Cross & Crescent
a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication
October 2009 · XCVI · Issue 10
�e Lambda Chi Alpha/�eta Kappa Nu merger
From then until now...
Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication Features Chapter News 3 Chapter and Alumni News Fraternity News 9 Officer Portal History 10 Tribute to Doc Dirghalli Fraternity News 14 What a Summer!
Carlos G. Spaht, Modern Day Theta Nu October 2009 marks the 70th anniversary of the merger between Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha. As a tribute, we profile a key figure and eventual Order of Merit recipient. By Jono Hren
New Mexico State’s Ascencion By 2005, Zeta-Gamma Zeta was receiving positive feedback for its ability to combine successes in achieving a high GPA, contributing to the community with philanthropic efforts, and attracting high quality members. At the 2009 Centennial Assembly, Zeta-Gamma Zeta received the ultimate reward for its efforts: the Grand High Alpha Award. By Jon Williamson
The Transformation at USC The Southern California chapter has received a number of national awards in the past decade in the areas of recruitment, scholarship, and campus involvement. As I learned the history of this chapter, I found it wasn’t always such a high performing chapter, and I asked myself, “What brought about the transformation?” By Jon Williamson Credits
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
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 email@example.com www.lambdachi.org www.crossandcrescent.com
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Chapter News Chapter news, alumni news, and reports of death Arkansas (Gamma-Chi)
Buffalo Bills and Ejiro Evero is an assistant coach at Tampa Bay.
Arkansas is another chapter that uses a High Delta and two assistants. They divide the state into various regions and begin recruitment planning in the spring. Once the top recruits are identified, using GPAs and activities, they invite them on golf and fishing outings as well as to dinner. The goals are to get to know them and become their friends. Fifty-two were recruited this fall. Alumni play an active part in the recruitment process with events in the major cities where brothers and the top recruits are brought together. Jong Shin is the vice president of the SGA and Geof Storm is the secretary of the SGA. Shea Tedford is the recruitment chairman of the IFC.
Tim Plough is the current quarterback’s coach at University of California at Davis.
California-Los Angeles (Epsilon-Sigma)
Charles E. Dent died August 24, 2009. He was a former aerospace engineer at Rockwell International.
Cal State-Fresno (Iota-Gamma)
James W. LeCussan (1963) died June 29, 2009. A former Fraternity staff member for the International Headquarters, he worked as Accounting Supervisor for PACBELL.
Arkansas State (Iota-Theta)
Joseph H. Musick (1961) died July 18, 2009. A founding father of Iota-Theta, he was an active third generation farmer and a retired school administrator after serving 30 years in the Blytheville school system. He was a past president of Mississippi County Farm Bureau, active board member for Home Oil Co. and past president of Arkansas Vocational Association and participated in the Arkansas Extern program through University of Arkansas in 1976. He received the Outstanding Young Educator of Arkansas award in 1969. He received the State of Arkansas Outstanding Public Citizen award in 1978 and 1993.
Chapter members raised $300 during a fundraising event held locally at Cold Stone Creamery. They also organized the annual campus Watermelon Fest where they collected, as an entry fee for the event, over 75 items that had been listed on a local charities’ donation wish list. The chapter added 11 associate members, bringing the chapter size to 39 and making it the largest fraternity on campus.
William Barney (1964) has retired after 44 years in public education, the last 19 as principal of The Morgan School in Clinton, Connecticut.
Two brothers from the the International Headquarters staff are on the campus to attempt to re-colonize the chapter as part of the Fraternity’s expansion plans for the fall 2009 semester. The chapter has been closed since 2006.
The chapter donated $16,000, raised over the last school year, to the National Sports Center for the Disabled. The fraternity has been donating money raised from their philanthropies to National Sports Center for the Disabled for several years. “We’ve worked with them in the years past and it’s a really awesome organization that helps people who wouldn’t have the chance to enjoy what we all moved to Colorado to enjoy,” said Brett Parmelee, president of Lambda Chi Alpha. The money was primarily raised through Lambda Chi’s fourth annual philanthropy concert, Moustache Bash, which took place last winter.
Dan Alfaro, chapter president and backup quarterback, has been injured and out for the year. Other varsity players include: Luke McDonough, starting tight end; Conor Kirkpatrick, starting wide receiver; Michael Morales, starting linebacker; Sean Creadick, wide receiver; Jake Jondle, long snapper; Sean Kelley, wide receiver; Justin Fibich, starting defensive lineman; Eric Sobotka, defensive lineman. Jake Jondle is also our vice president of philanthropy Nathaniel Hackett is the offensive quality control coach for the
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Eastern Illinois (Phi-Alpha)
The chapter held its 2009 Watermelon Bust with 15 sorority teams and 120 watermelons on September 16-18, 2009.
S. Mark Klecka received his law degree from Concord Law School of Kaplan University in Los Angeles on August 1, 2009.
Dirk Bennett was nominated for Homecoming King, and Andrew Phipps was nominated for Homecoming Prince.
The chapter elected new chapter officers: James Goff, social chairman; Chris Huggard, recruitment chairman; Ryan Dowell, risk management chairman; Saul Kantor, scholarship chairman.
Fourteen sororities participated in the 6th annual Watermelon Bust, which involved 120 watermelons. The bust is a national philanthropic project that collects canned foods for local communities through the North American Food Drive. John Hanstein was one of the referees for the contest and said helping those in need has a “snowball effect.” The more they can raise awareness, the more they can help others. The event raised about $1,000 and between 350 and 400 pounds of nonperishable items, which will be donated to NAFD.
Chris Karlin spent the Spring 2009 semester studying in Costa Rica; Cole Davis spent his last semester studying in Cork, Ireland; and Ryan Dowell spent his summer studying in Germany. The Fall 2009 Initiation will occur on October 17, 2009, and any alumni are welcome to the chapter house to participate. Brothers and guests are welcome to attend an Alumni Cookout at the Lambda Chi tent on the hill for a day of tailgating before the Homecoming football game. For more information, please contact Nick Fuston (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bob Walrafen (email@example.com.
Florida State (Zeta-Rho)
Edward Krohn (1967) has authored his fifth book this year, White House Holiday Collectibles and other White House Memorabilia. The full-color book illustrates White House Commemorative Christmas Ornaments, Presidential Christmas Cards, Laminated Press Passes for Presidential Trips, Commemorative White House Easter Eggs, and Official Programs for Christmas and Easter Programs.
Hunter Hess and Nick Fuston have become members of the Kansas University Student Alumni Leadership Board.
Michael Harris-Speicher and his family were honored during a pre-game ceremony at the Florida State vs. Miami football game with a U.S. Navy “Missing Man” flyover in honor of his father, Captain Scott Speicher, who was the first casualty of the 1991 Gulf War. Captain Speicher’s body was recently recovered, 19 years after the event.
Bobby McDowell (Georgetown) is the long time High Pi for the Kentucky chapter and is also a Master Steward. Our Kentucky chapter is another of those great success stories. “Two years ago we were struggling with 30 men and now, with another successful recruitment class of 33 men, we will be close to a 90man chapter. The men in the chapter stress planning that begins in the spring. They are a strong proponent of the Cole Recruitment method. Very simply...it works. We share with the prospective members the Seven Core Values of Lambda Chi Alpha, the Associate Member Program with no hazing, and the lifetime brotherhood. We are active in summer recruitment and we use cookouts, barbecues, and other activities and we contact potential members using Facebook and telephone calls.”
Jeff Smock 2 earned the 2009 award of Ernst & Young Entrepeneur of the Year for the Southeast Region.
Georgia Tech (Beta-Kappa)
Michael Notarnicola is the chapter president at Georgia Tech: “Our planning for recruitment begins in the spring and we use spring recruitment as a dry-run for fall recruitment. Our High Delta serves primarily as a coordinator of the various events and we concentrate on replacing ourselves during the process. A former High Delta returns to teach successful recruitment techniques. Our biggest selling points are the Associate Member Program, our size of more than 100, including this fall’s 25 associates, and a high chapter GPA of 3.02.”
Brian Walters is the High Alpha at the University of Louisville and was recently selected to serve on the Grand High Zeta as the Grand High Theta. He was initiated at the University of Kentucky. His father and grandfather are also Lambda Chis. “Three years ago our chapter membership stood at six and we were on the verge of closing. We met as a team and decided to pull together, so we started with a new determination and new beginning. We are totally committed to Cole Recruitment. It is values-based and we seek men of value who have ideals we believe in. It works for us, as we recruited 35 men this fall, which is the largest class on campus and brings the chapter size to over
Bond Morrison was elected as IFC vice president for recruitment.
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90. Our challenge has been member retention which we feel we have conquered. We establish our ‘game plan’ in the spring with our High Delta and his Delta Team. We attend all of the school’s summer orientation meetings. We plan specific summer functions such as cookouts, barbecues, and sports activities. Many of the brothers are active on campus such as Brad Black who has the highest GPA of all juniors with a 4.0 in pre-med; John Cecil who serves as the head Cardinal Bird mascot of the university; and Tyler Gill who is part of the cheerleading squad. We are proud to be an Inner Circle chapter and feel that True Brotherhood is the future of Lambda Chi Alpha.”
Bruce Galbraith (1962) was honored with the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater & Dance, Hall of Fame Award on September 25, during the 2009 Homecoming weekend. Galbraith joins an elite group of fewer than 100 alumni from the University of Michigan to receive this award which is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to society, their profession, The U-M School of Music, Theater & Dance, or its Alumni Society. Galbraith’s education at Michigan and his subsequent career have taken him across the country and around the world where he has held a variety of posts as a performer, educator, and administrator. His career has included stops as the executive secretary of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association at the University of Michigan, director of the Interlochen Arts Academy and vice president of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and 15 years as headmaster of Park Tudor School, a college preparatory school in Indianapolis. Galbraith has served as the chief operating officer for the Cum Laude Society since 1993. The Society, founded in 1906, is an academic honorary for high schools around the world. Its over 300 Chapters are located in the finest private and public schools in America and abroad. He and his wife Karen are the organizational leaders of the Society. Galbraith served as the director of the Brotherhood Chorus at the 2008 Lambda Chi Alpha General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona. Since retiring, the Galbraiths have made their winter home in Bonita Springs, Florida, and spend their summers at their cottage in Ohio.
William E. Cornelius (1953) died June 18, 2009. He was a chapter founding father.
Barry S. Pilson (1980) began a new job working for Multiview, in charge of marketing & communications, membership, and business development.
Edward Bennett (Skip) Orio (1964) died August 17, 2009. A 2006 Order of Merit recipient, he initially served as an administrator and teacher in Fayette County and Dean at Lausanne School before dedicating his talent, his expertise, and his heart to the University of Memphis, retiring in 2005. His life’s greatest passion was The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in which he served all his adult life as a friend, mentor, and true brother. In 2006, Ed received the Fraternity’s highest honor, the Lambda Chi Alpha Order of Merit.
Michigan State (Gamma-Omicron) Karl Streiff died February 15, 2009.
Missouri Western (Beta-Theta)
Michael Hoffman (1981) was named Mission Center President of the Arizona Mission Center of the Community of Christ. He also is responsible for formation of youth discipline for the entire denomination.
A former chapter officer, Ernie Lee (1982) is currently vice president of Senior Citizens, Inc. based in Savannah, Georgia.
Fraternity Board Member Phillip Parker (Dayton) had the honor of presenting the charter to the brothers and alumni of the ZetaUpsilon colony of Miami University on September 12, 2009, at the Manchester Inn in Middletown, Ohio. Ninety brothers and guests participated in the event which marked the return of the chapter to Miami after operations were suspended in June 2003. A moving invocation was delivered at the dinner by Bill McMillen (1950), who was part of the original colony and was initiated at DePauw University in November 1949. He was the most senior brother present and offered congratulations to chapter president Jonas Dominique, a junior at Miami, who was initiated at the University of New Orleans but transferred to Miami after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the chapter house and erased his college major. Dr. Michael J. Raymond was emcee for the event that was organized by Dr. John W. Bloom.
Mark Yenter (1980), commander of the Pacific Ocean Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was promoted in 2009 from (Army) Colonel to Brigadier General . Leonard Anker (1943) died September 22, 2008. After graduation he joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as an officer. He was sent to England to join the American 29th Infantry Division and, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, led a platoon ashore on Omaha Beach. For his service Lt. General Omar N. Bradley presented Leonard with the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest U.S. medal for valor. During his service, Leonard was also decorated with three Purple Hearts and three Bronze Stars. Captain Anker was honorably discharged in May of 1946. Following the war, he worked for the University of Nevada
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CHAPTER NEWS Cooperative Extension Service in Reno for a short time and then transferred to the Minden office. Within a few years, Leonard joined the USDA Soil Conservation Service and spent many years working with Carson Valley ranchers. He retired from general service in 1975 and continued on as a successful businessman and rancher.
president of the IFC, IFC vice president of recruitment, and the IFC vice president of administration are Lambda Chis.”
Steve Wylie (2000) has formed the group, Runners Feeding Others, which is designed to build a community of runners united against hunger for the food pantry in Akron and another food pantry in Columbus through the donations that are raised. The group also raises food and donations via sponsorships of races such as the Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus Marathons.
John Carr (1937) died October 20, 2008. While in college, he was editor of the Sagebrush newspaper. Upon graduation he entered the Army Air Corps flying school at Randolph Field and Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with the 1938 class of 38-B and received his wings. He remained on active duty until his retirement in 1964 with the rank of colonel. He then served as chief of revenue for the Nevada Department of Taxation from 1967 until his retirement in 1975.
Gamma Rho chapter at the University of Oklahoma entered this fall’s recruitment with 120 brothers, a chapter GPA of 3.1, winners of the intramural trophy eight of the last 10 years, and winner’s of the President’s Trophy, emblematic of the best fraternity on the campus in 2009. High Pi Roger Lalli stated, “We begin planning in January when we ask our alumni to identify top prospects and get that information to our High Delta and his three assistants. The summer is spent utilizing a list provided by the University that identifies all entering freshmen who are interested in fraternity life. We identify our ‘Top 100’ and visit each man. We host barbecues and two to three events in all of the major cities in Oklahoma and Texas, and each of the events is attended by at least 20 brothers. We are seeking men who have standards and values, the best of the best. This year we selected 70 of our Top 100, and 11 are members of the President’s Leadership Class of 15, which represents the best of the best incoming students. Seventy brothers are involved in leadership positions including 10 who are involved in SGA.”
Chapter members l helped campus officials prepare the campus for the expected increase in seasonal flu cases and possible outbreak of the H1N1 virus.
The brothers held a chapter retreat on August 21-23, 2009. During the retreat the brothers held a leadership workshop, a recruitment workshop, hosted brotherhood activities, set goals, and participated in a team building ropes course. Josh Mathews, Nick Schaefer, and Michael Buckley completed the 2nd evolution of the Inner Circle Journey. John Walz completed the 1st evolution of the Inner Circle Journey.
Five of Gamma-Rho’s spring graduates attended their “White Coat” ceremony at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine. These five brothers plus one other brother are attending the University of Arizona Medical School.
New Mexico (Zeta-Mu)
Robert Davidson (1993) and his Phoenix-based advertising design firm, Davidson & Belluso, were recognized as 2009 American Graphic Design Award recipients. The firm was honored with five Awards Certificates of Excellence for its design pieces. Out of more than 8,000 entries from across the country, Davidson & Belluso was among the top 15 percent selected for the awards. To see these campaigns and other work from Davidson & Belluso, please visit their website.
Frank D. Graham is a published poet and political activist.
Oklahoma State (Alpha-Eta)
Dillon Wilcox is the High Alpha at Oklahoma State University. The chapter begins recruitment in March with planning sessions. On Greek Discovery Day they make their first contacts with high school seniors. Two brothers work with John Cloud, the High Delta, over the summer traveling throughout the state and hosting barbecue and lake parties. There’s a lot a stake for the High Delta. If he makes his quota he gets to live in the chapter house for free the next year. By quota, it means the number of men who must be initiated, not just associate members. In 2002, when they began to get re-organized, they had six members; today they stand at 65, having just recruited 30 men. Alumni pay for the majority of recruitment costs.
New Orleans (Lambda-Alpha) Nick Neel was elected IFC president.
Northeastern State (Delta-Beta)
Patrick Vaughn, the chapter president at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma tells a familiar recruitment story. “Our goal is to attract men who want to be active on campus while maintaining a GPA in excess of 3.0. We utilize a High Delta and what we refer to as our Delta Task Force. The High Delta is primarily an organizer. We seek quality over quantity as demonstrated with 10 current members of the President’s Leadership Class and 23 new associate members. In addition, the www.crossandcrescent.com
Dave Cisco (1964) died August 18, 2009. He began his career in
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St. Louis College of Pharmacy (Pi-Lambda)
the aerospace industry at General Dynamics, Fort Worth, in research and development. Several years later he left to help start an electronics firm, Information Identification, Inc. In 1980, he began a simultaneous career in photography. He enjoyed photographing in various countries of the world but found he really loved photographing people. He and his wife started their photography studio, “Portraiture By Dave Cisco.” He retired in 2006 from Lockheed-Martin so he could devote more time to photography.
The chapter held its annual Light the Night (http://stlcop.edu/ about/newsevents.asp) walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma and raised more than $1,500. This event holds dear to our chapter’s hearts because our chapter adviser, Dr. Ken Schafermeyer, is a leukemia survivor.
Southern California (Zeta-Delta)
Our chapter at the University of Southern California is featured in this issue. Recruitment begins with planning sessions during the summer as they plan activities for rush week. These activities include barbecues, bowling, billiards and miniature golf. The chapter elects three High Deltas. This fall they recruited 29 men.
Gus R. Kuhlman Sr. (1939) died August 12, 2009. He was a sales representative at Pioneer Salt & Chemical Co., from 1958 until retirement in 1967. Prior to that, he was a chemist at Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Kuhlman served on the North Brunswick Township Committee, and was police commissioner from 1958 to 1963.
Southeast Missouri (Delta-Phi)
This month Delta-Phi participated in the annual Hero’s vs. Future Leaders softball tournament, which helped raise more than $1,000. Also, we held an Associate Member Ceremony with 14 new associate members.
Pittsburg State (Lambda-Chi)
Paired with Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, the chapter members participated in the teeter-tottering event to benefit the Special Olympics, its national philanthropy. The sorority has run the Teeter-Totter-A-Thon every year since the early ‘90s. “They have been an awesome partner,” said Emily Smith, sophomore in family and consumer science education and vice president of programming and ritual for Alpha Sigma Alpha. “They’ve really stepped up to the plate. With the help of Lambda Chi Alpha, we will probably raise twice as much money as we have in the last couple of years.” Besides taking shifts with the Alpha Sig sisters, Lambda Chi Alpha built the teeter-totter, taking an extra measure to ensure the safety of all participants.
Chapter members hosted their sixth annual blood drive at the University Center on September 14-18, 2009.
Former Fraternity staff member Kevin O’Neill (1991) was selected for The National Law Journal - Legal Times “40 Under 40: Washington’s Rising Stars” list. While Washington is a city full of lawyer-lobbyists, he was one of just two lawyer-lobbyists selected. O’Neill was recently picked to become the deputy chair of the Patton Boggs LLP public policy practice beginning in January 2010, making him the youngest member of the management team at one of the nation’s largest law firms. The public policy group at Patton Boggs is the largest collection of government relations attorneys in the country.
The VII Fall Classic between Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State was attended by 100 alumni and actives. The chapter recruited 30 new associate members, the largest class in many years.
Tampa Bay Area Alumni Association
Everyone who attended the annual Lambda Chi Alpha Alumni Association of Tampa Bay meeting and brotherhood event had a great time. The event was held on July 25, 2009, at the Tilted Kilt. More than 50 alumni representing 10 chapters were present. Recognition for the most senior brother went to Brother David Hallam who was initiated into the Gamma-Chi chapter at the University of Arkansas in 1955. Look for upcoming events and activities on the association’s website http://lcaaatb.com.
Andrew Beach (1998) is the president of Mammoth Sports & Entertainment. Jermiah Hull is deployed in Afghanistan with the Army.
John “Jag” Pfeiffer (1981) was given the Honor Alumni award on September 25, 2009, for his participation with Theta-Kappa Zeta of Lambda Chi during the last several years, helping them to extensively renovate their house. John has also been involved with Rose-Hulman as an active alumnus.
John W. Wages, of Harrison, Tn., died September 7, 2009. A military veteran, he was retired from Combustion Engineering. He was a past member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Welding Society and American Association of Design Engineers.
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stopped settling and accepting anyone. Standards were raised which resulted in higher retention rates. The alumni are a tremendous help with recommendations. We send out letters and a recruitment booklet to all potential members. This fall we recruited 21 men putting the chapter size at 60 men.”
William B. Davis died March 5, 2009. He was an investment banker in Texas and California until moving to Tennessee in 2001 to partner with his father in the nursing homes’ field. He was an innovator in the high technology field, and founded ventures including: a computer broadband Internet service company, and a buried asset technologies company, both located in Tennessee. He also owned a restaurant in Wisconsin, where he maintained a vacation home.
Tucker Sargent and Chris Glover are SGA Senators. Kyle Lucas is a member of the football team. Robby Douglas is president of the Math Club.
Texas Christian (Iota-Pi)
Richard P. Coleman (1948) died May 27, 2009. He was a professor in the Marketing Department at Kansas State University. For six of his 16 years in this role he held the endowed title of Volume Shoe Professor of Marketing.
Richard Crain, High Alpha at TCU: “We are a very diverse chapter who begins planning for recruitment in the spring. We contact incoming freshmen and utilize the team approach of two brothers. We invite prospective members to play a round of golf and have dinner. The High Delta is primarily a coordinator of the various events. We are a balanced chapter maintaining over a 3.0 GPA for 112 men and last year we won the intramural football championship.
Dr. Erich Bleck died September 3, 2009. He was an astute and witty mentor and partner to several highly-respected, successful business people who began their careers in Tucson. He served as a corporal in the United States Army, a no-nonsense finance professor, and fund administrator for the University of Arizona, a partner in several successful Tucson real estate ventures, and a founding shareholder and very dapper board member of Leadfusion, Inc. He advised several start-ups, including internetbased FinanCenter.com and SmartCalc, and is the father of online personal finance calculators, co-authoring in 1995 helpful interactive tools such as the now-ubiquitous “What Will it Take to Be a Millionaire?” used by millions internationally.
Billy Jones is the IFC chief justice. Varsity football members include: Logan Sligar, linebacker; Bart Johnson (2011), wide receiver; Garrett Winsett (2012), wide receiver; and, Jake Pray, kicker. Lacrosse players include Rob Staky (captain), Rick Crain, and Shea Pearson. Rugby members are Chris Ferrante, and David Western.
Rob Killen (1997) was elected to serve as the President of the University of Texas at San Antonio Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is the third Lambda Chi to serve in this position. Wayne Terry and Rene Escobedo also held the position.
Texas State (Lambda-Phi)
Justin Hernandez, in addition to his day job working with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas, he cofounded a 501(c)(3) education nonprofit organization named Possibilities that benefits students in the Tarrant and Dallas counties. Impossible Possibilities serves students of all walks of life who are seeking a genuine opportunity at advancement. The organization’s three principal initiatives include: Scholarship, Grant, and International.
Zakaria Richardson is the High Alpha and IFC vice president at Troy and he recounts a success story. “Three years ago we had 14 members and our survival was in doubt. The chapter then decided to change the way they handled recruitment. We began planning in the spring by dividing the state into regions and having two High Deltas who plan, organize and communicate with the chapter. With all members recruiting each of the regions had a leader in charge of contacting potential members. The chapter www.crossandcrescent.com
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New Online Tool for Chapters New online tool for chapter officers
By Chris Barrick (Butler 2004)
At the 2009 Stead Leadership Seminar Lambda Chi Alpha unveiled the Officer Portal to the gathered undergraduates. The Officer Portal is an online tool for chapter officers to maintain up-to-date rosters, chapter calendar, officer information, forms, and billing statements. The administrative burden of collecting and disseminating information within an organization can be very expensive. By using Officer Portal, Lambda Chi Alpha can leverage its existing chapter officers and volunteers to perform most of these administrative functions. Everything from the recording of new member records to the submission of officer position changes can be accomplished within the Officer Portal. Chapter officers are able to access up-todate billing statements allowing better record keeping at the chapter level. “I love the information that is already available, including the current statement! This is a huge advance and very welcome!” says chapter adviser and Master Steward Jeff Steele (Washington-WA 1964). The online tool was launched this semester as an optional tool for chapters to use to update their rosters. Seventy-five percent of the 193 active Lambda Chi Alpha chapters have chosen to forgo paper forms by completing their reporting online. Director of Chapter Services John Holloway (High Point 1993) has seen much benefit from the new online platform:
It has also been noted that the Officer Portal requires a lot less time spent on form processing, allocating more resources to chapter development.
“The opportunity for chapter leaders to work collaboratively with the General Fraternity Staff on membership records using the electronic database is truly revolutionary for Lambda Chi Alpha,” he says. “The design and function of the Officer Portal is such that officers can now create new membership records and manage them immediately, and it is that immediacy that is making the process much more timely and efficient for everyone. There are only a few chapters who have elected to manage their zeta’s membership records through tangible paperwork this semester. This is a huge win for the entire brotherhood; we are really able to take the essential elements of reporting our membership to the next level for our undergraduate and alumni brothers alike.” Though still in its infancy, Officer Portal also has been embraced by undergraduates. “I think that it’s a great idea. It’s very organized, which is great for someone that’s not.” says Michael Zajac (Ball State 2011).
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Celebrating Lambda Chi’s Legends & Leaders As part of a 10-month series, our ninth month pays tribute to former Grand High Alpha Rev. S. George “Doc” Dirghalli.
By Tad Lichtenauer (Denison 1987)
Editor’s Note: The following article is being re-published in part from the March 1979 Cross & Crescent. Doc Dirghalli served as Grand High Alpha from 1978-1982, and today serves as a Master Steward and continues to serve as Lambda Chi’s spiritual leader.
Now it can be confusing to certain individuals, such as his secretary, to ask about “Doc.” You see, he is an Episcopal priest by profession, and his Calvary Church parishioners know him as “Father Dirghalli.” The Reverend S. George Dirghalli has been rector of the church in Syracuse, New York, for several years and many members of his congregation are familiar with his Fraternity work, particularly the traveling he must do frequently.
Who is “Doc” Dirghalli and what does he look forward to doing as Lambda Chi Alpha’s newly elected president? The following text is the result of an extensive interview with the Grand High Alpha by the editor. While it can’t be expected to fully portray the Fraternity’s new leader in all his personal, fraternal, and professional complexities, it is an effort to identify the man and look at his initial “president’s eye view” of the Fraternity and the issues which it will face during his administration. 37th General Assembly First of all, Grand High Alpha S. George Dirghalli (Florida 1950) was elected by Lambda Chi Alpha’s 37th General Assembly on August 16, 1978. He is known to different people by different names and since none really fit other than “Doc”, as he is known to most Lambda Chis, he’ll be Doc here. He is “Daddy” to Beth and Stefan, and who could know what terms of endearment his lively wife, Kira, may use to address him, but the whole family knows that he is Doc to his Fraternity brothers. In fact, the entire family has become well acquainted with Lambda Chi at the various events which they attend with Doc, and he refers to “our election” to the presidency in deference to the partnerships Kira, Beth, and Stefan share in his life.
Doc is a veteran of many years in the service of Lambda Chi Alpha. After his graduation from the University of Florida in 1950, he began a five-year term as a traveling secretary (chapter consultant). He stayed on at Headquarters for another five years as alumni secretary (director of alumni affairs), subsequently becoming ritualistic adviser, a position that he continues to hold today. Board Service Begain in 1968 First elected to the Grand High Zeta in 1968, Doc served 10 years prior to his election to the presidency. His tenure on the board of directors included service under three Grand high Alphas before he succeeded to that position, having spanned some of the most turbulent years in the Fraternity’s history. Because the first major gathering of this administration’s leaders has not yet occurred, few formal goals or strategies have been concretized. Doc feels that it is neither his responsibility nor his privilege, nor consistent with his nature in terms of leadership, to establish such goals independently or unilaterally. He views it as a collegial process in which the entire Grand High Zeta is joined by the Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC), the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), and the administrative staff. The resulting guidelines and policies are thus more likely to get the support needed for effectiveness. The essence of Lambda Chi Alpha’s policies will continue to be shaped by progressive, innovative conceptions of keeping pace with
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and, where possible, even ahead of the changing environment in which it exists. Like the creation of the Student Advisory Committee, which helped transcend potential inter-generational differences at a time when the “generation gap” seemed to condemn any possibility of mutual acceptance, the programs, decisions, and philosophies of the fraternity must reflect fulfillment of current needs and desires of student members in a tangible embodiment of our traditional ideals and standards.
brotherhood of man of its noblest sense. They enrich the spirit by serving as conceptual examples of what societal life can and should be: man co-existing with man in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual concern. The chapter is a laboratory where these exciting lessons come to life in a more understandable and applicable form than is otherwise available. One has the opportunity to learn the true meaning of words like adaptability, cooperation, loyalty, truth, justice, honor, industry, morality, and brotherhood.
The leader who will be guiding the way to successfully understanding the situations with which the Fraternity must deal and then making appropriate decisions so that “situation” does not become “problem” is Doc Dirghalli. Besides the tremendous amount of fraternal experience he brings to the presidency, he has another asset that will provide a unique character to the Dirghalli administration.
The Dirghalli Years These next few years, which will collectively be known as the Dirghalli years, may involve crises that must be afforded immediate attention or they may allow more time to build for the future so potential crises won’t hit so hard. Whatever the case, Doc is ready for them and he’s fired up to lead Lambda Chi Alpha in a dynamic style that says he is fit to lead and was picked to do so when the fraternity was ready for his leadership.
Doc is a minister, both by profession and by nature, and his fraternity work is a natural extension of his ministry. He views the Fraternity’s role in the lives of its members as a potential fulfillment of conceptual and spiritual needs. It is not a religious order, however, and there must be a distinct demarcation between religious and universal aspects of the precepts Lambda Chi espouses, even though they are frequently based in liturgies derived from Christian doctrines.
The Dirghalli years have begun and the Fraternity will depend on Doc to provide the direction that will make them memorably successful years that reinforce the foundations of Lambda Chi Alpha while building the fraternity of tomorrow.
The lessons to be learned in Lambda Chi Alpha relate neither to Christianity nor any other faith. They are lessons of life, of the
Cross & Crescent
Carlos G. Spaht, Modern Day Theta Kappa Nu Jono Hren (Florida Tech 1975)
Spaht (pronounced “spate”) was born on a Holstein dairy farm in Albany, Missouri, north of Kansas City on August 2, 1906, just four months following the Great San Francisco Earthquake. He would be the oldest of six children. His favorite subject in high school was history. After he graduated in 1924 his ailing father, for health reasons, moved the family to Louisiana. His father wanted the children to be near a college town, so after a seven-day trek over dirt roads, they arrived in Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University (LSU). Carlos entered LSU in the fall of 1925. At that time, LSU was strictly a military school striving to be the “West Point of the South,” and Carlos enrolled in the Army ROTC cadet corps. He later recalled the discomfort of wearing a hot wool uniform seven days a week. As in high school, his favorite subject was history, though he majored in engineering and later switched to law.
The photograph is well known The photo was first published in within the Fraternity, having the October 1939 issue of The appeared in such publications Cross & Crescent and was taken as The Paedagogus, our 1992 at the Ninth, and final, Grand history book, and on the cover of Chapter of Theta Kappa Nu in the 1996 directory. A dozen men Birmingham, Alabama, after the are pictured holding a banner merger had been approved. One bearing the Greek letters Lambda, of the gentlemen making the Chi, and Alpha, which might be a transition into Lambda Chi Alpha little misleading to those who fail was a province archon named to recognize some of the faces or Carlos G. Spaht (Louisiana State read the caption, if one is included. 1929). This story is about him. www.crossandcrescent.com
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In his sophomore year, late 1926 or early 1927, he joined Theta Kappa Nu. There was no fraternity row, but they rented a house and held dances every Saturday night. There was also no formal rush, and although some fraternities on campus hazed, Theta Kappa Nu did not. It was against the rules. By the fall of 1927, he’d been elected chaplain. His brothers Froman and James Spaht also joined Theta Kappa Nu at LSU. He graduated in 1929 and entered the law school that fall, receiving his degree in 1931. He opened a law office and ran his own practice from 1931 until entering World War II. Although the practice languished during the Depression years, he married in June 1935. When Huey P. Long was murdered on September 8, 1935, Carlos – along with an estimated 100,000 others - attended the funeral. During this time he remained loyal to Theta Kappa Nu, acting as correspondent of
the Louisiana Alpha alumni to the Theta News in 1936, and was serving as a province archon at the time of the 1939 union with Lambda Chi Alpha, or as he affectionately called it, his “Lambdy Alf.” It was at this point that the photo was taken. Spaht had been commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in ROTC, and as WWII loomed he entered active service in July 1941. He was promoted through 1st lieutenant, captain, lieutenant colonel, and eventually full colonel. Overseas he served in China on the Burma Road with the 8th Army and returned in September 1945 to Baton Rouge, where he continued his military service by activating and commanding the local reserve post. In 1946 he was appointed judge for the 19th Judicial District by Louisiana Gov. Jimmy Davis for a two-year term, then won election for another six-year term. During this time Gov. Earl Long included Spaht in a 15member commission to investigate the deplorable conditions at Angola Prison, setting for the film “The Green Mile.” Gov. Earl Long, unable to run for another consecutive term, tapped Spaht to run in the 1951-1952 gubernatorial campaign. Some say that Spaht was chosen as a ringer, to lose the election so that Long could easily take back the office in the following election; others saw Spaht as Long’s puppet. Spaht rejected both of these notions and campaigned vigorously during the primary, often driving from town to town and speaking from the back of a pickup truck equipped with a loudspeaker. He won the first primary, which included Hale Boggs, but lost in the runoff to Robert Kennon who went on to win the general election. Later, Spaht distanced himself from Long and declined a spot on the ticket for state attorney general when Long ran (and won) in the next gubernatorial election in 1956.
When my chapter, Beta-Nu at Florida Tech, was installed on May 20, 1972, Carlos Spaht, accompanied by James Vickery, traveled to Melbourne, Florida, to be the featured speaker. His address was titled, “Is our Fraternity Worth-while?” Very few brothers would hesitate to answer that question in the affirmative, least of all Brother Spaht. But at the time - and until quite recently - I was unaware that he’d originally been initiated into Theta Kappa Nu. In the 1970s we considered ourselves living in modern times, and yet here was a Theta Nu’s signature on my certificate, just below Lew Plourd’s. Is his signature on your certificate too? Along with his long and valued service to Theta Kappa Nu, Lambda Chi Alpha, the state of Louisiana, and our country, Spaht was a member of the Lions Club, Kiwanis, and the Rotary. He raised funds for the Boy Scouts and was president of the local YMCA. He was the LSU Alumni Federation president and a member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, an organization that combats prejudices and antiSemitism. He died in Baton Rouge on April 29, 2001, at the age of 94. He was a thoroughly modern man.
Spaht was opposed to segregation and never saw the justification for separate restrooms, water fountains, and other facilities for blacks and whites. “So I served on the racial committee, which took an active part when integration of schools came about, creating public opinion that would cause us to peacefully integrate,” he said. He also played an active role in integrating downtown Baton Rouge restaurants in accordance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Further, working for Gov. McKeithen, he drafted a code of ethics for elected officials and state employees. As he did with Theta Kappa Nu, Spaht continued his involvement with Lambda Chi Alpha. In 1970 he was presented with the Order of Merit. He was elected to the Grand High Zeta and served as Grand High Gamma from September 1, 1970, to August 15, 1974. As such, his signature appears on the charters of 31 chapters and innumerable initiation certificates, including my own, dated April 29, 1972. www.crossandcrescent.com
Cross & Crescent
Life on the Road The stor y of an ELC
Chris Cole (Gettysburg)
I didn’t know what to expect as I arrived at 8741 Founders Road in Indianapolis for my first day of training. After hearing all the stories of what could happen, I entered that office on a warm Monday morning. Meeting the small numbered staff and loyal employees of this organization had me question at first how so few could lead so many. Our first staff meeting changed my mind instantly. It showed us who really was working behind the scenes on the many conferences, conclaves, and communication feats. Executive Vice President Bill Farkas cooked breakfast for the staff and formally introduced the new team of men and women who would be leading us into the new year. Our new ELC recruits, who had arrived only a few days earlier, were ready to learn and to undergo the process of being the road warriors for the fraternity. The new ELCs for this upcoming year are Brad Hawse (Cincinnati), John Holmes (Wabash), Matt Schultz (Oklahoma City), Travis Smith (Indiana), Marcus Kelley (Angelo State), and me, Chris Cole (Gettysburg College). The returning ELCs are Patrick Voldness (Florida Southern), Joshua Birchfield (Colorado State-Pueblo), and Tristan Fry (Mercer). We nine will be traveling around the country in our respective regions. We began the summer with our chapter services retreats to begin the process of learning the ways of the ELC. Our training included learning about the different chapter offices, being educated on the way of running an effective chapter, and also the general keepingup of an effective zeta. The hours are long but the rewards are great. Not only are we learning the ways of an ELC, we are also discovering the ways to plan a summer conference. With this year being the Centennial Assembly, hosted by Butler University, there were a great many things to plan including the many educational sessions to be hosted for the undergraduates, the events happening in the evening, the banquets, and finally the centennial Gala hosted in the Scottish Rite Cathedral on Saturday Night. There was much planning occurring and we jumped straight into the mix, getting our hands dirty right away.
Spending Time with Doc After being on staff for a few weeks, our first big experience was a week-long training session with Rev. S. George “Doc” Dirghalli (Florida). Throughout the day we worked with this living legend, hearing stories of the past and what life was like in the earlier days of the Fraternity. We heard stories of what type of a man Warren A. Cole (Boston) was, what the personalities of Ernst Fischer (Cornell) and Duke Flad (Wittenberg) were like — and countless experiences with chapters Doc had while he was on the road as a traveling secretary. Doc also worked on our leadership skills and helped us develop effective skills for opening and closing meetings that would help us while on the road. We also experienced a world class variety of food, visiting different cultures of cuisine and seeing if our stomachs could handle it. In the words of Doc, “You never know when you are going to be eating something that tests the stomach. Be ready.” Our time with Doc seemed short, but only because of the Master Steward Summit at the
conclusion of our week. Alumni from all over the United States and Canada came to 8741 Founders Road, and we began a weekend-long training in the ways and teachings of becoming a Master Steward. Some of these personalities included: Former Grand High Alpha Murphy Osbourne (High Point), current Grand High Beta Drew Hunter (Denver) and Grand High Gamma Greg Smith (Washington). There were many other notable members there, and to be sitting in a room with them, was an experience. At the conclusion of the weekend we went to the Alpha-Alpha house at Butler where we ate dinner before conducting the 4 Inner Circle Evolutions. Then, to cap off the night, Doc presented me with a Master Steward collar. Words cannot describe the emotional and spiritual impact of that evening.
for the undergraduates and also the Advisers College training for those High Pi’s that attended. Thursday night was production of Ritual Gone Wild. We took a look into the eyes of the ancient rituals of the past to see where our Initiation Ritual came from. We also presented some of Theta Kappa Nu’s ritual and also parts of the original Cole Ritual that was written in 1912. Friday night included more programming including the True Leader I and II stages as well as some Chapter Programming sessions. That evening, however, was the spectacle for the night. The Purple, Green, and Gold banquet was occurring in the banquet hall of the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and we finished the night with the Ritual Exemplification within the actual cathedral itself. This building was amazing, and my words cannot describe the beauty that was the
We need to make sure that these alumni and undergraduate, come to this event with high expectations and leave remember it for the next thirty years.
Centennial & Stead Leadership Seminar With the summit over, we plowed back into the planning of the summer conference. It now looked a lot closer on the other side of the summit and before we knew it July was flying by and the conference was quickly approaching. All the ELCs were working together with their Master Stewards to ensure that the presentation material for the conference was crisp and concise. Everyone in the office was working harder than ever, making sure that the conference went off without a hitch and ensuring that every member who attended the centennial celebration had the time of his life. During our last staff meeting before the conference, Bill Farkas said, “We need to make sure that these guys — alumni and undergraduate — come to this event with high expectations and leave remembering it for the next 30 years.” This was our charge and come July 29th we were ready to make that happen. The conference came, and before I knew it, was over. The many days of programming for undergraduates on Thursday and Friday were a success and the events in the evening were also tremendous. Having served on the IRT at Phoenix last year, I was aware of how many things were involved in the process of a summer conference. Not only that, but being on staff, working behind the scenes, made this experience one to remember. Wednesday night included our kickoff and presentation by Will Keim. A personal courage presenter, he incorporated humor with his message to leave the audience laughing throughout the evening, but also thinking about their own personal legend and inner integrity.
Scottish Rite. Saturday was the pomp and circumstance of the Centennial Assembly and then the Centennial banquet in the evening. These events incorporated everything that Lambda Chi Alpha has been throughout 100 years, and it was truly an honor to be a part of that along with over 800 brothers, friends, and sweethearts.
Hitting the Road With the Centennial Conference over, we now focus on the challenge of heading out onto the road. Our journey with be tough, but I encourage anyone reading this to look for future articles within Cross & Crescent to follow my journey as I travel through the United States as an ELC. Allow yourself, as you read this, to be brought into the life of a road warrior and see what it’s like to be an Educational Leadership Consultant of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Thursday was Outer Circle and Inner Circle programming
Cross & Crescent
The Transformation at USC Our chapter at the University of Southern California, Zeta Delta Zeta, has received a number of national awards from Lambda Chi Alpha in the past decade, in the areas of recruitment, scholarship, and campus involvement.
Jon Williamson (Maryland-Baltimore County)
Our chapter at the University of Southern California, Zeta Delta Zeta, has received a number of national awards from Lambda Chi Alpha in the past decade, in the areas of recruitment, scholarship, and campus involvement. As I learned the history of this chapter, I found it wasn’t always such a high performing chapter, and I asked myself, “What brought about the transformation?” In the 1940s, Lambda Chi’s Southern California Alumni Association had envisioned a chapter on the campus of USC. With the ending of World War II such an opportunity appeared to be at hand. In the fall of 1945, the school’s enrollment had shifted from two-thirds women to two-thirds men with the release of soldiers from active duty and assistance of the GI Bill. Many of these ex-soldiers were discharged on the West Coast and decided to enroll at USC. Prior to their military service some had attended other universities and had been members of a fraternity that was not then present at USC. These men formed a club called Stray Greeks and the president of the club was Michael Catalano, a Lambda Chi from Polytechnic. Mike had charisma and leadership ability and was well known at USC. In June 1946, with Mike in a leadership role and www.crossandcrescent.com
Cross & Crescent
significant assistance from Louis Fetterly (UCLA, who would later become Grand High Delta) they set about to form the Lambda Chi Club which became a colony of Lambda Chi Alpha. By the fall of 1946, they had gathered 45 founding fathers. They had no house and no on-campus traditions, but they did have a common goal, leaving a legacy which would be Lambda Chi Alpha.
Notable USC Brothers
The chapter’s first meeting places were the Alumnae Rock, located in front of the Doheney Library where the men would meet at various times during the day, and a restaurant near the campus where they would meet on Monday nights and sing Lambda Chi songs. Also in the fall of 1946, Earl Linch became the colony’s first elected president. He would be followed a year later by Don Evans. The chartering took place on October 2, 1948. The chapter’s first house was located at 908 30th Street. It was a large Spanish style house which the brothers called, “The Alamo.” A couple of years later a property was spotted at 931 W. Adams Boulevard by brothers Bagnard and Jones. A down payment was raised by selling notes to brothers in the Southern California General Alumnae Association. With the money raised, move-in took place in February 1950. The house placed them on an equal social footing with the other fraternities on the campus. Although the house enjoyed numerous successes from the late ‘50s until the late ‘70s there were an equal number of setbacks and finally the challenges were too much to overcome and the chapter was suspended in 1979, and remained closed until a colony was begun in 1981. For the next 15 years the chapter stayed in the mid-level of fraternities at USC, looking for an identity.
William L. Bagnard (19480)
Harry Lister (1985)
former chairman of American Funds Group
managing editor, Stores Magazine
Brian Bannister (2000)
Ralph Mauriello (1958)
pitcher for the Kansas City Royals
pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Michael F. Beckner (1985)
Bruce R. Nobles (1969) president
screenwriter for “Sniper,” “Spy Game”
and CEO of Air Jamaica
Dr. Matthew L. Brengman (1989)
Dr. Joshua Daniel Rittenberg (1991)
Cmdr. Scott Briquelet (1993)
Todd Sharp (1991)
United States Navy
television story producer
Rudy Bukich (1953)
Brian C. Sonner (1965)
NFL quarterback; won championship with the Bears in ’63 and No. 1 quarterback ranking in 1965; member, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
retired captain, United States Coast Guard, Chief of Staff
Brian Chung (1972)
pilot, United States Navy
Cordell Sweeney (1990)
CFO at Empower RF Systems
Peter Halt (1982)
senior vice president, CFO, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment
John J. Kabateck (1953) Order of Merit recipient
David Trachtenberg (1978)
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Defense
Murphy Troy (2011)
John R. Kabateck (1990)
executive director, National Federation of Independent Businesses
Dr. William Kaloostian (1965) physician
1st team All-American as selected by Volleyball Magazine and VB Magazine and 1st team All-American as selected by the American Volleyball Coaches Association
Wayne C. Twedell (1971)
president and CEO of JCM Group
Carlson “Biff” Legrand (1967)
rear admiral, Deputy Judge Advocate General
Commander Chris Steyn (1990)
Cross & Crescent
Charles Weeks (1953)
played for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League
Small House Feel
that summer we spent hours organizing and planning. We focused on recruiting men who represented Lambda Chi’s values, not social activities. We wanted to become known as the Gentlemen’s House. We built up the young core of the chapter and concentrated on the associate member experience. We used the National High Kappa program as our guide. We began to see positive results as the sorority women began to refer to us as gentlemen. One of our chapter traditions was tied to a tradition at USC. ‘Deliveries’ occurred each Monday night during dinner time when a woman would make a special delivery of a present to a fraternity man. When these occurred our chapter would stop eating dinner, stand, applaud, and present the woman with a white rose.”
As the 21st century began, Zeta Delta Zeta transformed into a first rate chapter with membership reaching 100+ with high levels of campus involvement and GPA’s in excess of 3.0. I asked High Alpha Cameron Kay, about the chapter successes. “It continues because we are a large house with 125 men, with a small house feel. It is a close brotherhood that establishes friendships that last long after college. There is no hazing and we follow the True Brother Initiative. The key to our successes has been recruitment. Recruitment begins in June of each year with planning meetings. We identify and structure the events we will have in the fall during rush week. The chapter has three High Deltas. Our events this fall were bowling, billiards, miniature golf, culminating with numerous alumni attending our Blue Chip dinner where we invite our most highly rated prospects. USC has a high quality of student and the chapter’s GPA is very high because we assist each other. We are also very involved in community service with our largest philanthropy, a watermelon bust, raising $30,000 last year which was donated to Friendship Circle here in Los Angeles which assists children with special needs. Current chapter traditions are the Alumni Association Resume and Interview Night where assistance is provided to brothers; our Christmas dinner, held the weekend before finals, is attended by parents and includes a silent auction. The blueprint for the current chapter was laid out by Casey Cosgrove in the late ‘90s. And as chapter lore tells it, the times were very different.”
I was able to feel the excitement in Casey’s voice as he recounted this tradition. “I graduated in 1999, but I wasn’t ready to leave. I wanted to stay in the house, as I had during all of my undergraduate days, and reap the benefits of the successes we had worked so hard to achieve. The brothers had learned that it was all about working for the benefit of the team and not self-gain. When I graduated I took a little part of every brother with me. It was a great, great experience.”
I caught up with Casey and asked him how the chapter of the ‘90s compares with today’s. “I transferred from a junior college to USC and joined Lambda Chi Alpha in the spring of 1996. The house had a large number of members, but they were split into many cliques with chapter life revolving around drugs and alcohol, and apathy existed in every activity. There were six of us who joined that spring and we wanted more than a party scene. The brothers who remained active in the house, about 30, were exhausted and worn-out and told us what not-do-do instead of what-to-do to make it a good fraternity. In the fall of 1996, after rush had been completed, a number of the brothers, including myself, were walking on campus to get some fast food. We were depressed because rush hadn’t gone the way we wanted it to and we were trying to decide if all the work to make it a solid fraternity was worth the effort. After much discussion and soul-searching, we decided it was and that we would redouble our efforts. In the spring of 1997 sophomores were elected to the High Zeta and later that semester we began planning our strategy for recruitment in the fall of 1997, which was to become the first of many great recruitment classes. Lou Moreno and I became co-High Delta’s and
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New Mexico State’s Ascencion Jon Williamson (Maryland-Baltimore County)
The trip to the top isn’t always short or smooth. Phi Beta Theta was a local fraternity founded at New Mexico State University in 1927. As with all fledgling fraternities, there were young men with a vision who led the way. Two visionaries of Phi Beta Theta were Daniel ‘Dad’ Jett and Luke Shires. Jett became No. 2 on the chapter rolls and the chapter’s first High Pi, and was eventually awarded Lambda Chi Alpha’s Order of Merit in 1956. The local fraternity remained a leader on the campus through World War II, finally petitioning Lambda Chi Alpha for colony status in 1946, and being installed as the Zeta-Gamma Zeta on April 27, 1946.
Early Chapter Leaders
The chapter had many student leaders in those first years. John Higgins was the student body president; John Raney was president of the Associated Students Commission; Frank Walker was a junior class president; Gene Edney, was the president of the ROTC Cadet Officers Club; Jim Howell, was president of the FFA; Milton Miller was president of the Newman Club; Clark Paddock was president of the Student Christian Association; and there were several members of the football team, including Jack Steger, starting halfback, who served the chapter as High Alpha. An impressive beginning started with men of distinction.
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Lambda Chi’s leadership position and significant involvement on the campus continued through the early and mid-‘60s with total membership reaching 73. They captured their fifth consecutive homecoming float victory as well as the overall Homecoming Sweepstakes Trophy in 1966. Herman Hinton was elected the student body president and the chapter continued to be at or near the top on campus in GPA. The brotherhood also won the softball championship four consecutive years. The chapter was riding high with success.
Josh Orozco is the current High Pi of the chapter and was one of the founding fathers when Lambda Chi Alpha returned to the campus in 2002. “In the spring of 2002, National began to organize a colony, and about 30 men were selected. These 30 weren’t traditional fraternity men. The overwhelming majority were sophomores and juniors and we had passed up rush before. What made this opportunity very appealing to us was the chance to begin something from scratch. We could make this our own and not assume someone else’s traditions. It was a very diverse group consisting of athletes, scholars, engineers and there was a good balance of academic and social interests.”
But by the end of the decade, student unrest and turbulence over the Vietnam War was present on the New Mexico State campus, and the chapter went into decline, finally closing in 1971, and remaining shuttered until 1978. Although re-chartered in 1978, the chapter did not regain its position of leadership and was closed again in 1998.
Focused on a Goal
Not all went smoothly. Over the summer, for one reason or another, 10
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Notable NMS Brothers of the men dropped out of the chapter. That fall the returning members began to learn what it takes to be a fraternity. “We realized over the next couple of years that a chapter must recruit men of quality, men of values. It was a struggle to do this and not give into the temptation to just go for numbers. We also realized that you have to have a plan if you are going to be successful.” By 2005 the chapter was receiving positive feedback from Educational Leadership Consultants for its ability to combine successes in achieving a high GPA, contribute to the community with philanthropic efforts, and attract high quality members. The chapter’s High Zeta began to aspire to be one of the fraternity’s top chapters. “In the fall of 2007 and continuing into the spring of 2008, under the leadership of our High Alpha Nathan Hoeven, the members decided it was time to apply for the Grand High Alpha Award.” Their goal wasn’t realized. “Not getting the award in the summer of 2008, there was a lot of disappointment among the members, but the chapter realized we were moving in the right direction. We regarded it not as a setback, but used it instead to spur us on to achieving higher goals. The new High Zeta of 2009 came into office knowing what we had to do and realizing that they just had to do it.” During the Centennial Convention in 2009, Zeta-Gamma Zeta was recognized for its outstanding efforts when they were presented with the Grand High Alpha Award. “We will strive to remain a top chapter by re-examining our goals each semester and maintaining the standards of True Brother.”
Leonard Austin (1972), professor of counseling, South Dakota State University C. David Binning (1965), director of Planning & Engineering for the Fairfax County Water Authority, Fairfax, Virginia
Paul Brilliant (1966), head coach of women’s golf and a member of the New Mexico State University Athletic Hall of Fame
John Edward Davis (1968), retired president of Arizona Public Service Robert Franklin (1962), vice president of Advancement & executive director of New Mexico State University Foundation
Phillip N. Frietze (1985), lieutenant colonel, United States Marine Corps Frank Gorman (1948), former president of the Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas Joel Harvie (1988), owner of the Silverton Brewery, Silverton, Colorado William Huey (1952), retired Secretary of Natural Resources, state of New Mexico Timothy Jennings (1969), rancher and New Mexico state senator Daniel B. ‘Dad’ Jett (Missouri School of Mines 1926), professor of engineering at New Mexico State University, founder of Phi Beta Theta, received Order of Merit.
Joseph Pat Knight (1963), professor emeritus of curriculum and instruction at Appalachian State University
Burl ‘Grant’ Logan (1968), director of Heavy Ion Fusion Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Berkeley, California
George McCarty (1947), retired head basketball coach at New Mexico State University, former
athletic director (AD) at University of Texas at El Paso (formerly Texas Western) when they won the NCAA basketball championship in 1966, and former AD at University of Wyoming. Inducted into the New Mexico State University Athletic Hall of Fame
Wilbert ‘Woody’ Smith (1961), retired district court judge, Albuquerque, New Mexico Peter M. Wichert (1979), deceased professor who taught at New Mexico State University, and for whom the Peter Wichert Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Finance is named.
Cross & Crescent
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...