Class of 1962 gift honors legacy of Dr. Esch

Esch_Bust_Dedication-32On Sunday, February 25, 1945, Dr. I. Lynd Esch preached at the University Heights United Brethren Church. On Wednesday, he attended the funeral of his friend and university president, Dr. I. J. Good. And on Thursday, at the ripe old age of 39, Dr. Esch became the fourth president of Indiana Central College.

The members of the Class of 1962 spent all of their college career with Dr. Esch, who retired in 1970 after a quarter-century at the helm. As Class of 1962 alumni celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, they decided to create a gift that would honor the spirit and legacy of Dr. Esch. They were among the first students to use what is now called Esch Hall, which was completed in time for classes in the fall of 1958.

“Without Dr. Esch at the helm, it could not have been built,” says Ken Hottell ’62, who served as the class gift chair and also worked at the University from 1962 until 2002. “Esch’s vision and immense credibility made the financing available from the business community.”

The class decided to commission artist Tuck Langland, a nationally known and internationally active sculptor and professor emeritus at the South Bend campus of Indiana University, to sculpt a bronze bust of Dr. Esch, and with their classmates were able to raise more than $15,000 to pay for the project. At the 2013 Homecoming, many of the class members were on hand for the unveiling. The bust of Dr. Esch now stands in the hallway of Esch Hall, a fitting tribute for the man who initiated the University motto of “Education for Service” —and lived its message.