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Alumni Celebrate 'The DePauw Experience' at 2013 Reunion Weekend

June 8, 2013

"I think we all want to belong to or be of something. You have that with DePauw," Philip Eskew Jr., M.D., told fellow members of the University's Class of 1963. At the college's annual Alumni Celebration in Kresge Auditorium this afternoon, Dr. Eskew said that DePauw "isn’t a place where you’re anonymous. It isn’t a massive institution that folks went to, got a degree, and moved on. It is an experience: The DePauw Experience. And, that experience is enhanced by the friendships we have and the connections we made."

In his golden anniversary address, he added, "My guess is that most of us have taken the trouble to come to this reunion because DePauw was an important stepping stone in our lives."

Eskew received a B.A. degree in pre-medical science from DePauw and went on to receive his medical degree at Indiana University in 1970. Following the completion of his residency in 1974, Eskew joined Carmel Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Inc. and later became a managing senior partner in 1994. He was also an active staff member with St. Vincent Hospital from 1974 through 2007 and has since served as an emeritus staff member. In 1989, Eskew also began an academic appointment with the Indiana University School of Medicine (Obstetrics & Gynecology) as a clinical professor.

A football and track and field standout as an undergradute, Phil Eskew is a member DePauw’s Athletic Hall of Fame, serves on its board of directors, was president of the Alumni "D" Association from 1986 to 2006, and was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1985 to 1991.

"I have lived close enough to be able to give back to DePauw. With the support of the Alumni Board and President Bottoms, we established an Athletic Hall of Fame that allows DePauw to recognize great athletes of the past. I have been able to LGL 2229support my fraternity as an advisor and mentor to some wonderful young men. I want to challenge you. We have many years left. We have the assets and the time. Continue to give back to your favorite organization, church, school or charity. Mentor those who need your help. Give back in some way."

Dr. Eskew, who has attended every Alumni Celebration over the past 28 years, noted, "In the spring of 1963 I took a Speech class taught by Dean Robert Farber. Dean Farber always sat in the front row for this convocation until the past two years. At age 99 he is unable to attend today but will receive a DVD of this presentation. It has been a dream of mine to be asked to speak on behalf of our class at our 50th Reunion and for Dean Farber to be sitting over there in the front row." He also recited several of the favorite sayings of his collegiate football coach, Tom Mont.

"DePauw has given us so much," Eskew said to his classmates, who were seated in front of him. "We were taught by several wonderful professors that had huge impacts on our life."

He concluded, "I am so proud to be an alumnus of DePauw and I thank you for this opportunity to say, Here’s to you, Dean Farber, Here’s to the Class of 1963 and here’s to you Old DePauw."

"The Class of '88 arrived in Greencastle in August of 1984 as the first class representing Generation X," Jennifer A. "Jenny" Bauer told fellow members of the Class of 1988. A staff attorney for the Indiana Supreme Court’s Judicial Center, Bauer recalled, "We had amazing life experiences thanks to Winter Term in Mission projects in Central America, Eastern Africa and the rural American South, and study abroad programs in Europe. And I'm still amazed that I had the great honor of going to countries that were behind the Iron Curtain and some which don't exist anymore. Thank you, DePauw."

A history major at DePauw, Bauer played women's basketball, softball and track as an undergraduate and is a member of the DePauw Athletic Hall of Fame. Prior to joining the Judicial Center, she served as a deputy prosecutor in Lawrence County, a clerk for the Indiana Court of Appeals, and as an associate at Kelley, Belcher and Brown.

She recalled, "At commencement, Dr. Otis Bowen told us that 'there are few trivial or unimportant decisions,' and that 'Our world is the sum total of each individual's decisions' ... We left campus with diplomas in our hands, smiles on our faces, and the world as our oyster. And 25 years later, I think Dr. Bowen's words still ring true as we enter middle age."

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The Class of 2008, back for its five-year reunion, heard from John M. "Johnny" Buchta, currently an assistant vice president in the corporate finance division of BMO Capital Markets in Chicago. He also formed a not-for-profit, True Hero Ties, with fellow DePauw alumni Matt Newill ’09 and Ryan Tinker ‘09. The organization sells men’s neckwear and donates 50% of all proceeds to veteran’s support groups.

"I hear people talk occasionally about how my generation might be the next 'lost generation.'  And yes, we came out school at a difficult time, graduating May 2008, just two short months after the collapse of Bear Stearns.  We found ourselves in a difficult position.  But DePauw grads are a resilient bunch. I've seen my classmates do incredible things over the past five years," Buchta offered.

An economics major and Spanish minor at DePauw, where he was a Management Fellow and played rugby, Buchta added, "Yes, we walked away from DePauw in 2008 staring adversity in the face.  And while there have been bumps in the road along the way, I can confidently say -- thanks in part to what we learned here at DePauw -- that the Class of 2008 has accepted the challenge that the world has issued to us, and we are winning the battle."

"Dear alumni, I am honored to be among you, I am guided by your history, your achievements, your love for this place," President Brian W. Casey told the gathering.

He noted, "So much is new about this place, and so much is changing, and we look forward to a future that is promising so many other changes.  But the rhythm of our years still holds and a college marches forward toward what will soon be the beginning of its third century.  And soon the Class of 2017 -- 680 smart, social young people from Ohio and Bangladesh -- will take their first walk on this campus.  And, like you, on that day they will be excited and scared.  And like you, as you were on that day, they will think that four years will last forever."

Alumni Reunion Weekend continues through Sunday.  For more information and a schedule of events, click here.

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