Volume 1, Issue 3 -- April 20, 2000

A Tribute To Tom Washburn
Saying goodbye to the students' friend

"Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone...the plans they made put an end to you...but I always thought that I'd see you again." -- James Taylor

Checking voicemail last week was a bittersweet experience for students and faculty alike as they experienced a surprise farewell message from Tom Washburn. In the face of all the uncertainty that surrounded our freshman year, one thing you could always count on: an eventual phone greeting from the Dean of Students. Some days it might have been the only message on there, but it was comforting to know that at least Tom cared. How often some things are taken for granted...

While The Whittington Weekly is mainly a vehicle for parody and humor, I would like to take a moment to deal with something very real and serious: the loss of the MC student's best friend. As word slowly leaked through campus that Dean Washburn was officially eliminated from his position on April 7, campus morale dropped off the scale. Students, professors and parents were in a state of surreal shock. While there are many sides to the story, and many fingers have been pointed, Whitt Weekly will not delve into the various circumstances and events that led to Tom's departure (many of which are covered in the current issue of The Collegian). However, one thing cannot be denied: a travesty has occurred.

Just days after his departure, the paths of Whitt Weekly staff members (along with some other students) and Tom Washburn recently intersected on the neutral ground of Union Planters Bank. John Mark Coon, a newly demoted R.A. who was recently handed his walking papers, approached Washburn first. Tom was in high spirits, and stated his thankfulness to students for their support during the last few weeks. He also revealed that he would find a way to keep in touch with students and friends at the college. While he's not exactly sure what's next, he knows that the Lord, fully in control, will direct his path. As we parted, he flashed us one of his trademark smiles and with a sparkle in his eye, waved goodbye.

At a time like this, words are often scarce. Tom Washburn personified the spirit of Mississipi College. With his resignation, a part of this college's legacy died. Selfishly, we are sad that we only had the pleasure of knowing you for a year. But during that time, you gained our trust and admiration, and we will never forget the way you briefly touched our lives. Your nineteen years of service will live forever in all of us. You truly were the last bridge between the students and administration; a bridge that will now have to be rebuilt. To all of us, you will never be replaced in the position that you redefined: Friend of Students. -- Grandmaster Sexay

P.S. There's always a position open for you at the Whitt Weekly.

Comments? E-mail us. © Copyright 2000