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Wabash College

Wabash College is a small, private, liberal arts college for men, located in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Along with Hampden-Sydney College, Deep Springs College, and Morehouse College, Wabash is one of only four remaining mainstream all-men's liberal arts colleges in the United States.

National Ranking

In the 2009 U.S. News & World Report, Wabash ranked 54th among national liberal arts colleges., However, in 2008 Forbes magazine released its first ever ranking of educational institutions and ranked Wabash College the tenth best liberal arts college in the US.

Wabash College is listed in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives.

History

Wabash College was founded in 1832 by a number of men including several Dartmouth College graduates. It was originally called "The Wabash Teachers Seminary and Manual Labor College." In the early days a large number of students, deficient in credits, were required to attend the "Preparatory School" of Wabash.

Caleb Mills, the first faculty member, would later come to be known as the father of the Indiana public education system and would work throughout his life to improve education in the Mississippi Valley area. Patterning it after the liberal arts colleges of New England, they resolved "that the institution be at first a classical and English high school, rising into a college as soon as the wants of the country demand." After declaring the site at which they were standing would be the location of the new school, they knelt in the snow and conducted a dedication service. Although Mills, like many of the founders, was a Presbyterian minister, they were committed that Wabash should be independent and non-sectarian.

Elihu Baldwin was the first President of Wabash from 1835 until 1840. He came from a New York City church and accepted the Presidency even though he knew that Wabash was threatened with bankruptcy. He met the challenge and gave thorough study to the "liberal arts program" at Wabash. After his death, he was succeeded by Charles White, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and the brother-in-law of Edmund O. Hovey, a professor at the college.

Joseph F. Tuttle, after whom Tuttle Grade School in Crawfordsville was named in 1906, (and Tuttle Middle School in 1960), became President of Wabash College in 1862 and served for 30 years. "He was an eloquent preacher, a sound administrator and an astute handler of public relations." Joseph Tuttle, together with his administrators, worked to improve relations in Crawfordsville between "Town and Gown.

Endowment

A substantial endowment places Wabash amongst the top 120 colleges and universities in the nation, and on a per-student basis, amongst the top 25. This endowment drives a generous scholarship program. The benefactors who have funded this endowment include the pharmaceutical industrialist Eli Lilly, the company he founded, and his heirs. The school's library is named after Lilly.

Student Government

The student government, referred to collectively as the Student Body of Wabash College, comprises executive and legislative branches.

The executive authority of the Student Body is vested in a President and Vice-President who chair the Senior Council and Student Senate, respectively. They are ex officio, non-voting members of the branches that they do not chair. The President has broad powers of appointment over all Senate standing committees. The Vice-President possesses a tiebreaking vote in the Student Senate.

The Student Senate of Wabash College is the legislative authority, consisting of representatives from each residence hall and fraternity, four representatives from each of the three underclasses, and the chairmen of the Senate's standing committees. The body of approximately 32 voting members manages an annual budget of over $350,000.00, allocating funds and setting guidelines for recognized associations. The Senate also serves as a general student forum. The Senate's standing committees are the Audit and Finance Committee, the Board of Publications, and the Constitution, Bylaw, and Policy Review Committee. The duties of the first two committees are self-explanatory; the third serves as a non-partisan resource for drafting legislative proposals; it is also empowered to adjudicate constitutional disputes and is occasionally called upon to evaluate proposed legislation.

The Senior Council of Wabash College is a special quasi-legislative body comprising the presidents of certain student organizations and self-selected at-large members. The Senior Council is responsible for representing student concerns to the faculty and administration, as well as fostering campus unity and maintaining proper regard for college traditions.

The student government does not include a judicial branch. Power to interpret the Constitution of the Student Body of Wabash College is vested in the legislature; questions of interpretation are generally delegated to the Constitution, Bylaw, and Policy Review Committee.

Athletics

The school's sports teams are called the Little Giants. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and in the North Coast Athletic Conference, where they are currently back-to-back-to-back (2005-2007) NCAC football champions. Every year since 1911, Wabash College has played rival DePauw University in a football game called the Monon Bell Classic. Wabash College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. The rallying cheer of Wabash College athletics is "Wabash always fights." Wabash College competes in Men's Intercollegiate Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Cross Country, Track and Field, Golf, Football, Soccer, Swimming & Diving and Wrestling.

The basketball team at Wabash is coached by Mac Petty, he is entering his 33rd season at the helm of the Little Giant program. The 18th coach in Wabash's rich basketball history, Petty quickly established himself as an outstanding coach by guiding the 1981-82 team to the NCAA Division III title with a 24-4 record. Petty led that team, and the two before it, to the NCAA Division III Tournament by winning 19 or more games each year. Petty joined an elite group of coaches in 2003, becoming the 17th active coach in Division III history to record 400 career victories. Petty will begin this season with an overall record of 463-364, 15th-best among active Division III coaches and 27th-best in the history of DIII basketball.

Football at Wabash dates back to 1884, when student-coach Edwin R. Taber assembled a team and defeated Butler University by a score of 4-0 in the first intercollegiate football game in the history of the state of Indiana. The current head football coach is Erik Raeburn who replaced Chris Creighton after completion of the 2007 season.

Monon Bell Classic

Voted "Indiana's Best College Sports Rivalry" by viewers of ESPN in 2005, DePauw University and Wabash College play each November -- in the last regular season football game of the year for both teams -- for the right to keep or reclaim the Monon Bell. The two teams first met in 1890. In 1932, the Monon Railroad donated its approximately 300-pound locomotive bell to be offered as the prize to the winning team each year. The series is as close as a historic rivalry can be: Wabash leads the all-time series 53-52-9; since the Monon Bell was introduced, DePauw has a 35-34-6 edge. The game routinely sells out (up to 11,000 seats, depending upon the venue and seating arrangement) and has been televised by ABC, ESPN2, and HDNet (where it will appear from 2007-2010.) Each year, alumni from both schools gather at more than 50 locations around the United States for telecast parties, and a commemorative DVD (including historic clips known as "Monon Memories") is produced each year. The most recent Monon Bell game, played on November 10, 2007, concluded with a last-second, 47-yard field goal resulting in a DePauw victory.

In 1999, GQ listed the Monon Bell game as reason #3 on its "50 Reasons Why College Football is Better Than Pro Football" list.

Alumni

Business

Politics

Media & The Arts

Military

Law

Sports

Medicine

Academia

Fraternities

The Greek system has a unique role at Wabash; with 60 percent of students belonging to one of the campus' ten fraternities. Unlike virtually all other schools, all fraternity members--including pledges--live in the fraternity houses by default. While most Wabash fraternities allow juniors and seniors to live outside the house, the majority of Greek students live in their respective house all four years. This has led to the odd circumstance of a college with fewer than 1000 students being dotted with Greek houses of a size appropriate to campuses ten times Wabash's size.

Fraternity rush at Wabash begins before the academic year. During March, students accepted for the coming year are invited to the campus for Honor Scholar Weekend, during which they take a battery of exams and compete for scholarship money. The students are distributed among the ten fraternities, where they stay during their visit. In the evenings following the day's testing, the fraternities and the Independent Men's Association host a variety of parties and events open to all. Fraternities are allowed to offer bids to prospectives starting that weekend, and rush runs through summer until it concludes one week after school begins. Upon accepting a bid, the pledge is then housed in the corresponding fraternity house. As many pledges accept over the summer, it is quite possible for a freshman never to see the inside of a dorm room.

List of fraternities

Wabash in fiction and popular culture

Wabash College has, despite its small size, been referred to in several cultural contexts:

Fiction

  • George Ade set his 1904 play The College Widow on a fictionalized version of the Wabash College campus. (Ade, an alumnus of nearby Purdue, saw his play adapted as a 1930 movie, retitled Maybe It's Love.)
  • Ernest Hemingway mentions the college in his work In Our Time Chapter IX, putting it among the ranks of Harvard and Columbia--possibly joking with friend Ezra Pound, who taught briefly at Wabash.
  • Kurt Vonnegut referenced Wabash and used a college alum as the basis for Dwayne Hoover in Breakfast of Champions.
  • One of the protagonists of Dan Simmons's Hyperion is a professor of ethics at a fictionalized Wabash; other characters in Simmons' novels are based on people he knew while attending.
  • Wabash is also mentioned in The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth; the protagonist's family is shown around Washington, D.C., by a guide who was a history lecturer at the college until losing his job in the Great Depression.

Film and Television

  • A scene in the sports movie Hoosiers finds the star player's guardian Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey) telling coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) to stay away from Jimmy Chitwood, the player under her care, saying "He's a real special kid, and I have high hopes for him... I think if he works really hard, he can get an academic scholarship to Wabash College and can get out of this place."
  • Wabash's student radio station, WNDY, loaned its call letters to the fictional Chicago radio station featured in the 1992 Dolly Parton movie Straight Talk. Alluding to this, a studio engineer is wearing a Wabash sweatshirt in one scene.
  • The college's name appears on a fraternity's composite portrait in an episode of Drawn Together. The seal resembles the seal of Tau Kappa Epsilon, which would make the composite that of the Alpha-Alpha chapter of TKE at Wabash.

Miscellaneous

  • The idea for the 1866 Centennial Exposition, the first official world's fair held in the United States, is credited to former Wabash Prof. John Campbell.

On Wabash

  • "The poetry in the life of a college like Wabash is to be found in its history. It is to be found in the fact that once on this familiar campus and once in these well-known halls, students and teachers as real as ourselves worked and studied, argued and laughed and worshiped together, but are now gone, one generation vanishing after another, as surely as we shall shortly be gone. But if you listen, you can hear their songs and their cheers. As you look, you can see the torch which they handed down to us."

- Byron K. Trippet '30, Ninth President of Wabash College

See also

References

  • Gronert, Theodore G., Sugar Creek Saga: A History and Development of Montgomery County, Wabash College, 1958.

External links

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