow Stadium. Cross country runners will get their physicals today, international students are starting orientation, and the men who will lead freshman orientation will be in training this week, as well.

The 2011-12 school year at Wabash College is officially underway.

By this time next week, all of the freshmen will be on campus getting registered for classes and learning their way around the Wabash community. Next Monday afternoon, all of the freshmen — and it’s a whopper class pushing 300 new students — will be spread out in Montgomery County doing service projects.

Classes begin a week from Thursday.

This is always an exciting time of the year. Upperclassmen are anxious to get back to campus — tired of summer jobs, internships, and living at home. Sophomores are glad they are no longer freshmen. And the new guys are anxious in a different way — nervous about whether they’ll like it here, if they’ll fit in, make the varsity, pledge the fraternity, and succeed in classes.

One group of Wabash freshmen has a head start on all the others. Professors David Hadley and Doug Calisch are taking 15 men west to Montana for a before-the-year-begins Immersion Learning trip as part of a Freshman Tutorial. Professor Hadley did this a few years ago — taking freshmen to Yellowstone and surrounding parts — and it was a smashing success.

The course is called “Fly Fishing: the Liberal Art.”

(Go ahead and wipe the snicker off your face and dismiss the notion that nothing could be farther removed from liberal arts than fishing.)

The students will have read Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, and while in Montana will study biology, ecology, and even politics. The last time Professor Hadley offered the course, students bonded before they ever started classes, and already had learned to read critically and communicate effectively

Perhaps the happiest person on campus is soccer coach Roberto Giannini. Now in his sixth year, Coach Giannini has a large senior class, a brand new field (Mud Hollow Stadium), and 14 home matches.

The transformation of old Mud Hollow to the new facility is simply stunning. There are stadium seats for nearly 200 fans, restrooms, and a FieldTurf Pro playing surface. Just opposite the soccer field is a newly sodded field for intramural and recreational sports.

The football players sweating through difficult practices this week hope to build on last year’s 8-2 season, which ended in a thrilling 47-0 win in the Monon Bell Classic. If everyone shows — including more than 60 freshman players — the squad could be pushing 150 athletes.

The Little Giant football team opens on the road September 10 at Wooster, a team that will already have played a game. Wabash’s home opener against Ohio Wesleyan is Community Day the following weekend.

Finally, Wabash will welcome a bumper group of international students in the freshman class. This is a tough week for those young men, many who come to Crawfordsville from China and Vietnam. These are guys from cities with millions of citizens and public mass transit, who will arrive in a county with fewer residents than their neighborhoods.

Most international students come to love this town, largely because of the Community Friends host family program. They like our slightly slower pace of life and they can walk almost anywhere

David Clapp and his volunteers do an excellent job of helping our international students adjust to life at Wabash, and you’ll probably see them walking about downtown, opening bank accounts, and stocking up at Walmart. When you do, reach out to them, say hello, and welcome them to our city.

It seems like just yesterday when President White rang out the Class of 2011 and now we prepare to welcome the men of 2015. It’s a big class filled with men from all over the country and around the world, who will be changed forever next Saturday when they are rung in as Wabash Men.

Here we go…

 

 


Horton & Hughes Honored

Jim Amidon — Last week was a festive one at Wabash College. Faculty honored students, students honored faculty, and the grand tradition of the liberal arts was celebrated. Last Thursday, the College held two big events: a luncheon to recognize faculty and staff and the annual Awards Chapel, which is a gathering of administrators, faculty, staff, students, and families in celebration of achievement.

At the luncheon, faculty who celebrated 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35-year anniversaries were honored for their service. It was especially heartening when the 35-year honorees were introduced — professors Tom Campbell and Melissa Butler and Coach Mac Petty, who are all retiring after this year, along Professor Tobey Herzog, who will continue to be a force in the classroom.

That night at the Awards Chapel, prizes were awarded across the full breadth of the Wabash curriculum to students with particular strengths in history, chemistry, music, and art; for leadership in the Malcolm X Institute and community service; and even for excellence in journalism.

That event is always a highlight of the year because it honors the late nights, hard work, and constant cramming students devote to become the best of the best.

Also that evening, Dean of the College Gary Phillips named this year’s winner of the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award. This honor is, as it suggests, presented to the faculty member who stands out among all others for his or her dedication to the craft of teaching.

Professor Bobby Horton

Psychology Professor Bobby Horton received the honor this year.

A graduate of the University of Richmond who received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Horton began his tenure at Wabash in 2001. He has been a dedicated teacher, an enthusiastic colleague, and committed researcher, and the bulk of his research is done in side-by-side partnership with students.

“Bobby has succeeded in touching student lives with an uncommon decency, taking care to mentor students in a powerful way that leads them to discover for themselves their desires and destiny,” said Dean Phillips.

In addition to teaching and research, Professor Horton was a driving force behind the creation of the new all-College course, Enduring Questions, which is required of all Wabash freshmen.

Dean Phillips culled together comments from dozens of students, faculty, and alumni when preparing the citation for Thursday’s Awards Chapel. He said, “Bobby’s faculty colleagues who have served on committees or taught with him in all-College courses [describe him as] respectful; effective administrator; charming; calm; able to defuse charged settings; takes care to involve you; trustworthy; asks tough question; insightful intellectual; model of clear thinking; combines rigor with concern; has the virtue of clarity; devoted; inspiring; ‘the kind of human, adult role model that Wabash students need.’”

Earlier in the week, Dean Phillips also saluted Associate Dean Cheryl Hughes, who is returning to the classroom after spending the last few years in an administrative capacity.

Moving from the classroom to the Dean’s Office is never an easy transition, and it’s even more difficult for those who, like Cheryl, have a passion for teaching and connecting with students — who thrive on the classroom dynamic. But Dr. Hughes had a smooth transition and made the most of her time as Associate Dean of the College.

Dean Phillips and Cheryl Hughes

She shaped and led a new advisory board for the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies after its director resigned. She organized and led a new faculty orientation program, and directed a faculty development grant. She was also involved in the development of two new student retention programs funded through grants from Walmart and the Council of Independent Colleges.

In saluting her at a faculty meeting, Dean Phillips said Professor Hughes had done a thousand little things, too, in order to bring sanity to an incredibly busy, bustling office.

“Cheryl has served the faculty and the College exceedingly well at a very challenging time in the life of the institution,” said Dean Phillips. “She has given unflagging and effective service to the College, day in and day out, on the weekend and through her personal vacation time. The College is stronger for her efforts… I am grateful for her passion, her commitment to fairness, her willingness to entertain competing views and values, her readiness to assess, envision solutions to problems, and then to do the grunt work to make ideas become reality, and her insights and critiques that have made my work passable and possible at times.”

As another year at Wabash winds to a close, there will be other opportunities to pay tribute to the amazing and dedicated people who help the College achieve its greatness. But in a week when people like Melissa Butler, Tom Campbell, Mac Petty, Tobey Herzog, Cheryl Hughes, and Bobby Horton are lifted up, well, it’s a pretty good week.


Congrats to Public Affairs Team

Jim Amidon — Here in the Public Affairs Office at Wabash College, we spend most of our time celebrating in words and photos the achievements of Wabash’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We focus our attention on those within the community who publish academic papers, present lectures, sing in the Glee Club, and the men who score game-winning touchdowns.

Through Wabash Magazine, we similarly celebrate the accomplishments — personal and professional — of our alumni around the world, and raise their voices in the magazine’s pages.

On rare occasions, I have the opportunity to focus the spotlight on some of my colleagues in Public Affairs, too. And it was a really good week for four of my colleagues.

Kim Johnson, who is our communications and marketing specialist but does more design and photography work than anything, received special recognition from Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

Kim was selected as one of 11 winners of the Fourth Annual Celebration of Hoosier Women Artists competition. The contest is conducted annually in March to coincide with National Women’s History Month.

Kim entered a photograph, “Winter Frost,” in the competition, which included 140 Hoosier artists. That same photo was honored at the Art League’s fall exhibition, and President and Mrs. White selected it as the image for their annual holiday card.

Kim and the other award winners were welcomed to the Statehouse a little over a week ago for a reception and tour, and all of the award-winning pieces were on display. Those same works will now be moved to Lt. Governor Skillman’s office, where they will be exhibited for the coming year.

On Friday, barely 24 hours after he had given one of the most memorable Chapel talks in recent history, Steve Charles, who edits Wabash Magazine, was on his way to Pittsburgh. The Wabash alumni in Western Pennsylvania selected Steve as their Man of the Year. (See pictures Mike Warren shot here.)

Steve’s in his 16th year editing our award-winning magazine. In his Chapel speech, he referred to himself as a sociophobe — someone who fears large crowds, especially speaking in front of large groups. But Steve soared as a speaker Thursday morning, and his message to students — Show Up — resonated with everyone in attendance.

While Steve wove brilliant prose throughout the 30-minute talk, I’ll sum it up this way: His advice to students was to tell the truth, pay attention, don’t anticipate the outcome, and show up. The last bit — showing up — was his main point, and he meant it in the broadest possible way. Show up for yourself, show up for your family, show up for those you care about, and show up for life.

His message is important to all of us, but especially coming from someone who has to overcome anxiety in order to show up at anything. And knowing that Steve has showed up for literally hundreds of Wabash events and thousands of Wabash people, it’s a most salient piece of advice.

Also on Friday, Brent Harris, our stalwart Sports Information Director at Wabash, packed his bags for Indianapolis and the Women’s Final Four. Just as he has done so many times over the last two decades, Brent gave of himself — volunteered his time over five days — to make sure all of the little things that almost nobody ever sees at the Final Four got done… and done well.

He escorted coaches, players, cheerleaders, and VIPs through the labyrinth of hallways of Conseco Fieldhouse. He granted strange requests, performed the oddest of duties, and he did all of those things with his usual grace, kindness, and good humor.

Finally, on Saturday, Howard Hewitt traveled to the state college journalism convention with several student journalists, photographers, and cartoonists. Hewitt manages our website content, but also spends a large amount of his time working with and advising our student journalists.

A couple of years ago, The Bachelor was named the best small college newspaper in the state by the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA). The paper has since been bumped up into a category that includes universities three or four times the size of Wabash — and all of those schools have journalism courses, faculty, and programs.

Wabash has no journalism courses or faculty; Wabash has Hewitt and a bunch of dedicated students who put in long hours week after week throughout the year. On Saturday, nine students received 22 awards at the state conference, including 10 first place awards. The Bachelor was also named the best small college newspaper in the state for the second time in three years. You can read about those students on the College’s website today.

As their supervisor, I couldn’t be more proud of the Public Affairs team, which includes Karen Handley, Kim Johnson, Howard Hewitt, Brent Harris, and Steve Charles. They spend all of their professional lives honoring and celebrating others.

It’s my pleasure to turn the spotlight on them and say “congratulations” for their individual accomplishments and what they mean to Wabash College.