Virtual Commencement 2020: “A Distinction Worth Pursuing”

In a Wabash College Commencement unlike any prior, senior Artie Equihua encouraged his fellow 2020 classmates to remain grateful when encountering hard circumstances along life’s journey.

“We chose a school that would challenge us,” Equihua reminded his classmates with a laugh. “We have a shared understanding that nothing worthwhile comes easy.”

Equihua was the featured speaker during the virtual celebration of Wabash’s 182nd Commencement where President Gregory D. Hess conferred degrees upon 178 men of the Class of 2020. Two other class members will speak at an on-campus Commencement being planned for the fall.

The ceremony began with a video montage of the graduating seniors set to a Glee Club performance of “Alma Mater,” and concluded with a special rendition of the seniors singing "Old Wabash" via submitted videos.

In his last Commencement as Wabash President, Gregory D. Hess reminded the Class of 2020 from the lectern in the Pioneer Chapel that they had sat in the very same building to be rung in four years ago.

“We gave you the keen eye of a Wabash education,” said President Hess, “so that you might see diverse points of view and be challenged by them. We gave you the tools of a life-long education: to think critically, to read and write clearly, to solve and reflect, to immerse yourselves in your surroundings and your inner lives, and to help you identify your authentic selves. And this semester, you were given a double-dose of how to deal with obstacles.

Hess praised the graduates for their collective accomplishments in their time at the College and reminded them that, “we are capable of so much when we blur our differences and bond together.”

Dean of the College Scott Feller also presented both the Frank Hugh Sparks Award and the John Maurice Butler Prize, the top student honors for a Wabash graduate.

Hunter Jones earned the Frank Hugh Sparks Award for All-Around Student Achievement, which is named in honor of the College’s eighth president and given to a senior who has done the most to promote the true spirit and purpose of Wabash College.

Nathan Gray claimed the John Maurice Butler Prize for Scholarship and Character, which has been given annually since 1923. The prize is voted on by the entire Wabash faculty and is given to a student of high character and great ability.

Before ringing out the class with the bell Caleb Mills used to call the very first Wabash students to class, President Hess charged the Class of 2020: “Now go forth into this world as very good Wabash men. I will try to do that, too.”