Smile Train, Riley Hospital, Wabash College..and a few others

The Nation’s Christmas Tree

‘Tis the Season.  The Season of Giving.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned the Excellence Boys Charter School in New York.  What a great place for a gift.  Impact.  Targeted impact (sounds like a fighter pilot, I know.)

There are others…places where you feel like you’re investing.  Dedicated, focused efforts to make people and things better.

Smile Train is a Grunge favorite.  I think it’s because these kids get a second chance to make a first impression for the rest of their lives.

Riley Hospital is another.  After months of trying to find out what was wrong with my brother (many, many moons ago), the docs at Riley found it and fixed it.  They continue to do the same for kids today.  And in Grunge’s perfect world, kids never get sick.  So their mission at Riley is even more important to me.

Wabash College.  Just like Smile Train, just like Riley, and just like Excellence Boys, we are targeted…we produce young men better educated and equipped to lead in our world.  You can make a targeted gift here as well.  A scholarship, faculty support, athletics, you name it.  Pick a category…make your gift special and exactly where you want it.  I picked an internship fund, started by a classmate, for my gift this year.  I want our guys to have the ability to compete with anyone, anywhere.  Internships offer them a golden opportunity to hone their skills.

Hope you’ll join me – ‘Tis the Season.  Tell them the Grunge sent you.

Hot buttons to make a gift:

Wabash College

Smile Train

Riley Hospital

Excellence Boys Charter School

Grunge headed out for the Holidays.  See you in 2013!


White…Ahh… Day After Christmas

And The Snow Is Really Coming Down

The Grunge arrived bright and early this AM…just to read an email sent while I was enroute closing the college today!  Talk about timing.  Well, I am here so, for the 9 faithful, here’s the beginnings of the blizzard that will blanket the midwest.  Snows falling, winds howling, turn on the fireplace.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas…or whatever you celebrate this time of the year.

John Goodrich ’67 – Some Amazing Little Giant

John Goodrich ’67 and Alison Kothe at J and P Plating

The Grunge accompanied Alison Kothe on a visit to see John Goodrich in Portland, IN.  John’s company calls Portland home.

We finalized a new 50th reunion medallion design and then took the opportunity to talk with John and join him for lunch at the world famous Greazy Pickle restaurant.

John Goodrich in the office

John loves working with his hands – he’s a creative guy through and through.  He also calls his Wabash education one of the highlights of his entire life.  He sees Wabash as the best of the best…and that comes straight from his heart.  He showed us a photo in his office of four Wabash students he recruited for Wabash – that’s four in the same class!

John’s loves of Wabash is equalled in his love of his community.  John was a major force in the development of a community education center.  A former department store became a modern, state of the art facility for Jay County residents to finish a high school education, find work, or attend one of the many colleges and universities offering courses right in town.

The Community Center – which houses the Goodrich Sportscenter.

John works out 3 to 4 times a week…and he wanted that opportunity available for his local community.  Thus, an old Armory became a new and expanded Community Center and home to the Boys and Girls Club.  The new addition?  The Goodrich Sportscenter.

Talk about living the Wabash Mission Statement?  John Goodrich – Some Amazing Little Giant!!!

Midnight Munch – December Edition

All in the family!  Faculty, Staff, Students.

“Midnight Munch” is not at midnight…well most of it is before…and Munch isn’t exactly right either.  “Almost midnight power meal” or the “Lipitor Challenge” are closer to the truth.

But what it is?  Way more important.  Faculty, staff, students = “all in” for success.  It’s really a night of good wishes for success organized around a breakfast second to none, thanks to our Bon Appetit family.

Professor Melissa Butler – Retiring at the end of the semester – talks briefly to the assembled group. Dean Mike Raters introduced her.

In the true spirit of family, Professor Melissa Butler H’85, was there.  She’s retiring soon and on her way to Florida.  She didn’t need to be there, but she wanted to be there.  Soak it all in – another chance to be with the guys – to wish them luck and challenge them to be their best.

Always tough to sleep after these fun evenings.

For a few more photos, click here.



The Windy City

In Chicago for a Conference.  A couple of regions of CASE – The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education – hold their yearly conference here.  A unique combo of good interaction on best practices and Holiday shopping.

It’s good for a several reasons.  First, there are a lot of good ideas floating around.  Second, more and more organizations are turning to solid research to fuel their efforts and they’ll share the data.  Finally, we get some good ideas but also realize we’re doing a lot of good stuff and closer to the front of the pack than the back.

The Grunge gets home tonight – Midnight Munch in Finals Week.  Always fun and always challenging to stretch the day…


Excellence Boys – Little Giants All Their Own

Excellence Boys & Wabash College

I know it’s tough to see, but both Ms. Nuzzo and Ms. Clark, and all of their young men at Excellence Boys in Brooklyn, NY, are wearing Wabash College shirts.  Their class has selected Wabash College as their school and every Friday they get a chance to wear Wabash stuff instead of their uniforms.

There are about 86,465, 312 reasons why this was the perfect card to get over the Holidays.  I’ll hit just one.

These young men are getting the opportunity to be better, stronger, difference makers because Ms. Nuzzo and Ms. Clark are leading that effort.  Sound familiar?  Isn’t that what happened to us?  Ben Rogge, Willis Johnson, Vic Powell, Hall Peebles, David Hadley, Aus Brooks, Melissa Butler, Bill Placher…and on and on…

I’ve made it my New Years resolution to keep pictures of Wabash College showing up at Excellence Boys as often as I can.  Wabash College is not a one and done…

You can find my new best friends here.

Andy Ford H’03 – Always Means ALWAYS

Greg Castanias ’87, President of the National Association of Wabash Men, congratulates President Andy Ford H’03 on his induction into the Wabash College Athletics Hall of Fame

Elsewhere on the Wabash web site you’ll see the short blurb about the Chicago Holiday Luncheon and President Andy Ford’s induction into the Hall of Fame. The entire luncheon felt exactly like a Holiday Luncheon should – a great time with family and friends concentrating on the best of everything.

President Andy Ford H’03

Andy and Anne, with their daughter Lauren, were warmly welcomed.  Andy spoke for only a couple of minutes but those minutes were so telling.  In the picture, you’ll notice the pin on Andy’s lapel – “Always Means ALWAYS”.

Andy talked of his disbelief in the letter congratulating him on the Hall of Fame selection – he told the group “I thought it was a joke.”  But he went on to talk of his vision, passion, and drive for an Athletics and Recreation Center for the entire Wabash community.  Those same desires helped Wabash find a home in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

As Andy closed, he said Anne and he considered Wabash their home….and added “it will always be home for us.”  To Anne and Andy Ford, “Always means ALWAYS!”

Anne Ford H’06 chats with John ’64 and Kathy Fox before the Luncheon



Melissa Butler H’85 – Some Little Giant

Melissa Butler H’85

A little later this week, Wabash will wish Melissa the best in her retirement.  She started teaching here in 1976.  That’s 37 years of teaching young men to think critically and outside the box, 37 years of mentoring and molding young men who go on to change the world, and 37 years of caring about the Wabash community.

Melissa has a nice place in Florida and my sense is her roots have grown deeper there with each stay.  However, I am equally sure her heart will remain forever rooted somewhere between Grant Street and Wabash Avenue in tiny little Crawfordsville.  She has invested deeply in the hearts and minds of many Wabash men and their families, and those investments will continue to bring positive returns for decades to come.

Thanks Melissa….from every single one of us.  You are indeed Some Little GIant!

Safe travels, my friend.