Jeremiah Eaton ’22 has worn many hats at Wabash over the past 4 years — so many, the truth is, that it takes a minute for the senior to verify he doesn’t miss one when requested about his campus involvement.
He’s a four-year member of the lacrosse group, secretary of Sphinx Membership, social media chairman of Sigma Chi fraternity, peer profession advisor for Wabash’s Profession Companies, former CARE Workforce chief — the checklist goes on.
Of all of his achievements, one the philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE) main and economics minor from Munster, Indiana, is most pleased with is a title that he’s held for the final two years. Eaton is the founder and president of Wabash Assume Tank, one of many Faculty’s latest scholar organizations.
“I’m all the time going to say founder first,” Eaton mentioned with a smile. “It’s too cool of a title to have not to say first.”
Wabash Assume Tank is a membership that encourages and amenities dialogue round quite a lot of matters chosen by its members.
“Something from conspiracy theories to present occasions,” Eaton mentioned, “no matter members vote on to speak about, we’ll do it.”
Eaton has all the time been wanting to take part in dialog and debate irrespective of the subject. Simply ask any of his Wabash instructors, like Professor Nick Snow, what it’s wish to see Eaton in motion throughout an economics or PPE class.
“He’s a standout in each class,” mentioned Snow, who’s taught Eaton in a handful of programs over time, together with seminars, that are closely discussion-based.
“I all the time inform the scholars that class is meant to be a dialog that occurs with not solely me as their professor, however with all of us,” Snow mentioned. “Jeremiah is the coed I do know I can rely on, who’s ready and can step up and get the ball rolling by saying one thing like, ‘OK, right here’s what this studying was about, and right here’s what I received out of it. What do you guys suppose?’ He takes the lead.”
One other admirable trait, Snow mentioned, is Eaton’s skill to be a superb listener.
“He builds on what others say pretty properly as a result of he’s actively listening,” Snow mentioned. “Jeremiah isn’t afraid to share his opinion, nevertheless it’s not like he takes his opinion because the end-all be-all. He’s respectful and there to be taught, and that’s a formidable talent to have.”
Creating the Membership
Eaton mentioned the concept to create Wabash Tink Tank was a spontaneous one, and got here to him someday after class his sophomore 12 months.
“It was a dialogue that I used to be actually concerned in, however there weren’t plenty of different college students speaking in any respect,” Eaton mentioned. “That was discouraging, and made me nervous — and I’m not one who will get nervous simply — questioning if folks don’t get or aren’t concerned with what I’m saying.
“I questioned, ‘Is there a solution to persuade folks to speak extra, not simply in school, however generally? Is there an area on campus the place college students can really feel snug sufficient to share their opinions and debate with others who may suppose in another way,’” Eaton recalled. “‘Why not create a membership that’s based mostly on speaking about enjoyable stuff?”
Eaton started working and made his concept a actuality.
He wrote a pitch, offered it to his pals to get suggestions, after which crafted a petition for college students to sign up help of the membership, which was wanted for the Pupil Senate’s official approval.
“My pitch went one thing like this: Consider the late nights you’re chilling along with your fraternity brothers or roommates, and also you see one thing pop up on social media or TV, otherwise you consider the thought you had earlier that day. You point out it, no matter that subject is, and also you simply get to speaking. We do it on a regular basis. We speak about politics, the information, and debate who’s higher Michael Jordan or LeBron James,” Eaton mentioned. “Folks mechanically join with that as a result of these are very conversations that we’ve got each day.
“That’s principally what we do, what Wabash Assume Tank is all about,” he mentioned. “We’re simply dudes speaking and listening to one another. There are guidelines set so we are able to have civil dialogue. If somebody doesn’t like your concept or opinion, this isn’t an setting the place they’re going to get away with saying, ‘You’re an fool,’ or something like that. It is a secure area, an setting the place all viewpoints are welcomed and inspired. It units the stage for some very enjoyable and inspiring discussions.”
When Wabash Assume Tank first began in 2019, Eaton mentioned round 15 college students signed as much as be part of. Now, that quantity is greater than 50.
“They’ve actually cool discussions, and I’ve participated in a pair myself,” chuckled Matt Carlson, professor of philosophy and Wabash Assume Tank college advisor.
“Jeremiah basically needed to construct an area, form of much like what we’ve got within the classroom, however in some methods is much more freewheeling. He needed an area to have open discussions about concepts along with his fellow college students,” Carlson mentioned. “And he is made that occur.”
Carlson, who additionally taught Eaton in his ‘Philosophy and Video Video games’ course, mentioned he’s pleased with the tradition that has been established throughout the membership.
“Plenty of golf equipment begin off sturdy, however they don’t survive with out their founder as a result of the founder doesn’t plan for succession, to maintain it going after he leaves. That has not been the case with Jeremiah,” Carlson mentioned. “Even when he began this membership, he was already considering, ‘OK, who’re the individuals who may doubtlessly transfer into management roles as soon as I graduate?’ He’s finished a superb job in considering via the long-term construction of this membership to really make it work, and is leaving it in good arms.”
Eaton’s efforts to foster and develop a optimistic tradition may be present in different campus endeavors, together with his involvement on the lacrosse group.
“Jerr is a born chief,” mentioned Head Lacrosse Coach Chris Burke, who joined this system final summer time.
“Once I first received right here in August, I sat down with all of the gamers and actually had a dialog with every of them about the place this system was, and the place we may get it,” Burke mentioned. “Jerr was one man who instantly stood out to me.
“He was concerned in all the things on campus and after the primary couple of practices, he got here to me and mentioned, ‘Coach, I simply need to let you recognize I’ve different issues occurring, however I’m centered on lacrosse. I’m going to provide all the things I’ve received left throughout my time right here to the fellows within the locker room.’ As a coach, that meant quite a bit to me for him to indicate that stage dedication to this system.
“Jerr is a captain due to his angle, due to the discussions we’ve got had behind closed doorways and his drive to go away this higher than he discovered it,” mentioned Burke.
Eaton has already accepted a full-time job provide. This summer time he’ll transfer to downtown Chicago and be part of Perception International as a recruiter for the staffing and managed providers company.
True to kind, that’s not all Eaton plans on doing after commencement. Whereas residing within the metropolis, he additionally plans to additional pursue his ardour for music writing and music manufacturing.
“Music has been an enormous factor for me,” mentioned Eaton, who has been making music since he was a sophomore in highschool.
Going by the stage identify Jerri, Eaton’s work has grown in recognition on social media over the previous few years and may be discovered on varied streaming platforms, like Spotify. His first official skilled challenge, Till You Get Again EP, was launched earlier this month and options a mixture of hip hop and rap and rock/different songs that discover private experiences with life, love and heartbreak.
“Making music is one thing I really like deeply, nevertheless it’s additionally actually arduous,” Eaton defined. “The large factor that’s stored me going was after I received a direct message from one other Wabash scholar after I launched a music in February. He mentioned, ‘Hey dude, I simply listened to Maniac and needed to let you recognize I’ve had that on repeat for hours. You could preserve making music. By no means cease.’”
“Figuring out that my music is making a distinction and that folks on the market are supporting me means the world,” he mentioned. “That’s why I’m going to maintain doing it.”