Cross & Crescent
a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication
Brother Answers the Call
Estridge’s company featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
Lance Krall Stars in VH1 Comedy May 2009 · XCVI · Issue 5
Lambda Chi’s New Online Community
Celebrating Lambda Chi’s Legends & Leaders:
A tribute to Elles M. Derby
Cross & Crescent a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity publication Features Chapter News 3 Chapter and Alumni News History 12 A tribute to Elles M. Derby True Brother 14 Toronto Chapter Thrives Fraternity News 17 ZAX Networking
Lance Krall Stars in VH1 Comedy The second season of “Free Radio” airs every Thursday at 11 p.m. EDT on VH1. An actor/comedian and former chapter ritualist at Georgia State, Krall served as the keynote speaker at last summer’s 52nd General Assembly. . By Tad Lichtenauer
Brother Answers the Call President Paul Estridge and his company, The Estridge Companies, will be highlighted on the May 17 edition of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” A former chapter president and varsity football player at the University of Evansville, he says the experience is the single most energizing, transforming event his company has ever done. By Tad Lichtenauer
Publisher: Bill Farkas Editor: Tad Lichtenauer Assistant Editor: Chris Barrick Illustrator: Jeff Reisdorfer Podcast Voice: Fuzz Martin Photographer: Walt Moser Assignment Editor: Jon Williamson Historian: Mike Raymond Contributing Editors: Jono Hren Aaron Jones George Spasyk
Content for consideration should be submitted by the fiftenth of the month. Lambda Chi Alpha 8741 Founders Rd Indianapolis, IN 46268-1338 (317) 872-8000 email@example.com www.lambdachi.org www.crossandcrescent.com
Cross & Crescent
Chapter News Chapter news, alumni news, and reports of death Akron (Gamma-Alpha)
Chapter brothers cleaned up a mile of the Concho River in San Angelo, Texas.
The chapter won the Deans Cup for best overall fraternity, in addition to the Inter-fraternal, Risk Management, and New Member Education awards. The chapter also won Song Fest, a sing and dance competition.
The chapter sent five members to the Gulf-Coast Conclave. A J Lopez III was re-elected to the Student Senate as a senator for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
For the spring philanthropy, the chapter held a Bath Tub Pull on April 25, 2009, with all proceeds going towards The Jimmy Fund, the fundraising section of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Arkansas State (Iota-Theta)
Arkansas State alumni held its 50th anniversary celebration. Executive Director Emeritus George Spasyk (Michigan 1949) was the guest speaker and International Headquarters representative.
Dallas L. Sprinkle (1941) died April 1, 2009. A former chapter president, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Army Air Corps. He went through pilot training and received his Silver Wings and was trained to be a B-24 pilot then assigned to the 8th Air Force in England. On April 9, 1944, he was shot down over Germany and spent 13 months as a POW at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany. The prisoners were freed by the Russian Army in May 1945, and he was honorably discharged in 1946. He returned to Akron, Ohio, and was employed by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. as a development engineer in the Airfoam Division. In 1955, he became part of Chrysler Corp. and retired in 1980 as manager of seating systems design and development for all Chrysler vehicles.
Atlanta Centennial Reception
Mansell McCord (Mississippi State 1976) hosted the Atlanta Centennial reception at the Ansley Golf Club. Special guests included former Grand High Alpha Bobby Ray Hicks (Alabama 1959). Hicks spoke about the bright future that Lambda Chi Alpha will have in our next 100 years. Atlanta Area Alumni Association officers David Reddish (Florida 1999) and Brian O’Hern (East Tennessee State 1998) were in attendance and discussed the association’s remaining events for 2009. If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Atlanta area alumni group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donald P. Grant died November 24, 2008.
Angelo State (Beta-Alpha)
Chapter brothers volunteered their time on April 25, 2009, at the San Angelo Children’s Fair and the Spring Chicken Affair. Chapter brothers competed at the Student Government Rammies and won the following: Most Spirited Organization Award, Outstanding Leadership Award, Greek Social Organization of the Year Award, and the Most Spirited During Greek Week Award.
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At the Order of Omega 2009 Greek Excellence Awards, the chapter won the Outstanding Philanthropy and Community Service Award, Outstanding Educational Programming Award, and the Five Star Chapter of Excellence in Programming Award. In addition, Stu Barnes-Israel and Pete Barnes were named to the top 10 of their class. Barnes-Israel also was named the top male student on campus for leadership and character. He also was named the top Greek male and the top ROTC cadet for all of Indiana.
Pete Michael (1989) won a 2009 New York Emmy Award for On-Camera Talent: Performer/Narrator as the featured talent for MSG Network’s “50 Greatest Days” campaign.
Ball State (Iota-Alpha)
Ron Pearson (1970), president and chief executive officer of Pearson Partners, was honored as Volunteer of the Year by United Way of Central Indiana at the 2009 United Way and Funds State Leaders Conference on March 19, 2009, in Indianapolis. He was recognized for chairing United Christmas Service for more than 25 years. The program of United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) annually helps thousands of low-income families by raising money to provide them with financial assistance and matching groups with families who “adopt” them for holiday assistance.
Matthew McIntyre (2006) and Tom Smith (2007) are partners in a new business, Marketing Mediators (http://www. marketingmediators.com/), which provides an alternative marketing resolution that complements a company’s available resources.
Cal State-Northridge (Beta-Rho)
The chapter held a music drive in the Speaker’s Circle on March 23, 2009, in an effort to raise money to improve a local elementary school’s music department. Chapter President David Steinbach said music teacher and fraternity alumni brother Bryan Price needed help raising money for the music program at Fifth District Elementary School in Baltimore County.
Charlotte Centennial Reception
More than 40 brothers, guests, and friends enjoyed one another’s fellowship at the Charlotte City Club in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina on April 7, 2009. Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation Chairman Dean Sellers (Florida State 1966) was the keynote speaker for the evening.
At the Spring 2009 Greek Awards, the chapter received more awards than any other Greek-letter organization. Specific recognition went to Blake Triplett (2012) as the Fraternity New Member of the Year, and Alex Fish (2010) as the Fraternity Brother of the Year. In addition, the chapter was recognized as the Most Improved Chapter.
Chicago Centennial Reception
Former Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation Chairman Gregg Behrens (Iowa State 1974) hosted more than 50 brothers on April 23, 2009, for fun and fellowship at the University Club in downtown Chicago. Keynote speaker, Grand High Alpha Ed Leonard (William Jewell 1979), gave an informative update on the state of the Fraternity. A few highlights included the attendance of undergraduates from all three Chicago-area chapters/colony; Elmhurst College, Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, and the announcement of the Chicago–West Suburbs and Chicago– Downtown Area Alumni Associations. For more information on alumni associations near you, please e-mail alumni@lambdachi. org.
Kyle Malinowski was elected Student Body President. Jeff DeChavez, Ben Koch, and Bobby Lucia were hired as Hall Directors in Bradley’s Res-Life System. The chapter held its first “Bust-A-Move” dance competition, raising more than $550 benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
The chapter hosted a Centennial Celebration reception and dinner for approximately 80 brothers and guests on April 5, 2009. Notable attendees included Director of Chapter Services John Holloway (High Point 1994) and Director of Education Tim Reuter (Simpson 2003). During the event, the chapter inaugurated a chapter hall of fame and will name the first inductees this summer.
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CHAPTER NEWS The chapter’s Annual Mustache Bash raised more than $15,000 for a charity that benefits wounded military veterans and other people who have serious disabilities to participate in and enjoy sports. The chapter hosted its 92nd Annual Alpha-Pi Zeta Founders Day Celebration. On May 1, 2009, the chapter hosted its annual undergraduate/alumni golf tournament. Forty alumni and undergraduates signed up for this scramble format event. Following the event, the chapter hosted a steak dinner and awards program at the chapter house with more than 100 brothers in attendance.
Recognizing the historic focus of the Centennial Celebrations, the chapter is preserving part of its history by framing the original Petition to the Fraternity from early 1917 as well as scanning and preserving several letters between the chapter founders and Warren A. Cole. They tell of life in the Fraternity as WWI commenced and they are a great snapshot of the early expansion in the Western United States for Lambda Chi Alpha. These items were donated to the chapter years ago by the Estate of Irwin Hall Stewart, the chapter’s first undergraduate initiate. The chapter was also given his badge, which is passed down annually to the chapter president to be worn during his term of office.
The chapter celebrated its 90th anniversary at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday April 25, 2009. There were more than 150 alumni, guests, and active chapter members in attendance. Executive Vice President Emeritus George Spasyk (Michigan 1949) served as the keynote speaker and David Klingshirn served as master of ceremonies. All alumni in attendance were granted membership into the newlyformed Cincinnati Area Alumni Association.
Edward W. Shineman, Jr. (1937) died on January 12, 2009.
Chapter brothers held a community night fundraiser at Grotto Pizza to raise money for repairs on a donated car for June Griffith, whose car was hit by a train March 25, 2009. Six men, five of whom are members of Lambda Chi Alpha, helped Griffith after she made a wrong turn onto the train tracks near the intersection of Main Street and New London Road. Shortly after, the men heard the track’s crossing arm come down and pulled Griffith out of her car. Her 1999 white Pontiac Grand Am was smashed by the train.
Detroit Centennial Reception
Executive Vice President Emeritus George Spasyk (Michigan 1949) pleased the second largest Centennial reception crowd to date as he spoke about the changes in time over the course of the last 70 years. Spasyk recollected experiences with the chapters in the state of Michigan, almost all of which he installed under his watch at the Fraternity International Headquarters. Grand High Alpha Ed Leonard (William Jewell 1979) made the trip to Detroit as well. Hometown former staff brothers Dave Sarris (Ferris State 1989) and Pete Shelters (Ferris State 1989) were also in attendance.
For the Winter Quarter, the chapter earned the second highest cumulative GPA on campus with nearly a 3.4 out on a 4.0 scale, exceeding both the all-men’s and all-Greek GPAs for the 10th straight quarter. Antoine Peretta was elected Student Body president for the 2009-2010 Academic Year. He previously served as the vice president and just won a campus-wide election on April 30, 2009. His election continues the chapter’s domination of campus leadership positions. Joining him are two new senators and chapter members, Max Ravech and Matt Johnson.
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Jack Bovender (1967) and his wife, Barbara, received the Applause Award from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on April 25, 2009. This award was established to recognize exemplary community and corporate leadership in the performing arts. Recipients of the Applause Award have made notable contributions to the growth and success of cultural and educational programming for the benefit of audiences, artists, and students. They inspire others as a strong voice for the value of and essential need for arts education, especially for children. They serve as an example to all by consistently demonstrating passion, support, and delight for the human experience of the live performance which has defined civilization over the centuries and continues to enhance the quality of life in our city, state, and nation.
Chapter brothers won the 5-on-5 intramural basketball championship, beating Delta Tau Delta 60-59 in the finals. Jordan Bolton’s free throws in the final seconds clinched a two-point victory, which gave the chapter the championship in both the 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 basketball leagues. Members of the team included Bolton, Mike Speicher-Harris, Trevor Hart, Steve Samuse, and Boomer Hart; while the 3-on-3 team consisted of Mike Schellhammer, Sid Clark, and Ryan Hentkowski.
Florida Southern (Epsilon-Xi)
The chapter continues to implement the Inner Circle of the True Brother Initiative. This spring semester, the chapter had six more brothers go through the first evolution (Faithful Steward). This currently gives them 14 brothers through the first level of the Inner Circle Journey. Improvements that have been made since last semester include: a more involved alumni group that is learning the evolutions and will be ready to conduct them starting next semester, weekly Inner Circle meetings where brothers talk about their individual journeys and reflect with one another, and more brotherhood awareness/acceptability of the True Brother Initiative. The chapter has a full Inner Circle Council set up who meet with brothers to determine their readiness to go through an evolution.
Eastern Illinois (Phi-Alpha)
The chapter was awarded first place in the men’s division of the 2009 Airband competition. The chapter’s performance included “Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham and ended with a performance of “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Missy Elliott, Mya and Lil’ Kim where the men dressed up in wigs and suspenders. Jake Juracka, a senior physical education major, was captain of the Lambda Chi Alpha team.
Florida State (Zeta-Rho)
Wallace C. Croup (1951) died April 9, 2009.
Florida Tech (Beta-Nu)
Since the beginning of the school year the chapter has increased in strength from 16 to 38 active members and took first place in Greek Week football.
The chapter was also named 2009 Greek Week champions and successfully competed in both Greek Sing and Tug of War.
The chapter won Florida Tech’s Gold President’s Philanthropy Award, the Silver President’s Campus Service Award, the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award from the USA Freedom Corps, and the Recruitment and Retention Award.
Eastern Kentucky (Phi-Beta)
Phil Meyer (2009) received the Bronze Campus Service Award and Dan Pruim (2011) received both the Bronze Campus Service Award and the Silver Philanthropy Award.
Nick Whitcomb was shot while working as a police officer in Lexington, Kentucky. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The chapter, with growing alumni financial support, is planning to send a respectable contingent to the Centennial Celebration this summer.
The chapter held a cookout for alumni brothers during the Greek Reunion Weekend on April 18-19, 2009, which featured the exciting Bike Race that took place directly across from the chapter’s backyard.
Grand Valley State (Delta-Theta)
Matt Zalewski recently received a commission into the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant.
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Gulf Coast Conclave
James Madison (Phi-Eta)
Nearly 90 brothers attended the Gulf Coast Conclave held at the University of Texas-San Antonio on April 3-4, 2009, to celebrate the Centennial and share in different activities. Those attending the event participated in educational sessions provided both by the General Fraternity and local alumni brothers. Alumni brothers who volunteered their time included Chapter Adviser Andy Ackfeld (Incarnate Word), Greek Adviser Nick Zuniga (Texas A&M), Chapter Adviser Wayne Gossard (Southern Methodist), and Master Steward Rick Scauzillo, along with a few other alumni brothers from the Phi-Upsilon Zeta. Also in attendance was Grand High Phi Jim Bond. Awards were presented during the final banquet and included most man miles given to Millsap College; Recruitment given to Tarleton State University; Highest GPA given to Southern Methodist University; and the Philanthropy award given to University of Texas-San Antonio. Overall the conclave would not have been possible without the efforts of UTSA Chapter Adviser Rob Mendiola and Conclave Chairman Adam Powell.
A chartering banquet was held on April 24, 2009.
Robert Schmidt (2010) placed 146th in the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:38:08. The inaugural Links at Lambda party was held at the house on April 18, 2009, and was sponsored by Golf USA. Contestants in the “hole building” contest constructed their creative golf holes with the prize for best hole going to Ryan Benson, Matthew Souder, and Matthew Wilmore.
The chapter associated 37 men, 51 in a year and a half.
Houston Area Alumni Association
The chapter held an alumni dinner.
The Houston Area Alumni Association hosted its second annual Astro’s Baseball Brotherhood Event on April 21, 2009. Fifty brothers, including 10 undergraduates from the Texas A&M University chapter (Delta Mu Zeta), were present to enjoy a night of brotherhood and watch the Astro’s beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After serving 12 months in Iraq as a sergeant in the Army National Guard, Dominick Rancatore was welcomed home by his chapter brothers. Rancatore has truly displayed and lived the Seven Core Values of Lambda Chi Alpha: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service and Stewardship, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Brother Rancatore is looking forward to returning to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and coming back as an active brother in the chapter. On behalf of all the brothers, welcome home. Thank you for your dedication to your country, family, friends, and brothers.
Louisiana State (Upsilon)
L. Henri Ferrier IV (1984) died March 31, 2009.
Four chapter brothers raced in the Little 50 running event held on April 23, 2009. The Little 50 is the runner’s version of the Little 500. Twenty-five teams of four runners each, in both men’s and women’s races, compete in a 50-lap relay. Lane Rizzardini, Matthew Karazin, David Manzer, and Kevin Minard participated in the event having trained the entire year to prepare. Of 25 teams, Lambda Chi Alpha qualified 4th for the event and finished in the top 10.
Maryland-Baltimore County (Phi-Delta)
Johnathon Schaech was nominated for MTV’s Best Villain Award for his role as the sadistic killer on “Prom Night.”
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Maryland-College Park (Epsilon-Pi)
Jon Williamson (1965), former NIC executive vice president, was honored by the NIC with the Gold Medal Award during a banquet held on April 6, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Other notable brothers attending to honor Williamson were Executive Director Emeritus George Spasyk (Michigan 1949) and Executive Director Bill Farkas (Butler 1988).
At the Miami University Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Assocation and National Panhellenic Council Greek Awards on April 5th, 2009, Zeta-Upsilon Colony at Miami University won the 2009 Derrell Hart Most Improved Fraternity Chapter of the 28 Interfraternity Council chapters on campus.
Partnering with Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, the chapter was named Greek Week champions. The chapter held its annual philanthropy, Buzz-A-Chi, for 7-year-old Rylee Dorer living with T-cell lymphoma. In a single day event, the chapter raised more than $2,000. At the Annual Leadership Awards, the chapter won the Fraternity of the Year Award and Zachary Love won Freshman Leader of the Year Award.
Alex Allain (2009) and Andrew Olinger (2009) have been selected for Phi Beta Kappa Society for liberal arts and James Rice (2009) has been selected for Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society for business scholars.
Mass Inst. of Tech (Lambda)
Chapter brothers participated in a joint Habitat for Humanity build with the Millsaps chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority.
Edgar Meyer (2010) has been chosen for the Millsaps College McNair Fund for Christian Missions to be part of a group working with a Romanian orphanage in the summer of 2010. Previous Lambda Chi McNair recipients include Ben Cain (2009) at My Brother’s Keeper School of Music and Movement in Lilongwe, Malawi in 2007, Luke Darby(2009) at the Bartimai Center for the Blind in Ahmedabad, India in 2007, and Alex Allain (2009), Chris Awwad (2009) and Brian Mitchell (2009) at the local Catholic school in the village of Taybeh in the West Bank.
Jimmy Bartolotta was named the D3Hoops National Player of the Year in men’s basketball in addition to honors as First Team All-American. Bartolotta was also named the 2009 State Farm Coaches’ Division III Player of the Year as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Bartolotta is the MIT and NEWMAC all-time leading scorer with 2,279 points. He has ranked among the league leaders in nearly every category for the last three years and this year he averaged 27.6 points per game to rank second nationally.
Last month the chapter won the Zeta Beta Tau diversity award among all Greek chapters, and placed 3rd overall in the Pi Phi Karaoke philanthropy. David Jacks (2011), a sophomore in the chapter won most talented Greek at the University. Junior Chase Simpson won best all around Greek male and best example of a Greek. Also, alumni brother John Marquart won the Alumni of the Year award. Among many other honors, Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Memphis also had the highest attendance in the Phi Mu Spaghetti Dinner philanthropy.
Missouri S&T (Alpha-Delta)
Chapter brothers were presented with The Award of Excellence, which is the highest honor that a fraternity can receive on that campus. The application for the award places a high emphasis on campus involvement, officers in campus activities, community service, fundraising, grades, and chapter programming. The chapter accepted the award and plaque at a banquet held on April 29, 2009.
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Northern Michigan (Lambda-Upsilon)
The chapter held its 55th Founders Day Celebration. Alumni came from the area to celebrate the anniversary.
On April 6, 2009, the chapter brothers co-sponsored “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on Northern Michigan University’s campus. The event was held to raise awareness about sexual assault, and a majority of the brothers slipped on a pair of high heels and walked the mile.
Chapter brothers participated in Scouting for Food on April 4, 2009, hosted by the Boy Scouts to collect canned food. Ryan Owens was elected IFC vice president of public relations.
The chapter hosted its White Rose in April, which included alumni brothers and the following awards winners: Active of the Year, John Wroblewski; Alumni of the Year (awarded by actives), Aaron Bolthouse; Unsung Hero, Pat Digneit; Highest GPA, Chris Grigas; Most Improved GPA, Sean Hobbins; Alumni of the Year (awarded by alumni), Milo Gonser; Golden Hammer, Josh Jensen.
At the Greek Week Banquet, Seth Nelson received the Highest Greek GPA Award and Michael Buckley was invited into Order of Omega Greek honors society. During Greek Week, the chapter received the Greek Pillar Award for outstanding achievement of all 12 Greek ideals.
New Hampshire (Alpha-Xi)
The chapter hosted its annual Loyd Harris Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament included a BBQ at the chapter house and a fundraiser for the Jim Benson Award at Gamma-Rho. More than 150 alumni participated and raised approximately $20,000.
Adam Yusuf and Justin Rondeau took home first place for Lambda Chi Alpha at this year’s “Say What? Karaoke” hosted by Alpha Xi Delta.
On April 4, 2009 members of Lambda Chi Alpha partnered with Alpha Chi Omega to adopt a one mile stretch of Seabrook Beach of Seabrook, NH. With assistance from the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, that Saturday morning the brothers and sisters picked up 26 pounds of trash from Seabrook Beach. Members of both parties will return to the beach throughout the year to ensure it is clean and safe for beachgoers as well as wildlife, such as the endangered piping plover, which nests in the area.
Michael S. Alexander (1997) died April 11, 2009.
Oklahoma State (Alpha-Eta)
Leon Mitchell (1950) died January 18, 2009. He had retired as minister of recreation of First Baptist Church of Columbus, Tennessee, and served on the Baptist Sunday School Board for the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville as a recreational consultant.
North Carolina State (Gamma-Upsilon)
Oregon State (Alpha-Lambda)
L.C. Hasty (1950) died March 21, 2009.
The chapter enjoyed a great Winter Term winning Intramural All University Championships in billiards and stadium football; Fraternity Champions in basketball and volleyball. Russ Mercado, Tito Garcia, Juan Martinez, Ryan Walker, Gebon Lewis, and Danny Rauda danced their way to first place, while the chapter took second place overall in Kappa Delta’s Mock Rock for the second year in a row. The philanthropy raised more than $15,000 for a local children’s home.
Northeastern State (Delta-Beta)
On April 25, 2009 at the 2009 Greek Awards the Chapter received the following honors: 2009 Greek Week Football Champions; 2009 Greek Week Softball Champions; 2009 Overall Greek Week Champions; Outstanding Leadership Development Award; Outstanding Scholarship Award, Skylar Williams, Outstanding Leadership Award, Rustyn Van Deventer; Outstanding New Greek Male, Bryson Williams; Outstanding Chapter President, Patrick Vaughan; Top 5 Greek Male, Bryant Cox; Top 5 Greek Male, Todd Newcomb; Top 5 Greek Male, Patrick Vaughan; Overall Top Greek Male, Todd Newcomb; Outstanding Greek Alumnus, Brian Konieczny; Outstanding Faculty Member, Kin Thompson; Outstanding Staff Member, Jerry Cook.
Paul Heim and Collin Turner were selected to be ASOSU directors of activities. Geoff Jenks and Carl Pitzer are new members for the ASOSU House of Representatives. Maxine Commons died April 14, 2009. Known affectionately as Mrs. C. during the 1980s-90s, she was named Lambda Chi Alpha’s House Mom of the Year at the General Assembly. Donations may be made in her name to the chapter’s local scholarship fund at Oregon State University.
James D. Rutherford (2010) died March 28, 2009. He died at the scene of a car crash southwest of Miami, Oklahoma.
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Pittsburg State (Lambda-Chi)
Eighteen chapter brothers showed up to clean their two mile stretch of highway located north of Pittsburg, Kansas. The chapter adopted the stretch of highway in February of this year and will continue to clean the highway three times a year for the remainder of their two year contract. Cary Nafzigers, Gary Nafzigers, and Chris Nafzigers were featured in the Kansas City Star as a family-owned business in the business section. The business is called 800 call-KC
Chapter brothers have been busy supporting the philanthropies of many other Greek organizations on campus, and one that sits particularly dear to the men of the chapter was the “Protect Your Balls” dodgeball tournament, which raised money for testicular cancer research. Our chapter would like to expand its list of alumni and their contact information. Anyone interested should please email their information to email@example.com. We would like to keep in touch with our members, especially about the alumni lunch held on Dakota Days in the fall.
Pete Cole is the chief financial officer for the Zahner Co. who redesigned the iconic Kansas City Royals huge score board that is one of the most well known in all of Major League Baseball.
Southeast Missouri (Delta-Phi)
As a part of the chapter’s Inner Circle journey, 10 brothers completed Faithful Steward and 10 comlpeted Servant Leader.
At the 2009 Greek Week, the chapter won the President’s Award for Fraternal Excellence and the Community Service Award. Also Joe Gholson (2009) was elected Greek Man of the Year. The chapter also won the Gold Level Award for Greek Week overall.
At the Awards of Excellence ceremony, the chapter won the House Beautification Award and received an honorable mention for Greek Relations.
Craig LaChance (2007) was elected president of student government. Ben Hoe (2007) was elected vice president of student government.
Raymond Pinto (2010) was inducted into Phalanx, RPI’s honorary leadership society, and Brian Lewis (2011) was inducted into Order of Omega, Greek honorary society.
Scott Crowell, Jason LeGrand, and Aaron Wright recently participated in Delta-Phi Zeta’s 20th Anniversary Banquet at the Hilton at the Ballpark in downtown St. Louis. Crowell, a Founding Father, the chapter’s first initiate, and a former High Alpha, traveled from Texas with his wife, Amy, and was inducted that night into the Delta-Phi Zeta Hall of Fame.
Rensselaer Polytechnic (Epsilon-Eta)
David Drew (2009) won RPI’s Frederick M. Nussbaum ‘30 Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism and the chapter’s Kalepa Ta Kala Award, given to the senior who best succeeded in accomplishing his goals. Jeremie Carlson was elected vice president of the class of 2011 and Alex Palkovic was elected vice president of the class of 2012.
Wright, who was involved in planning the event and headed a two-year effort to track the chapter’s Big Brother-Little Brother history, was named Alumnus of the Year. Wright’s project, the family tree of the chapter’s 416 initiates, was unveiled during the program.
Chapter Adviser Roger Grice was voted “Meanest Man on Campus” in a charity fundraiser. He set a school record for the amount of money raised.
Derrick Feldmann, who was not able to attend, was recognized at the event as a donor to the Lambda Chi Alpha Henderson House Alumni Association Scholarship, which he started with his college roommates. Neal E Boyd, winner of last season’s “America’s Got Talent,” was inducted into the Delta-Phi Zeta Hall of Fame.
Cross & Crescent
St. Louis Centennial Reception
of Lambda Chi Alpha, said that music teacher and fraternity alumnus Bryan Price needed help raising money for the music program at Fifth District Elementary School in Baltimore County. Money raised from the event will go towards buying new drums for Price to use in his classes.
More than 40 brothers, guests, and friends celebrated Lambda Chi Alpha’s Centennial at the St. Louis Club in Clayton, Missouri, on April 14, 2009. Grand High Pi Lynn Chipperfield (Drury 1973) addressed the Lambda Chi Alpha faithful with praise towards the True Brother Initiative, which has been available for use by our chapters now for almost two years. Executive Vice President Bill Farkas (Butler 1988) gave a state of the fraternity address to the Missouri crowd. The evening was recapped by Dan Hartmann (Truman State 2007) on the Fraternity’s website under Centennial blogs.
Chapter brothers presented a check for $500 to the Montgomery County Boys and Girls Club. The money was raised from hosting a roast of Religion and Philosophy Professor Stephen Webb.
Texas Christian (Iota-Pi)
Worcester Polytechnic (Pi)
Dr. William E. Robinson Jr. (1984) was named the Texas Christian University Distinguished Alumnus. He is at the forefront of AIDS research and his work focuses on a specific viral protein called integrase, a requisite for HIV replication. Robinson and colleagues have identified more than 100 compounds that inhibit integrase. Their work provides the opportunity to better understand the molecular mechanisms of HIV replication, and the compounds hold great promise as anti-HIV drugs.
Texas-El Paso (Zeta-Epsilon)
Javier V. Urbina teaches physics at the Chamizal High School and English at the ITCJ in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Chapter brothers held a music drive in the Speaker’s Circle on March 23, 2009, in an effort to raise money to improve a local elementary school’s music department. David Steinbach, president www.crossandcrescent.com
The chapter received a Community Engagement Award on April 6, 2009, at the Colleges of Worcester Consortium Inc.’s third annual “Celebration of Higher Education in Central Massachusetts” at Mechanics Hall. The award is presented to individuals and groups of students from Consortium-member institutions that provided within the past year exemplary service to their communities. In the past 16 years, Lambda Chi Alpha brothers have collected more than 1 million pounds of food for the Friendly House Community Shelter in Worcester and the Worcester County Food Bank; last fall, about 150,000 pounds of food were donated. The fraternity’s 98 brothers volunteered their time last year and visited more than 10,000 homes throughout the city to drop off donation bags with fliers to encourage contributions at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The group teamed up with the Worcester Sharks hockey team and the office of Worcester County Sheriff Guy W. Glodis to assist families in need.
Cross & Crescent
Celebrating Lambda Chi’s Legends & Leaders As part of a 12-month series, our sixth month pays tribute to Elles M. Derby. Editor’s Note: The following contains excerpts from the March 1972 Cross & Crescent.
By Sean Cox (Butler 2009)
Elected Grand High Alpha When the Grand High Zeta executive committee was reduced to normal size, he was one of the three men selected to serve in the administration of C. Russell Shetterly (Denver 1919). At the first post-war General Assembly in Toronto in 1946, he was elected to the office of Grand High Alpha on the first ballot.
Elles M. Derby (Brooklyn Poly 1926), far-seeing, aggressive and hard-working Grand High Alpha in the immediate Post-World War II day, died of a heart attack Saturday morning, January 8, 1972, in Valley Hospital, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ. He had been stricken at his home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Elles, retired third vice-president in the home office of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in New York City, lived at 110 Ackerman Ave. in Ho-Ho-Kus.
Derby’s influence was profound. Lambda Chi Alpha was just regaining its balance after a war of more than 4-1/2 years and which had come on the heels of a long financial depression. He took the lead in programs that would supplement those of his constructive predecessors and thereby ensure Lambda Chi Alpha a position among the leading fraternities. Well-informed on office practices, he proposed plans that brought into full use machines that would multiply central office efficiency. For a number of years the Lambda Chi Alpha office was a model in office procedures for many a fraternity and, to this day, new mechanical devices are constantly being checked for their application to Lambda Chi Alpha’s needs. But Elles Derby’s influence was also notable on the human side. He was a hard taskmaster over his associates on the Grand High Zeta and on the central office staff but, to his eternal credit, it can always be said that he gave more in such endeavors than he expected of others. It would be difficult to enumerate all of his contributions. A highlight of course was the development of the seminar idea, not entirely new among fraternities in those days, but something that was in practice in only two or three others. The first seminar was held in the summer
Merger Committee Member The able past chief executive of the fraternity had a profound influence on its well being. When his former fraternity, Theta Kappa Nu, rejected proposals for merger with another fraternity at its 1938 convention, he was appointed to a merger committee along with Leroy A. Wilson (Rose-Hulman), later to be president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co.; and Donald F. Lybarger (Gettysburg 1919), then Grand Archon of Theta Kappa Nu and later to be a judge in the Cuyahoga County courts in Cleveland. Within a few hours, after Judge Lybarger approached Bruce H. McIntosh (DePauw 1916), then administrative secretary of Lambda Chi Alpha, on the matter of union at the 1938 sessions of the National Interfraternity Conference in New York City, Derby became part of the discussions. He was subsequently one of the three Theta Kappa Nu representatives in the merger negotiations. When, under terms of the 1939 union, Theta Kappa Nu elected four representatives to the Lambda Chi Alpha Grand High Zeta, Derby was chosen, along with Judge Lybarger, Dr. Winslow A. Anderson (Rollins) and Thomas Naylor (Millsaps). Derby was also selected to represent Theta Kappa Nu on the merged fraternity’s executive committee.
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HISTORY of 1949 at Wittenberg University, the alma mater of then administrative secretary Cyril F. “Duke” Flad. The seminar was highly successful, and such meetings are continued to this day, even though the format has been altered to meet changed conditions. Elles realized that the post-World War II era constituted an excellent period for expansion, something that he felt was important if Lambda Chi Alpha were to retain its major position in the fraternity world. The colony system, which had had some humble beginnings during his service on the Grand High Zeta executive committee, was pressed forward with vigor. In his four years as Lambda Chi Alpha’s chief, 26 chapters were installed or revived and seven additional colonies were created. This was a major achievement in those days before more favorable conditions witnessed even greater expansion. Mason Foundation Director He was a major figure in the formation of the John E. Mason Foundation and was one of its first directors. The energies of the past Grand High Alpha also were extended into the interfraternity field. He served on the executive committee of the National Interfraternity Conference and for a number of years he was a leader on the scholarship committee. Later in life, he helped Horace Nichol, Delta Upsilon, as assistant treasurer of the National Interfraternity Foundation. Elles knew Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha as few others did. He was a delegate to the second and third conventions of Theta Kappa Nu and kept in close touch thereafter. He was treasurer for four years preceding the union and a member of the executive committee part of the time. Earlier he was a province archon three years and province secretary four years. Interestingly, his old local at Brooklyn Poly had been a petitioner of Lambda Chi Alpha and was turned toward Theta Kappa Nu by Administrative Secretary McIntosh when it became apparent that conditions would not permit chartering by Lambda Chi Alpha at that time.
At the time of his death Elles had been working on completing an account of various phases of Theta Kappa Nu development for the Lambda Chi Alpha history project. In the early 1940s he and the revered past Grand High Alpha, Dr. John E. Mason, had compiled a history of the Lambda Chi Alpha-Theta Kappa Nu union and he had written that there was no reason to change the version as originally published in three installments in Cross & Crescent. Elles M. Derby was born February 24, 1903, in Brooklyn and married the former Miss Sarah Steele. They had two daughters, Mrs. Howard A. (Carol) McKnight of Columbia, S.C., and Miss Cheryl Ann Derby of Ho-Ho-Kus.
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Toronto Chapter Thrives Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta has reaped the benefits of implementing the True Brother Initiative.
By Ted Panagiotoulias (Toronto)
Editor’s Note: Over the next two months, we will look at both qualitative and quantitative results from the True Brother Initiative. For May, Student Advisory Committee member Ted Panagiotoulias writes about the results from his Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta at the University of Toronto. When you think of your brothers above the border, what comes to mind aside from frigid cold, igloos, and hockey? Maybe you have heard of the Habarim society founded in 1904 at the University of Toronto or the Alpha Epsilon Fraternity that took its place in 1916? Likely you have heard of its chartering into Lambda Chi Alpha in 1927, which gave the Fraternity its international status. You may have heard the name Kenneth Gibb (1926), which was followed by the designation Grand High Alpha from 1954-1958. At some point, we have all encountered the letters Epsilon-Epsilon, which are snuggled comfortably in the manuals of education and timelines that capture our history.
The Outer Circle has opened up our chapter to a world of possibilities that we might never have realized. With traditional recruitment styles and strategies being heavily entrenched in our century-old Greek community, the Cole Recruitment Institute was exactly what our zeta needed to improve what was perhaps one of our biggest weaknesses.
However, for years the question has been “where is Toronto?” There are many blanks in recent decades in the history of the Toronto chapter. Sometimes there has been a questioning of whether our place really was within this Bond; other times it seemed that the zeta was slipping through the cracks and its survival was unsure.
By instituting a system of values-based recruitment and by focusing on “recruitment” rather than “rushing,” we have significantly improved our recruitment numbers.
How It Began Although a strong brotherhood existed within and enriched the lives of its men, the chapter was lost somewhere between the shadow of an unforgettable and impressive past, and an unsure and not always righteous progression into the future.
Impact on Recruitment This year we initiated 16 men while still using a quality over quantity approach. We had an initiation both semesters, something we have not seen at our chapter in prior years when we averaged around seven men per year. The way our zeta views recruitment has changed drastically. We stopped excusing our poor recruitment and got over the mythologies that had been passed down about the difficulty of recruitment in Canadian chapters.
Sometimes the zeta seemed to forget that brotherhood in our bond extends beyond the college walls of each institution. However, at the end of the tunnel, when it seemed like it was time to possibly pull the plug, the history and original grandeur of the Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta was re-captured and would once again become a vital part of Lambda Chi Alpha.
The Call to Brotherhood Fraternity Education Program has also transformed our zeta. When I was but a young associate, I was given a manual and the Paedagogus and told to meet with my big brother before initiation. I read my material and met with him once. Was I as prepared as I should be? Probably not, and I was “that guy,” the one who read his Paedagogus from cover to cover 40 times in the first week of receiving it. Were the other five associates as ready as they should be? I would say it is doubtful, and to be honest, two of them are no longer members.
It was March of 2008 when Director of Chapter Services John Holloway (High Point 1993) and Director of Education Tim Reuter (Simpson 2004) visited us. For many of us, this was our first interaction with a member of the Fraternity staff. They were not here to conduct a sting operation and uncover rule-breaking and misconduct, but brought news of something that would change the course of history for Epsilon-Epsilon Zeta.
Today, with the Call to Brotherhood program and the focus on the Seven Core Values, our associate members are ready for their initiation and their steps through the portals of brotherhood. As they wait at the periphery of
The True Brother Initiative had arrived at our front door, we answered it and we would never be the same again. www.crossandcrescent.com
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the Inner Circle, they understand what Lambda Chi Alpha stands for, are self-aware, know their history and what is and will be expected of them. In a nut shell: they know, they are prepared, and they develop with True Brother.
Ritual. We just scraped by with the Associate Member Ceremony and Officer Installation but did not have the focus of “living the ritual” that we do today. The Ritual was incredible the day it was performed, but for the rest of the year it was tucked away, gathering dust. Today, thanks to the Inner Circle program and values instilled in the True Brother Initiative as a whole, we take an approach to ZAX sessions that is interactive and applies our teachings to our everyday lives.
Becoming Better Men Let me paint this picture more clearly. During pre-initiation this year our associates came up with two phenomenal ideas for a Zeta Project. In our first semester the associates planned a mural of the fourth quarter of the shield on our coat of arms; the clasped hands between three stars. In the second semester they put together the plans to embed a stone cross and crescent, in honor of our founders and fallen brothers, in the wall of our chapter room. Portraits of Warren A. Cole and John Mason, two faces that had been nowhere to be found in our home, were placed on either side.
How can we be better men? How can we be true Lambda Chi’s in every thought, word, and deed? This is the change True Brother makes. The Inner Circle helps us realize that it is a never-ending journey that promotes continual growth like the crescent. Initiation is only the first of thousands of steps.
To us, the initiating brothers, this was proof of the power of True Brother. Several years earlier these projects would not have been based on our Fraternity and our eternal bond, but rather would have included beer-pong tables and the like, that I will leave to your imaginations.
When something means as much as Lambda Chi Alpha means to us, it is a shame not to be able to proudly display it for those who mean the most in your life. With the True Brother program we have been able to turn our chapter into something we are proud of, and something we want the world to know about.
Ritualistically, our chapter has always been exceptional in performing our rites. However, we were severely lacking in educating our brothers on the www.crossandcrescent.com
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TRUE BROTHER Parents and Alumni This year our Associate Member Ceremonies, and the small reception and open-house that followed each one, ensured that our invited parents and friends could see what Lambda Chi Alpha is all about. We saw parents, who had been anti-fraternity, change their views completely and even offer us their cottage for our winter retreat.
Today, we have a High Pi as well as two additional alumni advisers who are passionate and want to be here as often as they can. We have another strong group of alumni who drop in once in a while and attend all major events. We have seen the resurrection of Founder’s Day, the annual alumni dinner, and attendance at Rituals. We also had exceptional attendance at our Centennial Alumni Reception in late September.
“I wish I could be active in today’s zeta”. This is a phrase that has been uttered to us in some shape or form throughout this entire year by our alumni brothers. Both recent and far-removed alumni have shown their pride in us younger brothers and the zeta that has formed with True Brother as its catalyst of change. We have seen increased amounts of alumni support, alumni activity, and a re-kindled passion for the Fraternity.
Planting the Seed The reality of “lifetime brotherhood” has been re-planted into the minds of our alumni brothers and serves as a powerful example for the active zeta. We are on our way to recapturing what existed here decades ago. Moreover, the creation of a Toronto Alumni Association has been set in motion.
Three years ago, when I was initiated, I did not know one alumnus; there were no events at which to meet them and we did not have any alumni advising us. We were on our own and there was no example of the lifetime brotherhood my manuals, our Rituals and the General Fraternity so proudly proclaimed. When looking at the True Brother journey, we recognized that this was a problem.
Most of all the change can be seen in the overall attitudes, awareness, and outlook of our membership. It has allowed our zeta to “increase in the knowledge of Lambda Chi, it teachings, applications, and possibilities”. Today, our brothers bleed purple, green and gold. They live for Lambda Chi Alpha and are true stewards of the flame that has been passed down throughout the generations. They want to be better men, to represent the Fraternity the way it should be, and to see their journey as one that lasts forever, and not just for four years. Becoming an initiated brother to them is not the end, but simply the beginning of a long road as brothers in Zeta Alpha Chi.
Where were the lifetime brothers? Was the Mastery Circle completely vacant? We quickly recognized they had slowly, or sometimes quickly, left the chapter because of the path it was taking. They did not want anything to do with, and had lost pride in, Epsilon-Epsilon. We knew we needed to fix this.
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New Website Tools ZAX Networking provides new web resouces for undergraduate/alumni brothers.
By Chris Barrick (Butler 2004)
A new set of web resources, called ZAX Networking, is available for undergraduate and alumni brothers at lambdachi.org. The online community features include a member directory/search, discussion groups, chapter pages, and the new home of the Joe Charles Mentor Leadership Program. Following the May 2009 Cross & Crescent email, you should also receive an email sent with your CLIENT ID. The CLIENT ID is needed to claim your ZAX Networking account. If you don’t receive the email don’t worry, just contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school and graduation year and we we will be happy to provide you a CLIENT ID. MyPage Upon successfully registering for ZAX Networking, each brother can navigate to a dynamically-generated, customized MyPage experience. Content on this page includes your profile updates, email status, discussion group subscriptions, contacts, and the ability to update your contact information directly into the Lambda Chi Alpha Membership database. You can also adjust your personal privacy settings to share only the information you want with the brotherhood. Online Directory Do you want to find contact information for brothers from your chapter or a particular city? The online directory allows you to find brothers from colleges and different generations. The initial settings have all brothers set with a blind email that allows brothers to communicate without publicly disclosing your email address.
Furthermore, resume searching and uploading are now available for those who join the Lambda Chi Alpha online community. We are excited to offer you a new tool to stay connected with all the brothers who share our bond and provide great networking capabilities. Looking to hire a brother? Look no further than the resume search. A big thank you goes out to our Charles Mentor Board for their advisory role over the past few years. Those brothers include:
Chapter Pages Each chapter and alumni association is invited and encourated to create and maintain their own Chapter Page. This can be used to highlight your activities and keep your alumni informed. If you would like to create and administrate a page for your chapter or alumni association, please contact email communications@ lambdachi.org. Please include your chapter and ZAX Networking username. You will be contacted with further instructions.
• • • • • •
Mike Gillis (Cal – Davis) Eric Carlsen (Northwestern) Ray Lutzky (Rensselaer) Rich Macha (Kansas State) Spencer Schmerling (Cal State – Northridge) Larry Young (Cal State – Fresno)
Joe Charles Mentor Leadership The Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation, with the support of Joseph T. Charles (Culver-Stockton), is excited to update you on the revamped Charles Mentor Program. On the sidebar link of “mentoring,” brothers have the option to create and search Mentor/ Mentee posting.
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Lance Krall Stars in VH1 Comedy The second season of “Free Radio” airs every Thursday at 11 p.m. EDT on VH1.
By Tad Lichtenauer (Butler 1987)
Actor, comedian, and former chapter ritualist at Georgia State University, Lance Krall (Georgia State 1993) served as the keynote speaker at last summer’s 52nd General Assembly held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Shortly afterward he found out that his VH1 show, Free Radio was picked up by VH1 for a second season. He then spent the next several months writing and starring in the show. The show is about what happens when a legendary morning shock-jock abandons his post, leaving the feeble-minded intern in charge. Carnage and mayhem...but funny carnage and mayhem. Free Radio is improvised comedy that chronicles the Cinderella story of one dim-witted intern Lance (played by Lance Krall) who answers his call to greatness by jumping in to host a popular radio show when the real host defects to satellite radio. What follows is a glorious train wreck of botched celebrity interviews, on-air tantrums and generally lovable buffoonery.
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The twist? Lance’s hosting effort is so spectacularly awful, that ratings actually go up. This, of course, forces his frustrated manager James (played by Brian Huskey) and co-host Anna (played by Anna Vocino) to put up with him for the sake of the ratings. The new show, Moron in the Morning, continues to be a fan favorite.
we pulled it off, and I think anyone who enjoyed last season will notice an improvement in almost every aspect of the show.” The response thus far has been amazing, especially in this day and age where people love taking anonymous pot shots on the web. It’s all been really positive.
Completely improvised, Free Radio offers a fresh alternative to the typical sitcom, showing just how far real A-List celebrities will go to tolerate a complete moron. In season one, Hollywood luminaries from 24’s Kiefer Sutherland to Heroes Jack Coleman and comedy legend Ray Romano are subjected to the idiot storm that is Lance and Moron in the Morning. Forget 24, when is the sequel to Flatliners coming out? Will Spiderman be joining the cast of Heroes? Hey, isn’t it time that Ray Romano played a serial killer? Only one show digs deep for the answers to these questions.
“The biggest kick I got was seeing my face on a billboard in Times Square,” he says. “That was surreal.”
While runaway celebrity interviews make up the bulk of the show, Free Radio also goes behind the scenes to depict our loveably dim hero’s struggle to deal with his new-found fame and earn the respect of his co-workers. Comments about Season 2 “Shooting Free Radio’s second season was again, a complete blast,” Krall says. “We had fantastic guests and my cast really came into their own.” “This season of Free Radio was also really challenging for a host of reasons,” he says. “First of all, our favors were basically exhausted after season one, so we had to rely on the strength of the show, and not who our neighbor’s friend’s brother knew to get our celebrity guests.” Fortunately, the show had a lot of fans in the entertainment community after season one aired and they got Hank Azaria, Cheech and Chong, Kathy Griffin, Henry Rollins, the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Ed Helms, and Akon, just to name a few. “We also took it upon ourselves to make this season bigger, funnier, and louder that last season, but with the same budget,” Krall says. “Somehow
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Brother Answers the Call Paul Estridge and his company, The Estridge Companies, will be highlighted on the May 17 edition of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” By Tad Lichtenauer (Denison 1987) Instead of hosting a big party to watch ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” on Sunday, May 17, 2009, Paul E. Estridge Jr. (Evansville 1979) plans to watch the show at home with his family.
Two Conditions There were two pre-conditions for Estridge agreeing to ABC’s offer. “I had always felt these homes had frequently looked like set designs done in L.A.,” he said. “And they are just way over the top. It’s got to be embarrassing not only to the new home owners when the cameras leave but to all of the neighbors.”
“First of all I’ll be a nervous wreck,” he says. “And secondly, I just want to be there. I don’t have to be on...don’t have to be chatty.”
So Estridge told ABC the only way he would agree to do the show was to have complete control of the architecture: the outside, scale of the home has to fit the architecture of the neighborhood.
As the president of the Carmel, Indiana-based The Estridge Companies, Estridge’s life changed dramatically when ABC called one of his vice presidents and asked if his company would build a new house for a needy family in Indianapolis.
“And they said ‘OK’ which really surprised me,” he says. “And since we’ve done it I’ve become even more surprised because it really doesn’t appear as though any other builders have ever been able to do very much. So Maybe it’s because they’ve never asked.”
“We were told that they typically try to find a builder in each market who shares the values that are on the show,” he says. The executive producers with ABC told Estridge that they knew about his company and thought the two companies were aligned and had similar values. They gave him about 48 hours to respond.
“For our company, that’s really the story,” he says. “We did build a beautiful home for a nice family. And we’re really proud...but more importantly, is that we planted 1,200 trees along six miles of streets. And we regraded and redressed and cleaned up 5 miles of alleys...and we refurbished, repainted or re-roofed 22 homes on the street we were building on. Tore down two houses that had been vacant.”
“We said there couldn’t be a worse time for us to go build a house for free for a family in a neighborhood we don’t know,” Estridge says. “How in the world are we ever going to pull this off?”
On top of that, Estridge also built a wireless mesh canopy, called a FAN (free wireless neighborhood), to allow more than 450 homes, businesses, and schools to have a lifetime of free Internet access.
Estridge’s second issue was he wanted to leverage the energy from the show to do more for the entire neighborhood on Indianapolis’ northeast side.
For all of the right reasons, Estridge decided to accept ABC’s offer. “It’s about reaching down deep in the tough times...not pulling in closer and holding on tighter but opening up more and finding ways to do more,” he says. “And as it turned out, it was absolutely the right decision. It’s been the single most energizing, transforming event we’ve ever done.” To that end, the company focused heavily on their work more than what was going on with show, the stars, or the filming. “Everyone only knows of this from the show,” he says. “But the show’s really invisible to us. We were down there doing what we do and the show was there on the outside edges...we were doing it in an extremely concentrated period of time.”
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FEATURE Lasting Impact When The Estridge Companies was founded by Paul’s father in 1967, it began with a simple commitment: to design and build homes as if we were building them for our own family. Today, more than 7,000 homes later, the company is one of the nation’s most respected home builders. Given the company’s long history, Estridge has yet to fully reflect on the impact of the experiences this project has afforded him and his company. “I think it’s evolving,” he says. “In the midst of this, we’re really in deep survival mode as a company. So everybody immediately snapped back to their roles and responsibilities.” The sharing from employees has been amazing, as well as the outpouring of support from the community and people the show has touched. “I don’t know how it will change us,” he says. “I guess it’s convinced us. We are a company that’s based on the right values. And that what we stand for and do is meaningful and relevant.” After the build project was completed, Estridge sent out an email and told the employees that “trees with roots this deep don’t blow down easily. And we have deep roots right now and I’m very thankful for that.” Estridge thinks his company will do this type of project again and they want to stay involved with the neighborhood where they built the first house. “We really, really, really enjoyed it,” he says. “It was just an absolute blast....We all want to do something that is really off the charts. We’re wanting to do something that just rocks everybody.” Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is the single biggest reason Estridge finished college at the University of Evansville. He discovered Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity on a recruiting trip for football in 1976. “My big brother ended up being High Alpha...Chuck Singer,” Estridge says. “We were roommates. So it was just a really important connection that I had. Without it, I would have just floated off into something else. It was really critically important.” Unfortunately, Estridge’s connection with the Evansville and the local chapter had diminished since graduation due to other career and family demands. But now he is becoming re-engaged and he recently spoke at the school and 15-20 chapter brothers came over to support him. “I’m of an age of the fathers of the kids,” he says. “So I’ve started to reach out and connect to some of the young men from this area who are actives down there just to have some sort of connection.” At Evansville, Estridge played varsity football and served as the chapter president, an unbelievably important role for his development as a leader. “The role of being a leader of peers -- while having to fulfill the responsibility of being accountable to a housing corporation, collect dues, trying to be a part of the brotherhood — while also leading the brotherhood in ways that were not too damaging or too destructive,” he says. www.crossandcrescent.com 21
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...