Celebrating 110 years of Student Journalism

Athletic Traditions of the College

PATRICK MCAULEY ‘20 | SPORTS EDITOR • Wabash Always Fights! Yes, it is the driving force behind the College, and every Wabash man eventually contemplates its significance at one point during their time on campus. It takes on a tone of passion and resilience. The words present themselves on various walls, courts, clothing apparel, and newsletters across campus. The phrase has an interesting history.


The motto came from a few creative Wabash men of days’ past. According to “Some Little Giants,” by Max Servies ‘58, the school originally created the phrase in 1910. Ed Zeigner ‘10 personally came up with the idea, but then Rome “Ike” Williams ‘05 presented the school slogan in 1919 during an alumni association event here in Montgomery County. Furthermore, workers of the College wrote it into a scarlet banner, which was then hung in the gymnasium that eventually became known as Chadwick. Over the years, the College moved the banner and it presented itself on other walls around campus. Modern students of the College know the phrase very well and come across it in their everyday lives.

For some students, that attitude only transcended once they reached campus. Samuel Hansen ’22 is from Indianapolis. After coming to the College, he joined the wrestling team. He also participates in WDPD and the Newman Center. Hansen grew up with a supportive father who pushed him in all areas of life.

“That was the kind of value I grew up with,” Hansen said. “My dad always taught me that even if I do not win I should always give my best effort and just have the attitude of you gotta chase it.”


When Hansen first came across the school slogan he was idly looking through social media. After he got on campus, he realized the mantra applies directly to how humans face adversity. He believes that life is all about how you face challenges and turn them into positive takeaways. Reed Mathis ’22, born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, believes the slogan has a deeper meaning as well.

Mathis fights in all areas of his life here at the College. He is a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and is a member of the CIBE, The Bachelor, and the tennis team. The young Wabash man quickly learned that life at the College is busy, but the school slogan definitely affects his lifestyle.

“I learned that it can apply to many facets of life,” Mathis said. “Especially with the daily grind that all students experience both inside and outside the classroom. Our mantra is definitely something that I can rely on to keep moving forward.”

Moreover, Mason McPheron ’22, who is currently a member of the College football team, first heard of “WAF” in high school. His coach mentioned the slogan to him many times during his senior year when he was in the process of making his decision to come to the College. Contrastingly to other men of the College, the young man thinks about it in a more simplistic manner. McPheron further believes that the statement is less personal. He thinks that it’s deeper meaning applies to some people and not others.

“I think if you do not really know about Wabash then you can kind of take it out of context,” McPheron said. “It’s quite a simple statement: you just never give up.”

The big words “WABASH ALWAYS FIGHTS” are in many different areas of campus, such as the Allen Center, Collett Tennis Center, and the wrestling center. Check them out and bask in their historical significance and meaning!