Making Way for Wabash’s Future

Removing the debris form the construction zone

Removing the debris from the construction zone

Stopped by the construction area yesterday to check on the progress.  As you can see, a pile of rubble is all that’s left of one of the houses that used to be along Crawford Street. (Someone left that almost new recliner!)

There are only a couple more houses to come down and the site will be ready.  Rumor is construction will start early in the week of Freshman Saturday!

These are exciting times for Wabash!

Wandered…But Just For A Short Time

Everything is green in the Arboretum…so I went for a quick stroll…


Yandes Library Hall / Detchon Center

Detchon Center has an alter ego…Yandes Library Hall.  The men of the Class of 1962 moved the books from Yandes when they were freshmen.  It was a long journey, I’m told – all the way to the brand new Lilly Library.  To hear it told today, that’s about 3 miles…all uphill.  And, of course, I think it snowed the entire time!

Yandes / Detchon is anchored in history.  It’s staircase, just like the ones in Center Hall…has its own set of musical creaks and groans.


Hays Science Hall

Hays Science Hall

Hays Science Hall sits next to Detchon.  It’s labs, even in the summer, are busy with activity.  Our young men in the sciences have the opportunity to do research, real research, under the watchful eyes of our faculty.  Hays is a superb facility in every way.

It was named Hays Hall to honor two very good friends – Sue and Tom Hays ’55.  Wabash is fortunate to have Sue and Tom – they are truly special people in every way.

The five minute walk clears the lungs…and reminds me that “this good place”, even when it appears to be resting during the summer, is not so much resting as it is recharging for another year of changing young mens’ lives.

Have I told you the freshmen were born in 1996………

Best Crock Ever?


IAWM President Steve Badger ’87

I don’t want to mess with Superman’s cape, but here goes.  Yesterday’s IAWM Mitchum Crock came off beautifully – it might be the best one ever.  It didn’t hurt that the weather was absolutely beautiful.

I heard many guys exclaim that the Crock was fantastic.

The Crock was sponsored by Bob Grand’s firm – Barnes and Thornburg.  The course – Plum Creek in Carmel, IN – was in tip-top shape.  The Crock committee had sponsors Sun King Brewing and Sullivan’s Steakhouse set up strategically to keep the golfers hydrated and fueled.   (If that isn’t a true Wabash menu, I don’t know what is).  For after dinner – which was ribs and and the “fixins” – they had a little Rye Whiskey from my good friend Dave Weglarz ’03 from Still 630 in St. Louis.

If it wasn’t the best Crock ever…I haven’t seen one better.  Many thanks go to the Crock committee of Steve Badger ’87 (current IAWM president), Tony Unfried ’03, Scott Benedict ’98, Lee Clark ’73, Jeff Dickison ’85, Dave Reed ’89, Chuck Whybrew ’94, and Tom Welch ’94.

IAWM Honors Prof. Tobey Herzog H’11


Professor Tobey Herzog

Professor Tobey Herzog H’11 was honored at the 44th Annual Mitchum Crock on July 24, 2014.  Tobey’s a legendary English professor…Commissioner of the Noontime Basketball Association…longtime faculty representative to Athletics…and all around great guy.

I don’t need to tell you anything about Tobey and his teaching – you already probably have a great appreciation of that.  What I want to share is on a much simpler scale.

Tobey loves Wabash….not in the “Gee I had a great run here” way but in the “I have seen first hand how Wabash changes young mens’ lives” way.  He credits his Class – the Class of 2011 – for teaching him as much as he hopes he taught them.

Tobey has an unquenched thirst for knowledge….and an extra-keen sense of history.  As his retirement gift, his family is sending him on a trip back to Vietnam.  He’ll go this fall with sons Joe and Rob.  Tobey told me of the stops they’ll make with an excitement of new learning opportunities, along with his sons, that exudes excitement.

Tobey’s skin fits…and fits perfectly.  He loved teaching at Wabash and the many, many friendships he has.  But he’s also comfortable with the timing of his retirement.  “There is a time and a place”…I almost hear.  Contrast that with the Grunge…who would give a lot of personal “real estate” to fly a fighter just one more time…Tobey doesn’t need that.  He’s good.  He’s set.


Tobet Herzog H’11 – Wabash Man

In true fashion, Tobey took a little time out to honor a colleague and friend in the English Department – Tom Campbell – who passed away recently.  Tom and Tobey started at the same time at Wabash.  Imagine the number of lives touched in those 30 plus years of teaching at Wabash.

Tobey Herzog…Tom Campbell…Some Little Giants!

One Month From Yesterday


Step One – Pick Up Your Packet

Perspective:  Hall of Famer John Elway played his last season with the Denver Broncos in…1998.  Wabash’s Class of 2018 was learning to…run!

So, it’s about to begin all over again – Freshman Saturday is one month from yesterday.  Summer?  Over!  Ability to find a good parking spot on campus?  Over!  But it’s all OK.

We start longing for the summer about the time the guys do…around spring break.  We can’t wait for a little piece and quiet.  They can’t wait for the school year to be over.

But about two weeks after they’re gone…we’re ready to have it all back again.  The place simply isn’t the same…even if the parking sit. is a lot better.  After all, Wabash is all about these guys and their education – we don’t exist without them.  And the first real signal they’re back?  When the brand new class shows up.

It won’t be long now…

Lou Ristine and Bill Bonifield

This past Saturday, I attended the Memorial Service for Lou Ristine.  Lou passed away earlier in July.  Lou and Dick Ristine are Wabash College and Indiana legends.

The service was spot on – tough to do when there’s so much to celebrate and remember…balanced by the big loss so many feel.  There was a great balance between genuine laughter and quiet reflection.

My favorite memory comes from my high school days here.  I was in a band with Tom Ristine ’72 and his parents would allow us to practice in their family room – how they put up with that noise is beyond me.

At the reception following the Service, I had a chance to talk with Professor Bill Bonifield.  Bill was a economics professor here from 1964 to 1980.  I hadn’t seen him in 43 years.  I wasn’t shy – I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to thank him.  You see, I think I took every econ. class Bill taught…at least in my days.  He was a great teacher and he brought the best out of this mediocre student.  I told him that.  He didn’t remember me (why should he?) but I felt good telling him he had an impact on my life that still exists.  I didn’t want to miss the opportunity – he turns 80 this year…and my warranty ran out a long time ago.

As my son Chris often says these days: “Dad, time is not on your side.”


51 Days To Go…like waiting for Christmas!


51 days…mark your calendars…September 6, 2014.  The Tigers of Hampden-Sydney will be at Hollett Little Giant Stadium for a rare first in our history.

Unfortunately, CP Porter won’t be running the ball – what a great young man!  However, Coach Raeburn will have the guys raring to go as we start right out with a team that ranked in the Top 25 last year and starts the season there as well.

The fall is always great here and football just adds the icing to the cake.

The Grunge’s stars are really aligned this year.  For almost a year I’ve had a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike scheduled to start on September 9th…so it’s Wabash football…Grand Canyon hike…bye week…and back to football.  The only thing I have to worry about is getting out of the Canyon!

Are you ready for some football?

You Better Sit Down!


The Chapel

So, we’re about at that time of the year when we start thinking about the fall.  And that means Wabash football and, of course, the guys back on campus.

The “guys on campus” will include about 260 or so members of the Freshman Class.

They are – wait for it – the men of the Class of 2018.  What does that mean?

–  They were born in 1996 or so.  Their first memories are probably dated 200X.

–  A flip phone fits the same category as a rotary dial – ancient

–  The “Miracle Catch” in the Bell game happened when they were…in kindergarden.

–  The guys were around six years old when we dedicated the Allen Center.

–  Was there a color TV before flat screen HD?  They wouldn’t know. (Don’t even ask about black and white.)

–  A slide rule is something you see at the Smithsonian…right next to the programmable calculator.

–  Those cars some people call muscle cars reside in old folks’ garages.

But, they’ll be here in a few short weeks and the Wabash faculty will begin their magic!  Can’t wait.


A Great Find For Wabash!

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Dean Michelle Janssen

On August 1, 2014, we’ll welcome Michelle Janssen as Wabash’s new Dean for College Advancement.  You can read the official story here.

Here’s the Grunge’s report.

I traveled to Valpo some years ago with Joe Klen and a few other folks from the College.  Valpo was setting the gold standard on some database conversion work and we wanted to “benchmark” with them.  Dick Maddox, a Wabash Dad, was their VP for Advancement and Michelle was their director of development.  We focused on database, for sure, but I came away with a real sense that their major gifts effort was also a gold standard.  Michelle was leading that effort.

Fast forward to 2014.  Michelle takes over as our Dean.  College for men – woman as our chief fundraiser.  Some might question it.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Wabash is a place that gets into your blood and Michelle gets it – she got it several years ago.  She gets it the way Fran Hollett, Ginny Hays, Lou Ristine, Anne Ford, Melissa Butler, Kay Widdows, Laura Wysocki, Sara Drury, Alison Kothe, Nancy Doemel, Sherry Ross, and Carol Runge get it.  Several of those ladies are legendary here.  ALL of them absolutely believe in this good place.

Michelle truly believes in what we are doing for young men and as such for the rest of humanity.  Will she be an agent of change?  Yes.  Will she shake things up?  Definitely.  Will it be good for all of us?  Absolutely!

President Greg Hess has jumped in with both feet and I think he’s found a Dean that will be a perfect fit for his “West Coast Offense”.