Happy 100th Birthday To Indiana Wesleyan University (aka — Marion College) Part IV

I’ve been doing my bit to help Indiana Wesleyan University celebrate their 100th Anniversary. When I attended what was then named “Marion College” the ramshackle of a campus was a mere 57 years old. The campus in the 43 years since has had a massive facelift so that when I returned my one and only time in 2010 the campus was a complete maze to me of new everything. When I attended we had one decent building (The Science Hall). Everything else found me meeting for classes in the basements of an old chapel, and a falling down women’s dorm, or in a room the size of a closet in the Library. However, I was 18 years old and having never been to a real campus I didn’t realize how much I was missing.

Those years are so far removed now but the memories remain fresh. I think I’ll provide a few vignettes in this entry in no particular order. Before I do, I would like to remind the reader that I’ve already confessed that I was hardly the model student my first 5 semesters there. I probably failed more classes than I passed in that time and was always connected to campus hijinks, even when not guilty.

** When finally on the cusp of graduating the Assistant Registrar was so in shock that I was actually graduating she decided to vociferously argue with me about my credits when filing my paperwork. Looking back, I can’t say as I blame her as I was just as shocked. She was a close relative of one of the chaps I hung with at Marion and I had been in her home on several occasions through the years. She probably rightly assessed over the years that I had been a bad influence on her relative and so may have been put out that she was going to be wrong about me being a bad boy who would never graduate. She was most upset that I was graduating with three majors and was quite insistent that my graduating with three majors was not possible. Now, in this case I was merely the messenger boy giving to her what my academic advisor had given me to give to her but she was having none of it. She kept yelling at me saying some version of, “This isn’t possible.” Now normally, I would have risen to such argumentative female baiting but being a Senior on the cusp of graduating I was now mature (sarcasm) and I held my fire and just kept saying, “You’ll have to take that up with Dr. Martin.” This only infuriated the poor gal even more and worked like stoking the engine on an old locomotive. We sat there conversing for 15 minutes exchanging those set of ideas back and forth. She would stutter and spit our that my credits couldn’t give me three majors and my response in every new round was “You’ll have to take that up with Dr. Martin.” Finally she took what my academic advisor had given me to give to her and hurled her parting shot on my way out the door, “We’ll see about this.”

I never heard another word and graduated with my disputed three majors until a few years later when having to secure my college records to ship off in my grad school application. Then I noticed the old gal had gotten the last word as she defiantly scrawled on my academic record which dutifully recorded my three majors the word “unique.” Three years later I got quite the chuckle over that realizing that though she had the satisfaction of putting her mark on my academic record that nobody would ever care about her scrawling the word “unique,” over the record. I had my three majors and all she could do was raise a protest nobody would ever care about.

** While at Marion I managed to make a Brit named Bernie very angry with me. Bernie was probably 7 years or so older than most college students and Bernie was at Marion only one year. Bernie was like Melchizedek inasmuch as he showed up and left without much of a trace. I don’t even remember his last name now. His look was very distinct though. He was about 5’8 and slight in build. He sported a handlebar mustache and with a receding hairline still managed to wear his auburn hair down to his shoulder with a curly perm type style. Add to that that Bernie was in need of dentistry work on his front teeth and a very distinct accent and Bernie cut a sui generis swath among us Yanks.

Anyways, Bernie got royally put out with me as he became convinced I was guilty of getting water on a major term paper of his. (This was before the days when you could just print out another copy. If you dog ate your paper you had to re-type the whole thing.) As a result Bernie demanded reparations and his idea of reparations was a 3 round 3 minute a round boxing match. It seemed Bernie was a trained boxer. I tried to beg out with the excuse that I didn’t own a set of boxing gloves but Bernie comforted me with the observation that he had an extra pair that would fit me just fine. Bernie wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and it got to the point that my 18 year old machismo was being called into question if I would not give him satisfaction in this manner.

Now, keep in mind I had never strapped on a pair of boxing gloves in my life (and haven’t since) and knew nothing about boxing accept what I had seen on TV. I was fit though and at 18 I was slight and so quick enough. So, I finally acquiesced in order to provide satisfaction to Bernie’s injured honor and so as to avoid having my manhood called into question. The date was set and it was decided the venue would take place in the 2nd floor of the Williams Hall dorm in the all purpose TV room.

I don’t mind telling you that I was unsettled. I was convinced that this Brit Boxer was going to beat my head below my shoulders. Word began to spread on campus and the next thing I know this boxing match was being billed on campus as the second coming of Ali vs. Frazier. People were coming up to me and patting me on the back saying, “I can’t wait to watch this.” (Which translated meant; “I can’t wait to watch you get beat to a bloody pulp.”) A betting pool had been established and the wise money was not on McAtee. The smart money was on Bernie in a KO in the first round. Another chap who had a background in boxing was found to be the Referee.

Finally the evening arrived. A friend, at the last second volunteered to be my corner man. He figured out that since I didn’t have a mouth guard (like Bernie did) I should use some duct tape for a mouth guard. Another chap named Kelly (a midget) somehow also ended up working my corner. Even now looking back there is a certain surreal quality to it all. A guy who had never worn a pair of boxing gloves in his life with a midget cheering him on in is corner going out to fight this 25 year old boxing aficionado with duct tape in his mouth as a mouth guard. I felt like the swimmer in Jaws about to be introduced to the Great White Shark.

Bernie never laid a glove on me. Over three rounds he kept expecting me to wear out and to quit dancing in the ring. I didn’t. He kept advancing and I kept retreating but jabbing. I was so tired at one point that people, including Larry Goins (he was affectionately known to his classmates as “Harry Groins”), were yelling at me to make a fist — I was so tired that my hands were just limp in the gloves. There was one point when Bernie finally had me cornered but I was quicker with the left hook (I’m a southpaw) than he was with his roundhouse and he was staggered as I connected … and I was staggered that I had staggered him. The crowded room was in bedlam calling on me to finish him off but I just wanted to survive and after the 8 count just waited for the bell.

When the three rounds were over Bernie wanted to go three more but I had met my obligation and I was already taking the gloves off. The judges called the fight “a draw,” but I wasn’t the one who sported a closed black -n- blue eye for the next three weeks.

** A bit of irony to close this entry.

In 1980-1981 Marion College Basketball was a force. It was a delight to the student body because Marion had seldom been good at much of anything in terms of sports the years I attended. The student body really got into the ballgames spending hours making confetti to throw at the games while listening to Lynyrd Skynryd or Molly Hatchet or whoever found their way on the turntable. The Basketball team cruised through the season piling up wins. The fan antics in the stands were crazy. There was this one chap on the Basketball team who had obtained the nick-name “Twinky.” He was the first guy of the bench as a sub and so a valuable player. He was an inside – outside guy at 6’7. At one game he was introduced as checking into the game and suddenly from the stands came a barrage of unwrapped Hostess Twinkies flying though the air in honor of “Twinky.” They had to take a delay in order to clean all the cream filling off the court.

Halftimes could be a riot as well. We had a student who worked the halftime shows and would play Eric Clapton’s hit song “Cocaine.” Every time Clapton would sing the word “Cocaine” the student body would belt out COCAINE. I doubt that very many of those students had ever seen a line of cocaine. However, that habit earned a letter to the editor in the Newspaper from one of the Welseyan adults writing how shocked she was to hear the student body shouting out COCAINE. It was a defiant youth thing themselves enjoying the acerbity of a Wesleyan College student body belting out the lyrics to Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine.”

Anyway… here’s the irony. Two of the star players lived as roommates in the dorms. From their room their consistently emanated the sweet and pungent aroma of Mary Jane. Everyone knew that they were “toking in the boys room.” It was an open secret. This would have been rather insignificant except that at the very end of this championship caliber year nearly the whole team was kicked off the team because the team was found out to have attended a rather raucous party. The irony was of the four players who weren’t kicked off the team two of them were the chaps who were partying every night in the student dorm with their sweet doobies.

There is an epilogue to this story. One of the guys kicked off the team — a Senior who was a league all-star didn’t forget. Upon graduation, when given his degree he paused right their on the stage, took his mortarboard cap off and winged it into the audience. By that time his out of town girlfriend had climbed on the stage and was giving him a huge smooch to the chagrin of the gathered Wesleyans.

I never heard anything of my friend Dick ever again.

But that man was magic on a Basketball court.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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