|by Tom Runge • February 12, 2007|
N. Clay Robbins '79, president of the Lilly Endowment, was honored on Saturday, February 10, 2007 by the Indianapolis Association of Wabash Men (IAWM) as their Man of the Year. The event, held at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott, drew a large crowd, one of the biggest in recent years.
IAWM president David Pippen '91 served as the evening's emcee. After the reception and a rousing rendition of "Old Wabash" accompanied by Tom Ristine '72 on the piano, the group enjoyed a buffet dinner and casual conversation. After dinner, Wabash president Pat White welcomed the group and provided an update on his first year at the College.
After Pat, a surprise speaker captured the attention and admiration of the crowd. Campbell Robbins '09, oldest son of Clay and Amy Robbins, paid a special tribute to his father. Campbell told the group how Clay has managed, despite a hectic professional life, to always spend a great deal of time with the family. As Campbell has now been away to college for a year and a half, he reflected on how important he felt that family time has been to his overall development as a person. Needless to say, Campbell received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his remarks.
Fraternity brother and Trustee Mac McNaught '76 presented the Man of the Year. award to Clay. Mac took the group back to their Wabash days and their early careers to point out that everyone could see Clay was a very special person. After the presentation, a visibly moved Robbins thanked the group, especially his son, and reiterated the important role Wabash College has played, and continues to play, in his life.
The evening concluded with a raffle and entertainment by the "Merry Wives of Wabash". Led by Wabash first lady Chris White, the ladies belted out their own version of "Old Wabash".
Many thanks go to the IAWM and especially the evening's organizers - Jon Pactor '71, Scott Quick '88, David Pippen '91 and Aaron Cook '06.
For photos of the evening, click here.
Top photo: Trustee Mac McNaught '76 (r) presents the Man of the Year plaque to Clay Robbins '79.
Photo at Right: Clay Robbins thanks the IAWM and the group for the honor.