Wabash College Class of 1987 Class Agent Letter — December 3, 2010 Jim Amidon, Class Agent Dear Friends in the Mighty Class of 1987, I apologize for the long delay in getting out news of the College to our class. It is with great honor that I continue to serve our alma mater in the Public Affairs and Marketing Office. That also means that most fall weekends are spent on or off-campus with Wabash folks — or generating communications with all Wabash alumni — which doesn’t give me a lot of free time to write to my classmates. Here are some of the updates I’ve collected in the last few months from the Men of 1987: FRED CLEMENS “Although I did not finish my college career at Wabash I feel a deep since of pride at being a part of a great institution. I played football and wrestled for three years with the Little Giants. My greatest accomplishments were wining the Little State Wrestling tournament as a freshman and starting at fullback as a sophomore. I also enjoyed being a member of the Glee Club. Life dealt me a major blow with the death of my father in October of 1985. I returned to the campus to wrestle competitively for the last time. I wrestled in the Little State tournament and when I looked into the stands and didn't see my father life spiraled down hill. I ended my college career and returned home to take care of my mother. I started a new era of my life with coaching high school football and wrestling. I did this for three years prior to joining the Army. I have recently retired with two combat tours. I am currently working for the United States Army Pacific Command as a civilian intelligence analyst. Wabash College had a big impact on the way I carried myself in the military. “I served in the first Gulf War in 1990. I also was a part of the 1st Stryker brigade that deployed to Iraq in 2003. We were the second wave of soldiers in Iraq. I was in the first Military Intelligence Unit that deployed to the combat zone with the ground units. My team actually introduced the first Prophet vehicle (signals surveillance vehicle) to Congress and Senate in Washington DC. This was one of my greatest honors in the service. In the Gulf war I served as an information courier. The technology was not very good in the early 90's so we literally hand- carried Top Secret information across the country. “The Iraq War was very different. My time in Iraq started with a show of force with the new Strykers. We slowly took control of several cities on our way to Mosul. These three months were the worst in my entire life, but once we arrived in Mosul we settled down to a somewhat normal life. The access of computers during my final six months was daily, so I could videoconference with my family. But the last month was the worst since the enemy knew we were changing units so the mortar attacks increased. We actually received a mortar attack on our way out of Mosul airfield. “I have served the bulk of my career in Hawaii. I was lucky to get to stay here for seven years after the Gulf War. I married my wife, Nanea, in 1994, and we have two wonderful kids, Micah 15, and Lehua 10. I have another daughter 17 that lives in Vegas with her mother. “Even today in Hawaii I try to steer some of the talented athletes to the cold state of Indiana. I am not that successful, but maybe one day my son will make me happy. It is great to see the many stories of the men of Wabash. I recently had the pleasure of hosting Michael Worthington (86) with two visits to the Hawaiian Islands. If there are any other alums coming to the islands feel free to contact me for the true island experience.” Contact Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org *** D.J. RIESE D.J. Riese has left Purdue University for a new position. He is now the George Fulton Gilliland & Olga Hooser Gilliland Franklin Professor at Auburn University, where he also serves as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at the Harrison School of Pharmacy. You can email him at email@example.com or reach him by phone at 334-844-8358. Congratulations, D.J.! *** JO THROCKMORTON Jo continues to be busy in all things multi-media in and around Bloomington. He produced and directed a great set of videos for downtown Bloomington. He’s written to me a couple of times — here’s a dispatch from early fall: “I’m finding myself pretty busy, considering the bad economy. I do three days on a Kentucky Lottery commercial next week then I have two weeks of work as the Production Manager/Assistant Director for an historical film on Morgan’s Raid during the Civil War. We are re-enacting (with Calvary horses, re-enactors from Michigan, Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana… canon, and everything) at Connor Prairie in Noblesville. “I also am the TV producer for a local version of ‘Iron Chef’ we do over the Labor Day weekend at the old theater downtown (and tape for TV playback). I am the race director for two events – a 4.3 Mile Trail Run at Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard and a 5K road race in downtown Bloomington on back to back weekends.” Contact Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at home at 812-272-4789. *** BILL BUTCHER (stolen from an email forwarded by Greg Birk ’77) “Life is good. We sold our last bank four years ago and I moved to Asheville, North Carolina so I could run/bike year-round in the mountains. It has been a blast. I have been adventure racing and doing multiple day type of races for the past decade. The races have taken me from a nine- day race in Australia to a five-day race (nine hours of sleep) in jungles of Costa Rica. Domestically, I’ve raced from California to Maine to Florida. Turns out I can go five to 10 days while running/biking/kayaking on about two hours of sleep per day. I have been getting a lot of grief from family/friends that want to see some pictures so I will update Facebook soon.” Ring up Bill at 317-508-6055 or go out and find him on Facebook. *** GREG CASTANIAS Greg Castanias was one of three alumni honored by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law with its Distinguished Service Award in October. Here’s the release: “Gregory A. Castanias (juris doctorare 1990) is a partner and head of the federal circuit practice at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. He has argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and is considered one of the country’s leading intellectual property attorneys. Castanias has served the law school in countless ways, from mentoring current and prospective students to an eight- year tenure on the school’s Alumni Board. Castanias returns to Bloomington frequently for board meetings, on-campus interviews, and speaking engagements. A proud alumnus of Wabash College, Castanias received that school's Richard O. Ristine Law Award in 2008. “At the Maurer School of Law, we have a deep tradition of teaching our students that the privilege of practicing law carries with it the obligation to give back to the community,” said Lauren Robel, dean and Val Nolan Professor of Law. “Pro bono work and public service are the moral dues we pay to be a part of this profession, and our students know from day one that their law degree will give them the power to provide access to justice for all of our citizens. Our DSA recipients — Greg, Lee and Laurie — embody the spirit of public service and are an inspiration to all of us.” Congratulate Greg on Facebook or by emailing him at email@example.com *** ANTHONY HART Anthony Hart is giving back to Wabash by being an integral member of a new mentoring program that pairs Wabash alumni with first generation Wabash students. The program is funded by a couple of large grants and its aim is to improve Wabash’s retention of first generation and minority students, and boost the College’s graduation rate. Read more about Anthony and the program here and here. *** File this one in the “You know you’re getting old when…” file: BODIE STEGELMANN’S son, Andrew, is a member of the Wabash Class of 2014. I’ve had the chance to meet Andrew, who is a pledge at Phi Gamma Delta, several times and I’ve seen him out and around campus. He’s a great young Wabash man and I’m sure Bodie is very proud, indeed! *** THANKS FOR A GREAT ANNUAL FUND YEAR IN 2010 One of my great regrets of the last four months is that I neglected to send out a letter in August thanking all of you who made a gift to the College in fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30. Fifty-three members of our class made gifts totaling $33,540. Here’s the honor roll of Wabash men who helped our class participation — and helped the Wabash Annual Fund raise more than $3 million for the third straight year. Jim Amidon, Jr. Steve Huder Mike Ricks Steve Badger Dave Jackson D.J. Riese, II Greg Baker Tim Jeffers Gavin Roberts Ben Beringer Bob Kachur Chris Sangalis Paul Boger, Jr. Bill Kaiser, Jr. Allen Schulz John Brady Tim Lewis Tom Seroczynski, II Erik Burriss Terry Lyons Todd Shellenbarger Shawn Burton Mick Magura Ken Siepman Mark Cain David McLaren Bodie Stegelmann Greg Castanias Bob Minardo Chris Stephenson Scott Cougill Jim Miner John Stonehill Barry Delk Bill Niemier Bernie Stuckey Tom Edwards Dave Nisius Jo Throckmorton Kurt Eisgruber Kevin Noll Mike Trier Doug Galloway Ken Ogorek Mark Vincent Anthony Hart Mike Rapier Darin Wallace Dan Harter Jeff Relue Bob Wright Jay Herrmann, M.D. Brad Rickel Von Wright *** AND THANKS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN IN FISCAL 2011 This is, admittedly, a shorter list. But we’re still less than halfway through the fiscal year. But for those who want a tax deduction, plan now to make your gift to Wabash before December 31. Indiana residents get a little something extra on the state tax return — look for form CC40 — that makes a $400 gift cost just $200. Don Albrecht Steven Jones Kevin Noll Jim Amidon, Jr. Bob Kachur Ken Ogorek Erik Burriss Bill Kaiser, Jr. D.J. Riese, II Greg Castanias Tim Lewis John Stonehill Anthony Hart Mick Magura Bernie Stuckey Dan Harter David McLaren Mark Vincent Steve Huder Jim Miner Darin Wallace *** ACCESS THE BACHELOR FROM 1983-1987 ONLINE! The Bachelor, Wabash’s student newspaper, is now online — completely. Thanks to the archives and a gift from alumnus Jon Pactor, every issue of The Bachelor has been digitized in a high- tech, searchable database. Want to recall what Homecoming was like our freshman year? Just type in key words like “homecoming” and “1983” and you’ll find the story. For all the information you need, just click here and get signed up. *** WRAPPING THIS LONG LETTER UP: I’ve been writing a weekly newspaper column in the Crawfordsville Journal Review for the last ten years or so. The editor came to me back in the late 1990s and gave me permission to use about 800 words any way I wanted, and gave me a nice spot on the opinion page in every Monday morning’s paper. I figure I’ve written pretty close to 500 of them by now, they have covered our great victories in sports, our achievements in fund-raising, the accomplishments of our students, and our most difficult losses. I thought I’d wrap up this letter by including my column from Thanksgiving week. I think it covers the best of the fall semester at the College, and I’ve included some hyperlinks if you want to learn more. All best wishes for Happy Holidays and a healthy, prosperous New Year. Jim Amidon P.S. — Just after I finished writing this letter, the Wabash basketball team improved to 7-0 on the season by dunking DePauw in Greencastle 57-40. Holding DePauw to 40 on its own court — and miserable 13 percent shooting from three-point range — is a pretty great accomplishment for the team and its coach, Mac Petty, who is now in his 35th year! *** For Which I Am Thankful Jim Amidon November 22, 2010 While it is not likely to be erased from our memories any time soon, the 117th Monon Bell Classic is behind us and the Wabash College football team’s 47-0 victory over arch rival DePauw put a nice stamp on the fall season at the College. And what a remarkable fall it was. Folks who care deeply about Wabash have plenty to be thankful for as the campus falls quiet for Thanksgiving break. Here are but a handful of reasons why we give thanks this week. In late August, President Pat White rang in 253 new students to Wabash. The freshmen come from across the country and around the world, and have enriched every aspect of our community. We are thankful that in this difficult economy, Dean of Admissions Steve Klein and his dedicated staff — and all who help us recruit students — brought in such a large and wonderful class. About that same time, Wabash was featured in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 College Guide, the Princeton Review’s Best 373 Colleges book, and Forbes magazine’s Best Colleges guide. In early September, the College’s glorious new football field was dedicated as Sewell Field at Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium. While many Wabash purists first balked at the idea of a synthetic playing surface, the Field Turf Pro gridiron matches the excellence of Wabash’s entire athletics program. We’re thankful for the many fond and spirited memories we have of games played in that stadium and the men who compete as Little Giants, and for the benefactors who make that competition possible. By month’s end, it was time for Homecoming. It’s hard to put an accurate number on it, but I suspect that about 6,000 people returned to alma mater to reminisce, remember, and celebrate Wabash’s thrilling 31-14 win over the University of Chicago. At the Homecoming Alumni Chapel, two special friends were among those honored by the National Association of Wabash Men. The College’s alumni director and Crawfordsville native, Tom Runge, received the Alumni Award of Merit, and long-time swimming and diving coach, Gail Pebworth, was named an honorary alumna in the Class of 1991. We’re thankful to both for their service to and love of Wabash College, and for all alumni who spread the fame of her honored name. In late October, the Wabash community gathered again to celebrate the College’s tradition of philanthropy. At an exciting event on the last Friday of the month, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends gathered to announce the five-year, $60 million Challenge of Excellence capital campaign. We are thankful to those people — especially the College’s Trustees — who already have given or pledged nearly $36 million toward that goal. A week later, a record number of high school seniors and their family members descended on Wabash for the Top Ten Scholarship Visit Day. Well over 180 young men who rank in the top ten percent of their high school graduating classes made their way to campus to learn more about Wabash and to meet with alumni, faculty, and students. The keynote speaker was Washington D.C., attorney Greg Castanias ’87. We are thankful that Wabash’s reputation is strong, that high school students aspire to become Wabash men, and that our accomplished alumni are living proof of the value of a liberal arts education. On the eve of the Monon Bell Classic, scores of alumni and family members came back to Wabash for the Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony. A remarkable class of nine men representing eight different varsity sports were inducted (with another soon to follow). We’re thankful for Wabash’s rich tradition of intercollegiate athletics and that the College honors its sports heroes. Throughout the fall, students and visiting artists entertained us with their musical and theatrical performances on stage. We are thankful for the diversity of talents in this small community, and for the College’s commitment to the education of the whole person. And that brings us to Saturday, November 13. No other colleges in the country can boast of a rivalry as old, as fierce, and as storied as the Monon Bell rivalry between Wabash and DePauw. We may take it for granted that a single, small college football game means so much to so many people, near and far. In reality, there really isn’t anything like it in all of college sports. We are thankful to have such a worthy, respected rival in DePauw and we are thankful for the traditions we share. (And, of course, we’re thankful that the bell has been ringing pretty much non-stop for the last two weeks.) In a season of Thanksgiving, we at Wabash are blessed. We are blessed with a caring, dedicated faculty and staff, eager students, loyal alumni, and a community that embraces this liberal arts college for men. For all of these reasons and more, we are thankful.
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