AT COMMENCEMENT THIS YEAR, Terry Fewell ’62—class agent for those men whose 50th Reunion I was honored to share at this year’s Big Bash—spoke to the Class of 2012 at its Senior Breakfast. He wanted to pass along, in person, the gift of wisdom a Wabash man from the Class of 1912 had given to him. You’ll read some of Terry’s words in the summer issue of Wabash Magazine; his inspired gesture may have begun a new Commencement tradition. What Terry did is already one of the oldest traditions of Wabash. In the good, hard work of a capital campaign, we may sometimes lose sight of the fact that all philanthropy here is, in essence, one person giving of himself something essential for the future of the next Wabash man. That was true when pioneering Wabash Professor Edmund Hovey and first President Elihu Baldwin risked their health and the College’s finances scouring New England for support of this nascent College on the frontier, and it’s true today of those who have given to the Challenge of Excellence and to all who have worked so hard to accomplish our goals: former Dean for Advancement Joe Emmick ’92; his successor as lead for the COE and Director of Development Alison Kothe; interim Dean for Advancement Tom Runge ’71; COE co-chairmen Ted Grossnickle ’73 and Allan Anderson ’65; and so many alumni volunteers and friends of the College. In an interview on the COE page of the Wabash Web site, André Adeyemi ’12 offers a clear articulation of the personal and individual impact of the Challenge of Excellence. André graduated in May and has since begun what he calls his “dream job” in Washington, DC. His days at Wabash, like those of so many of his classmates, were supported by numerous scholarships and grants and included multiple
immersion courses, summer internships, and research opportunities. He spent parts of three of those summers working on campus with inner-city kids in Project Coach, a program sponsored by the Salisbury Foundation and Wabash. His time at the College began in that tumultuous autumn of the Great Recession of 2008 and concluded in a walk with his classmates under the Senior Arch on a sunny spring day on his way to a career he’d never imagined before his Wabash education. Reflecting on that education and all the gifts from the Challenge of Excellence that made it possible, he says, simply but gratefully, “Wabash came through for me.” But, of course, André’s own story does not stop here. Andre and the men of his generation will return the favor and come through for Wabash, as so many of you have done in your generosity and commitment to taking up the Challenge of Excellence and in the way in which your lives are lived to fulfill the mission promise of the College to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely. For how you have become heroes in your own lives and give to the College in so many ways to make possible our best imagination of ourselves in the heroic lives of Wabash students, faculty and staff, friends, and alumni, I offer you my deepest personal gratitude and the thanks of all of Wabash.
Contact President White at firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Professor Qian Zhu Pullen teaches Chinese language and history (right); Associate Professor of Physics Martin Madsen.
Across the country and around the globe, in the classroom and in the laboratory, the Challenge of Excellence is opening the world to new generations of Wabash students. Read more about the Challenge of Excellence at www.wabash.edu/excellence/
McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar Martin Madsen
Qian Zhu Pullen S p r i n g 20 1 2