Awards Highlight Big Bash Brunch
by Kim Johnson
June 8, 2014
Wabash men, wives, partners, and friends from 36 states and eight countries descended on Crawfordsville for a weekend of reminiscing, reuniting with old friends, and meeting new Wabash brothers.
The 2014 record-setting Big Bash came to a close Sunday. Hundreds gathered to say their final good-byes and accept awards for their top-performing classes.
The 382 alumni registrants was just shy of the overall attendance record of 389 set in 2009. However, three classes did set individual class records.
Big Bash began in 2004 when the Class of 1954 was celebrating its 50th reunion. At this year’s 11th Big Bash the class set a record for attendance at a 60th reunion. The Class of 1959 followed suit with a record 55th reunion bringing back 27 members of its class. The third record-setting class was the Class of 1969. The 49 members of the 45th reunion class bested the mark by two signatures in the official registration book gearing up for what will no doubt be a great 50th turnout in five years.
But it was the Class of 1964 who took center stage when the awards were handed out. This year’s 50th reunion class accepted the 1909 Trophy Cup for highest percentage of alumni present (30.5%) and the 1928 Attendance Trophy for largest number of men returning for their reunion (57).
The newest Big Bash attendance award went to the 10th reunion class – the Class of 2004. The Class of 2007 Award is given to the 5th, 10th, or 15th reunion class with the highest turnout. Behind the great work of class agent, Jacob Pactor, 35 members of the class were in attendance.
The Class of 2004 also received the Robinson-Ragan Award for outstanding performance in the Chapel Sing competition. The rigorous judging is done by Wabash staff and the Sons of Wabash and is based on memorization, attendance, creativity, inclusion of the second version, and other “intangibles.” Rounding out the top three classes were 1969 in second place, and 2009 in third place. In the end only four points separated the top-three finishers.
Two class agents were recognized with the prestigious Dorman Hughes ’43 Award. Hughes was a long-time, model class agent. Chosen by the Alumni and Parent Relations staff, the winners, Ken Crawford ’69 and Jacob Pactor ’04, were applauded for their exemplary service to their classes and the College.
The final award of the program, the Edmund O. Hovey Annual Giving Award, was given to the class with the highest percentage of alumni donors during the past year. The 50th reunion class stepped up in fashion, led by reunion gift chair Dudley Burgess, with 54.9 percent participation to earn the award. Several reunion classes were well over 40 percent including the Class of 1969 with 51.8 percent participation, the Class of 1954 just shy of 49 percent participation, the class of 1959 with 45.4 percent participation, and the Class of 2004 with 42.7 percent participation – the highest percentage of the most recent 25 graduating classes.
President Hess closed out the weekend’s events with these thoughtful words, “Wabash College has infused so many with endless possibilities in their lives, but the soul of Wabash College, the rock of Wabash College is all the men who share the value and love of this institution and who want to pass it on to future generations.
“You should always feel like Wabash is your home. Don't ever feel like you can't knock on the door, that there is a friend here you cannot call, or that you can't come back to visit your Wabash family."