Phillips Scholarship Draws Southwest Students to Wabash

Like her husband Harry ’65, Christine Phillips’ roots originate in eastern Pennsylvania, but the other side of the map has always held a special place in her heart.

“I love the southwest,” said Christine, who moved to Colorado as a child and now resides in Denver with Harry. “I’ve come to love it over the years, particularly Native American culture. I am just fascinated by the way of life in this area.

“I remember every summer my dad would send me and my sister back to Pennsylvania to stay with relatives,” she recalled. “I would show up wearing western clothes—blue jeans with little rhinestones—clothes that were popular for teens in Colorado, but unlike anything people had ever seen in Pennsylvania. That was the first time I really started understanding the importance of diversity, and that it’s good to have people from different parts of the country learning and growing together.”

Christine’s love for the southwest and passion for people has always been something Harry has admired about her.

Harry ’65 and Christine Phillips

The two first met when they were home in Pennsylvania visiting family. Harry had just finished his first year at Wabash as a political science major and Christine was preparing to study political science at DePauw University before later transferring to Indiana University.

“Hardly anybody from our hard-coal towns went to college, let alone went to an Indiana school, so it was quite a coincidence,” Harry said. “168体育平台下载_足球即时比分-注册|官网 then decided to meet up again in Indiana. One thing led to another and we eloped to the justice of the peace in Crawfordsville in March of my senior year and Chris’ junior year at IU.

“Professor of Mathematics Paul ’42 and Mary Lou Mielke helped give us a small reception and after the elopement, Political Science Professor Karl O'Lessker lent us his wife’s car for a honeymoon drive to the Holiday Inn at the Indianapolis Airport,” he continued. “168体育平台下载_足球即时比分-注册|官网’ve had various successful golden ages (of faculty) at Wabash, and I was lucky to be a part of one of them surrounded by professors who were just amazing.”

After earning a PhD and juris doctor degree, respectively, Harry and Christine went on to pursue political science-related careers.

Harry taught in higher education, worked as manager in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consultation, and lastly as a loss prevention manager at the Colorado workers’ compensation agency. Christine spent years working as an attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and was the last acting director of enforcement under President Ronald Reagan.

As the two retired, they reflected on the impact Wabash—its professors, alumni, friends, and programs—has had on both their lives and felt moved to give back to the institution in ways that also support their passions.

Harry and Christine established two scholarships for students. One scholarship will benefit Wabash students with an academic interest in political science and the second will provide support for those with demonstrated financial need from the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

“Wabash gave me such a strong foundation,” Harry said. “I don’t want a student to not come to the College simply because they fear they can’t afford it. It is my hope that the scholarship will help strengthen the political science department’s ability to attract students who will thrive alongside talented faculty.”

As for the Southwest Scholarship, Christine said it is her goal not only to support the College’s continued recruitment efforts in the region but to also promote diversity. She believes it’s crucial for a student’s overall development to be exposed to and celebrate cultures and traditions that are different from their own.

“It’s about promoting people from different areas, what they bring with them to Wabash, and what they gather as students to bring back to their homes and communities as graduates,” said Christine. “I believe in breaking bread together.  That’s how we will really understand each other.”

The Phillipses encourage alumni and friends to give back to Wabash in support of future generations of students.

“168体育平台下载_足球即时比分-注册|官网 are seeing that a college education has been devalued to an alarming degree in recent years,” Harry said. “I feel like it is our responsibility to do whatever we can, little by little, to work against the trend. 168体育平台下载_足球即时比分-注册|官网 must support and keep Wabash a strong institution.”


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