Bill Pound ’60 Reflects on His Time with Beta Rho
When Bill Pound ’60 came to Montana State University as a freshman more than 50 years ago, he decided to become a member of Sigma Chi along with several of his friends. Now as an alumnus, he looks back on his days in Beta Rho fondly and with pride and still has strong connections with his brothers.
“We had the largest and best fraternity at Montana State,” Bill says. “Membership has led to lifelong friendships.”
During college, Bill served as scholarship chairman and song leader for Sigma Chi and earned a degree in engineering physics. Bill lived in the chapter house during his last two years at Montana State, and some of his favorite memories came from that time.
“I remember freezing in the top floor sleeping quarters as a junior, playing frisbee, being fined for bad table manners, making friends, and going to parties with Pi Phis, one of whom I married—Deanna Cada Pound. She is my wife and best friend to this day,” Bill says.
After graduation, Bill earned an MBA in operations research from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University. He started his more than 40-year career in manufacturing work at Georgia Pacific and ended with a job at Nike before retiring. Although Sigma Chi did not directly impact Bill’s career path, he believes the social skills he developed from being a member of the fraternity allowed him to be successful in life after college.
Although careers have taken them away from Beta Rho, Bill and his alumni brothers have managed to stay connected. On the first Tuesday of each month, they have lunch at the Riverside Country Club to catch up and reconnect. In addition, Bill has attended receptions at the chapter house where he was able to meet current undergraduate members.
“The current Sigma Chi chapter has been greatly helped by local alumni and seems to be doing well. Sigma Chi was and is a great experience.”
Bill lives with his wife, Deanna, in Bozeman, Montana. They have two sons, Alex and Matt, and one grandson. In his spare time, Bill enjoys gardening, hunting, making homemade jerky and bacon, and playing bridge with Deanna. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Larsen ’82 Gained Confidence, Built Character through Beta Rho Brotherhood
Larry Larsen ’82 didn’t have any brothers of his own, so when his dad’s close friend talked him into going through recruitment, he was easily convinced. During recruitment, Larry met some great friends that made the transition smoother. “Once I understood these men would be friends for life, I was in,” Larry said. Larry recalls that there were a couple of little sisters who may have influenced his decision to join Sigma Chi.
From the time Larry pledged to when he became an active member of Beta Rho, he had gained brothers for life. The relationships formed with brothers helped him find the man in himself and helped him learn to be a brother. “I learned to respect others’ opinions and build character,” Larry shared. The time spent living in the Beta Rho chapter house was Larry’s first taste of true diversity and gave him the confidence to take impossible situations and turn them into reality.
That confidence instilled in Larry through Beta Rho brotherhood greatly assisted his transition into the real world. Larry received his B.S. in business in ’82 and has since crossed paths with many Sigma Chis in his professional endeavors. “I always had close brothers as support,” he boasts. Larry encourages recent graduates to make time to stay connected with those brothers and to make them a part of your life. “Enjoy that brotherhood while in school and develop those long-lasting friendships.”
Larry’s professional path after graduating has led him to his current position as owner and president of Larry Larsen Real Estate Investment Group, LLC. While Larry has always been involved in real estate, his career started in Seattle, Washington, with Campbell Soup Restaurant Division, before he returned to Montana and purchased IGA Grocery in Ennis. Larry concentrates on real estate investments and is working toward an advanced degree as a CCIM in commercial real estate.
Looking back, some of Larry’s fondest memories were the chapter functions, the spring party, intramural sports, great summer weddings, and the best little sister program on campus. Larry visits the Beta Rho chapter house quite often, as he attends all Montana State home football games and tailgates with a number of brothers. “I have seen the chapter grow and fall,” Larry said. “When on its slide, I saw those brothers I graduated with step in and give a little breath of life to get them back on their feet.” Larry gives a special thanks to Walter Smith ’85, who took matters into his own hands and found a cook for the chapter house when Beta Rho lost their cook due to finances. “That nightly meal was so important in holding that brotherly bond together.”
Staying in touch with brothers is an important part of Larry’s life and has been easier in recent years thanks to technology. “We have a very active group text, and we all meet yearly to tell the same old stories,” he shares. Larry recently visited Russell Newberry ’84 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, to celebrate his retirement from the Discovery channel show, Deadliest Catch. Other brothers who made the trip were Walter Smith ’85, Terry Bruckbauer ’82, Robert Morton ’82, and Bryan Henson ’84. Larry urges Beta Rho graduates to reach out to their brothers now. “There is no time like today to give them a call. It will feel like yesterday,” Larry said. “It’s not a four-year commitment; it’s a lifelong friendship.”
Larry has two children with his former wife, Sheila Larsen: a daughter, Lauren, and a son, Austin, who is a ’14 member of Sigma Chi. Larry resides in Billings, Montana, and enjoys traveling, hunting, skiing, and playing golf in his spare time. E-mail: email@example.com
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