OF PSI UPSILON
Following the Path of Sterling Goodale Hadley
“My involvement in Psi U has been and continues to be a highlight of my life. I am indeed a lucky man, thanks to my grandfather!”
John E. Becker, II Psi ‘61 (Hamilton College)
My Psi U journey started when I was about 14 years old. My grandfather, John E. Becker, Psi ’03 (Hamilton College) took me to his 50th college reunion. He and I returned to the campus several times during my high school years and each time we drove up the hill to get to the college, he would point out every house along the way explaining who lived in each one when he was an undergraduate. He always took special note of the old Psi U house and his old room in particular. During the spring, summer and fall months he would drive me around New York state and Pennsylvania visiting his old Psi U classmates. My father John C. Becker, Psi ’35 did not openly display his affection for the fraternity or for Hamilton, preferring me to make up my own mind about things. My grandfather was not that subtle. When the time came for me to select a college, I never considered any other school but Hamilton, nor did I ever aspire to join any fraternity except Psi U. I will never forget the evening of my initiation, when I was barely into my first semester. Blindfolded (and scared to death) the pledge class was
Psi Upsilon Fraternity at Union College in 1833. We still possess some of the business records and advertising memorabilia from brother Hadley. After graduation from Union, Hadley eventually settled in Waterloo, NY where he was a prominent lawyer and judge.
Jeb holds an Aetna Insurance Company calendar dated 1889 of Sterling G. Hadley, Agent and an ashtray given to his grandfather, John E. Becker, Psi ’03 by Hadley at his initiation, in 1899.
led into a secret room. When I heard my grandfather sigh, I knew everything was going to be all right! Attending my initiation were my grandfather, father and uncle Al Cassel, Tau ’32. What a thrill for a young man. Immediately upon graduation, I went into the family insurance business originally purchased by my grandfather in 1910, then worked by my father for many years. In addition to being a family business, the actual agency was formed in 1840 by none other than Sterling Goodale Hadley, one of the seven founders of the
My Psi U roots run deep and my interest in and love for our fraternity has never waned. I have continued my service as the Psi chapter alumni president for the past 25 years and have been serving on the Psi Upsilon Executive Council for more than twelve years. My continuing interaction with the undergraduates shows me what a well run fraternity can do for a young person’s maturing process. It also keeps me young. The people I have met and continue to meet throughout the fraternity world are a testament to the value of a fraternity in a young man or woman’s life. And that’s why I give to Psi Upsilon’s Annual Fund and was pleased to join the Order of the Owl with a three year pledge of at least $1,000 annually.
Spring 2010 issue of the Review of Psi Upsilon