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‘Wabash is home’: Fathers and Sons return for Big Bash

Zack Havlin ’19 anticipated his dad would bring lots of energy to the Alumni Chapel Sing competition, but he still found himself overcome by laughter and pride as he watched Bill and his Class of 1984 peers proudly march through the crowd and up the Pioneer Chapel stage to belt out “Old Wabash.”

“I know the showman that he is,” said Zack, who lives in Denver, Colorado, and works as an early childhood special educator. He joined his dad and returned to campus to participate in his first ever Big Bash Reunion.

Bill Havlin ’84 (center) giving 'Old Wabash' his all during the annual Alumni Chapel Sing competition at Big Bash.

“That level of energy—that’s my dad,” he said. “It was very fun to see him up there with so many other familiar faces.”

Bill put the weekend on the calendar a year-and-a-half ago when he realized both of their reunion schedules lined up—this being Zack’s fifth and Bill’s 40th. The duo had been looking forward to the event ever since.

“I haven’t missed a reunion year since I graduated,” said Bill, who lives in Zionsville, Indiana, and works as the senior director of risk and compliance at OPENLANE, Inc., a vehicle remarketing company.

“I always look forward to catching up and sharing old war stories with whomever shows up each year,” he said. “But this year is particularly special for me since I got to share it with Zack.”

In between spending the night in Morris Hall and attending the various Big Bash events including the Wally Wabash golf outing, “Wally Belongs” symposium, picnic lunch, and various colloquia, the Havlins spent the weekend walking around campus, reminiscing about their time as students.

Bill was a physics major and math minor, a member of Sigma Chi, Sphinx Club, and the wrestling team, and he worked as an intramural referee. Zack was a psyc