During a return to campus last fall to cheer on the Little Giants football team, Bob and Kathy Buresh shared memories and reflections, recalling how it all started 15 years ago for their five sons.
Their eldest, Tyler ’12, a three-sport athlete, was recommended by his coaches as a perfect fit for Wabash as a scholar-athlete.
“Tyler and a friend visited campus with their dads, and the dads instantly fell in love with the place,” Kathy said. “Wabash has good football and rigorous academics. Our family wanted both. That’s what drew our boys here.”
“It was clear from the beginning that the people at Wabash are invested and truly care,” Bob added. “The faculty were welcoming and committed to developing critical thinkers and problem solvers. The coaches cared more about developing our kids as people, and not just the guy who runs the play out on the field.”
Tyler thrived at Wabash as a physics major, defensive lineman, a speech tutor, and member of AMPED (Athletes Making Plays Every Day) and Wabash Christian Men.
With encouragement and help of emeritus trustee Rear Admiral Alex Miller ’71, Tyler joined the US Navy to pursue nuclear engineering two years after graduation.
“We’re very appreciative of the alumni network,” Bob said. “One day his junior year, Tyler was walking to football practice and ran into Alex, who started talking to him about physics and his plans for the future. Alex helped him get an internship, let him stay at his house for a month in Washington D.C., and essentially helped Tyler pursue a path to serve his country.”
“When Tyler became an officer, Alex flew in for the ceremony,” Kathy recalled. “He got teary-eyed at one moment, and we looked at him and asked if he was OK. He said, ‘Yes, it just brings back so many memories of when I became an officer. I’m so proud of Tyler.’ He’s been such a good person in Tyler’s corner.”
Tyler has served as a combat communications officer of USS Porter, a reactor mechanical division officer of USS Gerald R. Ford, and as an assistant professor of naval science in the U.S. Navy’s ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame from 2020 through 2022. Today, Tyler serves as Operations Officer on the USS Paul Ignatius stationed in Rota, Spain, with his wife, Krista, and their two sons.
Brothers Cody ’15, Ethan ’17, Dylan ’18, and Seth ’22 all eventually followed in Tyler’s footsteps attending and flourishing during their undergraduate years and after graduation from Wabash College. The youngest Buresh, Sarah, was eight years old when Tyler began attending Wabash. She grew up attending numerous football games and loved the atmosphere on campus.
Cody, a history major, defensive end, member of AMPED and WAR Council while at Wabash teaches in the Hamilton High School district in Hamilton, Michigan, and is a football coach along with leading a Bible study for high school students. He lives in the Hamilton area with his wife, Elizabeth, and their twin daughters and two sons.
Ethan, an economics major, defensive end, member of AMPED and WAR Council while at Wabash works in the injection molding industry, is a high school boys youth group leader, and lives in Holland, Michigan, with his wife Emmarie and their daughter.
Dylan, a history major, tight end, member of AMPED and WAR Council while at Wabash works in the sales/logistics field, mentors and guides personnel from his workforce and lives in Hudsonville, Michigan, with his wife, Maddie.
Seth, a religion major, defensive end, member of AMPED, Wabash Christian Men, and Wamidan while at Wabash works in the metal recycling industry, is a high school boys youth group leader and lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Danielle.
“From day one, we set four goals for all of our children to live by: believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; get married only one time; become a productive member of society; and continue to improve upon the community in which you live and work,” Bob said. “Looking at the successes of our boys, it’s clear to us that our family mission statement closely aligned with Wabash’s.”
As a way to show their gratitude, Bob and Kathy took a giant step for Wabash by establishing an endowed scholarship that they hope helps young men in the same way their family benefited from the brotherhood and generosity of others.
The Buresh Family Scholarship will support a current student who is the sibling of either another current student or a Wabash alumnus. If the brothers are enrolled at the same time, the fund can be awarded to each brother. If a brother is an alumnus, then the enrolled brother is eligible to receive the full amount of the scholarship.
“All five of our boys benefited from different scholarships,” Kathy said. “Now that all of our kids have graduated, our hearts told us it’s time to give back to those who need some extra help in the future.”
Including ‘family’ in the name of the scholarship was a deliberate decision, the couple said, and done as a way to continuously instill the importance of philanthropy and generosity in their children.
“As a family, we have talked about having an impact on other people in a positive way,” Bob said. “We expect them to give to all the institutions—including Wabash—that have helped them along the way.”
The couple hopes that future recipients of the Buresh Family Scholarship will also look for opportunities in their own lives to continue the tradition of supporting Wabash men on their journeys.
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