Happy 100th Birthday To Indiana Wesleyan University (aka — Marion College) Part II William’s Hall

Now before we start this entry it needs to be remembered that I have already admitted that I was not the model student while at Marion College. Nothing written hereafter can be understood apart from that stipulation. Indeed, I was not only not the model student, I probably had no business being in college at 18 years of age. At 18 I was ready for college the way that a eunuch is ready for his honeymoon night. As such my recollections are colored by that given. At 18 I was the kind of student who envied John “Bluto” Blutarsky (he of Animal House fame) for his study habits and academic diligence.

Of course when you arrived on campus one was immediately assigned a room-mate at Williams Hall. Dear sweet Williams Hall. It has now been retired and torn down but when I attended it was my residence for approximately 2 years during my 4.5 years of existence at Marion College. Williams Hall in 1977 – 1979 was one large building filled with competing male testosterone. Indeed, the African Serengeti had nothing on Williams Hall in terms of exotic male animal life. The third floor, (where I roomed) being the farthest point away from the Zookeepers apartment on the first floor, was where the wildest of the wildlife inhabited. There was even a rumor at one time that Marlin Perkins was going to film an episode of his famous “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” at Williams Hall.

“Note the Marion College male in his own habitat. Elusive, untamed, designing.”

My roommate my first year could not have been more polar opposite than me and to this day some 43 years later I genuinely feel sorry that Tim had to have me as a roommate for a semester. Tim was a quality upperclassman music major who had everything going for him except his roommate. Whatever genius in the Administration who put us together had been watching to many episodes of “The Odd Couple.” I played the role of Oscar; A slovenly, recently paroled 18 year old who was convinced that “Life was a highway, I want to ride it all night long,” and Tim played the role of Felix; A fastidious, well bred, serious student. It just wasn’t possible that it would work out. Tim, rightly, dumped me in the Second semester moving in with the Resident Assistant next door. Consequently, I was the only guy on the third floor with a room all to myself. Slovenliness does have its perks after all.

Third floor on Williams Hall started every morning with one of the Baseball players (Randy — The Resident Assistant’s Bunky) routinely taking his baseball bat to varied and sundry doors on the floor so as to provide the courtesy of being a kind of “Babe Ruth” alarm clock for the inhabitants. 0730 would roll around and the mighty Babe was making a racket as against those metal doors that would have awaken the very dead. This was Randy’s shtick and boy howdy did he enjoy it. By the end of the year sundry doors on the third floor were left with sundry quarter size dents in those doors.

Understanding that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and having a baseball bat of my own, I decided to try my hand at Randy’s routine but alas I was no match for the great Babe Ruth and so gave it up after only a couple times in the batting cage. Now an odd thing happened on the way to the ballpark in regards to all this. At years end, the powers that be came in and examined the doors on the third floor — doubtless having heard the rumor that Babe Ruth had stalked the third floor of Williams Hall — and somehow, quite without interviewing me or asking any questions, I was the one who was billed for the various dented doors. Here Randy was the master and I the apprentice, who had only tried my hands a couple times at “good-morning door bashing,” and I had to cough up several hundred dollars to replace doors that were never replaced the whole four years I attended Marion College. Life can be funny that way.

William’s Hall. It was not unusual to find the guys on the second floor shooting bottle rockets out of their windows aiming for people as they sauntered to class. There is nothing like a bottle rocket whizzing past your ears to get the proper amount of adrenaline running for your 1pm exam.

William’s Hall. More than once I had to navigate the third floor with a compass because the smoke from the Doobies was so thick I couldn’t see. It was in Williams Hall I learned what the smell of Marijuana smelled like. Eventually, I became so skilled that I could even distinguish the various types of weed being smoked. Maui Gold was my favorite. (And No gang… it wasn’t me blowing smoke rings.)

William’s Hall. Where they had to lift the curfew because they finally realized that they could not out maneuver all the schemes the chaps could come up with for beating the curfew. I saw guys on the 2nd floor lowering down belts and rope to their friends at 0200 so that they could pull their buddies up so as to crawl through the windows.

William’s Hall. Where one morning we exited the foyer to go to class only to find a sub-compact car sitting squarely in the foyer as if it were a display vehicle at a Car dealership. I always did wonder how they got that car in there.

William’s Hall. Where the chief of the Marion Fire Department awakened the whole dorm one morning at 0300 in order to say in a not kindly voice, “I don’t care if your the damn Governor’s son, I’m going to nail your ass to the wall when I find out who placed smoke bombs in the Girls dorm and set them off.” What the Chief didn’t know is that there was a chap on the third floor who shared the then current Indiana’s Governor’s last name. Upon the Chiefs declaration cries of “Bowen you’re in trouble,” began to cascade through the throng of gathered students. The Chief briefly believed he had found the guilty party only to find out later that our own John Bowen was not related to the Governor nor related to the smoke bombs. (Actually they were smudge pots… but the Chief was in no mood to be corrected at 0300.) And “no” I had nothing to do with the smudge pots that found the Shatford Hall girls having to exit their dorm at 0200 in the morning and stand around outside in their evening clothes until the “all clear” sign was given by the Marion Fire Department.) I will say this though; to this day I’ve never seen so many Fire Engines gathered at one locale at the same time. At first glance, given the Fire Engines already present and the ones continuing to roll in, I thought the campus was burning down.

William’s Hall. Where the 2nd floor TV room was cleared so a good old fashion boxing match could take place between a 25 year old Englishmen student named Bernie vs. some 18 year old idiot who had never before worn a pair of boxing gloves in his life. It went three, three minute rounds with the 18 year old idiot leaving a significant black and blue eye on Bernie while himself walking away without a glove being laid on him.

William’s Hall. Though never intended to be a co-ed dorm could fool people from time to time.

And, these are only some of the milder accounts of my William’s Hall memories.

Now some will deny these things happened, but I was there and I’m here to tell you that these things and more happened and they should be remembered and noted for a milestone 100 year anniversary.

So, Happy Anniversary Indiana Wesleyan University and thanks for allowing me to add my memories to your fine shiny commemorative catalog you sent me.

Next entry: Meet the Profs.

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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