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SIX DECADES As the chapter turns 48, we interview brothers from all six decades of Alpha Sigma

2 Spring 2013 Alpha Sigma Fiji Newsletter

Letter from the president

Inside Brother Profiles Semester in Review Semester Ahead

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John Sullivan ’13 Publications chairman 313.701.1761 austin Peck ’14 Corresponding secretary 480.246.1950 Greg Leach ’16 Graduate relations chairman 925.858.7810


Brothers, It has been a tremendously successful semester and the chapter has accomplished many goals. Having said that, there will always be room for us to grow and improve as a house. This semester has been a learning experience for both me and the other members of the Executive Board, and we look forward to using our new knowledge to further improve the house. I would first like to congratulate the nine newly initiated members of the Beta class this semester and look forward to their future contributions. I also would like to thank all the brothers for completing some significant accomplishments. We just had our first philanthropy in at least 10 years, the Phi Gam Beach Jam, which raised over $900 and more than 600 children’s books for the USO. We completed two major community service projects helping with both Devils in Disguise as well as Fiji Fills the Flash. We also had a fantastic Pig Dinner where we saw more graduate brothers than ever


“The chapter’s future is extremely bright and I look forward to the challenges that will be presented this semester.”

in recent memory attend! While this last semester was extremely productive, we have a lot to look forward to in the fall. We are already planning several major events, including a number of community service projects, a brotherhood retreat and, of course, FOTM. With so much to look forward to in the future, I would like to give a massive thanks to the graduating brothers that have helped turn the house into what it is today

and I wish them success in all of their future endeavors. The chapter’s future is extremely bright and I look forward to the challenges that will be presented this semester. I hope you share my enthusiasm! ASU Fiji does not publicly identify its president.


Our friend and brother Geno Holmquist ’14 was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma brain cancer in December 2012. Please keep Geno and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this time. To buy a wristband and learn how you can help, visit


Brother Profiles

SIX DECADES As the chapter turns 48, we interview brothers from all six decades of Alpha Sigma

Jody Watkins ’91, owner of San Diego, Calif.-based Watkins Landmark Construction, poses in front of construction equipment. Watkins said Fiji has impacted many parts of his life, from attending Islander with the woman who would later be his wife to how he conducts meetings for his business.


Construction owner brings persistence to company By James Fulgenzi ’16


he weekend after last fall’s Fiji on the Mountain event, graduate brother Jody Watkins ’91 was in town to see the Sun Devils play in their home stadium. When leaving the game, he pointed in the direction of the ash on the mountain and told his children, “I did that once.” Reminiscing on his undergraduate days in Alpha Sigma,


Watkins said he is mighty proud about many of the chapter’s accomplishments. During the 1990 spring semester, the chapter had the highest GPA of all fraternities on campus and finished first in the campus-wide blood drive for the 26th straight semester. Watkins said he and his pledge brothers helped push Fiji back to the top on campus. See WATKINS, page 7

Watkins and his wife and children at an ASU football game last fall.

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Steven Tripoli ’12 chases his dog Fletcher around the Fiji Complex pool in December. Tripoli for works an energy-use consulting firm in New York.


Recent graduate eliminated debt as treasurer Steven Tripoli ’12 of Stormville, N.Y. graduated in December. What do you do for a living? I work for ITCSN where we go into large corporations and make more efficient automatic energy management systems. Why did you rush Fiji? My roommate convinced me to rush, and on bid day we both decided to go Fiji together. Sadly, he didn’t make it through the pledge process to initiation. What are some of favorite memories from your college days? I really enjoyed living at the Fiji house for my senior year. That was a great experience in itself. Before living there, I enjoyed putting on Fiji on the Mountain as a pledge in 2011.

to see more than 120 brothers, because then you lose the family feeling.

Also being on the Executive Board as treasurer. Do you still keep in contact with other Fijis? Yes. Being one of the first to graduate, I still keep in contact with most of my pledge class and a lot of the undergrads. How did your experience with Fiji impact you after college? I keep persistence in the back of my head. I need to give it my all to get what I want in life because nothing is handed to me. It also gave me so many memories. What’s one piece of advice you would give the undergrads of the chapter? You should take everything lightly and enjoy it while it lasts because you only get it

once in a life. Where would you like to see this house in the future? I would definitely like to still have the house around, to continue to be a positive influence on the community, to convince ASU that Greek life is beneficial to campus and maybe get an official chapter house. I like the number we are at now and wouldn’t like

How did being on the Executive Board change your views and impact you? Being on Exec. made me the man I am today. It taught me how to set goals and achieve them and to rise to the challenge. It took a lot of effort to please 80 college boys and even more to try and collect money from them. Also, learning how to talk to adults and please the graduate brothers was a challenge that prepared me for the real world. I would do it again if I had the choice, even though it was a lot harder to do than to sit and talk about. I took pleasure in clearing $15,000 of debt that the chapter had. — Iggy D’Amico ’15

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Attorney urges putting career before social life Matt Hum ’07 is both a Sun Devil and a Wildcat after attending law school at the University of Arizona after graduation from ASU. Where did you grow up? Chandler-Gilbert, Ariz. Growing up in Gilbert and watching it develop carried me to go to ASU, a more chaotic environment. Watching your hometown develop definitely prepares you for life experience in college. What do you do for a living? I’m an attorney. I solo practice. I work a lot on the weekends. I’ve become very dedicated. I do go out, I do have some fun. But it’s hard to be a weekend warrior when you have to treat Saturdays like a Monday. If you want to really make an impact on your career, you sometimes need to put your social life on the back burner.

What are your plans for the future? I would like to grow my firm, hire more attorneys and be well respected in civil litigations, specifically business litigations. Attorneys do make good money, but when you get down to it, the money is going to come, especially when you take an extra three years of school. When you have integrity and you work hard, the money is going to come as well. I think it’s important to have integrity, especially in the field of law, where the profession is centered on integrity itself. What made you rush Fiji? When I first rushed, it was a different time. The chapter at the time was going through a struggle, but what really stood out to me was the brotherhood and the quality of the brothers in the house, and that what was most important

to me in a fraternity. What are some of your favorite memories from your college days? My favorite memories were when the house was down to literally like five guys, and we became best friends. They are the core of my friendships to this day. It was definitely a unique experience. Do you still keep in contact with many Fijis? Those five guys that I spent most of my college days with. I still talk to those guys all the time. How did your Fiji experience impact you after college? I would say my Fiji experience made me more social and socially capable. When I first went to college, I was a pretty shy kid. I was more reserved, and being in Fiji definitely

brought out my confidence and personality and gave me the courage to tackle life’s challenges. If you had one piece of advice for undergraduate brothers, what would it be? Enjoy your time in college, but don’t waste your time in college. In the end, college is still about getting an education. Without an education, all those good times mean nothing. Where do you want to see the house in the future? I think because of the struggle’s we had when I was there, I never had very high hopes. I always wanted the house to be bigger and better than when we had it. And that’s what it’s at right now. Anything as long as you don’t go backward is a step in the right direction. — Connor Manion ’16


’80s grad remembers USC Rose Bowl driving fiasco Jay Evanko ’83 was born in Cincinnati and moved to Tempe in eighth grade. He graduated from Marcos de Niza High School in 1979 before attending ASU. Today, he lives in Gilbert. • Wife: Lisa • Son: Ethan, 2013 graduate of Gilbert Highland High School; going to Grand Canyon University to play

baseball (pitcher) • Daughter: Emily, 14 years old, attends Gilbert High School • Occupation: Federal probation officer. There is always something new, and nothing goes according to plan. • Major: Political science • Pledged Fiji in spring 1981 in a pledge class of six; nickname was Large

• Recruited by Matt Marino ’85 and rush chairman Chris Eilers ’82 • Stays in contact with Greg Tims ’84, Bill Dekemper ’83, Matt Gaal ’87, Marino and Steve Vallenari ’85 • Lived in the house during 1981-82 school year • Didn’t foresee ASU Old Row being torn down • Fondest memory: Road

trip to the University of Southern California for Rose Bowl game in an RV. The RV got a flat tire, its air conditioning broke and Evanko missed the ride back home. • What persistence means to him: Drive is better than talent. — J.T. Marino ’14

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One of the first: Colony president recalls chartering By John Sullivan ’13


OM whITeLOCk ’65 had leadership experience as student body president of Phoenix College and was interested and active in public relations. For these reasons, when he came to Arizona State University in the early 1960s, a new fraternity colony on campus — Fiji — sought him out to become a member. He would soon become the colony president and watch the colony receive its charter the year of his graduation. “We started out with about 15 guys,” Whitelock said of the early days of the colony. “It was an uphill battle, but we had a very select group of men come in as initial members.” The colony included individuals skilled in academics and athletics, studying majors

Whitelock is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

including engineering, business and architecture. “There was diversity as far as ideas and cooperation,” Whitelock said. “We pulled together to make an impression on the fraternity scene by winning a number of activities in Greek Week and competitions during Homecoming events.”

As the original colony members initially lacked the bonding that comes with pledgeship and had a wide array of opinions on what the colony should look like, it took hard work to get the colony off the ground. In the first couple years of the colony, brothers from the University of Arizona guided the ASU members in terms of organization, morals and policies. Whitelock was born and raised in Phoenix (“I was one of the few that wasn’t an Indian,” he said), which in his childhood had fewer residents than ASU has students today. He moved to the Dallas area in 1974. He has been retired from the logistics industry “forever” and has a wife and a son. “At 72, it’s time to kick back and try to take care of a few

things that I’ve passed over in years past,” Whitelock said. In his free time, Whitelock is a member of the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution, an organization composed of men who can trace their roots to ancestors who were active in the American Revolution. His memories of his undergraduate days include Fiji Islander in the desert and formal and informal athletics with brothers. Whitelock said undergraduate brothers should take the lessons and values of the fraternity seriously and help mold pledges and younger brothers. The chapter should maintain a good academic standing and support ASU and the community. Michael Ratzken ’13 contributed to this report.


’70s grad stresses importance of ‘Not for college days alone’ Jess Roman ’72 was born in Phoenix and still lives there. He works in commercial banking. What are you plans for the future? Continuing to be a good parent and grandparent and a good leader in the community. What are your favorite hobbies? Working out and sketching. Why did you decide to rush Fiji?

I really liked the culture of the house and all of the brothers seemed like great guys. They were the kind of guys that I wanted to be around. What are your favorite memories from your college days? I loved going to football games and, of course, Islander. When I was there, we had a strip of grass by the fraternity house, and it was just fun to go out with a couple brothers and throw a football around. How did your Fiji experi-

ence impact you after college? After college I was more confident in developing relationships with other people and being able to communicate effectively. What is your advice for undergraduate brothers? Just to be serious about appreciating the time you have at school and with the brothers in the house because time flies, and before you know it, you’ll already have graduated. So appreciate your time there and get as involved as pos-

sible. Do you still keep in contact with many Fijis? Oh yeah. The phrase “Not for college days alone” is real. Many undergrads don’t understand that until they graduate, so appreciate the time you have with your brothers and get close to them. I still keep in contact with at least six other brothers on a daily basis, as well as several others that I see on a monthly basis. — Greg Leach ’16

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Graduating seniors share plans for future SAM BOVE


Major: German Plans: Paying off enormous debt Memory: Spending time with his pledge brothers

Major: English Literature Plans: Law school, Nova Southeastern University Memory: Easily picking up hot chicks in Fiji letters



Major: Biology and Society Plans: Applying for Master’s in Nanoscience at ASU Memory: FOTM as a pledge in 2011

Major: Chemical Engineering Plans: Working in engineering in California or Texas Memory: Black Diamond Formal 2011 in Las Vegas



Major: Business Sustainability Plans: Getting a job Memory: First weekend in the new Fiji Complex

Major: Supply Chain Management Plans: Working in purchasing in Arizona Memory: Islander 2013 in Las Vegas



Major: Mechanical Engineering, Earth & Space Exploration Plans: Oil field engineer, traveling, marrying in 2014 Memory: 2010 Black Diamond Formal in Las Vegas

Major: Criminal Justice Plans: Pursuing a career in law enforcement Memory: Attending his first Fiji formal in Las Vegas



Major: Tourism Development and Management Plans: Starwood Hotels management training program Memory: Spring breaks in Rocky Point, Mexico

Major: Health Science: Pre-Professional Plans: 177th Phi Gamma Delta Field Secretary Memory: Winning intramural football in fall 2010



Major: Economics, Business Sustainability Plans: Working for SmartWatt Energy in Sacramento, Calif. Memory: Roasting the Pig Dinner pig as a pledge in 2010

Major: Economics, Business Communication Plans: Claims Specialist at Liberty Mutual Insurance Memory: FOTM 2010 as a pledge

WATKINS, from page 3 Having heard of Phi Gamma Delta, Watkins was interested in pledging the minute he made it onto the ASU campus. He missed rush, but was able to get in touch with the recruitment chairman and received the bid that

began his journey. Today, Watkins owns and operates Watkins Landmark Construction in San Diego, Calif. The company serves all of southern California. Watkins utilizes the values of Phi Gamma Delta day-today in the workplace by frequently reciting the last three

lines of Calvin Coolidge’s “Persistence” quote in business meetings to keep staff members working at their best abilities. The then-treasurer of Kappa Alpha Theta ended up marrying Watkins, perhaps due in part to the lovely poems he wrote for her before

Fiji Islander. Today, Watkins and his wife have a son and a daughter, neither of whom will attend the University of Arizona, Watkins said. In the future, Watkins would love to expand his company to Phoenix and get involved with the undergraduate chapter.


Semester in Review

Around 50 graduate brothers (pictured) and 70 undergraduate brothers and pledges attended this year’s Pig Dinner.

48th Alpha Sigma Pig Dinner draws crowd T

he 48Th annUaL Alpha Sigma Frank Norris Pig Dinner was held April 6 at Coast Phoenix Sky Harbor Hotel in Phoenix. Around 50 graduate brothers and 70 undergraduate brothers and pledges attended the event, making it one of the best attended in recent memory. Among the highlights: • Keynote speaker John Peck ’71 spoke about Alpha Sigma winning the Homecoming float contest for three years in a row from 1968-70. Peck described what it was like to be in the undergraduate chapter during the height of the Vietnam War and during the first moon landing. • Keynote speaker John Bohon ’68 discussed the meaning of “Not for college days alone” and how Fiji has impacted him from his childhood, as a legacy, until now. • Silver Owls were presented to 15 brothers who were initiated more than 25

years ago by Greg Leach ’16, the graduate relations chairman. • Dave Watkins ’78 presented scholarship awards to brothers living in the house. The chapter’s GPA jumped from 2.88 last spring to 3.06 in the fall. • Craig Roth ’80 presented the Housing Corporation report. • Austin Peck ’14, corresponding secretary, was master of ceremonies. • Jon Sweeney ’14, treasurer, presented the invocation. • Zach Wilhelm ’15, recording secretary, gave the Exile’s Toast for a second year in a row. • Tyler Bradshaw ’14, president, reported on the successes of the undergraduate chapter over the semester. • J.T. Marino ’14, recruitment chairman, provided a fall rush report. • Mike Engler ’72 assisted the undergraduate chapter in planning the event.

See more pictures online at

Top: The oldest brother present, Mark Metzinger ’64, kisses the snout of the pig. The youngest pledge, Grant Ranselaar ’16, kisses the posterior end. Left: Keynote speakers John Bohon ’68 (top) and John Peck ’71 (bottom). Above: Craig Roth ’80 slices a succulent slice of tenderly cooked pork.

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Teams compete in the volleyball potion of the Phi Gam Beach Jam April 28. The event raised over $900 and 630 books to benefit the USO.

Philanthropy events give to community, causes Phi Gam Beach Jam ASU’s sorority women squared off April 28 for the first Phi Gam Beach Jam. The event raised over $900 and 630 books for the USO’s United Through Reading program. United Through Reading gives deployed troops the ability to read their children bedtime stories on a DVD recording as they follow along. The books, camera equipment and packing and shipping are provided by the USO and funded by donations. Sororities received points for donating books, buying T-shirts, building sand castles and playing in a volleyball tournament and water balloon toss. Sigma Kappa, Delta Zeta and Omega Phi Alpha won first through third place, respectively. Patrick Stenquist and Nick Youngblood, both ’13, organized the event.

Brothers pose at Devils in Disguise, left, and Fiji Fills the Flash, right.

Fiji Fills the Flash More than $850 and 650 pounds of food were raised for local food banks during Fiji Fills the Flash March 27. A City of Tempe Flash bus was parked in front of the Memorial Union and filled with food donations. Phi Gams both donated and volunteered at the event, which was cosponsored by ASU4Food and ASU Parking and Transit.

Devils in Disguise Dozens of Fijis were among over 900 ASU students to participate in ASU’s Devils in Disguise day of service March 23. Phi Gams picked oranges on campus which were donated to local charities. Philanthropy Chairman Isaac Lee ’14 was one of the main organizers of the overall Devils in Disguise event. Relay for Life Fiji’s Relay for Life team

raised more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society April 19. Nick Tyler ’13 and Nick Szwed ’15 pulled in the bulk of the donations. Street cleaning Phi Gams cleaned up Lemon Street March 30 and April 13 as part of the Tempe Adopt a Street program. Unfortunately, the city does not allow volunteers to pick up needles or glass, which are the majority of Lemon Street’s litter.

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New members The nine members of the Beta pledge class were initiated April 14. From left to right, they include: • Ross Campbell • Robert Zuniga • Grant Ranselaar • Grady Bensted • Colin Clark • Jon LiCausi • Zach Salazar • Cole Goodyear • Wesley Kendle

Patrick Stenquist ’13 poses on Fiji headquarters’ front steps. Stenquist was hired as the newest Phi Gamma Delta Field Secretary.

Daniel Coronado ’14 approaches the net during the volleyball intramural championship game in April. Fiji won the tournament for the third straight year.


Volleyball dominates third year in row Following a 10-0 season, the Fiji beach volleyball team clenched the intramural championship for the third year in a row. The team consisted of C.J. Berg, Daniel Coronado and Austin Peck, all ’14, and Eric Sandmann ’15. Softball, soccer strong Softball was 3-0 in the

regular season but fell in the playoffs. Standout players included Michael Ratzken and Nick Tyler, both ’13, J.T. Marino ’14 and Connor Jaynes ’15. The soccer team, led by Mike Garcia ’13, Tyler Bradshaw ’14 and Blake Mercer ’15, had a 4-1 record in the regular season but was eliminated in the playoffs.


Bando enters College Baseball Hall of Fame Sal Bando ’66 entered the College Baseball Hall of Fame with the 2013 class. BrothBando er Bando was named Most Outstanding Player at the 1965 College World Series. He went on to play for the Athletics and Brewers and later was the Brewers’ general manager. May graduate becomes newest Field Secretary Patrick Stenquist ’13 was selected to become the 177th

Phi Gamma Delta Field Secretary. He will be based out of IHQ in Lexington, Ky. and will travel to chapters across the country for the next two years. Phi Gam Order of Omega president elected Chris Brown ’14 was elected president of ASU’s chapter of the Order of Omega Greek honorary society for next year. Chris is the second ASU Phi Gam in a row to hold the position after Scott Minchuk ‘13. This is a notable repeat after an exciting threepeat with the election of the third ASU Fiji Interfraternity Council president in a row either this year.

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Semester in pictures

Chapter grows, improves in spring semester

Starting at top and moving clockwise: While we’re not allowed on the Fiji Complex roof, laws are more lax in Mexico. Brothers stay at Michael Ratzken’s (’13) house in Rocky Point, Mexico over spring break ... Simba, owned by Cole Nikodemus ’15, poses for his composite picture, sporting Brandon Shepherd’s (’15) expensive bow tie ... Purple Legionnaire Phil Hedye (DePauw University ’72) says “No pictures, please” while attending April’s Phi Gam Beach Jam. C.J. Berg ’14 will autograph the picture for a fee ... Adrien “Frenchy” Royer, Santiago Morales and James Fulgenzi, all ’16, pose in Rocky Point ... Anchors Ron Burgundy (Wesley Kendle ’16) and Veronica Corningstone visit a Fiji date party ... Berg and girlfriend Kate on a patio overlooking Rocky Point.

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Starting at top and moving clockwise: Brothers play broomball April 24 ... Pile on into John Woodford’s (’16) truck in Rocky Point, Mexico ... Nathan Conway ’15, Kevin Ron ’16 and Nick Szwed ’15 check in to the hotel during Fiji Islander in Las Vegas April 20. #FE ... Who says you can’t skimboard in the desert? C.J. Berg ’14 enjoys a rainy January day ... Captain and Coke (Jeb Schmidt ’14 and Kim) and fireman and fire dog (Patrick Stenquist ’13) dress up for a Dynamic Duo themed date party in March.

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Starting at top and moving clockwise: Members of the Psi pledge class (fall ’11) pose at the Phi Gam Beach Jam ... Fiji and Chi Omega worked with Make-a-Wish Foundation to sponsor a trip to Disneyland for Lauryn and her family. This semester, Lauryn wanted a royal-themed party, so Fijis crafted these crowns ... Brothers on a camping trip in Fossil Creek, Ariz. ... Brothers in their condo in Padre Island, Texas. Everyone who attended said they had a great time and plan on going again next year ... Guests stand in front of a Fiji banner during April’s Islander at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas ... Some Easter bunnies hop around Tempe, including Daniel Coronado ’14 and Brian Kramer ’15.


Semester Ahead

Flares burn on A Mountain spelling out the word Fiji during ASU’s Homecoming game last year. FOTM 2013 will be held Oct. 19.

Rush, tailgates to jump-start fall semester Recruitment Fall rush is Sept. 4-11. Know a potential Fiji? Let us know at Join us for the Pinning Dinner Sept. 11. Additional details will be sent via email as the event gets closer. Tailgates Graduate brothers and their families and guests are always welcome at the official Fiji tailgate, three hours before each home football game. Traditionally, tailgates have been held at the top of ASU Parking Structure 5, across from Sun Devil Stadium, but that may change from game to game. Check events for the most up-to-date time and location. FOTM Don’t miss the Fiji on the Mountain tailgate Oct. 19. It begins three hours before the beginning of the football game against Washington. Game time has not yet been announced.

Left, Phi Gam graduate brothers talk at one of last year’s tailgates. Right, Michael Juby ’15 waves a Fiji flag before a game.

Pig Dinner 50 The 50th Alpha Sigma Frank Norris Pig Dinner is tentatively scheduled for March 28, 2015. We’d like a big turn out for this special event! The date for the 49th dinner will be announced as the event gets closer. Additional events Watch your email and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates of additional fall graduate brother events.

Sun Devil Football 2013 home games • • • • • • •

9/5 vs. Sacramento State, 7 p.m. 9/14 vs. Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. 9/28 vs. USC (Family Weekend), TBA 10/12 vs. Colorado, TBA 10/19 vs. Washington (Homecoming, FOTM), TBA 11/16 vs. Oregon State, TBA 11/30 vs. Arizona Watch for updates.

2013 Alpha Sigma Fiji Graduate Brother Newsletter  
2013 Alpha Sigma Fiji Graduate Brother Newsletter