And the conclusion of my Wabash trivia challenge.


The Writing Center, from Julia Rosenberg:

25. What is an Oxford coma?

Just in case of a tie…


If you tallied it up during the course of a school year, how many times did Wabash students sing Old Wabash during last year? (The tally included Ringing In Ceremony, Commencement, every football score, before and after every athletic event, after each Chapel Talk, and all the reunion classes for Big Bash. It did not include Chapel Sing, which would be next to impossible to even estimate!)



And now for the social sciences in my Wabash trivia challenge.

Category 3: Division III – The Social Sciences

Professor Ethan Hollander teaching Comparative Politics.

Professor Ethan Hollander teaching Comparative Politics.

Economics, from Dr. Joyce Burnette:

21. Name the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Political Science, from Drs. Melissa Butler and Ethan Hollander

22. How many countries are members of the United Nations?

Economics, from Dr. Peter Mikek:

23. Which of the following is NOT an important determinant of REAL wages for the whole economy?
a.) Quantity of output per unit of input
b.) Inflation
c.) Productivity
d.) Number of hours worked

24. Which of the following does NOT equal an increase of money supply for a whole economy?
a.) Increase of all balances on checkable deposits
b.) Increase of the value of traveler’s checks
c.) Increase of aggregate savings
d.) Increase of all balances on saving deposits

It’s on to the humanities in my Wabash trivia challenge, and it’s a big one.

Category 2: Division II – The Humanities

Byron K. Trippett Assistant Professor of Classics Jeremy Harnett leads a competitive round of linquistics in his Latin class. Photo by Howard W. Hewitt

Byron K. Trippett Assistant Professor of Classics Jeremy Harnett leads a competitive round of linquistics in his Latin class. Photo by Howard W. Hewitt

Religion, from Dr. Stephen Webb ’83:

6. On what door did Luther nail his 95 theses?

Philosophy, from Dr. Stephen Webb ’83:

7. Which philosopher kicked a dog to demonstrate that animals are machines and that a crippled animal is nothing more than a broken clock?

Teacher Education, from Marc Welch, ’99:

8.  Mainly known for his publications within education, this American philosopher continually argued that education and learning are social and interactive processes, as expressed in his My Pedagogic Creed of 1897.

Spanish, from Marc Welch, ’99:

9. Inspired by the Spanish Civil War, this Picasso work not only raised awareness about the Spanish Civil War, but the travesties of all wars. It can now be found in Madrid’s Reina Sofía Museum.

Rhetoric, from Dr. Jennifer Abbott:

10.  What are the five canons of rhetoric?

11. According to Aristotle, the three persuasive appeals that compose the canon of invention include pathos, ethos, and what?

Theater, from Dr. James Cherry:

12. Which nineteenth-century play ends with “a door slam heard ’round the world”?

Art, from Prof. Doug Calisch:

13. What does ROYGBIV refer to?

Latin, from Dr. Jeremy Hartnett ’96:

14. What is the meaning of the boozy Latin phrase in vino veritas?

Classics, from Dr. Jeremy Hartnett ’96:

15. Of the Parthenon and the Pantheon, which is in Rome?

16. In the Odyssey, what is the name of Odysseus’ wife who was known for her patience?

Greek, from Dr. Jeremy Hartnett ’96:

17. The Greek words for “household” and “law” give us our English name for what field of study?

18. Which Greek general convinced his fellow Athenians to abandon their city and to take refuge on the island of Aegina (egg-ee-nuh) during the Persian Wars?

English, from Dr. Warren Rosenberg:

19. What 19th century essayist, poet and founder of Transcendentalism had the greatest influence on the development of American literature?

20. Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Henry James and Kate Chopin are representatives of what major literary movement that set the stage for modern literature?

Last night, the Indianapolis Association of Wabash Men hosted another in our series of monthly after-work gatherings. We’ve been hosting them at various places around the Indy metro area as an informal way for alums to get together.

In April, I concocted a quiz of Wabash trivia. For this round, I decided to ask current Wabash faculty members for help. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to meet some of the College’s new faculty.

So, they provided the questions to test your liberal arts knowledge. I’ll post answers later. Let’s see how you guys do.

And no Googling!

Category 1: Division I – The Sciences

Dr. Laura Wysocki teaching a chemistry lab.

Dr. Laura Wysocki teaching a chemistry lab.

Organic chemistry, from Dr. Laura Wysocki:

1. How many bonds does carbon typically have in an organic molecule?

2. What is the name of the gas, CH4?

Biology, from Dr. Austin Brooks ’61:

3. The Central Dogma of molecular biology states that DNA makes RNA and it in turn directs the synthesis of what?

Physics, from Dr. Dennis Krause:

4. If a large truck smashes into a small car at an intersection, which vehicle exerts the larger force on the other: the truck on the car or the car on the truck?

5. Name the physicist whose law of gravity explains the motion of the planets around the Sun as well as why all objects near the Earth fall with the same acceleration.

Breaking: Pres. White to Step Down

Posted: May 24, 2012 in News

The Alumni Office just forwarded me the following message from President Pat White. (story)

Pat White ringing out the Class of 2012 at Commencement a few weeks ago.

Dear Wabash:

As we prepare for Big Bash and celebrate another great year at Wabash, I want to let you know about an important recent decision. At our meeting on Saturday of Commencement Weekend, I informed the Board of Trustees that I intend to leave the position of President of the College next June 30, 2013.

In the last six years we have faced many challenges at Wabash and have accomplished many great things together. In the worst economic times in a generation, when many colleges and universities were at great risk, we have made Wabash stronger and more resilient, while growing in our shared understanding of our strengths and distinctive character. This work is not complete, nor can it ever be finished. This work is the life of the College. But as we look ahead to a new strategic planning process and the next capital campaign, announcing this decision now will give the College an opportunity to do a careful and comprehensive presidential search and effect a good transition in leadership.

I began my presidency with a call to the grand conversation of the liberal arts and to a shared adventure in finding our best imagination of who we are and what we can become as Wabash.

That conversation and adventure will continue in the coming year. As we celebrate our strength in enrollment; our completion of the Challenge of Excellence campaign; our achievements in new academic programs such as Asian Studies and biochemistry; the development of our understanding of the Gentleman’s Rule and all it implies for the life and culture of Wabash; and our ongoing excellence in every aspect of teaching and learning, inside and outside the classroom, on the athletic fields, in the concert halls and theaters, in laboratories and in discussions in fraternities, residence halls, and in every step of our walk together, I look forward to working with alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students to strengthen further this College we love so well.

I am eager to lead Wabash for one more year and am excited about all that we will do together. There is much to be done; and, as you know, Chris and I have never turned away from the challenges and always embraced the joys of serving Wabash and our mission to educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely. We look forward to the next year with energy, enthusiasm, and, as always, with affection for all of you and all that you do for Wabash.

Sincerely yours,


Patrick E. White
Wabash College

Update: Ron Pitcock

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Classmates

I received this article on “Doctor Ronster,” Ron Pitcock. Ron is the J. Vaughn and Evelyn H. Wilson Honors Fellow at Texas Christian University, where he also serves as the Director of Prestigious Scholarships.

Honors College’s Pitcock receives recognition for student investment

Honors Fellow and director of prestigious scholarships Ron Pitcock relaxes in his office in Scharbauer Hall. Pitcock is one of three professors listed in “The Best 300 Professors” nationwide by the Princeton Review. Photo by Mandy Naglich.

By Sarah Greufe of TCU Daily Skiff
Staff Reporter

Posted May 11, 2012 / Updated 4:04 PM May 11, 2012

Given the right conditions, it doesn’t take long for intellectual stimulation to produce popcorn responses from students in a classroom.

This is the atmosphere Ronald Pitcock, J. Vaughn and Evelyne H. Wilson Honors Fellow and director of prestigious scholarships, provides for students at the university.

Although his subject matter may vary, he is interested in discovering the lives of students themselves. Drawing out their potential in whatever area that might be, he said, is his ultimate goal in teaching.

A student reviewer on wrote that Pitcock was the best professor at TCU and most likely in the nation. In the past, he has been recognized at the University of Kentucky, Indiana State University and TCU through awards such as the 2009 TCU Inspirational Professor Award, according to the Honors College website.
He received national recognition through The Princeton Review, which named Pitcock in its The Best 300 Professors publication.

Parker Fleming, a junior economics and religion double major, said Pitcock made students think on how they could take a different attitude of self-examination in learning in the world.

His uncommon classes have included opportunities for students to explore subjects such as how events like 9/11 are remembered in the American culture through literature in a class titled U.S. Cultural Memory. He also has taught classes such as Nature of Giving, which aimed to donate $100,000 to a local charity selected by the class this semester, Pitcock said.

The time in which he is available for students outside of class was what made the difference in students’ lives. He learned this from his professors, he said.

“My philosophy is more about creating unique opportunities for students to create links between their interests and the real world,” he said.

Pitcock said he started out teaching as a graduate student in 1992. After seeing the work his mother did teaching middle school, he thought he would go to law school after his undergraduate liberal arts studies at Wabash College in his home state of Indiana.

Pitcock said that growing up near DePauw University stimulated his intellectual interests from a young age. His father, who did not attend college, and his mother, who was a first-generation student, both imprinted on him the value of education. Like his family, he said he was an avid reader but was not interested in his studies in law after he graduated. His professors gave him the chance to teach as a graduate student, and it was then, he said, he found his purpose.

His education challenged his curiosity about the world around him, and he said he started to make connections between English writings and American culture. His courses, he said, were still shaped by the tough questions students ask and their interesting responses.

Kaileigh Swanson, a sophomore accounting major, said she looked forward to his insightful classes, which are tailored to the individual students involved.

With the amount of effort he invests in students, Scott Deskins, a sophomore political science major, said Pitcock had high expectations for students’ output.

Pitcock said he has heard from past students on a regular basis, some who attended medical school and others who were pursuing their own businesses in New York. He said he feels his family extends beyond his wife and three children to the students and faculty at the university.

“The relationships we build with students extend beyond the classroom, beyond these four years. The TCU experience — it’s a lifetime experience,” he said.

Wearing a purple tie and contemplative expression, he said he has the “best job in the world” and supports the university’s pursuit to truly educate undergraduate students.

Messer Wins GOP Primary

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Classmates

Luke Messer emerged victorious on Tuesday night with a big win in the primary. He’s the frontrunner to succeed Mike Pence in the 6th Indiana Congressional District in November. Here’s the story from the Indianapolis Star.

Messer conquers crowded Republican field in 6th District

10:08 PM, May. 8, 2012
Written by Chris Sikich

Luke Messer is the apparent winner of the Republican primary in the 6th District. / Joe Vitti / The Star

Former state GOP executive director Luke Messer held off a furious grass roots campaign from political outsider Travis Hankins to win the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District.

“I think in the end,” Messer said, “the biggest difference between us and the rest of the field was experience and a proven record of results on conservative principles.”

With all of the precincts reporting, Messer won 40 percent of the vote in a large GOP field. Just after 8 p.m. Hankins, the runner up with 29 percent, sent an e-mail to supporters, conceding he would not be going to Congress.

Messer is the frontrunner in the heavily GOP 6th District in November. Bradley T. Bookout won the Democratic primary in a 5-candidate field. Bookout is a former Delaware County councilman.

On the Republican ticket, Messer had the political backing, the campaign cash and the name recognition to be considered the frontrunner. All Travis Hankins had was a phone — and the will to win.

Hankins, a Columbus-based real estate investor, never has held political office. But afterhe said he personally called more than 19,400 voters in the past year, he emerged as a serious candidate.

“We worked as hard as we could to talk to the people,” Hankins said. “At the end of the day, we can say we held our head high and did it the right way.”

Messer entered the race hoping newly drawn boundaries gave him a hometown advantage after unsuccessfully trying to topple Dan Burton in a crowded field in the 5th Congressional District primary two years ago. Messer finished second despite the fact his Shelbyville home was in the far southeastern corner of a district that stretched largely north of Indianapolis.

But in the last weeks, a sea of Hankins’s signs filled thousands of yards in a 6th District that stretches across parts of 19 counties. Messer quickly countered with a $50,000 loan to his campaign, an endorsement from Gov. Mitch Daniels and a wave of negative advertisements painting Hankins as a tax-and-spend liberal.

Having raised $191,699 and largely spending it on those yards signs, Hankins couldn’t react with a last-minute mailing of his own. Hankins, who maintains he is more conservative than Messer, had hoped those personal phone calls would pay off. He’s unsure what his next step will be, or if he will seek political office again.

Don Bates Jr., Richmond; Bill Frazier, Muncie; Joe Sizemore, Metamora; and Joseph S. Van Wye, Madison; also were seeking the GOP nomination.

Allen K. Smith II and John Hatter also appeared on ballots, but they had dropped out of the race and endorsed Messer.

In the Democratic field, Bookout led over Don Bolling, Centerville; Jim Crone, Hanover; Susan Hall Heitzman, North Vernon; and George T. Holland, Rushville.