Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication
INSIDE: Sun’s Loss, Adobe’s Gain
John Loiacono leads Adobe’s creative solutions
Cochrun Knows News
Tom Cochrun is an Emmy-winning journalist and TV news director for WISH in Indianapolis, Indiana.
NBC Talent Executive
Ross Mark Searches for Superstars
Carpet Ride Unraveled July 2006 . XCIII . Issue 7
Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication Features Chapter News 3 Chapter and Alumni News Fraternity News 6 Carpet Ride Unraveled History 8 Commons Clubs Influence on the Fraternity
Sun’s Loss, Adobe’s Gain After 20 years of honing his management skills at Sun Microsystems, John Loiacono recently joined Adobe Systems as the new senior vice president, creative solutions. In his new role, he has responsibility for the development, delivery, and marketing of Adobe’s entire creative software portfolio. Tad Lichtenauer (1987)
A Fascinating Ride In 2005, under the leadership of CEO and Chairman Nicholas Chabraja, General Dynamics had more than $21 billion in revenue and was ranked No. 100 on the current Fortune 500 list. With more than 72,000 employees, the company is known worldwide as a leader in the aerospace and defense industries. By Tad Lichtenauer
NBC Talent Scout Mark Ross is the talent executive for NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Usually behind the scenes for Leno, Ross is now in front of the camera for “Last Comic Standing”. By Tad Lichtenauer Credits
Publisher: Bill Farkas Editor: Jason Pearce Assistant Editor: Chris Barrick Assistant Editor: Tad Lichtenauer Illustrator: Jeff Reisdorfer Podcast Voice: Fuzz Martin Photographer: Walt Moser Assignment Editor: Jon Williamson Historian: Mike Raymond Contributing Editors: Jono Hren Aaron Jones George Spasyk
Content for consideration should be submitted by the fiftenth of the month. Lambda Chi Alpha 8741 Founders Rd Indianapolis, IN 46268-1338 (317) 872-8000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lambdachi.org www.crossandcrescent.com
Cross & Crescent JULY 2006
Chapter News Chapter news, alumni news, and reports of death California-Los Angeles (Epsilon-Sigma)
Georgia Tech (Beta-Kappa)
Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown (HON) was dismissed as the head coach of the New York Knicks after one losing season.
The Georgia Tech Alumni Association presented the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award to Ben Dyer (1970), and the 2006 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award to Christopher W. Klaus (1998).
California State-Fresno (Iota-Gamma) Ron Hittle (1985) was named fire chief of the Stockton Fire Department in California.
Central Florida (Beta-Eta)
Frank R. Cox (1971) June 19, 2006. Cox worked in sales for APAC paving in Orlando, Florida. Jere A. Drummond (1960) was named a 2006 inductee into the Georgia State University Business Hall of Fame. He is the retired vice chairman of BellSouth Corp.
Richard J. Kehoe (1932) April 29, 2006.
East Tennessee State (Iota-Omicron)
The chapter was named Fraternity of the Year at the 2006 Greek Awards. The chapter website also was redesigned.
The chapter won several awards at the 2006 Greek Awards Banquet, including Chapter of Excellence, Outstanding Fraternity Education, Excellence in Community Service and Philanthropy, and Outstanding Alumni Advisory Board. Nick Walter (2006) was named IFC Man of the Year and Faculty Adviser John Keeton (HON) was named Faculty Member of the Year. The chapter also initiated Keeton as an honorary member.
The chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary. Attendees included a chapter founder, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Harold Osborne (1955), and his son Cmdr. John Osborne (1990).
Ferris State (Iota-Psi)
Scott Redding (1993) raised nearly $4,000 during the Leukemia & Lymphoma Societyâ€™s Hike for Discovery at the Grand Canyon National Park . The program has raised more than $3 million.
Several chapter members served on the Timmy Foundationâ€™s Jamaica medical mission trip.
Col. Chuck Taylor (1981), former chapter president, completed a year in Iraq as Deputy Commander of the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team as a part of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. His new assignment is Executive Officer for the Under Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon.
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Evan Himel (2007) was elected IFC president, Scott Lytell (2006) vice president and Jamey Arnette (2007) vice presidentrush. The chapter also awarded Andrew Merrett (2009) best active and officer, Josh Michiels (2009) most improved active, and Matt Carlini (2009) associate member of the semester.
Bruce Acquazzino (1972) shot a hole-in-one at the Tara Hills Golf Course in Omaha, Nebraska during a chapter alumni event.
The chapter won several Greek awards, including Outstanding Community Impact, Outstanding Scholastic Performance, Outstanding Alumni and Public Relations, Campus and Greek Involvement, and the President’s Award for Excellence.
Arnette, Carlini and Blaine Sharkey (2009) were named to the new student orientation staff.
Old Dominion (Sigma-Iota)
Alfonso J. Francavilla (2007) was elected president of the student senate.
Anthony T. Cooper (1983) May 20, 2006. Cooper was a self-employed contractor and a former Eagle Scout.
Sam Houston State (Sigma-Mu)
Thanks to Jono Hren’s (Florida Tech 1975) investigative work, Clyde Steele (1949) had his Fraternity pin returned to him nearly 60 years after it was lost.
The chapter completed 300 hours of community service in 30 days.
Charles “Chuck” Kocsis (1935) May 30, 2006. Kocsis was an outstanding amateur golfer, winning an NCAA Championship, playing in 13 U.S. Opens, five Masters, and on three Walker Cup teams.
James L. Hart (Samford 1972) was selected as the Samford University School of Business 2006 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
Michigan State (Gamma-Omicron)
Roberto Mancusi (1994) signed with Prentice Hall to publish his first academic textbook Voice for Non Majors.
Forty-five alumni attended the chapter’s second annual alumni golf tournament and banquet at the Brentwood Country Club in White Lake, Michigan.
Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Senator Maxwell Cleland (1964) narrated the Experiencing War radio series for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Broadcast on Public Radio International, the series uses firsthand accounts from service members and civilians to show how war has affected people’s lives.
Michigan Tech (Phi-Phi)
Brendt L. Greenwood (1984) April 9, 2006. Greenwood was employed by Yazaki of North America as a senior engineer.
Brandt L. Montgomery (2007), current chapter president and a member of the Student Advisory Committee, was named IFC Fraternity Man of the Year.
Texas-San Antonio (Phi-Upsilon)
Vinh Tu (2000) was named a USAA 2005 Volunteer of the Year.
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Texas State-San Marcos (Lambda-Phi)
William & Mary (Epsilon-Alpha)
Powers Boothe (1970) provided the voice for villian Lex Luthor in Superman: Brainiac Attacks, a new animated movie released to DVD by Warner Bros. Animation.
The chapter won best Web Page Design at the 2006 Greek Awards for Excellence.
Valparaiso (Iota-Sigma Colony)
The chapter won the Outstanding Community Service Award and the Chapter of the Year Award at the 2006 Greek Awards. The chapter also received the Edwin B. Coghlin ’23 Award for Community Service.
Ryan Manthei (2006) and Nick Mazzone (2006) were named to the 2006 NIC All-Fraternity All-American team. Manthei played third base and averaged .363 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. Mazzone was the top pitcher with a 5-4 record.
William S. Jackson, Jr. (1942) April 24, 2006.
Jared Bogan (2006) was named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Baseball First Team, College Division. Bogan graduated summa cum laude with a 3.82 GPA and he plans to teach in the North Montgomery, Indiana school system.
Michael W. Stala (1997), died June 16, 2006, in Hillsborough, New Jersey, at the age of 31. After serving Lambda Chi Alpha as an educational leadership consultant from 1997–1999, Stala was a Life Chartered Financial Adviser and Insurance Underwriter with North Western Mutual Insurance Co. His many awards include Outstanding All State Football award, Al Pitman Lineman of the Year award, Who’s Who among American High School Students, All County Football lineman, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and Outstanding Young Men in America.
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Carpet Ride Unraveled The truth behind Steppenwolf’s song “Magic Carpet Ride.
By Jason Pearce (Elon 1994)
“everybody in the room knew it was a hit,” said John Kay, lead singer of the band Steppenwolf, after recording the song “Magic Carpet Ride” in the summer of 1968.
front row. His handicap caused him to transfer to a sight-saving class for a few years, resulting in Kay losing a year of schooling. In June 1963, Kay graduated from high school at age 19 determined to pursue his musical interests.
He was right. Debuting on the heels of their 1967 hit “Born to be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride” quickly climbed to number two in the charts.
Less is known about Rushton Moreve, who was born John Russell Morgane in 1948 in Los Angeles, California. Also a recent high school graduate, Moreve joined Steppenwolf in 1967 at age 19, having responded to a “Bass Player Wanted” notice posted at Wallich’s Music City at Vine and Sunset in Hollywood.
Steppenwolf ’s second album, appropriately titled The Second, showed that it was a strong band that wasn’t going to rely on the success of its first hit.
According to Kay, “Moreve played intuitively, a real melodic style rather than just a thump thump with the kick drum. He loved the Mothers of Invention and brought a non-commercial sound to the band.”
And while “Every generation thinks they’re born to be wild,” said Kay, “and they can identify with that song as their anthem,” little did he know how his song “Magic Carpet Ride” would become the esoteric anthem for a general fraternity he never knew.
Moreve died July 1, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, due to injuries he sustained in a car accident. Sound Machine “‘Magic Carpet Ride’ evolved out of something Moreve had been messing around with,” wrote Kay in his autobiography John Kay Magic Carpet Ride. “It was a simple but catchy threenote bass figure he played whenever we were setting up or doing soundchecks.”
Arriving to North America On any given night, you might hear the shifting tempos of “Magic Carpet Ride” emanating from our chapters. Step inside, and you will likely find a whirling mass of undergraduates hoisting a brother high over their heads. How this tradition got started is anybody’s guess. Having never been members of Lambda Chi Alpha, it certainly wasn’t started by John Kay or Rushton Moreve, the two members of the band assigned credit for the song. John Kay was born April 12, 1944, as Joachim Fritz Krauledat in Tilsit, East Prussia. After World War II, Kay’s mother fled the Soviet occupied East Germany in 1948 to resettle in Hanover, West Germany (as recounted in his song “Renegade” on the album Steppenwolf Seven). The family later moved to Toronto, Canada in 1958. John Kay was 14 years old.
While recording their second album in 1968, Moreve came in to the studio and told the band, “I wrote this John Kay, 1967 song and it’s really great.” Kay asked him to play it.
“Within a few days of our arrival my aunt Meta took me down to Humberside Collegiate to enroll me in grade nine,” said Kay. “I spoke very little English but felt confident that I could learn. It was late March 1958.”
According to Kay, Moreve played a simple three-cord pattern on his bass and sang, “I like my job, I like my baby.” That was it. A few band members joined in, fleshing out the cords and rhythm. “In an hour, we had cut the instrumental track,” wrote Kay.
Considered legally blind, Kay had a difficult time deciphering the teacher’s handwriting on the blackboard, despite sitting in the
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“I felt there wasn’t enough to ‘I like my job.’” So Kay asked for a copy of the tape before heading home for the day. Kay took the tape home and put it on his new sound system, which he purchased using some of the money that was just starting to roll in from the band’s first album. “I had the system in the apartment for no more than a week when I brought home this tape,” wrote Kay. “Out came this domp domp, da da da domp domp thing and I just sort of let my mind flow. ‘I like to dream right between my sound machine’ — the sound machine being the hi-fi system.”
The Real Rockers While there may be no connection to the members of Steppenwolf, these Lambda Chis put on a show. Frankie Laine (Miami-FL 1934) is Lambda Chi Alpha’s most successful and influential singer. His nicknames include “Mr. Rhythm,” “Old Leather Lungs,” and “Old Man Jazz.” A star in the 1940s and 1950s, Laine had more than 70 charted records, 21 gold records, and worldwide sales of 250 million disks. In 1996, he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Songwriters’ Hall of Fame awards ceremony, and on his 80th birthday, the U.S. Congress declared him a national treasure.
Twenty minutes later, the whole song was finished. Kay took the new lyrics for the song back to the studio the following day. The band added in some harmony, a jam sequence, some feedback sounds, and a few organ sweeps. In less than 24-hours, “Magic Carpet Ride” was born. Let the sound take you away Neither John Kay nor Rushton Moreve were members of Lambda Chi Alpha. In our database of 250,000 members, there are no matches for the surnames Kay/Krauledat (b. 1944) or Moreve/ Morgane (b. 1948). Regarding the other band members, none of their names appear in our database either.
John Tesh (North Carolina State 1975) is best known for hosting the television show “Entertainment Tonight” from 1986–1996, but is also a contemporary musician composing “Roundball Rock,” the instrumental theme music for “The NBA on NBC” from 1990–2002, and the theme music for the CBS coverage of the Tour de France. Kenny Chesney (East Tennessee State 1990) won back-to-back Entertainer of the Year accolades in 2005 and 2006 from the Academy of Country Music. Other awards include Single of the Year in 2003 and Top Male Vocalist awards in 1997 and 2003. Tony Fagenson (Southern California 2000) was the drummer for the disbanded punk-pop band Eve 6. Their album Horrorscope went gold thanks to its singles “Promise” and “Here’s to the Night,” which was a Top 40/MTV hit.
College was not the road they chose. Instead, they explored their music, drugs, and the hippie culture. And while Kay and Moreve didn’t join a fraternity, their song “Magic Carpet Ride” still holds a special place for members of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Rushton Morev, 1967
Keyboardist Goldie McJohn was born John Goadsby in 1945, drummer Jerry Edmonton was born Jerry McCrohan in 1946, and guitarist Michael Monarch was born in 1950. Neither their real names nor stage names appear in our records. And at the time Magic Carpet Ride was written, they would have been age 23, 22, and 18 respectively. Besides, not a single member of the band attended college. Kay was 21 when he joined The Sparrows (his first band) and Moreve was 19 when he joined Steppenwolf. While most 20-year-olds were in class, Kay and Moreve were already rock ’n roll stars.
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Photo Credits in Order of Apperance © Courtesy Odeon, All Rights Reserved. © Courtesy 1968 issue of 16 Magazine, All Rights Reserved. © Courtesy 1968 issue of 16 Magazine, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy Lance McCord, Some Rights Reserved.
Commons Clubs’ Influence on the Fraternity A little remembered student organization had a major influence on some of our earliest chapters the origins of the common clubs can be traced to the efforts of future President Woodrow Wilson when he was on the faculty of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
By Mike Raymond (Miami-OH 1967)
would “...guide the individual into a sphere of greater usefulness in the supreme work of life...the uplifting of humanity.”
In 1889, Wilson and a group of reform-minded students began a campaign to change the nature of the Wesleyan House of Commons Debating Society into an organization that would meet the social, academic, and spiritual needs of non-Greek students.
Collapse of the Commons Clubs In spite of its idealism, the NFCC had a short life. Its decline and slow death was a result of the very reason for its creation: open membership.
Throughout the country, similar groups began to spring up in opposition to fraternity dominance of student offices and honors, and to provide a sense of democratic brotherhood missing from their campuses.
Many of the Commons Clubs failed because they grew too large to operate effectively, differences would fragment the interest and loyalty of members, and there was no clear understanding of what it really meant to be a member.
In 1899, men like Frederick Clark, Thomas Travis, and Herbert Ward created the Wesleyan Commons Club. By 1906, the National Federation of Commons Clubs was created by the association of four Commons Clubs in the Northeast.
Many of the Commons Clubs began to operate as fraternities without Greek letters. They would rush, bid, pledge, and initiate new members with unauthorized rituals. By the end of World War I, the national organization split into various new organizations. The remnant of the old NFCC formed the American Association of Commons Clubs. Two national fraternities also grew from its collapse: Phi Mu Delta in 1918 and later Kappa Delta Rho.
Founding Principles The NFCC founders saw their organization as different from other student groups because of the open membership policy. This policy permitted any male student of good character to join.
The Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Rho is unique because it accepts women into full membership. Though initially expelled from Kappa Delta Rho, it would return with a slight name change. It is now known as The Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Rho Society. This distinction of “Society” marks its special status within Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity.
A student’s social status or wealth was not a membership consideration. The Commons Clubs did not have secret oaths or rituals to distinguish them from other student groups. The chief principles were based on the concepts of democracy, service, and brotherhood.
Influence on Lambda Chi Alpha Seven of our earliest chapters grew from, or were heavily influenced by, Commons Clubs on their respective campuses.
LeRoy W. Brooks (Washington 1918), a former president of the Washington University Commons Club, wrote what is considered the most authentic account of the NFCC in the June 1921 issue of the Purple, Green, and Gold Magazine.
The first chapter to originate from a Commons Club was AlphaUpsilon Zeta at Syracuse University in New York. Though most members of the Syracuse Commons Club received bids from fraternities, they felt that they could not afford the membership fees.
According to Brooks, the Commons Clubs believed in democracy and did not recognize rank, class, or condition. He wrote that the Commons Club offered its members an “...ideal of service, the dignity of honest labor, the nobility of intellectual effort, the sublimity of Christian duty.”
Instead, they banded together in 1911, bought a house, and joined the NFCC. Over time, this local group became more like a fraternity in its practices. Eventually they joined Lambda Chi Alpha as Alpha-Upsilon Zeta on February 23, 1918. The example set by the members of Alpha-Upsilon Zeta had a great influence on other Commons Clubs desiring national fraternity affiliation.
Brooks also noted that the NFCC hoped its members would “... exemplify the ideals of unselfish service” and that the organization
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HISTORY The Kasa Club was founded at Brown University in 1900 and eventually became a member of the NFCC. This group was founded on the principles of congeniality, fraternal feelings, high scholarship, and individual achievement.
Seven in Common Seven of Lambda Chi Alpha’s chapters were previously Commons Clubs. Brown (Iota) • 1900: Founded Kasa Club • 1907: Split formed Sigma Phi Delta • 1912: Joined Lambda Chi Alpha
In 1907 a minority group broke away to form Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. This new fraternity was to be based on the ideals of democracy and the desire to accept members of modest wealth. However, it petitioned Lambda Chi Alpha and became Iota Zeta on November 12, 1912.
Carnegie-Mellon (Epsilon-Lambda • 1914: Founded Delta Sigma Rho • 1916: Founded Kappa Sigma Rho • 1929: DSR and KSR joined Lambda Chi Alpha
Wabash College in Crawfordville, Indiana, saw the formation of the Barb Association in 1913. This was an attempt by independent students to break the political rule of the
Case Western Reserve (Alpha-Nu) • 1914: Founded Sketlioi Club • 1918: Joined Lambda Chi Alpha
Greek fraternities. Internal divisions within the Barbs led to a faction leaving to form a Commons Club in 1916.
Colby (Alpha-Rho) • 1912: Founded Omicron Theta • 1917: Split formed Commons Club • 1918: Joined Lambda Chi Alpha
On May 20, 1918, Alpha-Kappa Zeta was installed. Interestingly, almost every member of the Barb Association and the Wabash Commons Club became members of our Fraternity.
Syracuse (Alpha-Upsilon) • 1911: Founded Syracuse Commons Club • 1918: Joined Lambda Chi Alpha
The Sketlioi Club of Adelbert College of Western Reserve University was organized in 1914. It joined the NFCC in 1916, but left that organization to become Alpha-Nu Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha in May 1918. Alpha-Nu’s installation was conducted by Grand High Alpha Warren A. Cole (Boston 1909).
Wabash (Alpha-Kappa) • 1913: Founded Barb Association • 1916: Split formed Commons Club • 1918: BA and CC joined Lambda Chi Alpha
Colby College, located in Waterville, Maine, was the home of Omicron Theta, which joined the NFCC in 1912. The Colby Commons Club split with the national organization because the local group wanted to be selective in its recruitment. After leaving the NFCC in 1917, it petitioned Lambda Chi Alpha and became Alpha-Rho Zeta on May 29, 1918.
Washington (Alpha-Psi) • 1913: Founded The Washingtonians • 1915: Founded the Independent Union • 1915: Founded the Library Commons Club • 1916: Founded the Kapho Club • 1918: All four joined Lambda Chi Alpha
Both of these organizations, and a non-NFCC Kappa Sigma Rho Local Fraternity (1918), were installed as Epsilon-Lambda Zeta on November 9, 1929, making it the seventh and final chapter that can trace its beginnings to the Commons Club.
In 1922 Alpha-Rho experienced one of the greatest tragedies in the Fraternity’s early history as five members died in a horrible chapter house fire.
Though records show that the Allegheny College Commons Club petitioned for a charter from Lambda Chi Alpha, the petition was rejected by Cole. The club became inactive shortly after their petition was rejected.
The University of Washington, located in Seattle, had a long history of independent student organizations. The Washingtonians (1913), the Independent Union (1915), the Library Commons Club (NFCC) (1915), and the Kapho Club (NFCC) (1916) were all variations on the Commons Club form of student organization.
Largely forgotten, the ideals and principles of the Commons Clubs are compatible with the beliefs of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Our heritage as a fraternal organization was enriched when seven local Commons Clubs became chapters of our Fraternity.
It appears that members from all of these groups were installed as Alpha-Psi Zeta on June 15, 1918. One of the most prominent Commons Club members of Alpha-Psi was the previously mentioned LeRoy W. Brooks. Carnegie-Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the home to Delta Sigma Rho Local Fraternity (1914). Another local student group, Kappa Sigma Rho (NFCC), was organized in 1916.
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Sun’s Loss, Adobe’s Gain John Loiacono recently joined Adobe Systems as the new senior vice president, creative solutions. John loiacono knows first-hand the value of being a leader, not just a manager.
By Tad Lichtenauer (1987
He initially rented an apartment with two friends. They all agreed they were anti-Greek, believing all fraternities were like the movie Animal House or were full of preppy men wearing Polo shirts.
After spending nearly 20 years at Sun Microsystems and now as a new senior executive with Adobe Systems Inc., Loiacono has seen a wide variety of management styles.
The following semester during rush week, Loiacono’s roommate jokingly said they should go check out the fraternity parties.
“Don’t confuse managing with leading,” Loiacono (Fresno State 1984) says. “They hopefully go together, but most often they don’t.”
“It just so happened that when I rushed, I found the Lambda Chis to be a lot like me, very down to earth,” he recalls.
Loiacono says he often sees people in managerial positions who believe they are leaders because 50 people report to them. “But the real answer is that you can have four people, or you can have 4,000 people, and it doesn’t mean anything.”
Many of the fraternities said one thing and did another, but Lambda Chi treated him like a human being from beginning to end. Regarding his initial ignorance about Lambda Chi, he says “When you’re in youth, you’re always influenced by people around you, so you have preconceived notions about things instead of experiencing them first hand and then making a decision.”
He likens it to the old military analogy about what type of leader soldiers are willing to die for — the one who is right beside them or the one who is sitting 50 miles back in his tent telling them what to do.
Rising at Sun In 1987, Loiacono joined Sun, quickly rose through the ranks, and became part of its communications management team. Wanting to diversify his skills, he spent the next year trying to convince the executives that he could work in sales.
“Which one are you going to support more?” he asks. Developing Early Leadership Skills Looking back, Loiacono credits his early leadership training to the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at Fresno State where he had the opportunity to serve as vice president.
Fortunately for him, his persistent efforts paid off and he was given a sales job in the commercial market segment for banking, healthcare, and insurance companies.
Fifty of the 90 members regularly attended chapter meetings, all voicing different opinions about how to spend chapter funds.
“Sales was a great experience and I’d recommend it to anyone,” he says.
“When you’re in the middle of it, it doesn’t seem like it’s that important,” he says about being a chapter leader. “It doesn’t seem like it’s that big in scale. But like everything in life, you’re learning a lot you don’t realize.”
After spending about two years in sales, Loiacono became head of a software team. Not too long after that, he went back to the corporate side and ran brand marketing, advertising, public relations, and websites. He then had the opportunity to expand his role by becoming Sun’s chief marketing officer. In early 2000, he was asked again to take a new role as general manager for one of Sun’s divisions, the operating system group. Loiacono ran the division for three years and then went back to software and ran the entire division, which he did for more than two years.
Ironically, Loiacono almost didn’t join Lambda Chi. In 1982, he transferred to Fresno State from a junior college where he had been editor of the school newspaper. He chose Fresno State so he could be close to home and his parents, who had health issues. www.crossandcrescent.com
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“People ask why I was at Sun for so long,” he says. “I joke when I say I was either really stupid or really fortunate. Sun was a place where you were allowed to try new things. I was able to go and be a sales rep and I had never sold a French fry before.”
“In my view it’s a 1+1=3,” he says. “The combination of those two things, Adobe and Macromedia, is very complementary and creates a very big opportunity.” Sun’s tagline for years is “the network is the computer,” and Loiacono believes that will be true for many more years to come.
Loiacono often coaches young adults about careers and tells them there are different paths they can take depending upon their individual styles.
“Wherever I go I believe that everything is going to be connected. It will be hard to go somewhere that you can’t connect a device.”
“I know people who have been in finance their entire careers and never varied from that. They become a CFO eventually, and that’s great,” he says. “Then, there are other people who take the path of diversifying, where you do a little of this and a little of that; and management then takes notice of your diverse experience.”
A very rare second-generation Silicon Valley native, Loiacono says a major reason he decided to go to Adobe was because it offered him a creative environment in a software-driven company. “The creative side is something that I really enjoy, something I can relate back to the creativity of the fraternity days of trying to make ends meet with very little budgets.” Thanks to his involvement in Lambda Chi Alpha, Loiacono is skilled at finding creative solutions.
With all the areas Loiacono has worked in, he says what he didn’t know at Sun he studied and learned how to do. For example, even though he is not an engineer, he was given the opportunity to manage many different engineering teams. “Engineers don’t respect, necessarily, people who wear fancy suits and are slick talkers,” he says. “What they appreciate are people who are well immersed in the technology. By the time I was running engineering organizations, my skills had been honed as a manager, more managerial side and leadership skills.” Adobe Comes Calling In March, Adobe hired Loiacono to be senior vice president, creative solutions. In this role, he is responsible for the development, delivery, and marketing of Adobe’s entire creative software portfolio, including flagship brands such as Adobe Creative Suite®, Macromedia Studio®, Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe Illustrator®, Adobe InDesign®, Adobe Premiere Pro®, Macromedia Flash® Professional and Macromedia Dreamweaver®. “It was a big change,” he says about his move to Adobe. “Any kind of change was going to be dramatic, but being at Sun for so long makes this even more challenging.” “Adobe is a fascinating company, it has a very well-known and respected brand,” he says. The company’s recent acquisition of Macromedia is a large part of Loiacono’s excitement regarding his new position. Adobe’s long dominance in the print industry and Macromedia’s web development tools offer a unique mix.
Photo Credits in Order of Apperance © Courtesy Adobe, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy gustav*, All Rights Reserved
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Cochrun Knows News Tom Cochrun, an Emmy-winning journalist, is now the TV news director for WISH in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tom Cochrun has explored Cuba, Turkey, the Serengeti, the jungles of Africa, and the tops of active volcanoes in Alaska and Hawaii.
Shortly after Brinkley’s reply, Cochrun gave up his basketball coaching dream, switched his major to political science/sociology, and he began his journalism career.
He has been shot at, thrown down stairs, had two cars firebombed, been tied up, his house broken into, and his files ransacked.
“I started working at a commercial station in Muncie, Indiana, through school,” he says. “I knew I wanted to pursue a career in journalism and broadcasting.”
But that hasn’t deterred Tom Cochrun (Ball State 1968) from reporting the news, for he takes the good and bad in the name of journalism. Through the last 40 years he has been able to positively impact his craft and society.
Thinking that he wanted to be a basketball coach and journalism teacher, Cochrun chose Ball State University because of its Teachers College. Before leaving for school, he wrote a letter to then NBC news anchor David Brinkley saying he was struggling with his career choices. Brinkley wrote back saying, “If you want to be a practicing journalist, don’t major in it, minor in it. Study philosophy, history, pre-law, political science, and learn to read and write. The way to learn to write is to read a lot.”
and attention to issues as we were trying to look out for the common good.” One of the biggest investigations Cochrun did involved the Ku Klux Klan resurgence in the 1980s. After extensive investigative work, Cochrun successfully penetrated their secret military training facilities and had access to KKK leaders and their families. The investigation took nearly nine months and Cochrun was honored with the national Emmy in 1982. The judges praised his reporting as “one of American journalism’s finest hours.”
The Journalism Bug Cochrun’s career has flourished after the early influences in his life. “I first got the journalism bug when listening to the radio as a child,” says Cochrun. “Hearing reporters from Korea and China about the shelling of Kamio and Matsu. Then I would hear voices come from Washington, D.C., and then I would hear Lowell Thomas talking about places he had been in the world.”
By Jason Pearce (Elon 1994)
TV Anchorman Cochrun landed his first television job at WISH in Indianapolis, Indiana, working on a TV magazine show. When he first appeared on camera, he was criticized for being too serious and wooden. “The crew began holding up a Miss Piggy doll while I was reading my lines,” Cochrun recalls, “and that helped break me and make me feel comfortable.” In 1981, Cochrun transferred to WTHR, where he spent the next 14 years.
The Business Side In 1994, Cochrun left WTHR as senior anchor. “TV news was in its silly season. Local and national news was becoming irrelevant to people and it was more about advertising and managing ratings,” he says. “At that point in time cable and satellite was really taking off. I saw it as an opportunity to do the type of journalism I like, longform journalism and documentary.” Cochrun got a business plan, some investors, and started out with three guys and some folding chairs. Ninetieth Star Productions was founded.
While at WTHR, Cochrun’s career flourished with many in-depth, hard-hitting investigative reports on many controversial topics. “Sometimes we would tilt windmills that needed to be tilted at, pick at problems that needed to be picked at,” says Cochrun. “We were forcing government response
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FEATURE The company quickly grew and was creating videos for broadcasters around the world. They produced 29 hours for Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Travel), programs for Court TV, and so on. Cochrun eventually became frustrated as he was often bogged down with the company business and he was not able to focus on making videos. After the events of September 11, two things happened to the industry that changed Cochrun’s focus. “First news got serious and relevant again. Second, the market dynamic of production companies changed, the economy was in a tail spin.” Ninetieth Star got involved in a merger, so Cochrun had the chance to get out, and he did. New Age News Director In 2003, Cochrun received an offer to return to WISH as news director. “This is different because most news directors come up through a news career,” says Cochrun. “I had the news career but also nine years’ experience as a businessman. I had experience dealing with investors, budgets, cash plans, and profit and loss statements.” Cochrun took his business practices back into the newsroom, including adding a mission/vision statement, and he found these changes created a unique environment. “The staff understands what we do for the viewer. If people give us their time and trust, we have the obligation to give them quality journalism. We are trying to build a
relationship with the viewer so they will come back to us day in and day out.” Cochrun’s approach has proven successful. Since he took over, the station’s ratings and demographics have improved, and they also have received peer recognition and industry awards. Bonds of Brotherhood The first night on the Ball State campus, Cochrun and a friend saw several groups of people wearing jackets with different coats of arms. “There was a something about a particular group of guys we saw at one place,” remembers Cochrun. “There was a certain allure about these guys. They were courteous and seemed to have a good attitude.” When Cochrun and his friend had a chance to talk to the group of Lambda Chis, the brothers inquired about their rush plans and then gave them some memorable advice. “They told us that the most important thing we could do was to get an education, and that the way to do it was to learn how to study,” says Cochrun. “They said, ‘So what you need to be doing this semester is spending a lot of time studying.’” Cochrun was very involved in student government and served as freshman class president. While many fraternities pursued him, he felt truly honored when the brother of Lambda Chi Alpha invited him to visit the chapter and later offered him a bid.
Keeping Current David Neuman (California-Los Angeles 1983) is a Peabody Award-winning television producer and programming executive who has held senior-level executive posts at some of the entertainment industry’s most successful companies. Today, Neuman serves as president of programming for Current, a newly formed media company led by former Vice President Al Gore. Current is a national cable and satellite channel dedicated to bringing viewercreated content to television. Users upload videos, and the Current online community votes for what should be on TV. Neuman started out as an NBC executive from 1984–1989, where he served as vice president of current comedy programs and vice president of comedy development during the network’s exciting creative period in which “The Cosby Show”, “Family Ties”, “Cheers”, “The Golden Girls”, “Night Court”, and other programs dominated the primetime ratings. Following NBC, he served as president of programming for the Channel One Network from 1992–1996, president of Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television from 1996–1998, head of programming for Digital Entertainment Network from 1998–2000, and chief programming officer at CNN from 2001–2003. Neuman received Lambda Chi Alpha’s Order of Achievement in 1998.
Deeply inspired by the ritual, Cochrun soon became the chapter’s ritualist. In this role, he was instrumental in revamping the associate member program and the pre-initiation activities.
Cochrun knows first-hand about true brotherhood. During his senior year he was in a very bad car accident. He suffered a compound skull fracture, was in a coma, and almost died.
“I thought the ritual was the spine of the Fraternity,” says Cochrun. “It is what we have in common with our brothers, regardless of their social idioms or what their lives may have been like. It was a good prescription for life.”
The brothers quickly rallied, bringing his parents and girlfriend (who is now his wife) to the hospital.
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“To this day my wife remembers their gesture as being one of the greatest acts of compassion and giving in her life,” Cochrun says.
Photo Credits in Order of Apperance © Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy Tom Cochrun, All Rights Reserved. © Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy www.currentmedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
NBC Talent Executive Ross Mark is the talent executive for NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” When fans approach Ross Mark (Arizona State 1987) and ask him for his autograph, he still has a hard time knowing how to react.
By Tad Lichtenauer (Butler 1987)
“My position with ‘The Tonight Show’ makes the ‘Last Comic Standing’ more legitimate by having the bookers of ‘The Tonight Show’ scout talent,” Mark says.
“It’s weird,” he says, about his new found fame. “For example, when I went out to dinner the other night, the waiter knew who I was.”
After completing the talent search, two semi-final episodes are held with special appearances by celebrity talent scouts Kathy Griffin, Gary Marshall, and Tim Meadows.
As one of the two on-camera talent executives for NBC’s Emmy-nominated show “Last Comic Standing,” Mark is suddenly recognized wherever he goes.
This year’s show has the finalists performing on the Queen Mary — a luxury ocean liner that is docked in Long Beach, California. Viewers get to choose the eventual winner by voting over the phone or online.
“Usually, I’m the guy who’s with the comedian who everyone knows, like Jerry Seinfeld or Ray Ramono,” he says. “It’s kind of fun to be recognized.”
This season’s finale is scheduled to air on August 8. The winner receives an exclusive talent contract with NBC and their own comedy special on the Bravo channel.
Still Standing Currently in its fourth season, “Last Comic Standing” is one of the few shows that has its regular season during the summer.
Mark’s Other Job For the past five years, Mark’s regular full-time job is serving as the talent executive for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He and Read are responsible for booking the standup comedians, athletes, and movie stars who appear on the show.
Mark and Bob Read served as talent executives in the show’s first two seasons. During the third season, however, the producers decided to skip the talent search and didn’t require Mark or Read. Not surprisingly, that season did not do well.
They have booked many big stars from Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams to the up-and-coming stars like Dane Cook and Kathleen Madigan. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he says. “Jay’s the best boss and so is Executive Producer Debbie Vickers.” One of Mark’s highlights this year was booking Jerome Bettis the day after the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl XL.
“I think people like to see a type of search,” Mark says. This year’s format appears to be working and the show consistently ranks in the Nielson ratings top 20 each week.
“Having the No. 1 athlete on the No. 1 watched late night show, the day after they won the Super Bowl....that was cool.” Sometimes Losing is Better Mark was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but raised in Beverly Hills, California. He grew up around comedy as his step-father introduced him to the world famous Improv when Mark was a teenager.
The show’s premise is to search for the funniest comics in America. It’s hosted by Anthony Clark, best known as the star of the hit comedy series “Yes, Dear.” Clark replaced Jay Mohr who hosted the first three seasons.
In 1983, Mark chose to attend Arizona State University. When the school fell short on freshman housing, he was assigned to the Lambda Chi house.
This season kicked off with Mark and Read, who are both full-time talent executives for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” traveling across the United States in a nationwide search for the best professional and aspiring comedians.
He says he really enjoyed the chapter members and was excited when they offered him a bid to join the Fraternity.
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“I’d never been away from home before, so it was really nice to be around a good group of guys.” Mark says he also enjoyed how the chapter gave back to the community by doing meaningful charitable activities like coaching little league baseball. One of the most ironic experiences Mark had during this time there was when he ran for chapter social chairman and lost. “How could someone who was friends with David Spade and worked part time at The Improv lose the election for social chairman?” he asks.
Standup for Pete Pete Michael (Baldwin-Wallace 1989) travels the country performing standup at comedy clubs and casinos, on cruise ships, and on college campuses.
“I lost to a guy who actually sells insurance now,” he says with a chuckle. The loss “motivated me more to get involved in comedy and work at The Improv full time, five days a week. I had more time because I wasn’t social chairman. It was a godsend I didn’t win.”
Based in New York City, Michael combines comedy with his other passion — acting. Currently, Michael is starring in an independent comedy film “In Hot Water.” It debuted on April 10 at the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey.
HBO, Movies, and More After graduation, Mark booked acts for Improv clubs across the country. He moved into a career in management and began representing many talented actors, comedians, and writers.
Michael also is doing voiceover work. You can hear him currently on the Upper Deck Entertainment TV commercials. Growing up in Ohio, Michael broadcasted football, basketball, and other sports for Baldwin-Wallace and later spent time as both a professional radio and television sportscaster. As a comedian, Michael has opened for many popular bands and worked with some of the biggest comics, including Anthony Clark, Tommy Davidson, Will Durst, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kathleen Madigan, Robert Schimmel, and George Wallace.
Mark and Read eventually started their own management company and spent time working for HBO as the founders and creators of HBO Workspace, an inhouse development space used for the Aspen Comedy Festival, standup comedy specials, documentaries, and feature films for HBO Original Programming and HBO Pictures.
Michael says he was never the class clown, but was always good at impersonating other students and teachers. It was when he was asked to do a comedy routine at the high school senior banquet that he knew he had a talent.
He also finds spare time on the weekends to read scripts for film companies like Flame Entertainment, who has hired Mark to help produce standup comedy movies that go straight to DVD. “It’s a fun little venture for me.”
After HBO, the two again joined forces and were hired by “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” One of the many great fringe benefits of working for “The Tonight Show” is that the show is dark 10 weeks a year, so Mark has more time for vacation and other projects like producing movies.
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Photo Credits in Order of Apperance © Courtesy NBC, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy NBC, All Rights Reserved © Courtesy 0000ff.de, Some Rights Reserved. © Courtesy Pete Michael, All Rights Reserved