Dear Classmates of �86: by muqbNr

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									                                                              Class of 1986
                                                              Tim Oakes
                                                              Jim Riddle
                                                              Eric Rowland
                                                              Class Agents

September 2003

Dear Classmates of ’86:

Wabash Dates:

College has started and I want to share with you two dates:

Saturday, October 11 – HOMECOMING

Saturday, November 15th – Monon Bell game (at DePauw)

Personal Reflection:
At the risk that you will think that I have dipped into the Grey Goose a bit too much, I
have a personal reflection for you. Recently, I accompanied my wife, Tessa, and her
family on a vacation to Cape Cod for a week. We stayed in Chatam, at a nice house near
the beach, and then spent the week exploring and relaxing. However, on the Saturday we
arrived, and again on the following Monday, we ventured into Boston to see the Freedom
Trail, take in Fenway, and explore some of our American history.

While there on Monday, we ventured, briefly, over to where Harvard is located. We just
quickly drove around the perimeter. I had wanted to just have a look at the one place I
almost attended 20+ years ago instead of Wabash. My thoughts turned to the person I
was at 18: skinny inner-city kid with a rural Appalachian background and simple parents,
no siblings, no idea what a college or university were, and only a small idea of who I
wanted to become.

I have no criticism of Harvard. I am sure that it is an excellent university with
professional, quality staff and professors, and a spirited student body. And I found that
Boston was a fun, fun place to be: MIT, Boston U., Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, the history,
the water, etc. However, as I drove around there I felt secure that Wabash had been the
right place for me. I was not a worldly 18 year-old (o.k., in some ways, yes, but in
academic ways, no), but Wabash opened the world to me, literally. I was not, nor am I
now, a “class act”, but at least Wabash taught me what a gentleman should be. I might
have known how to avoid a knife-fight or near-riot situation without injury, but Wabash
truly trained me to think critically, not critical care. I may have been eligible to vote, but
Wabash educated me as to initial thoughts of being a “citizen” and how to behave as one
as well.
Distinct from Harvard perhaps, I remembered how the upperclassman in my fraternity,
ironically people like John Broderson, Tom Nelson, and Hollis Evans, took time and
repeatedly sat down with me and explained how to study, what classes or professors to
take or avoid, and how to effectively use my time. There was pressure on our pledge
class to perform academically. We were encouraged to take part in community social
service programs. I wondered if the same environment would have existed in Boston 20
years ago.

I thought about the helping hands in central Indiana for me since graduation: Bob Grand,
Jon Pactor, Lee McNeely, Jim Knoop, and Steve Goldsmith. And I wondered again, if
the Harvard graduates would have been as plentiful or as helpful as those men have been
in my life. In the end, I decided that I was lucky. I was lucky that Wabash had believed
in me. I was lucky to pledge the fraternity I did (despite our many differences), and I was
lucky to not know any better but to follow my Tech High School classmates to Wabash,
not Harvard.

I was lucky to maintain my friendship with Wayne Booker. I was lucky to make new
friendships with such diverse and incredibly talented people as Zaheer Shah, Mike
Reding, Eric Rowland, Lane Haslar, Jeff King, Jim Amidon, Scott Cougill, and on and
on. I suspect that most, but not all, in our class have similar stories and feelings of
appreciation. I don’t know if any of you have had the opportunity, as I had in Boston this
summer, to take a small glimpse of what might have been. I think, or I hope, that most of
you believe you made the correct choice. And I hope that each of you would, in effect,
choose Wabash again by continuing to support the College, both spiritually and
financially.

Class Notes:

As you (and me) get older, I note that time becomes a much more important asset than
when we were 21. I find myself making daily financial decisions based upon the
“purchase of time”. As a result, I don’t often see, hear about, or talk to our classmates as
much as I would like. However, here are a few of the those I have heard from or about:

Rowland tells me that he just visited Mike Molloy in Milwaukee. Molloy evidently just
moved into a high-rise condo tower and has a great view of Lake Michigan, the new Art
Museum and downtown Milwaukee. Things are going very well with his practice and he
was voted one of the very best GI practitioners in the country by his peers.

Rowland broke his wrist last February while snowboarding with Jim Davlin '85 and
Rowland’s 5-year old daughters.

Eric also happened to see Mike Haugh walking through the lobby at Lilly last week.
They didn’t talk, but Eric thought that he could at least report that Haugh is alive.
Eric also received an email from John Hiester a few weeks ago. Hiester is doing well
and just celebrated the 2nd birthday of his twins who were born on 9/11/01 of all ironic
days to have twins.

As for me, I also dropped down to Providence, Rhode Island while I was in Boston to
visit Dr. Zaheer Shah and his wife Christina. They have two beautiful children to add to
their family, and Zaheer has recently employed both his father and his younger brother
to assist him with his exploding medical practice.

During the height of the Iraq war, I received an email from Wayne Booker. He was
responding to my email inviting him over for dinner when he was in Indy next. His
response indicated that dinner would have to wait until he returned from Turkey where
he had been assigned. He has now returned safely.

I have not heard from Karl Cooke, Todd Kinney or other members of our class who
may have been called to military duty, but I assume, or hope, that all have made it home
safely.

Joe Bevelhimer is back in Peru/Logansport area working in the family business of
insurance, and also, it appears, being Mr. Mom. I keep hoping to play Rock Hollow soon
with him, but schedule and weather have prohibited that from happening.

When I last spoke with Joe, however, he informed me that another one of our
classmates, Matt Beebe, is Lilly’s national, or international, marketing guru for Lilly’s
equivalent of Viagra. In effect, that has allowed Matt to play amongst the CART racing
series, PGA and other sports professionals as they seek to get that drug off the ground
and running.

I purposely chose not to include the notes mentioned in the Wabash Notes magazine
since I assume that most of you have read those. However, I am always open to
suggestions or updates for this class agent letter if you want to email those to me.

I encourage each of you to make it back to Wabash this year if you can. The bookstore
has some great new stuff. The campus, if you have not returned in years, is truly
different than it was 5-7 years ago. The football is a Div. III national power. Mac Petty
continues to coach the basketball teams. The fraternities are all either enjoying a new
house, moving into a new house, or planning a new house. Things have changed, but
the ambiance and the excitement of a new year still remain.

                              Yours in Wabash,

                              Tim Oakes
toakes@indyice.com
Office: (317)924-3545
Home: (317)924-0688
Cell: (317)258-3545

								
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