Wes Blauss '72

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Wes Blauss Donor Marietta CollegeTime and distance have kept Wes Blauss ’72 from returning to campus since he graduated, but they have not made his love of Marietta College fade.

Instead, Wes, who has not stepped foot on campus for nearly 45 years, feels as close to his alma mater today as he did as a teenager driving from Massachusetts to Ohio in the fall of 1968.

“Marietta College was the single most important educational thing that happened to me,” he said. “I made lifelong friends at Marietta. One of my roommates, Bob Ward ’72, was just visiting my wife and me in Massachusetts.”

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and for the next 40 years Wes was a science teacher at Hanson Middle School in Massachusetts. He met his wife, Joanne, at the middle school and they have been married for 35 years. They have one adult son, Nathaniel.

Wes never had any intention of being a teacher, but he took a life-saving course during his sophomore year and became a lifeguard that summer and it changed his view.

“I loved the teaching part of swimming classes,” he said. “I went to night school to get my master’s degree while I was already teaching. I took what I learned in geology, biology and chemistry at Marietta and used it in my class. Those poor sixth graders didn’t know what was hitting them.”

Wes still vividly remembers what he learned in the class, but also how Marietta’s professors nurtured students who grew up from further than a few hours from campus.

“Every other Sunday night, Dr. (William) Brown would bring us over to his house for dinner,” Wes said. “One of the very first times we did this, Dr. Brown took out a rabbit and wrung its neck right in front of us. I think everyone’s jaw dropped to the ground, but we prepared it and his wife made it for dinner.”

Wes remains in contact with Dr. Brown’s widow still.

“We played games after dinner, had huge history discussions and some philosophy discussions,” Wes said. “I also babysat for Professor (David) Young’s and Professor (Francis) Herdman’s children. All of these experiences made Marietta special.”

Wes so cherished these moments that he recently decided to establish an estate plan with the College. Planned giving is an opportunity for alumni and friends to leave a gift in cash, equity or property following their death.

“Except for leaving money to my wife and son, Marietta is the only other beneficiary,” he said. “The area, the College … they resonated with me and played an important part in my life.”