Cross & Crescent
a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication
November 2009 路 XCVI 路 Issue 11
November 2, 1909 November 2, 2009
Drury – 100 Years of Commitment to Leadership DruryA 2008 Grand High Alpha Award winner, the Theta-Sigma leadership at Drury University cites a strategic plan and engaged alumni brothers as the keys to success. The largest fraternity on a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication campus, the chapter added 18 new associate members, stressing quality over quantity. By Jon Williamson
Cross & Crescent
21 Chapter News 3 Chapter and Alumni News Fraternity News 10 Life on the Road History 12 Tribute to George Spasyk
Re-colonizing Begins at Drexel After being closed in 2006, the Epsilon-Kappa chapter at Drexel Univeristy is being re-colonized this fall with a very talented and dedicated group of alumni brothers. After a highly-anticipated recruitment push, the colony plans to move back into its historic chapter house next fall. By Jon Williamson
Malcolm cross shares his stories As November 2, 2009, marks our official 100th anniversary, Malcolm Cross — son of legendary Pennsylvania founder Albert Cross — shares some insights about how proud the “Three Muskateers” (his father, Jack Mason, and Ray Ferris) would be with the Fraternity’s direction as we begin our next century of brotherhood. Malcolm Cross also attended the Centennial Celebration last summer and was given special recognition during the final gala. By Chris Barrick
Fraternity News 16 NIC Centennial
The Ritual Letters: The 1913 Correspondence Our Fraternity has reached an important milestone in its history — our 100th anniversary! This is a time to celebrate the people and events that have transformed Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. A series of letters between Jack Mason, Warren Cole, and others shed light on the evolution of the Initiation Ritual of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Credits
By Mike Raymond
Publisher: Bill Farkas Editor: Tad Lichtenauer Assistant Editor: Chris Barrick Illustrator: Jeff Reisdorfer Layout: Thomas Roberts Photographer: Walt Moser Assignment Editor: Jon Williamson Historian: Mike Raymond Contributing Editors: Jono Hren George Spasyk
Contributions 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
Chapter News Chapter news, alumni news, and reports of death Angelo State (Beta-Alpha)
At this year’s homecoming competition, the chapter placed as follows: Homecoming Spirit Points - 3rd Place; Washer Tournament - 3rd Place; Float Contest - 3rd Place; Dodgeball Tournament - 1st Place; Homecoming Tailgate - 1st Place; and was awarded Best Use of Theme Award.
California-Los Angeles (Epsilon-Sigma)
A. Barry Cappello (1962) and his wife are being honored by the UCLA School of Law for their gift to the school. Cappello will have a courtroom named in his honor at the law school.
Cal State-Fresno (Iota-Gamma)
John Loiacono (1985) was named Outstanding Alumnus for the College of Arts and Humanities at the California State University-Fresno.
Case Western Reserve (Alpha-Nu)
Stanley F. Wolanin (1950) died September 21, 2009.
Ball State (Iota-Alpha Colony)
Central Missouri (Lambda-Pi)
Shane A. Loveall (http://www.hinsey-brown.com/pages/ details.cfm?obituaryID=420) (2001) died October 2, 2009. A former chapter officer, he had recently begun taking courses for his MBA at Ball State University. Shane was a dear friend to many, and he will be missed deeply.
The chapter was paired with Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority for homecoming and placed third in parade float competition, the only Greek organization to finish in the top three. The team also won the Spirit Window Painting Competition, and brother Shane Miller was a top 10 finalist for Homecoming King.
Matt Knickman (2008) was selected to serve as a graduate staff intern for the 2009 Association of Fraternity/ Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held December 6-10, 2009, in Jacksonville, Florida. Knickman will graduate in May 2009 from the University of Central Missouri with a Master of Science degree in college student personnel administration.
Elmer K. Fagerlund (1939) died July 30, 2009.
The chapter added nine associate members. Max Kerr (2010) was elected Homecoming King.
California-Berkeley (Mu Colony)
The colony has 12 associate members who will be initiated on November 14, 2009. The House Corporation installed new chapter officers, including Alex Chen, president; Frank Wei, internal vice president; and TC Ricks, external vice president and fraternity educator; Scott Stuart, treasurer; Arvind Vepa, recruitment chairman; Zach Abelson, Delta, and Matt Tonsing, ritual chairman. The colony has established an Alumni Advisory Board of 14 alumni brothers.
Dan Scallan (http://communitypress.cincinnati. com/article/C2/20090924/NEWS/909240347/) (1969) died September 22, 2009.
Kermit Myers (1951) will be honored on November 15, 2009 at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, Illinois, in conjunction with Book Worm Angel’s (http://www. bookwormangels.org/) 10th anniversary. Book Work Angels is a program providing fun, general interest books for elementary/middle schools’ classroom lending libraries. To date more than 1.5 million books have been collected and more than 200,000 children are being helped through the program. Chapters are now located Chicago, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.
Columbus Area Alumni Reception Colorado State (Gamma-Pi)
Claude E. White died September 23, 2009
Team Lambda Chi Alpha participated in the American Cancer Society’s Lewis County Relay for Life. The team was able to raise more than $1,200 towards the “Fight for a Cure.” Matt Curtis (2012) represented the team as “Sassy Cynthia” winning “Queen of Relay.”
The chapter hosted the Hog Roast during Homecoming on Sept 26, 2009. This year was very successful with more than 75 alumni brothers returning for the festivities.
Two dozen brothers enjoyed an evening of fellowship and networking on October 12, 2009, at the Columbus Marriott Northwest. Educational Foundation Board Member Kevin Vasquez (Western Carolina) spoke about the positive state of the Fraternity and the funding that effects our undergraduate brothers. Order of Merit recipient Mark Perks (Ohio State) was also in attendance.
Dallas/Ft. Worth Area Alumni Association
The Dallas/Ft. Worth Area Alumni Association hosted its annual golf tournament on October 8, 2009, at Bridlewood Golf Course in Flower Mound, Texas. Forty-eight brothers endured some cooler temperatures to share an afternoon of brotherhood followed by a dinner with prizes for the winning Net/ Gross Teams and the losing team. Matt Newton (North Texas) chaired the event.
Denver Area Alumni Association
Jake Schneider (http://www.culver.edu/administration/ president/) (1999) was inducted into the Culver-Stockton College Athletic Hall of Fame for his athletic prowess for the Wildcat soccer team. He holds numerous school records including career goals scored, and received a plethora of conference, regional, and national distinctions during his career. Brothers past and present were in attendance at his induction ceremony and to see him honored during halftime of the Homecoming game on September 26, 2009. Dick Valentine (http://www.culver.edu/administration/president/) (1970) became Culver-Stockton’s 25th president on July 1, 2009. Valentine was selected in May 2009 as the result of a five-month nationwide search. Valentine was vice president for alumni and development at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, since 2004. Previously, he was vice president of external relations at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, and dean of admission and financial aid at then-Arkansas College, now known as Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas. Not only is Valentine the first C-SC alumnus to be named president of the college, he has served the college both as a member of the Culver-Stockton Board of Trustees and as former dean of admissions at C-SC.
Eight foursomes participated in the first Lambda Chi Alpha Denver Area Alumni Association Golf Tournament on September 28, 2009, at the Lakewood Country Club. Following golf, 50 brothers assembled in the clubhouse for a reception that included the introduction of our Denver Area Alumni Association Co-Chairs, Derek Carosi (Denver) and Cody Siewert (South Dakota). A special thank-you goes to the hosts, David Puchi (Denver) and Tracy Forst (Denver). Other notable attendees included Denver alumni adviser and Grand High Beta Drew Hunter (Denver).
Greg E. Borter (http://www2.indystar.com/cgi-bin/ obituaries/index.php?action=show&id=87421) (1973) died January 21, 2008. He worked in the hospitality industry for many years, including management roles at the Westin Hotel and O’Charley’s, and most recently was a Customer Care Specialist at Roche Diagnostics.
East Tennessee State (Iota-Omicron) After hosting an alumni event the previous night at the chapter house, the chapter hosted an alumni golf tournament on September 25, 2009.
The chapter hosted a successful Homecoming Tailgate with 30 alumni, 29 chapter members, and their
CHAPTER NEWS families on October 10, 2009. The chapter has had 12 initiation classes since its founding and all classes were represented at the tailgate by at least two brothers.
Florida State (Zeta-Rho)
Twenty-five actives, associate members, and alumni brothers joined forces to help the Tallahassee Rotary Club with its construction of a new home for a Tallahassee mom and her three children. The Lambda Chis helped provide the crew that put the roof decking and hurricane ties onto the new home. Associate Member Steven Chapman commented, “This was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. It was especially good to actually meet and work with the family that will have a safe, new home.” This is the third year the Florida State chapter has worked with Habitat for Humanity.
John Chiarotti (http://www.franklincollege.edu/about-fc/campusnews/news-release?release=633) (1967) is the 2009 recipient of the Franklin College Alumni Citation for Lifetime Achievement. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in his profession and community, following the values of the college. As a student, Chiarotti was the recipient of the Wil B. Nelp Award for the College’s most outstanding senior male athlete, and received the Wall Street Journal Award for the top student in economics and business. After earning his master’s degree at Indiana State University, Chiarotti returned to his alma mater and served as vice president for financial affairs as well as instructor of economics and assistant football and track coach. He recently retired as president of Amos Hill, Inc., a company which purchases hardwood timber and manufactures decorative veneer for domestic and international furniture. Chiarotti serves as vice president and treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Elba L. and Gene Portteus Branigin Foundation, Inc. and is a founding member of the Franklin College Touchdown Club.
Georgetown (Kappa- )
The chapter held its Centennial Celebration on October 17, 2009, at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, Kentucky. The event was a huge success and raised more than $6,000 in support of the undergraduate chapter. More than 275 people were in attendance. Also, the first class of the Kappa- Hall of Fame was inducted with six new recipients. They are: Dr. Ralph Curry (deceased), Tom Grissom (1955), Bill Beams (1964), Bill Holden (1972), Bobby McDowell (1981), and Mark Lenahan (1984).
Iowa State (Alpha-Tau)
William A. Rusk (1979) died September 30, 2009. His most recent employment was in Gresham, Oregon, as an accounting consultant. His older brother Richard Rusk (1976) of Houston, Texas, was also a member of the Alpha-Tau chapter. Lee C. Anderson (1977) died October 31, 2008. He worked at KSTP Radio/TV in Minneapolis, the National Weather Service, and at the National Severe Storm Center in Norman, Oklahoma. He then worked at the NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was a member of the American Meteorological Society, many other scientific and professional societies, and St. Augustine Catholic Church in Elkridge, Maryland.
Illinois State (Beta-Omicron)
Dan Swille (http://www.chillicothetimesbulletin.com/news/ education/x576533629/Former-Mossville-teacher-dies) died on September 30, 2009. The chapter’s first initiated brother, he was a retired elementary school teacher and girl’s basketball coach.
Homecoming 2009 was held on October 10, 2009. Congratulations to the men of Lambda Chi Alpha and the women of Alpha Delta Pi for winning KU Homecoming 2009. Congratulations to Robert Schmidt for taking first place in the Homecoming 2009 Walk and Jog. Congratulations to Hunter on winning the Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Spirit Award. Lambda Chi Alpha held Watermelonfest on September 27, 2009, with more than 200 in attendance. The event benefited The Leo Center and included several games such as Watermelon Baseball, Tug ‘O’ War, Mudfootball, Seed-spitting contest, and Watermeloneating contest. Movie director Darren Bousman is making his current movie, “Mother’s Day (http://www.bloody-disgusting. com/news/17642)” in Winnipeg in Canada. He is the son of Lynn Bousman (Pittsburg State).
Louisiana-Lafayette (Iota- )
The chapter nearly doubled its chapter size by recruiting 22 new members using the True Brother Initiative. With the new associate members, the chapter appointed
understudy officers, who work closely with a chapter officer to train for this new position and potentially become an officer with the skills they will learn. During the Watermelon Bust, the chapter raised just under three tons of food and $5,787 with the help of Kappa Delta, Tri Delta, Tri Sigma, Phi Mu, and Alpha Omicron Pi. October included many brotherhood events, including a bowling brotherhood event at Lafayette Lanes. Additionally, the chapter just had its Brotherhood retreat in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The chapter house’s kitchen was remodeled by Blake Banner’s father with the cabinets and appliances he donated.
Louisiana State (Upsilon)
The chapter continues to enjoy considerable success in recruitment with 47 new associate members bringing the chapter total to 140 members. Rob Landry is the current IFC treasurer. Matt Burger plays club lacrosse. Seven brothers achieved a 4.0 GPA last semester and the chapter is second on campus with a 3.2 cumulative GPA. This fall’s philanthropic event, Watermelon Bust, raised $15,000 for the Bishop Ott Shelter. The Vieux Carré Property Owners, Residents and Associates (VCPORA) has named Nathan Chapman, founder and president of The Marketing Center, the recipient of the Eugenie Schwartz-Grace Gage Award. The award was presented on August 30, 2009, by Michael Moffitt, president of VCPORA, at a Preservation Award Brunch in New Orleans. Chapman, a long time resident of the French Quarter, was former president of VCPORA, a position he held both prior to and after Hurricane Katrina. Only the third recipient of this prestigious award, Chapman is recognized for his tireless commitment to the Quarter and for taking VCPORA to new heights, both in terms of membership and success in its issues.
The brothers completed several philanthropic events: a 24-hour teeter-totter-a-thon that raised $1,500 for Breast Cancer prevention and cure, a Run-for-the-Cure led by chapter President Andrew Weir, and assistance for McGill’s Rugby Team, which raised $500. Alastair Crow, David Chaim, Dean McRobie, Marcus Symonds, and Sam Skulsky are members of the Rugby Team, and Crow and Skulsky are members of the All-Canada U-21 United Rugby Team. Frank Hewit is an alumni member of the team. The chapter is celebrating a cumulative 3.64 GPA.
Richard A. Entenmann (http://www.legacy.com/ obituaries/toledoblade/obituary.aspx?n=richard-alvinentenmann&pid=134108428) (1950) died October 4, 2009. A military veteran, he earned a law degree from the University of Michigan and first practiced law with Legal Aid in Toledo. He joined the firm of Spengler, Nathanson, Hebenstreit, Heyman, Mc-Carthy, and Durfee in July, 1955, and retired from the practice of law in October, 2008. From 2004 onward, Entenmann pursued a “second career” at the Toledo Museum of Art as a docent, where he combined his passion for art and education by teaching elementary school students about art, culture, and history. Through the years, he was very active with University of Michigan alumni, receiving Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1989.
Michigan State (Gamma-Omicron)
Gary R. Frink was elected president-elect of Belle Grove Plantation Inc., which manages the Middletown, Virginia, 1797 limestone manor house and acreage where James and Dolly Madison honeymooned. Belle Grove Plantation is the centerpiece of the new Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, one of 29 sites nationwide.
A group of young Millsaps alumni brothers held their second annual Purple, Green, & Gold Banquet on October 24, 2009, at Scrooge’s Fine Food & Drink. More than 30 brothers and guests attended, including both actives and alumni brothers. Developed by Chris Spear (2007) along with Marsh Nippes (2006), the event celebrated the Fraternity’s Centennial, the 70th anniversary of the chapter’s chartering, and the 85th anniversary of its chapter installation as part of Theta Kappa Nu.
On September 29, 2009, the Interfraternity Council welcomed Rick Barnes in a presentation entitled, “Hazing: When Will It End.” The event coincided with Hazing Prevention Week, September 28-October 2, 2009. This event was not mandatory, but members of all IFC chapters were encouraged to attend. The Interfraternity Council at the University of Missouri extended its thanks to the Gamma-Kappa chapter for their “exemplary attendance” at this presentation.
The chapter brothers recruited 17 new associate members bringing the chapter size to 55, the largest on campus. University President Philip C. Williams attended one of the recruitment events. With the assistance of several brothers earning a 4.0 GPA, the chapter’s cumulative GPA is 2.8.
Brian Boots is an SGA Senior Senator; Tyree Walker is IFC Vice President of Recruitment; Heath Genry is IFC Treasurer; and Ryan Moody is a College Night Leader. During October the chapter held its annual Pumpkin Feast benefiting Lambda Chi Alpha’s North American Food Drive.
Murray State (Lambda-Eta)
The chapter received the Chapter Excellence Award from Murray State University for 2009. This was achieved with a second place in cumulative GPA, second place in intramurals overall, second place in the all-university sing, first place in philanthropy working with Alpha Sigma Alpha in dodge ball, and first place working with Alpha Gamma Delta in rock-a-thon. The chapter is active in leadership rolls on the campus with the vice president and the recruitment chairman of the IFC and three brothers who serve as summer orientation leaders. The brothers raised $26,000 that was donated to the Needline Food Bank of Calloway County. In recruitment they have 15 new associate members bringing the chaper strength to 48. Tyler Holloway graduated in May 2009 finishing his basketball career in second place on the Murray State University all-time list for made three-pointers. He also became the 34th member of the Murray State 1,000 point club. Jarad Key graduated in May 2009 finishing his basketball career as a four-year member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was named to the Dean’s list six times. In 2008, Key was named to the National Basketball Coaches Association Honors Court. Douglas Bell (1997) and Ron Beaton (1979) currently serve on the Murray State University Board of Governors. In 2008, Kris Robbins (1981) became the third Lambda Chi to receive the Murray State Distinguished Alumnus Award joining Max Hurt (1927) in 1972 (street named after him in Murray, Kentucky, and the Max B. & Mavis Hurt Scholarship awarded to a deserving incoming freshman from the 1st Congressional District of Kentucky), and Richard Anderson (1980) in 1994. On October 3, 2009, the chapter members participated in Brush Up Nebraska with the Sigma Kappa sorority. Participants painted the house of a family in need. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambdachialpha/4056568222/ 4056568222_2d1db93174_s.jpg During homecoming week the chapter members and the
sisters of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority raised $500 with their Bounce-A-Thon fund-raising event (http://www.omaha.com/ article/20091006/NEWS02/710069848). The event is held in the middle of campus where participants rotate bouncing on a trampoline for 48 straight hours and taking donations. The philanthropy event was featured in the local newspaper and on local TV news. All proceeds were donated to the North American Food Drive. On October 10, 2009, the chapter held the Alumni Homecoming Tailgate for the football game. The event was held on the top level of the university’s parking garage overlooking the field. Seth Nelson, James Slabaugh, and Robert Park completed the first evolution of the Inner Circle journey. The chapter associated nine new members for the fall 2009 semester. The chapter plans to continue to recruit this fall and potentially hold a second association.
The chapter held its annual fall philanthropy, Watermelon Bust, which raised nearly $1,500 for The Note-Ables, a Reno-based nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to provide musical programs and music therapy services for children and adults with disabilities. The actual event consists of watermelon field day based events where sororities form teams of eight and compete against each other. This charity event included participants from five sororities: Sigma Kappa, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Gamma, and Delta Delta Delta. Some of the events this year included: Watermelon Discus Toss, Tug ‘o War, Relay Race, and watermelon eating contest. All sororities arrived in numerous numbers and created quite a buzz for the event. This year’s winner was Kappa Alpha Theta.
A pin originally issued to one of the charter members of Epsilon-Iota chapter (Fred Anderson, EI 0014) in 1929 was given to the chapter, thanks to a past acquisition by a Louisiana alumnus and his chance meeting with the chapter president at the Centennial Celebration.
New Orleans (Lambda-Alpha)
Lucas Funderburk was elected SGA student vice president, while Eric Galatin remains SGA president.
North Carolina (Gamma-Nu)
The chapter enjoyed a successful recruitment with 15 new associate members bringing the chapter strength to 60. Led by David Blumberg’s cumulative 3.95 GPA, the chapter is second on campus with a 3.32 GPA. Ritual Chairman Jennings Carpenter is the the SGA treasurer. Cameron Griffin is active in ROTC. Eddie Sykes is the IFC Judicial Board co-chair. James Jones (http://www.wchl1360.com/details3.html?id=12073) (1983) was named a rural fellow at Duke Divinity School. This award will pay for his seminary education and will give him special training to fulfill his calling to serve churches in rural North Carolina. He is currently serving a church in Roxboro, North Carolina, as a student pastor.
Oklahoma City (Theta-Delta)
Recruitment week was very successful and included inspirational speeches by brothers Kent Hathaway and Nick Drago. As a result of everyone’s efforts, the chapter added 27 new associate members. The associate members’ annual date auction was held in the Meinders’ School of Business. The event was very comical and beneficial, raising $1,500 towards the house. The chapter held its first major social event, Jello Jam, with the Alpha Phis.
Oklahoma State (Alpha-Eta)
Lloyd Zachariae (1947) died September 26, 2009.
Pittsburg State (Lambda-Chi)
Paired with Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, the chapter participated in the sorority’s annual teeter-totter-a-thon and raised approximately $300 for the Special Olympics.
Walter W. Hock (1950) died October 14, 2009. His career in the aerospace industry encompassed many important national projects, including participation in the Apollo Space Program and the International Space Station. He was awarded NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award for his work on the Lunar Module, the craft that transported our astronauts onto the Moon’s surface.
San Diego Area Alumni Association
On the second Sunday in October 2009, brothers associated with the Lambda Chi Alpha San Diego Area Alumni Association, and guests, enjoyed a delightful sunset cruise and dinner on San Diego Bay. This marks the third year running that Lew Fay (San Diego State 1965) has donated the use of his yacht, Fantasea, for this great event.
The area alumni association held its quarterly lunch at the El Torito Restaurant in San Diego’s Mission Valley with close to 20 alumni brothers in attendance. After lunch, the business meeting included a comprehensive report from Jerry Thatcher on the Housing Corporation’s activities, followed by Dave Buck’s remarks on the Alumni Association happenings and sponsorship of three active brothers from the two local chapters to the Leadership Seminar in Indianapolis last summer. They were also joined by Jeff Warren, a junior from the University of California-San Diego.
Christopher A. Selewach (http://obits.pennlive.com/ obituaries/pennlive/obituary.aspx?n=christopher-adamselewach&pid=130740517) (1980) died July 26, 2009. He was an excellent cook and was employed most of his life in the restaurant industry. He also was a very talented artist, loved history, and had a great passion for automobiles and auto racing.
Southern Methodist (Gamma-Sigma)
W. Hulsey Smith (http://www.americanwaymag.com/whulsey-smith-football-invexsis-group-van-ditthavong) (2006) is featured in the May 2009 edition of the American Way magazine. After a career-ending football injury at Southern Methodist University, Smith immersed himself in businessleadership training and spearheaded a $700,000 fund-raising effort for a new Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house. He learned the intricacies of finance and entrepreneurship from fraternity brother Douglas Gill (1990), co-founder of Dallas–based Summit Alliance Investment Group. With Gill’s guidance, the then 21-year-old Smith developed and launched the private equity firm Invexsis Group with the $17,000 he’d received as a graduation gift from his parents. Invexsis then became the wet nurse of what has grown into a portfolio of some seven companies Smith controls in energy, aviation, logistics, motor sports, and communications -- a portfolio worth an estimated $50 million.
South Carolina (Epsilon-Psi)
Donald W. Herbkersman (http://www.tributes.com/show/ Donald-Herbkersman-86579254) (1955) died August 18, 2009. An Army veteran of the Korean War, he was also a member of the American Legion. Along with his seven sons, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at the University of South Carolina. He was a retired supervisor at Square D Corp.
Southern California (Zeta-Delta)
The chapter donated $35,000 to The Friendship Circle, a nonprofit organization that helps children with special needs. Chapter members spent the month of May putting on numerous events to raise money for the organization. Last year they raised $50,000. The brothers were honored at the annual banquet sponsored by The Friendship Circle in June.
Tarleton State (Phi-Rho)
Brian Bodine (2003) was promoted to store manager of Kohl’s Department Store in Lewisville, Texas. A former chapter officer, he has worked for Kohl’s for four years as an HR/operations manager. Before joining Kohl’s he was a store manager for Mervyns Department Stores.
Tennessee-Knoxville (Epsilon-OmicronThe chapter held its annual philanthropy event, Watermelon Bust (http://tnjn.com/2009/sep/09/fraternity-to-host-annualwate/), benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is the 16th year the brothers have organized the event, and last year the fraternity donated more than $3,000.
Texas Christian (Iota-Pi)
More than 100 undergraduates, parents, and area alumni attended Iota-Pi’s open house on October 3, 2009. High Alpha Rick Crain provided a state of the chapter address and was proud of the large turnout. A great spread of Mexican food was available prior to the night game pitting the Horned Frogs against rival SMU.
Texas Tech (Sigma-Nu)
Martin Baker (http://www.sweetwaterreporter.com/content/ view/168645/1/) (1994) received the Outstanding Young Citizen for Sweetwater Texas during the 45th Annual Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet. The award is given for a person who has contributed to the welfare and advancement of Sweetwater through community activities, church involvement, and in his occupation.
The chapter held its annual Luau benefiting Special Olympics and raised $2,500. The chapter donates two hours per brother per week to the Kendall Whittier Association assisting with their garden, food pantry, and helping the children at the elementary school. Tim Lambert is an SGA senator, Aashish Khaladkar is the IFC judicial chairman, and Pat Schell is the chairman of IFC recruitment.
Western Carolina (Beta-Zeta)
The chapter hosted its third annual Watermelon Bust. This year, the events included a Watermelon Carve, Banner Contest, Dance Contest, and Miss Watermelon Bust Pageant. This year’s totals in money and pounds of food raised eclipsed last year’s totals by a wide margin. 2008’s food collection total was roughly 900 pounds of canned food, and this year the chapter raised more than 2,200 pounds of canned food. They also raised more than $1,300, up from last year’s total of $1,100.
The 25-man chapter finished second with a cumulative GPA of 2.8, led by Clay Radacovick and Jarred Curry who had 4.0s. Intramurals were successful with a fourth place finish in football and a second place finish in soccer. On October 8, 2009, the chapter finished first in the all-campus Homecoming Sing. This fall the brothers participated in building three houses with Habitat for Humanity, and two brothers are working in Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The chapter has begun an online letter and is forming an Alumni Advisory Board. Kenny Johnson is the secretary of the IFC and Fidensio Semental is the IFC Liaison with Student Government. Johnson and Patrick Johnson are members of the business law fraternity. Zach Jacobson is a member of the university hockey team; Alex Mason and Steven Flynn are members of the university cycling team; chapter President Cody Wilson is captain of the lacrosse team; and Mackenzie Mitchell is president of the dance team while Kevin Shereen is the team’s vice president.
Life on the Road The stor y of an ELC P a r t I I
Chris Cole (Gettysburg)
As a consultant of Lambda Chi Alpha, you never know where you may end up. At the
drop of hat you could driving down the highway in Louisiana and suddenly get a phone call to turn around and head up north to Illinois. Granted that doesn’t happen very often, but it does allow for a little bit of excitement while on the road. For those of you who are reading this for the first time, my name is Chris Cole (Gettysburg 2009). I am one of the Educational Leadership Consultants for Lambda Chi Alpha and I have the privilege of taking you on a journey through the eyes of a consultant as I travel across the United States. To take a quick moment before I pick up from where I left off last month, I graduated from Gettysburg College in May of 2009 with a degree in environmental studies. I encourage any of you who want to learn more about my personal life to send me an email or begin by reading last month’s article. To give you an idea of why I’m doing this, well, it’s quite simple really. I want to give you, the reader, a look into the life of a consultant on the road. Without giving details and names of the people that I have met, I will walk you through what the lifestyle entails and allow you to follow my journey across the United States, if you so chose. Post Centennial Celebration Centennial Celebration ended with a bang. As consultants, we got to enjoy the two days off to relax. Most of us slept, as six days straight of little sleep and multiple 5-hour energy shots take their toll. Sleep is something that as a consultant you take when you can get it. Whether it be the five hours you get on a comfortable couch in the presidents room, or the top bunk of a bunk-bed, you cherish the sleep you get. We took our time and got the sleep we needed after the Centennial and entered the office ready to prepare for our chapter visits. I am traveling the route that carries me through Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Memphis, some of Indiana, and a little Illinois. I pretty much make a giant C in the center of the country. It looks a bit like a backwards Crescent.... The time however is passing quickly as I send out all my letters to the High Alphas within my region. My biggest fear is that they receive the letter, look at the date on which I’m coming, and suddenly panic because I’m traveling to their chapter over homecoming weekend or during the biggest football game of the year and everyone will be tailgating and they aren’t sure whether they want to give me a ticket or kick me out Saturday morning. My imagination and fears run wild as I await a number of emails and phone calls from presidents and alumni advisers desperately begging for a change in plans. To my surprise, none comes. I breathe again, thinking that I have dodged the first bullet on my long list bullets charging towards me. Don’t worry, I watched the Matrix, I should be OK.
Leaving Headquarters The final day in Headquarters approaches fast and the Chapter Services team is all together, saying their goodbyes. The next day offers the quietest day in HQ as all the consultants and most of the senior staff are gone. Training visits for the new consultants consist of a senior staff member or senior consultant traveling with the new consultant for some demonstrations on conducting a visit in real life, and not just on paper. There are three training visits for a consultant. The first one, the veteran steps up and does the entire visit. Coolly and calmly he conducts all his meetings and presentations without the slightest worry in the world, and for three days you hate everything about him. Not because you actually hate him, but because you wished you had that confidence instead of sitting in the back thinking about when you can get back to your room to change your undershirt since it’s already soaked with sweat. The second trip, however, is 50-50. You split the time and get a feel for life in front of a group of undergraduates, hoping that what you say won’t bore them and, within 30 seconds, find they are checking their cell phones or playing with their PSPs. My first time, well, it was a bit like ice skating for the first time. You get on the ice and you feel confident and ready. The first couple steps are okay and you slowly glide across the ice. Unfortunately for you, the Zamboni failed to clean the ice and there are bumps and chips everywhere. It is at this point when one of two things happen: You either hit a bump and crash down, swearing at yourself that you should have never tried skating and wish you could come out with a flame thrower and make the rink a swimming pool, or you get up and try again until you get it right. That’s what it feels like the first time you present, hold a meeting, or do some activity in consulting. The final trip is all you. The senior staff member sits in the back and watches as you run the meeting like a pro. Or at least you appear to be a pro. You finally get your chance to show him that you are ready to hit the road solo and that the training wheels can come off. At the end of each meeting or visit the senior staff member gives you feedback, and at the end of the visit you embrace, say good luck, and head off into the mist alone but ready. Unless you’re me. In which case your senior staff member had to leave after your second visit, and you entered your third visit, not with the support of the artillery to bail you out if things got bad, but rather a slingshot which you carried in your back pocket just in case the entire chapter
revolted against you. Luckily, that visit for me went well. Once you hit that first solo visit, however, you get into a groove. I traveled around Missouri for my first three training visits and drove my car into Illinois for a quick three-day visit before heading back to Missouri for my next chapter. The road, I can tell you, is a wonderful place. Not because you get to take numerous pictures of the things you pass by, such a giant cross hanging out in Effington, Missouri, or a Subway sign that had been spray painted “Not Fresh” as opposed to “Eat Fresh,” but you learn a lot about yourself. You get to be the DJ of your car, playing whatever music you want because the AM/FM radio only plays country music. (Don’t get me wrong, I like country, but eight hours of it is a little much for me.) Reflections You change when you are on the road. You reflect about where you just were and the experiences that you had. You think about home and your friends, and wonder how their bed is feeling at their parents’ house. You wonder how many of your friends are working for a local supermarket or bank or daycare center or simply doing nothing and hoping that there might be a job that appears. And you realize that you have the best job in the world. Not because you are working for the fraternity you joined in college, but because you are living an experience that most wish they could have. You travel the country, you meet brothers from every walk of life, and you bond with friends and alumni alike from coast to coast and celebrate the one thing that you all share in common. You have a handshake and stories that only you and your brothers will understand. But most important of all, you get to live with your brothers across the country and learn what is important to them and know that the experiences you live will travel with you from school to school. I hope to write a monthly article about the road. Currently I am sitting in Lambda-Alpha Zeta’s common room hanging out with those guys. I invite any of you to email me or call me with stories you have or want to share, that I can include in my next article. Hopefully I haven’t bored you or caused you to foam at the mouth, but to begin to understand why we do what we do. Take care my brothers.
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Celebrating Lambda Chi’s Legends & Leaders As the final part of a 10-month series, we pay tribute to Executive Vice President Emeritus George W. Spasyk. Editor’s Note: The following article is being re-published in part from the Winter 1990 Cross & Crescent. George Spasyk served as the executive vice president from 1968-1990, and today serves executive vice president emeritus.
By Tad Lichtenauer
begin college, so he entered a training program at General Electric Company, which sent him to nearby Williams College for intensive study in analytical chemistry. He worked for two years at G.E. as a chemist alongside men with their doctorates in chemistry from Princeton and Michigan. Not surprisingly, George enrolled at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1942.
A university campus is a symbol of hope, of dreams, of plans for the future. On the beautiful campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor began a journey that was to span millions of miles on the North American continent, touch tens of thousands of lives and have an impact that will be felt by many as far into the future as anyone can see. It has brought us to the present when we honor the one who took the journey.
But those were the years of World War II, and young men found themselves in many places other than a classroom. He came home to enter the service, but before he was called, his Princeton connection at G.E. made it possible for him to work on the Manhattan Project in the development of the atom bomb in the chemistry department at Princeton. There he served as a 19-your-old chemist in the company of 12 Ph.D.s in chemistry.
It was a long trip to the University of Michigan from George Spasyk’s boyhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, both in miles and experiences. His parents were born in the Ukraine in Eastern Europe, and at the turn of the century, fled the religious oppression then taking place. His father and mother, unable to speak English, met on the ship taking them to America and they settled in the Berkshires, married, and with the help of his maternal Godmother, affectionately known as “Baba”, started to raise a family. George was born in a room above the red-framed grocery store his father owned, the last of nine children. George’s work ethic was nurtured by this loving family. He credits his parents and five brothers and three sisters with playing the major roles in developing his character, often sacrificing their own opportunities for achievement while supporting his dreams and ambitions.
It was an unbelievable opportunity for one at that tender age, and George could have sat out the war at Princeton. But he was uncomfortable about the fact that all of his buddies were in the service, so he joined the Navy and served until World War II was over. His duty done, his country served, George returned to Ann Arbor in the fall of 1946, intent on getting his degree in chemistry at the University of Michigan. In his junior year, however, it dawned on him that he did not want to spend the rest of his life in a chemistry lab. There was a big, exciting world out there, and that was the laboratory that beckoned him. Changing his major to business, in the August of 1949 he received his bachelor of business administration degree, and nine months later, had his master’s degree.
George was always an inquisitive and studious youngster. While the rolling hills of Massachusetts beckoned him to play, he still found time for his schoolbooks. He had enormous respect for his teachers, many of whom followed his career until their dying days. Later, in his own career, George became the teacher, the one who then taught others to teach.
Like most returning veterans, George was in school primarily to learn. But he did find one other pursuit which caught his interest – and then his passion, and which was to become his life’s work. In 1946, George joined Lambda Chi Alpha. He could not know, as he served in half a dozen offices in Sigma Zeta, that he was establishing a knowledge of undergraduate operations that would serve him and the Fraternity well in the coming years. In March of 1949, George and several other brothers from Michigan decided to attend the Great Lakes Conclave at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. This experience changed his life forever and had a significant impact on the future of the Fraternity. It was there he met and worked with several of the true legends of Lambda Chi Alpha: Duke Flad, then Administrative Secretary; Linn Lightner,
George graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1940 at the age of 16. Even though his IQ test placed him in the genius category, his parents thought he was too young to
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HISTORY Grand High Phi and editor of the Cross & Crescent and Elles Derby, then Grand High Alpha. George and his Sigma brothers were so inspired by their association with the Fraternity’s leaders that they persuaded the brothers of Sigma to host the Great Lakes Conclave the following year. George was very much the ringleader in this endeavor, but was scheduled to receive his bachelor’s degree the following summer. In order to fulfill his commitment to the chair, he enrolled in the graduate school - surely an unusual reason for obtaining a master’s degree. While working on his graduate degree and the conclave, he also asked to serve in the appointed office of “Pledge Trainer,” and there designed a program that would evolve into the High Zeta position of High Kappa (Fraternity Educator) and, some 20 years later, the Associate Member program, which abolished pledgeship. In 1950, George staged the highly organized and tremendously successful Great Lakes Conclave at Michigan, and this again brought him to the attention of Duke Flad, who attended the conclave in Ann Arbor. After finishing graduate school, he made the first of thousands of trips associated with the Fraternity, to the Lambda Chi Alpha headquarters to interview for the position of Traveling Secretary (now known as Educational Leadership Consultant). The title then was appropriate as the new title is today, for George has traveled millions of miles for the Fraternity since that first airplane ride to Indianapolis.
brain since his graduate years in college. He had seen for many years the loss of a third of the Fraternity’s pledges who had no interest in an archaic system that relegated them to second-class status. In the first “Reflections” article he ever wrote for the Cross & Crescent in November 1969, he said: “Were we not able out of conviction and sincere belief to speak out positively and forcefully that we believe in the value of fraternity, we could not, in good conscience, ask thousands of young men to share this experience. For indeed, ‘Who will answer when the trumpet is uncertain?’ “
When George joined the administrative staff on July 1, 1950, Lambda Chi Alpha was one of the largest fraternities in the collegiate world. Increasing the staff was essential, and in 1952 he became Service Secretary, heading up the undergraduate operations of the Fraternity for the next 16 years. He worked side by side with the students from across the United States and Canada, further developing the unique understanding which enabled him to lead the Fraternity through decades of turmoil and change.
George’s positive attitude leads him to define a problem, discuss it, and ultimately come up with a solution that everyone can be comfortable with. And then – he usually gives the credit to others. That’s called magnanimity, a word George personifies.
He was also fortunate to be in the company of other outstanding leaders of Lambda Chi Alpha – Bruce McIntosh and Duke Flad; E.J.C. Fischer and Linn Lightner; Houston Karnes and Tozier Brown; Lew Plourd and Doc Dirghalli – men of vision and incredible talent. They were his mentors, his colleagues, and his inspiration.
It didn’t take him long to sound the trumpet in a very certain decisive manner, with a call for equality among all fraternity members. His second “Reflections” article in February 1970 was titled, “Pledges – Who Needs Them?” In it he asked, “Can Lambda Chi Alpha, or any fraternity, get along without having pledges?” His answer was, “I submit that we not only can, but in the long run, we must.”
With his innate modesty, George has said. “If I appear tall, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” The 1950s were basically years of quiet, steady, qualitative growth – George refers to them as “the fabulous fifties.” Fraternities were the unchallenged leaders on the college campus; they enjoyed a popularity that was unparalleled in their nearly 200 year history. This healthy situation carried through the early part of the 1960s, but by the time George took over the reins as Executive Director in 1969, the times had changed dramatically. It would require great skill, knowledge, and understanding to see the Fraternity successfully through the turbulence of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, as a firestorm of protests swept the campuses of North America.
His call for an end, not only to “pledge” terminology but to the whole concept of pledgeship, sent shockwaves through the fraternity system. It would take other fraternities nearly 20 years to accept the “no pledge” concept. About a dozen chapters implemented the Fraternity Education program of Lambda Chi Alpha immediately. No longer were pledges relegated to second-class status, separated from most of the chapter’s activities. They deserved better treatment, and as associate members, not pledges, they received it. By giving them a full measure of respect, the new program helped them develop their full potential in all areas of daily life.
George’s first contact with fraternity had occurred immediately after World War II. The members of Sigma Zeta were so busy putting the chapter back into operation that there was no time for harassment or ridicule of pledges – George and his 22 pledge brothers were integrated immediately into the mainstream of decision making and activity. Subsequently, his nearly two decades of close association with undergraduates prompted him to launch an idea that had been rattling in his
In 1972, just two years after the program was introduced, the General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, officially adopted the program. And George was on call to help implement it, not by edict or threat of sanctions, but by education, example,
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HISTORY and inspiration. One beleaguered Fraternity Educator, whose chapter had resisted the program, called George one day virtually pleading with him to visit the chapter during pre-initiation week. George’s calendar was full and he really didn’t need another trip, but the young man was so persuasive, he relented and flew in for a full week. The first night of his visit, the associate members were to mop and scrub the dining room floor while the initiates were up in their rooms studying or watching television. On seeing this, George asked for a pair of jeans and was soon on his hands and knees with the associate members, scrubbing the floor. Word of this spread quickly through the house and within minutes every initiate was in the dining room on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floor. A camaraderie between the associates and initiates developed that evening that had never been seen before. That camaraderie still exists in that chapter today. Leadership – by example. George just has a way of inspiring people to do the right thing, seemingly beyond their capabilities. The following year, that chapter received the first of its Grand High Alpha Awards for chapter excellence. At the 43rd General Assembly in August they received their third Grand high Alpha Award.
His “Reflections” articles in the Cross and Crescent have been among the most widely read and quoted writings in the fraternity world, often dealing with controversial issues and taking unpopular positions that required an enormous amount of courage. Very wisely, the Fraternity has published 72 of his “Reflections” in book form. past Grand High Alpha Tozier brown says about them: “They cover every conceivable subject that is related to brotherhood in its broadest sense. Many are wise, some are witty, all of them make us think, and many of them speak with such logic that we are prompted to say to ourselves, ‘I wish I had written that!’”
George was to lead the Fraternity in other progressive programs as well, all aimed at meeting the needs of an ever-changing society. In 1969, he felt the Fraternity could benefit immeasurably by greater student input in its programs and policies. The following year, Lambda Chi Alpha opened up its highest councils and decision-making processes to undergraduates with the establishment of the Student Advisory Committee with its chairman serving on the Grand high Zeta. George has met at length with all 21 committees since then, and most of the time he has been listening rather than talking.
Murphy Osborne writes, “George had a unique way of spreading his message to all of us to inform, educate, amuse, or shock us… I am amazed at the number of practices and policy changes which took place relatively soon after his articles but which directly reflected the influences of his writings and leadership.”
At a time when most fraternities were cutting the size of their staffs because of the attrition of chapters and members, George guided a healthy dose of what Tozier Brown would call “prescience and courage,” doubled the size of Lambda Chi Alpha’s staff to meet the challenges and problems of the Vietnam era, resulting in unprecedented growth and stability.
Even the titles of his “Reflections” have been provocative, leading many of his readers to wonder, “What in the world is this one going to be about?” REFLECTIONS. . .
In 1974, the beautiful headquarters building in Indianapolis was completed, and George and his staff moved in to begin a new era of unified and effective leadership.
“On Gnats and Camels” “On Chicken Salad”
Dr. Murphy Osborne, immediate past Grand High Alpha, wrote, “One of George’s greatest talents has been in surrounding himself with young, creative, innovative and enthusiastic executive staff members and consultants.” George puts it this way, “I do take credit for hiring outstanding staff members – because they’re the ones who make me look good.”
“On Russian Roulette” “On the Cool Side of the Pillow” “On Millard Fillmore”
In the fall of 1982, George launched the dramatic Standards for Chapter Excellence Program with a “Reflections” article titled “On Building Cathedrals,” and presented a dynamic keynote address at the leadership seminar the next summer to introduce the program, which was developed by the staff and a group of volunteers.
“On Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and You” “On Riddles, Mysteries and Enigmas” “On Perspicacity, Perpetuity and Procrastination”
George’s influence has also been felt in raising academic standards and in developing programs dealing with alcohol and drug abuse, offering forceful messages on what members and chapters can do to protect themselves from serious problems. www.crossandcrescent.com
“On Thermometers and Thermostats” And one that is very dear to his heart: “On Values and Ethics” 14
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HISTORY George’s Commitment to fraternity goes far beyond Lambda Chi Alpha. He has been one of the staunchest and most articulate advocates of interfraternity cooperation. Following in the path of his predecessors Bruce McIntosh and Duke Flad, he served as the president of the Fraternity Executives Association. He has served on scores of committees of the Association and of the National Interfraternity Conference, and continues to serve on the NIC Commission on Values and Ethics. He is one of the most sought-after speakers on the fraternity and interfraternity circuits, averaging more than 30 speeches a year. When George speaks, people listen. The awards and honors he has received from within Lambda Chi Alpha and from interfraternity groups fill several walls of his home. He is truly a shining star to many. Indianapolis has been George’s home for 40 years. Much of that time has been spent in international headquarters, writing, pondering, discussing and deciding. But once a year Indianapolis is the scene of an event that he never misses: The Indianapolis “500”.
comfort, sympathy and compassion are among the first ones received, and he is frequently there to offer his personal support and broad shoulders to lean on. But when faced with adversity, he is guided by those words of Kahlil Gibran, “If I accept the sunshine and warmth, I must also accept the thunder and lightning.” George would do everything in his power to resolve a problem or a conflict, but he does not dwell on the past or worry about things that are beyond his control. Questioned about one of his rare mistakes, he would flash an impish grin and say, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” His generosity knows no bounds, and no one will ever know how many friends and brothers he has helped along the way, because those are secrets known only to himself and the recipients of his generosity. When doing a kind deed for another, he asks only one thing – that the person do a kind deed for another and ask that person to do the same, thereby multiplying his good deed endlessly. In this, he has been influenced by the writings of Lloyd Douglas in a book he found in a second-hand bookstore at Princeton many years ago. The philosophy of life he most fervently believes in is found in the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew.
And as George passes the torch of leadership to Tom Helmbock, Evansville ‘68 , perhaps he will find a little more time for his other love: The University of Michigan. This is where he began his journey with Lambda Chi Alpha; it is where his fertile imagination and quiet introspection grew into a successful career. And this is where the Wolverines play. This is George’s team, and when you’re George’s team, you have his fullest loyalty. Many sports teams have what is called an “impact player,” the ones who make the difference. George has been Lambda Chi Alpha’s impact player for many years. Ask anyone who has served on the staff – he’s worked with 85 percent of them. He never asked any of them to do anything he wouldn’t do or hadn’t done. No task was too dirty or menial for him to do. He has operated every piece of equipment in the headquarters building – from Addressograph to Xerox.
We live in a time of tarnished heroes. And sometimes we may think there are few real heroes anymore. But then George Spasyk comes along, and our faith is restored. There are tens of thousands of Brothers who have been touched by George in some special way. Perhaps it can best be expressed in the words of a beautiful, contemporary ballad that means a great deal to him: “It must have been cold there in the shadows, to never have sunlight in your face. You were content to let me shine. You always walked a step behind. So I was the one with all the glory. While you were the one with all the strain. Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I would like to be. I can fly higher than an eagle. For you are the wind beneath my wings.”
Among the things his staff learned from him: professionalism, ethical and moral standards, unselfishness, the Golden Rule – Do Unto Others. In other words, he was not just teaching them to be good professionals and managers, he was teaching them to live their lives for the benefit of others – something he learned from his oldest brother, Bill, whom he idolized.
George has said that one day he would write a book. He could write several based on his experiences alone. His uncanny memory of names, faces and events is legendary. In his library at home are more than 3,000 books – everything from contemporary spy novelists Ludlum, Clancy and LeCarre to the classic works of Hawthorne, Milton, Faulkner, Hemingway, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Voltaire and others. There is another book in his collection, by Dostoevsky that carries one of George’s favorite passages and is an appropriate way to conclude this tribute to a great man and a great Brother:“Even if we are occupied with important thing; even if we fall into misfortune; still let us remember how good it was here once, where we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us, perhaps, a little better than we were.”
Duke Flad once described George as “Quietly effective, and in practice a perfectionist.” He can be seen working alone, at all hours, in all types of places. Even since his retirement on June 30, he has traveled thousands of miles, given a dozen speeches, and on those rare occasions at home, he is at his word processor, pounding out countless letters and messages. But over the years, he has understood and encouraged the fun element of fraternity. He has been able to poke fun at himself – has never taken himself too seriously – and has never lost his sense of humor.
We are all a lot better than we were because George Spasyk came into our lives. This is not a farewell, but a temporary parting of the ways – we hope to see him often “down the road.”
With the work, there must also come play. From Mexico to Canada, and just this fall on his first trip abroad, to England, George has traveled to enjoy not just the work, but the friendship of those with whom he has worked over the years. Visit any chapter as George has done and you’ll see the reason that we all joined – friendship. Wherever he goes, you will always find him surrounded by people, especially undergraduates.
Lambda Chi Alpha thanks him for his leadership, his support, his inspiration. We thank him for his compassion, his generosity, his faith and his love. We thank him for being “our quiet hero.”
In the 40 years we have been privileged to have George with us, he has faced adversity and tragedy many times – the loss of his parents and four of his brothers; the senseless death of an associate member; accidents that snuffed out the lives of too many young members. When such tragedies befall others, George’s messages of www.crossandcrescent.com
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NIC’s Centennial The North-American Interfraternity Conference celebrates its 100th anniversary
By Eric Freeman (NIC)
In April, within view of the Pentagon, the Joint Services Color Guard of the Military District of Washington opened the centennial meeting of the North-American Interfraternity Conference House of Delegates. To acknowledge the growth of the fraternal movement, and to recognize that the 73 NIC member fraternities represent both national and international organizations, the executive directors and guests sang both the Canadian and American national anthems. With the House of Delegates session launched, so too was a year-long centennial celebration that will highlight interfraternalism, brotherhood, and collaboration.
The National Interfraternity Conference was founded at the University Club of NYC on November 27, 1909, by delegates of 26 fraternities. At the NIC’s 75th anniversary, one dinner speaker noted that in 1909, “the climate was such that the country, the fraternities and the people were ready for change.” And in the 100 years since fraternities agreed there was value in collaboration, the fraternal movement has indeed changed – the country, the fraternity system, and the people involved with both. large? Millions of hours of volunteer service are given by fraternity and sorority members annually. Just last year, NIC member fraternities provided more than 1.3 million service hours and raised more than $12.8 million for philanthropy.
Today there are 127 inter/national fraternities and sororities, and 73 fraternities hold membership in the NIC. In the 100 years since the NIC’s founding, two additional important trade organizations have developed, reflecting how the fraternity world and the country have developed. The National Pan-Hellenic Council Inc. represents nine fraternities and sororities with predominantly African-American membership, and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations has a membership base of 23 fraternities and sororities.
But leadership is more than service and philanthropy. Fraternities encourage their development and promote their importance as a foundation for life-long success within the context of being valuesbased organizations. Many success stories demonstrate how men live their fraternity’s values. You can find many of these on www. fraternityinfo.com, the website devoted to telling the fraternity story and celebrating the impact of fraternities on campus, within communities, and on individual lives. Illustrating the point of the speaker at the NIC’s 75th anniversary, the men highlighted there have indeed changed the world, the fraternity system, and the people involved with both.
The industry continues to evolve with the development and growth of the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) and the National Multicultural Greek Council (NMGC). Combined, the 12,000 fraternity and sorority chapters on more than 800 campuses in the U.S. and Canada have membership of more than nine million, with 750,000 of those being today’s undergraduate members and the world’s future leaders.
The roots of the NIC go back to 1883, to a meeting of fraternity editors in Philadelphia. Ten years later, the “College Fraternities Congress” was held at the Chicago’s World Fair; and in 1895, more than 300 fraternity men met in Atlanta to form The American Panhellenic Society. The idea for a permanent society was formalized in 1909, and in the 100 years since, the NIC has grown nearly threefold. Throughout the century it has changed to meet the needs of its members and the fraternity world. Today, through advocacy,
Leadership development is one of many strengths today’s fraternity and sorority community offers as the largest and most visible valuesbased organizations on campus. Without question, fraternities and sororities provide the most successful leadership development programs for college students and provide the largest network of volunteers in the U.S.
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collaboration, and education, the NIC works to ensure that fraternities can operate in an environment conducive to their success. That is the NIC mission.
Lambda Chi NIC Leadership
Four members of Lambda Chi Alpha have served as NIC president: • • • •
How does it do that? Through local, regional, and international representation on campuses, in communities, within the fraternity industry, and on Capitol Hill; through public and media relations; web-based initiatives that now include promotion and recruitment assistance through fraternityinfo.com; through position statements that are clear about the values of fraternity men; and through campus intervention and guidance on policies, IFC recognition, colonization, voting, expansion and more.
luminaries from the fraternity world, men whose leadership have put the fraternity movement in the position of strength it is in today, also took the podium and entertained the crowd. The celebration will continue throughout this year. A Centennial Charter was created and displayed at the annual meeting in Washington, and all 73 members will receive a framed edition. To return to the roots of the NIC, the winter meeting of the board will be held in New York City to coincide with a reception in the University Club where the group will replace the 75th anniversary plaque with one commemorating the centennial. Most importantly, to involve undergraduates in this historic occasion the four Greek regional conferences will present a video shot during the 2009 annual meeting, one involving undergrads, as well as alumni, in telling the story that is interfraternalism.
The NIC’s annual recognition and awards program emphasizes the NIC Standards and rewards men, chapters, and fraternity members who exemplify them. The awards also encourage fraternities to tell their stories that demonstrate the benefits of fraternalism. The NIC Awards of Distinction celebrate the endeavors and triumphs of those men who “live their ritual” everyday. The NIC provides extensive programming for IFCs and campus leaders to learn through the IFC Academy and the INTERCHANGE Resource Network. It also provides extensive programming for IFCs and campus leaders to develop their leadership through undergraduate programming that includes the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI), the IMPACT Institute, the Alumni Academy, and the Jon Williamson Futures Quest. In 2010, the NIC will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of UIFI, a program from which over 10,000 fraternity and sorority leaders have graduated since 1990.
While the 26 founding member fraternities could not have envisioned videos, websites, and twitter being part of a centennial celebration, certainly they envisioned the interfraternity cooperation that existed then growing into the collaboration that exists today. That collaboration, among 73 international and national men’s fraternities, with a focus on advocacy and education for each member, is the mission of today’s North-American Interfraternity Conference.
The nine-man NIC board of directors planned the year-long celebration that began in April in Washington and will conclude at the NIC’s annual meeting in April, 2010. To kick off this 100th year, the leaders of the National Panhellenic Conference, the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, the National PanHellenic Council Inc., and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors joined the crowd in Washington at the Centennial Banquet to recognize the successes of the fraternity world and to discuss what that work will look like over the next 100 years. The banquet room was filled with a memorabilia exhibit recounting 100 years of the NIC; and reminiscent of a Harry Potter movie, the flag of every member fraternity was hung from the ceiling. NIC Board Chair Bob Marchesani reflected on the history of the organization, but Dud Daniels, who was present at the 50th anniversary celebration, offered many anecdotes from having lived through much of it. Other
Leroy Wilson (Rose-Hulman 1944) Dr. Houston Karnes (Vanderbilt 1958) Tozier Brown (Denver 1970) Clay Myers (Oregon 1987)
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2008-2009 Order of Omega Recipients Nearly 100 members from more than 50 different chapters honored for leadership, community service
By Tad Lichtenauer
For 2008-2009, nearly 100 members from more than 50 chapters of Lambda Chi Alpha were initiated into Order of Omega, an honor society recognizing particularly exemplary men and women in the undergraduate Greek system. Established at the University of Miami in 1959, Order of Omega differentiates itself from other honor societies by emphasizing community service and inter-Greek communication over academic and nominal honors. Today, there are more than 300 chapters in the United States. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternityâ€™s 2008-2009 Order of Omega inductees include:
Gregory J. Baron, Gettysburg College Matthew Bartow, Spring Hill College Dirk Bennett, Eastern Illinois University Wylie Binderman, East Carolina University Jonathan Birkett, Boston University Gregory Blair, Northwestern University Jake Burchfield, University of Alabama Blake Burckart, University of Arkansas Jeffrey R. Byrd, East Carolina University Ben Cain, Millsaps College Rollie P. Carencia, University of California, Riverside Jennings Carpenter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill James Chassaing, Spring Hill College Edward Clegg, University of North Carolina, Greensboro Kevin Colson, Wilmington College Carson Cook, University of San Diego Aaron Deeds, Kansas State University Chad Dial, University of South Carolina Sean Dieffenbaugher, Spring Hill College Daniel Ericson, Michigan State University Patrick Fauntleroy, Butler University Matthew T. Fisher, University of South Carolina Garrett Fleck, University of Tulsa Tommy Frazier, Franklin College Cameron Frye, University of Florida Kevin Funderburg, Texas State University - San Marcos Christopher Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh Maxwell Grieshaber, University of North Carolina, Charlotte Jared Hanson, Marietta College Reese Henson, University of Alabama Christopher Hickey, University of Connecticut Shawn Hines, Franklin College Nathan Hooven, New Mexico State University Justin Kish, Lycoming College Christian Kochon, Lycoming College Thomas Kujala, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alex Lassiter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Kevin Lewis, University of Nevada, Reno
Travis Lykins, Wilmington College John A. Mallory Jr., University of Arkansas Adithya Mani, University of California, San Diego Jonathan Marino, University of Florida Jeffrey McCall, DePauw University Phillip Meyer, Florida Institute of Technology Andrew Meyer, Villanova University Brian Mitchell, Millsaps College Michael Mohr, Millsaps College Bruce Morse, University of Connecticut Ben Nicholas, Butler University Bill Norton Jr., University of Louisville Michael Oghia, University of Louisville Sean Philbrook, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Raymond Pinto, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Brandon Platt, Franklin College Steve Puzach, Missouri University of Science & Technology Jamal Rahman, University of North Texas Matthew Redman, Gettysburg College Benjamin Regan, University of Connecticut James Rice, Millsaps College Steven Richmond, Truman State University Garrett Riddle, Clemson University Joshua Roberts, University of Alabama Tommy Rodriguez, University of Florida Justin Rubbo, Gettysburg College Arthur Samusz, University of Alberta Robert B. Sanders, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Daniel A. Sarkis, University of California, Riverside Schafer R. Luke University of Northern Colorado Schick George University of Michigan Fred Schneider, George Washington University Andrew Scorgie, Kettering University Karan Shah, Bucknell University William Sims, University of Florida Justin Sipes, Bowling Green State University Joseph Snyder, Eastern Kentucky University Jordan Steinhaus, University of Arkansas Ted Tomeny, Spring Hill College
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Ryan Triplett, Boston University Ryan Twardowski, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Austin Underhill, Truman State University Arie Vilders, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Jeremy W. Watts, University of Louisville Greg Welsh, University of Rhode Island Dan Whittle, University of Central Missouri Nickolaus Wiegel, New Mexico State University Robert Williams Jr., Spring Hill College Thomas M. Womack, Millsaps College Justin Zimmerman, Spring Hill CollegeThomas M. Womack, Millsaps College Justin Zimmerman, Spring Hill College
Drury – 100 Years of Commitment to Leadership A 2008 Grand High Alpha Award winner, the Theta-Sigma leadership at Drury University cites a strategic plan and engaged alumni brothers as the keys to success. Jon Williamson (Maryland-Baltimore County)
In November 1910, a group of 10 undergraduates met at the home of Florence (F. W.) Anderson. In the first written minutes they stated they “were interested in the formation of a new secret society.” Anderson became No. 1 on the roles of the new fraternity, Phi Alpha Sigma, and William Melcher became its first president.
The chapter house in 1924 was located at 848 N. Benton. The Drury University newspaper introduced the new chapter of Theta Kappa Nu by detailing its history: “Phi Alpha Sigma has long been prominent in the campus life at Drury, being well represented in scholastic honors, athletics and class offices. It was formed in 1910 by a small group of college men with high ideals and ambitions, and during the fourteen years ensuing has continuously raised its standards.”
These men, joined by two others later in the month, set their standard as high academic success, expanded campus involvement, and diversity of collegiate interests that would be a hallmark for the descendants of this fraternity. This standard was accomplished as Melcher was editor-in-chief of the Drury Mirror, the campus newspaper; another member was president of the Drury Scientific Association; another the business manager of the Sou’wester, the school yearbook; still another the sophomore class president; and others were varsity athletes.
In 1932 the TKN chapter absorbed the local Delta Gamma Chi. This had two immediate impacts; 19 new men were initiated into TKN and the former Delta Gamma Chi house at 1360 N. Benton became the new chapter house. One of the 19 new members was Willard Graves who became a selfless volunteer for the fraternity, working as chapter adviser and who would later (1958) be awarded Lambda Chi Alpha’s Order of Merit.
By 1924, after several failed attempts to affiliate with a national fraternity, Phi Alpha Sigma joined with other local fraternities to form Theta Kappa Nu. The meeting took place on the Drury campus with Otho McAtee (Drury) being one of the primary organizers of these efforts. McAtee is credited as one of the founders of Theta Kappa Nu and became its first Grand Scribe.
Of course the 1930s also saw the merger with Lambda Chi Alpha in 1939. Two members of TKN at Drury played significant roles in this event. Dr. George Van Feist was initiated into Phi Alpha Sigma in 1917 and would become the Grand Archon of Theta Kappa Nu in 1935, then serve as Grand High Pi from 1942 to 1946. Ben A.
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FEATURE Parnell, Jr. would become the third traveling secretary of Lambda Chi Alpha following the merger.
Executive Committee of the Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), one of six Lambda Chi’s participating in this entity. Over the past three years the brothers have collected over 150,000 pounds for the Ozarks Food Harvest as part of their participation in the North American Food Drive.
Today the president of Drury University is Ben A. ‘Todd’ Parnell III (1966) and he states, “The Greek system produces leaders – leaders in philanthropy, in education, in business, and in every other field. As I look at the vast majority of volunteers who contribute so much to Drury with their talent and financial resources, I see their Greek affiliations as a common thread. Fraternity and sorority involvement instills in all of us a rich sense of history and a commitment to giving back, and a large part of Drury’s success is owed to the current and former Greeks who continue to be so deeply engaged with our University.”
Consistency of quality of member should be every chapter’s goal. Fry referenced the chapter’s focus on their strategic plan: “For us the quest for the ‘best of the best’ incoming freshmen begins in May when the university provides us with a list of incoming freshmen. Using this list we send a note and scholarship availability notice to each of the men and a letter introducing the fraternity to the parents. Over the past seven years the chapter has awarded over $35,000 in Patrick Barrett Scholarships (named after a former chapter president who was killed by a drunk driver) to freshmen regardless of whether or not they join Lambda Chi. We then travel throughout the state visiting these men and their parents. The top men we meet are invited to visit the chapter house during their campus orientation tour. In addition, they are invited to attend a weekend leadership retreat. The facilitator of this retreat is Dr. Shawn Usery, an IMPACT trainer and former member of the Grand High Zeta, as well as Drury professors and the University president. We use team building exercises; have simulations of leadership challenges for both inside and outside the chapter; emphasize our very strong mentoring programs; and the attendees also learn Lambda Chi Alpha’s Core Values. At the end of the weekend we have identified the men who will continue our tradition of leadership on the Drury campus.” Jordan then addressed the challenge of building a top performing team year after year. “The chapter views fraternity education as an opportunity at team building. Everyone, actives and associate members, go through everything together. It takes place once a week and the education is written by chapter brothers. This transitioning of associate members re-invigorates the entire chapter. We want to recreate the freshman experience. During this process we have deep conversations and the symbolism is never lost. I personally feel the pressure to sustain our leadership position because I remember the brothers who gave this great experience to me.
Brother Parnell’s words are very accurate in describing Lambda Chi Alpha’s outstanding and unmatched commitment to Drury University over the past 100 years. Twentyfour brothers have been recognized as recipients of the Drury University Alumni Achievement Award and three others have been inducted into the Drury University Athletic Hall of Fame.
“The University views Lambda Chi Alpha as an asset. We maintain high performance with open communication with the administrators. We are open-minded to their input and we view them as a resource. They are vital to our sustainability.”
Lambda Chi Alpha has been represented continuously on the Drury University Board of Trustees since 1942 with the election of Frederick Shelton (1916), followed by 33 additional brothers. Clyde Kennedy (1923) was elected the Student Body President and he has been followed by 24 others, including the last three.
In 2006, Ron Neville, chapter adviser, received Lambda Chi Alpha’s Order of Merit. As a result of his exceptional efforts to promote the Greek system on the Drury campus, the university has established the Ronald A. Neville Outstanding Greek Service Scholarship that is awarded annually. Fry comments, “Lambda Chi Alpha is blessed to have so many outstanding alumni who contribute their time and talents to our chapter, but none is more outstanding that Ron Neville. He is the most supportive, genuine, down-to-earth, selfless, volunteer and consistent father figure who makes an effort to know each brother.”
Christopher Swan (1997) is the current president of the Alumni Association and he has joined 21 other brothers who have served in that position. One brother, Aaron D. Jones (1995), has served in each of these capacities as well as High Alpha. Aaron has also authored a book, Naught Without Labor, published in 2003, which captures the history of this outstanding chapter from 1910 to 1950. It is a must read for all brothers! Jordan Fry is the chapter president of our Drury chapter. “Presently we are the largest fraternity chapter on campus with 55 men, 18 of whom are associate members. We aren’t about numbers, we are about ‘doing.’”
One statement made by Fry represents the spirit and confidence this chapter has in continued excellence: “We are constantly seeking new ways to attain a perfect Brotherhood – Brotherly Love. In 2008, the chapter received the Grand High Alpha Award, which was very fulfilling. We gave it our best effort and whether we had won it or not, we had cultivated great men. I played a role and it was a very humbling experience and there is always more we can do.”
That is apparent when we see that the chapter’s cumulative GPA is 3.45, which has been accomplished without requiring study hours for the brothers. Eighty percent of the chapter is involved in an organization outside of the chapter led by Evan Campbell, Zebulon Smith, and Blake Bodendorfer who serve as SGA Senators; Zach Cinkosky and Chris Richards who serve on the Student Union Board; and Fry who is on the www.crossandcrescent.com
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Re-colonizing Begins at Drexel After being closed in 2006, the Epsilon-Kappa chapter at Drexel Univeristy is being re-colonized this fall. By Jon Williamson (Maryland-Baltimore County)
Alpha Upsilon Mu fraternity was created on March 17, 1924, when 19 students of Drexel Institute established a set of idealistic aims and purposes for which to strive. The first president was Frederick H. Penson. The early chapter membership included varsity athletes, eight editors-inchief of the student newspaper, the Triangle, and Charles Packard, editor of the Lexerd, the school yearbook, and maintained excellent scholarship as a whole.
October 26, 2009, when two members of Lambda Chi’s Headquarters staff will join us and recruitment will begin. During the past few weeks we have run ads in the school newspaper announcing our return. Then next fall, September 1, 2010, we will occupy the Lambda Chi house at 3401 Powelton.” This is not just any fraternity house. The house was built in 1886 by George Burnham, vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. It came on the market in 1964 and was purchased by the fraternity on November 30, 1965. Making this purchase possible was the sale of the former property, a loan from Drexel, generous donations from 235 brothers, and the leadership of Mike Boczar , Frank Bokius (Order of Merit 1978), Bruce Evans, Jim Heflin, George King, Evans Morrison, Tom Murphy (Order of Merit 1968), Kent Roberts, and Tony Visco. In addition, Visco, Earl Burrier and George Carey personally renovated the first floor.
On April 4, 1939, the men of Alpha Upsilon Mu petitioned Lambda Chi Alpha and were installed as the Epsilon-Kappa Zeta on April 5, 1941. Over the course of the next 60 years the chapter flourished for the most part. The brothers put together strings of successes with top scholarship rankings, championships in intramurals, elected leaders on the campus, and for a period of 10 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s they received the Dean’s Cup, emblematic of the top fraternity on the Drexel campus.
In 2003, $500,000 was raised for house renovations through the efforts of King, a professional fundraiser, and led by the generous donations of Hal Boyd, also chapter adviser, and Ron Vidal. Today, the house has been designated a historical structure by both the federal government and the City of Philadelphia.
Their outstanding status was recognized by Lambda Chi Alpha in 1991 and again in 2001, when they were awarded the Grand High Alpha Award, given to chapters that have maintained superior operations and fraternal spirit for three consecutive years.
Lambda Chi Alpha has always been able to set itself apart from other fraternities on campuses and our efforts at Drexel will be no different. As McGarrigle continues, “We will focus on the True Brother Initiative which no one else on the Drexel campus can compete with, as well as our history, which goes back to 1924, and by having the best mentoring program on the campus as well. In fact, our alumni, of which we now have 18 involved, will be our driving force for success. Our mentoring efforts will be led by Chuck Persing (1981), chairman of the chapter advisory board, and this core group of alumni will be attending meetings and setting examples for the undergraduates to follow.”
Now comes the challenge....After a period of three years during which the chapter has been shuttered, what steps will be taken to re-establish the greatness that was Lambda Chi Alpha at Drexel? It begins with a dedication to that purpose, with a group of brothers, passionate about Lambda Chi Alpha, who will work together as a team and establish a strategic plan to accomplish that goal. Every team has a leader, and in this case ours is former Order of Merit recipient John McGarrigle (1988), chairman of the Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Corporation.
We look forward to writing the continuing story of the Epsilon-Kappa Zeta as they regain their stature on the campus of Drexel.
“We have an excellent plan in place and dedicated brothers to bring it to fruition,” he says. “After years of keeping the Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Corporation together, this adventure will begin on the Drexel campus on www.crossandcrescent.com
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Malcolm Cross Shares his Stories Malcolm Cross — son of legendary Pennsylvania founder Albert Cross — shares some unique insights.
By Chris Barrick (Butler)
Today is the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lambda Chi Alpha at 22 Joy Street, in Boston. Throughout the past year, the Cross & Crescent has looked back at leaders and legends of the fraternity, historical events, and the International Centennial Celebration. The light of Lambda Chi Alpha has been passed from generation to generation, brother to brother, and father to son. At the summer International Centennial, Grand High Alpha Dr. Edward F. Leonard (William Jewell 1979) demonstrated this link when he invited the newest initiate, Dei Truong (California-Los Angeles 2012), and 85-year old Malcolm Cross (Pennsylvania 1945) to the stage for the Centennial Toast. Malcolm Cross is a true link to the past of Lambda Chi Alpha. He is the son of early Lambda Chi Alpha leader, Albert Cross. The elder Cross was the life-long friend of Jack Mason and Ray Ferris. He made several contributions to the Fraternity though none may be as important as bringing Mason into the brotherhood. Malcolm Cross’s career as a chemical plant’s engineer took him away from the Fraternity for many years following college. However, over the past couple years Malcolm has become close with brothers at the Tennessee-Chattanooga alumni group.
Have you ever heard of the story about how your dad decided to join the Fraternity? I heard how he (Albert Cross) met Jack Mason and Ray Ferris at Penn and the three of them became friends. My father got a letter from Warren Cole, asking if he would be interested in establishing a chapter of a new fraternity he was starting. It seemed that Warren had gotten his name through a mutual friend. So, my father talked to Jack Mason and Ray and the three of them decided that, yeah, that sounded interesting, so they wrote back, and said they would be interested. That eventually led into establishing Epsilon at Penn, which was the third chapter. At that time, I believe, there were nine members at Boston and eight members at Massachusetts or U Mass at Amherst. My father was Epsilon #1, so by that calculation he had to be the 18th member nationally of Lambda Chi Alpha. It’s come a long way since then, 275,000 or so. Apparently, in their early days of the Fraternity, they were referred to as the three musketeers. Then Jack Mason decided that the ritual needed some work. He was very much into that sort of thing, history. He was a brilliant man, and just a heck of a nice guy; just about as nice a man as you ever want to meet. Ray Ferris was a neat guy, too. He had a great sense of humor. The three of them made an interesting trio.
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Albert Cross’ 20-Year Reaffirmation
May 20, 1932, was the 20th anniversary of the initiation of Jack Mason, Bert Cross, and Ray Ferris as charter members of the Fraternity’s third chapter, Epsilon, at Pennsylvania. Celebrating their two decades of membership, the trio held an informal meeting and reunion at the home of Jack Mason at 251 S. 44th St., Philadelphia, where so many meetings were held in the past to help lay the framework for the strong fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha has become. Later in the evening the three boon companions, sometimes familiarly and affectionately termed “The Three Musketeers,” held a quiet dinner in a Philadelphia hotel. At some point each signed the following letter drafted in Mason’s distinct hand. May 27, 1932 “On this, the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Epsilon Zeta, and of our initiation into Lambda Chi Alpha, we unite in re-affirming our belief in the principles of Lambda Chi Alpha. What is worthwhile is difficult; this maxim is as true for us as a Fraternity today as it was two decades ago. Faith in one another, and the determination to meet and cope with any obstacle in the way, will help our successors in the active unity of the Order to surmount the difficulties of the coming academic year. We believe, as we believed twenty years ago, in the vital significance of the open and secret mottoes of Lambda Chi Alpha, in their ritualistic embodiment, and in their practical application.
Many years later they took a trip together to the 1942 Lambda Chi Convention. In those days Pittsburgh was a very difficult city to navigate through. They got off the route to go eat lunch and got lost. They said they came out through a bluff with no place to go. I chuckle thinking of the three of them trying to find their way. It was so sad when Jack Mason died unexpectedly from pneumonia. He was only sick 5 days and then he was gone. I think it was a case of viral pneumonia and they just didn’t have any treatment for it and it seemed hard to believe he went from good health to dying within 5 days. He had been teaching at a local high school, which is interesting, because a man of his background and educational ability probably could have commanded a much higher salary somewhere else, but money was not what interested him. He had a drama club at school and just really enjoyed it.
I graduated in 1945 and, that last year, the Army gave back our house. So, everybody that possibly could, moved in to try and keep it financially afloat and that was fun. It was a big house and there were only eight of us. I had a room on the second floor and a sleeping room on the third floor…It was great! So I had a little taste of fraternity life; not too much, but it was fun. We used to also have exchange, well, in fact, when we lost our house, we used to use the Drexel house because they were just a few blocks away and we would go over to their house for our Initiation Rituals and we would also have joint parties with them. So that was handy, having another chapter close by.
They had a great time. My father was involved for a while after graduation, but first he went into the Army in 1917 and was also working for the Pennsylvania Railroad before that, and after that and the pressures of work were such that he bowed out of the Fraternity work; particularly after the war. He moved up to Mifflin in Central Pennsylvania so he wasn’t too active then.
You are one of the few people who knew your dad, Ray, and Jack. Will you give some perspective as to who these individuals really were?
It was interesting knowing Jack because he used to come out to our house for dinner. Of course he was kind of my mentor when it came to joining. My older brother was a chemical engineer and was at Penn. He had initially pledged, back when they were called pledges. He got kind of fed up with the pledgeship; the hazing and stuff and his work schedule, especially chemical engineering, just really didn’t allow much time for that so he said “the heck with it”; much to my father’s and Jack’s dismay.
It’s interesting that the three of them were all a little bit different; but the differences together made a great combination, actually, because Jack was definitely more the scholarly type. He was fluent in seven languages. I am lucky to be fluent in one. Essentially, he put himself through school, studying and taking the exams all the way through to his doctorate. He would pick his courses and went through in record time. He was a very thoughtful, very quiet guy and they say, just a fine, fine man.
I think they were happy when I came along and showed more interest. I was there during the war and hazing had pretty well been eliminated for that period. There wasn’t really much time because people were being drafted right and left, and leaving, but I was fortunate enough to stay because I had poor eyesight and wasn’t accepted by the Army. The Army took over our house for a couple of years while I was there. Also, we went on the accelerated schedule, three 16 sessions a year, which didn’t leave a lot of time for much else. www.crossandcrescent.com
Ray was the more...had a very sharp wit and a great sense of humor and was a very outgoing type; the type that knew everybody. His wife, Edie, was an artist and they were just an interesting pair. Yeah, Ray was a lot of fun. Then, last but not least, we come to my father. He was a civil
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By the True Brother Initiative and my feeling is that the Fraternity has come full circle and that we are back to the principals and ideals that Jack and my father, and the others, had envisioned for the Fraternity.
Jack, Ray and your dad made this fraternity happen, how do you think they would feel about it today?
engineering graduate from Penn and was in WWI. The legend there is, actually, I had a Chattanooga connection, because he did his officer’s training down here in Fort Oglethorpe and I have a postcard that he sent back to my mother just before they were married and it is postmarked Chattanooga. It was kind of interesting that many years later, here I am, right where he had been. The story goes that after he got his commission, and was supposed to sail from Newport News for France, he was in a field artillery unit...The legend is that he stopped off to visit my mother on the way and missed the boat. He got to Newport and his boat had sailed, his unit was gone. It turned out that the troop ship that he would have been on was sunk and all hands were lost. He arrived in France with no unit, so he was attached to a British Aero squadron for awhile as a liaison officer. He said the first morning he was there, the orderly came up to him, about 10:00 o’clock in the morning and said, “They’re waiting for you, sir.”
Well, I was very impressed at the Centennial Celebration. First, I was very impressed with Dr. Leonard, who I had the good fortune to be seated next to and get acquainted with. I was very impressed by the True Brother Initiative and my feeling is that the Fraternity has come full circle and that we are back to the principals and ideals that Jack and my father, and the others, had envisioned for the Fraternity. It is a fabulous opportunity and, unfortunately, over the years the Fraternity had lost its way and they became epitomized by Animal House, unfortunately, justly deserved, a poor reputation because of a lot of the stupid things they did. They lost track of what good could come from a Fraternity. I am just so pleased to see that it’s returning and apparently that they know it because they are showing membership growth and I think it is great in the fact that in this time other things are going downhill. I know my father and Jack would be very pleased. It just shows the possibilities that the fraternity has.
“Who?” he said. “The officers, sir.” “Where?” “In the boardroom, sir. It’s time for morning tea.” So, he went off to morning tea. He had to get used to the British way of doing things but he said it was very interesting. He said they would have morning tea and afternoon tea. Even though there was a war going on, they didn’t let that stop them from doing their daily things.
What was the experience like joining the Fraternity with the pressure from your dad and Jack? They didn’t put any undue pressure on me. Jack Mason came out and talked to me about the values of the Fraternity. I think they were both pleased when I decided that (joining Lambda Chi Alpha) was the right thing to do. www.crossandcrescent.com
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The Ritual Letters
Mike Raymond (Miami, Ohio)
Our Fraternity has reached an important milestone in its history -- our 100th Anniversary! This is a time to celebrate the people and events that transformed Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity from the dream of one man to the reality of a strong and progressive international fraternity. Many people and events are worth commemorating; like our Founder Warren A. Cole, the 1939 union with Theta Kappa Nu, or the creation of the Associate Member program. Of course, the contributions of Jack Mason must be added to any list of great men or events associated with the history of our Fraternity. So, this day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on Jack Masonâ€™s most remarkable accomplishment. It all started with a letter....
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JACK MASON’S LET TER TO THE SECOND ASSEMBLY The Second Assembly of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity took place at the new home of Lambda Zeta at 292 Newbury Street in Boston on March 22, 1913. The events of this historic meeting are generally well known by members of our Fraternity. Jack Mason’s lengthy letter to the Second Assembly presented his ideas about fraternal principles and ideals, ritual, symbolism, badge standardization, constitutional revision, and more. From our perspective today, this was a call for the total reform of the original concept of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity as envisioned by Warren A. Cole. Though we see this Second Assembly in Boston as a pivotal event in our history, most delgates to the assembly seemed unaware of its significence. Only Louis F. Robbins (Brown) appears to have realized that this assembly accomplished some very important things. A few days after the Second Assembly he wrote a letter to Mason in which he said: “I was very sorry not to meet you in Boston, but very glad to meet Brother Cross.... I don’t know how Cross feels about it, but I am very much pleased with what we accomplished at the assembly, and feel that we have really taken a big stride in advance.... But when the improvements provided for at the convention have been completed I feel that we will have a great cause to be proud of our brotherhood, its organization, and its men.” Mason’s letter to the Second Assembly was well received by the delegates. The minutes of the Boston Assembly contains the following statement: “A letter from Bro. Mason (E.Z.) was read by Bro. Cross. After considerable favorable comment on same, it was moved and seconded that a written vote of thanks be forwarded to Bro. Mason for his great work. Motion carried, and S. E. Quaestor was instructed to write the letter.” Although there was general support for the revision of the Cole Ritual among the delegates, it was Mason’s letter that set the revision process in motion. A revision process that culminated in an entirely new Ritual just a few short months after the conclusion of the Boston Assembly.
As hard as it may be to believe, Mason’s letter was lost to us for decades. Mason did not keep a copy of the letter for his records. It was not until the time that Warren A. Cole was reinstated to our Fraternity that this letter, and many more, were found to be in Cole’s possession. The original Mason letter to the 1913 Second Assembly is now housed at the headquarters building as part of the Cole Collection of Documents. John C. Jordan (Knox College), in his manuscript, A Confidential History of the Early Years of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity,wrote: “Mason’s letter was a very important document in the history of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. It marked the beginning of a series of events which led to significant changes in the ritual and constitution of the Fraternity.” Louis F. Robbins, in his previously mentioned letter, also stated that Mason’s “...voluminous letter furnished us with a fine chart to steer by -- without it we couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much....” There can be no voice raised in opposition to the idea that Mason’s letter to the Second Assembly was the catalyst that led to the creation of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity we know today. This letter marked Jack Mason as the rising star of our young Fraternity just as it marked the falling star of our Founder Warren A. Cole.
THE RITUAL LET TERS Ritual Letter - April 13, 1913 Jack Mason made his first written comments about a new ritual in a letter to Cole on April 19, 1913. It is evident from the contents of this letter that Mason envisioned our Fraternity as an order of knights fashioned after those of England and France. In this letter he wrote about the need for a “masculine” ritual that emphasized virtues such as duty, honor, respect, and trust. He wanted a ritual that would cause every Lambda Chi to feel the weight and responsibility of membership. Mason also mentioned in this letter that he would work on additional rituals for the installation of officers, graduation, affiliation of honorary members, and funeral service. Eventually, he wrote or helped to write all of the rituals mentioned in this letter but one, the graduation ritual. It would not be until 2002 that a Graduation Ritual was approved for use by our chapters.
Ritual Letter - April 27, 1913 How did Cole feel about the idea of a new Ritual? In a letter, dated
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April 27, 1913, written to Jack Mason, he said “Do not feel at all sensitive about picking that Ritual or any part to pieces as I am with you in any idea that you are for Lambda Chi Alpha’s good....” It appears that Cole welcomed the creativity and knowledge that Mason brought to this endevour.
Jack Mason also had a lot to say about the need to glorifying the “hero.” He defind a hero as a man who accomplished great things with his mind and hard work. Mason believed that idealism, coupled with strength, energy, and passion, should be presented in a glowing manner through the ritual experience.
In addition to framing a new Ritual in terms of an order of knights, Mason also seized upon the number eight as the “mystic” number for the Fraternity. In the April 27th letter to Cole, he went into great length about the multitude appearances and significance of the number eight in his thinking about a new ritual. He also wrote about the need to incorporate passion, purity, and faith into a new ritual for the Fraternity.
In contrast, he expressed his contempt for the lazy, the cynical, the pessimistic, and the morally feeble man. He wrote that he saw morality as a means to attaining an ideal state that was far superior to negative or prohibitory preaching. Mason declared that the ritual experience was a means of revealing the truth that morality was the key to a good life for all. How should the Ritual be staged? He wrote, “There should be a certain veneration and reverence about some of the most vital parts of our Ritual, certain dramatic moments, revelations, etc.” It is very clear that the final version of the Mason Ritual was crafted with this model in mind. He believed that our fraternal ideals should be reflected in our model of ritualistic practice.
Ritual Letter - May 13, 1913 In a long letter to Cole, written on May 13, 1913, Mason continued his discussion of the important components of a powerful ritual that would serve as guiding principles during the creation process. Mason believed that a fraternity should promote the attainment of high ethical conduct in its members along with a high degree of sociability.
Mason looked to the past for inspiration and not to ancient Greece as we might expect. No, he proposed to get to the Greek aspect of our Fraternity in two jumps through European history. First of all, he wrote that “we should think of Lambda Chi Alpha as a twentieth century reflection of twelfth century chivalry -- the time when Knighthood was at its height, when personal endeavor, responsibility, faith, meant so much -- with a look back to Greek-Christian times.”
He also believed that too many fraternities put a high premium on “social superiority.” Jack Mason was clear in this letter that he believed “the real bond of Lambda Chi Alpha which every brother should feel thruout his life, is that he is pledged to certain ideals, and that he knows the strength and brotherly sympathy of a large body of men all over the country, to aid him in his struggle to live according to these ideals.” Don’t those words still ring true today?
Secondly, he thought that “our Zeta should have something of the atmosphere of a Benedictine order, something of an order of Knighthood...” and something of the traditional college fraternity Greek motif. Mason did not believe in creating a chapter environment that focused too much on symbolism and esoteric lore. However, Mason wrote that there should be enough symbolism and esoteric content to our mythic lore to inspire our ideals, ritual work, art, writing, music, and so forth.
What should the Fraternity Ritual be like? Mason continued this letter with the following comments about ritual: “To get up a fraternity spirit... will take a lot of effort, but by a really powerful ritual, running deep in its appeal and touching big emotions in our men, I hope we can build it up. Our ritual must be full of ‘atmosphere,’ working by suggestion rather than by precept, leaving much to the imagination and idealism of the individual member. It must have dramatic moments. It must have powerful passages which will grip the initiate like a big chorus for instance at the end of Tannhauser -- something large and heroic in its proportions.”
He would summarize this part of the letter by stating, “Do I make myself clear? -- Our coat-of-arms is the coat-of-arms of an imaginary knight of the Crusades, a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha order or brotherhood.”
Those of us who have experienced the Mason Ritual understand how well he applied these concepts in his magnificent creation. To think that he was only 21 years old when he wrote this passage! www.crossandcrescent.com
A few years ago, a member of our Fraternity suggested that we might want to change Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity to the Brotherhood
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of Lambda Chi Alpha. This idea was roundly dismissed and never materialized as an actual proposal. Isn’t it interesting that Jack Mason discussed this idea as early as 1913? Jack Mason was a man of vision! In this letter we read the words of a young man who is making historical connections across centuries, involving different cultures, with unique ritual traditions, and using all of the great ideas and concepts he discovered to lay the foundation for a new ritual for our Fraternity.
Cross also wrote that “Lambda Chi Alpha aims not merely to develop the social side -- but seeks to impress her men with a solemn and dignified Ritualistic work, in such a manner that in later life, a man has something to remember, and to look back upon with pride -something to which one may look back on midst the cares and worries of life in future years.” In addition, he mentioned the need to support and encourage college men and his expectation that members conform to accepted social standards and be Christains (though not necessarily Church members).
Ritual Letter - June 3, 1913
Ritual Letter - July 10, 1913
While Mason is rightly considered the chief architect of our Ritual, others had a hand in the creative process too. In a letter to Warrren A. Cole, Albert Cross wrote the following, “though not on the Ritual Comm. I’m going to work on it anyway, as Lambda Chi Alpha and my honor are both at stake.”
Warren A Cole wrote a long letter to Brother Hunkins (Brown) in which he made this statement about the new Ritual: “Our old Ritual follows the Bible somewhat, especially the new testament.... It is almost universally known and admitted by people of every religion that the christian philosophy is the highest as an incentive to action that the world has ever known. That is why we make as the basis of our Ritual the Bible. At the same time we realize that the initiation should not be a mere Sunday School lesson of hackneyed truths. It should have the added charm of artistic ritualistic procedure, and of mystery -- these two factors most potent of any in keeping alive religious services of all kinds.”
our Zeta should have something of the atmosphere of a Benedictine order, something of an order of K nighthood...
Even though many people might take exception to his claim about the special motivating power of “christian philosophy,” there can be no question that Cole saw our Ritual as a type of “religious service.” Today, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is open to college men without any relgious qualification for membership. Yet, the Christain nature of the Ritual of the Fraternity has remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1913.
Ritual Letter - July 26, 1913
Why such a statement? Simply put, everyone was under intense pressure to produce an acceptable Ritual before the start of the 1913-1914 college year. There was great fear among the leadership of our Fraternity that members, even whole chapters and colonies, would be lost if their promise of a new Ritual was not kept. So, not only were these young men leading a young organization, they were also young men under pressure to create something special in the form of a new Ritual. That the challenge was met so well, and in time, is a near miraculous accomplishment!
Writing a letter to Cole, Mason discussed the concept of the “inner circle” and the need for a person’s inner self to be in harmony with his surroundings. He also wrote that all good rituals represent a ‘re-birth’ of the initiate, citing Freemasonry, Egyptian mythology, the Greek mysteries of Zeus and Dionysus, and the Christian concept of being re-born. He further stated that “in the ‘Christian mystery’ mankind is represented as ‘lost through the sin of Adam, inherited in his human nature.’” Through the
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Crucifixion man was re-born to Christain life, as a “child of light.” Mason noted that in all cases something beautiful was attained through courage, persistence, or heroism. The balance of the letter contained numerous Bible verses that he suggested as part of the initiation ceremony. He also mentioned that “the works of St. John the Evangelist will be the cornerstone of Lambda Chi Alpha doctrine.”
Ritual Letter - August 7, 1913 In somewhat of a surprising note, Mason wrote Cole about having “...come into possession of the Masonic ritual. He claimed that “it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, for our purposes. Later in the letter he wrote that the Masonic ritual “...is not what we want.” There is no doubt that the content of our Ritual is not a mere imitation of the Masonic Ritual. However, there are similarities in form and structure that best be left unmentioned here.
Ritual Letter - August 9, 1913 In this second letter to Cole in so many days, Mason encouraged him to read Edouard Schure’s book Pythagoras , Rudolf Steiner’s Initiation and its Results, and Besant’s Esoteric Christianity. He stated in the letter, “We have more to learn from these mystics than from the Masons, a lot.” Even though Jack Mason became a Freemason, it is clear from his letters that he did not believe that Freemasonry had much to offer him as source material for our new Ritual. Ritual Letter - August 27, 1913 In a letter from Cole to Cross, he mentioned
that Dyer had reviewed the ritual work with Mason and Cole. This letter also states that “Bro. Dyer wrote all of the installation of officers alone. It was universally adopted and approved as a good piece of work.” Both statements would indicate that Dyer played a more important role in the ritual design process than is generally recognized today. Cole would later acknowledge Dyer’s work in another letter. The New Ritual is Completed - September 23, 1913 Work on the new Ritual continued until Cole wrote Jack Mason that a copy of the Lambda Chi Alpha Ritual would be sent in time for the initiation of Epsilon Zeta’s new members. The next day, Cole sent Sam Dyer a letter indicating ...”the Ritual has at last been finished and copies have been sent to the Zetas.” The new Ritual was well received by the members of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Letters were received by Mason and Cole from a number of Zetas with favorable comments like “very fine,” “a great improvement on the old Ritual,” “a great credit to to the work of Brothers Cole and Mason,” “the Ritual is a splendid success,” and “everyone seemed much impressed with the beauty of the Ceremony.” The new Ritual received two criticisms: First, some members thought that there was “too much Bible in it” and “a Christian Ritual is too much Sunday School bosh.” By the way, “bosh” means nonsense or foolish talk! Second, the length of the Ritual work was viewed by some members as too long or time consuming.
genius of Jack Mason and his associates. Lessons from the Ritual Letters The “Ritual Letters” reveal a lot of information about the thinking of Mason, Cole, Robbins, and others about crafting an impressive and meaningful ritual. The design process of the ritual centered on the creation of a modern order of knights or a new religious order of brothers. Christian theology or “philosophy” clearly dominated the thinking of Mason and Cole as they developed the central themes of the ritual. However, Mason plumbed the works of popular “mystics” of his day for more esoteric or occult knowledge to put into the ritual framework. These letters show that Mason envisioned a type of personal transforming experience as the central characteristic of the ritual. A transforming experience that would motivate our members to live the life of the self-sacrificing “hero.” In particular, Mason, Cole, and Robbins believed that a moral life was the sure path to an ideal life. The letters also reflect the stress they were under to produce a new ritual in just a few short months. Yet, these young men held up under the pressure and met the deadline while producing a ritualistic masterpiece. How fortunate are we to have had such inspired men create the ritual that binds us together as Brothers in Lambda Chi Alpha.
On the whole, the Ritual was embraced as a masterpiece of invention and creativity. The fact that only minor changes have been made to the Ritual since 1913 stands as testimony to the
Cross & Crescent
Cross & Crescent (ISSN 1930-1278) is an online alumni magazine featuring stories about prominent and interesting members. Its mission is to...
Published on Feb 1, 2010
Cross & Crescent (ISSN 1930-1278) is an online alumni magazine featuring stories about prominent and interesting members. Its mission is to...