On Sunday, Professor Tobey Herzog, our faculty marshal, will lead the Commencement party in…and then out. After some amount of celebration and wishing well the many students who have come to know and love Tobey, he’ll sneak away to remove the cap and gown. At that point, he’ll take a deep breath or two and I’m guessing have a immense but quick allergy attack to his eyes. (Happens to the best of us!)
I found, by reading another web site of course, that the faculty marshal is not just the person who leads, but the marshal also sets the tone for personal behavior during the ceremony.
How fitting Tobey is our faculty marshal. How fitting he sets the tone. How fitting our guys take their lead from Tobey. Tobey has been marshaling dozens of Wabash students for 38 years.
Why the allergy attack? This will be Tobey’s fini-flight. His last Commencement as a faculty member and as marshal.
It’s at times like these that I worry – who will ever take the place of a giant like Tobey Herzog? Who can possibly fill those size 87 shoes? Who else can smile that smile that says the world is fine and you’re fine and let’s just keep going? Should I have genuine fear for the future of the English Department, Wabash College, and the entire world?
If I want to, I can let that panic attack run for a second or two. Get the heart rate up…before reality sets back in.
You see, Tobey Herzog has been busily preparing Wabash for this time for years. Not because he knew when he was leaving. Not because he knew his time would come. Nothing at all about his leaving. Tobey, by action and example, has been preparing others to step forward for a long, long time. In the classroom? You know it! In faculty meetings? Absolutely! At sporting events and the NBA? Of course. Tobey magically sets the standard while never needing to say anything. The formula is exceedingly simple – those who watch him want to be more like him.
So, rests assured Wabash and the English Department will be fine. And, in the months and years to come, you’ll look out at the Wabash community and swear that Tobey is everywhere…and he will be. That smile and that spirit will be on display by the many who have been forever touched by Tobey Herzog.
Tobey Herzog..Some Little Giant!