2013 Archives

A Little Heat Adds up to Positive Change
Alumnus Challenged Undergraduate brothers to ‘Just Do It’
Brother Sandy Muir Passes Away
FSPAC Fights for Tax Break Legislation
Funny Man Randy Smock ’84 Checks In
Reaching Out – Updates from Your Brothers
Sprucing Up the House
The Passing of a Brother
Undergraduate Q&A: Ben Kamperschroer

A Little Heat Adds up to Positive Change

 

Summertime was surprisingly busy for the chapter, as we focused on planning and recruitment efforts.

  • Over the last few months, chapter leaders attended an executive retreat at the Central Office to plan goals and implementation.
  • Moving forward, we will be implementing a new rush procedure with 2 chairs, a committee, and voting on each bid issued
  • On a positive note, we are happy to announce that we are one of 10 DTD pilot chapters for the new pledgeship program

All signs indicate that the chapter is moving in a positive direction. As always, the true secret to a successful active chapter is alumni engagement. If you’d like to volunteer your time, or simply would like to stop by to chat up the benefits of being a Delt, please email Scott Peden at speden@butler.edu.
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Alumnus Challenged Undergraduate brothers to ‘Just Do It’

 

DTD IN Gegax

Tom Gegax ’68 was a bit concerned in March as he finalized plans to return to the Delt house and share his experiences in life and business.

It was two days before the South Regional of the NCAA basketball tournament, featuring a rematch between Indiana University and Kentucky. Tom figured the minds of the chapter members would be focused on basketball rather than some alumnus from the mid-1960s sharing his triumphs and challenges of living and working.

Tom’s worries proved unfounded. He kept more than 70 active members, pledges and the House Corporation attentive for 90 minutes. He shared his journey from North Vernon, Ind. to being the head of Tires Plus, a multimillion-dollar business. He is now considered a best-selling author, lecturer, investor and philanthropist.

Gegax was an All-State basketball player at North Vernon and later enrolled at IU, where he pledged Beta Alpha and was among the first Delts to live in the present Shelter at 1431 North Jordan.

Tom married while still in school and had the first of his sons, Trent – who went on to become a long-time correspondent for Newsweek. He graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management. He was hired after graduation by Shell Oil.

At Shell, Tom became territory manager, covering service stations on Chicago’s south side. He later transferred to Minneapolis; he still lives to this day.

In 1976, Tom decided to strike out on his own. He and a partner began a startup they called Tires Plus. Tom became a pioneer in the tire distribution industry, with a unique focus on customer service and team building. He was “head coach” and staff members were his “team mates.” He held “huddles” instead of meetings.

Tom was a major shareholder in the company and sold Tires Plus to Bridgestone/Firestone in 2000.

Today Tom has moved on and now oversees the Gramercy Fund, an angel investment portfolio with stakes in Web services, biotech, media and base metals companies. He also manages Gegax Advisors and the Gegax Family Foundation.

During his time at Tires Plus, he was one of the first chief executive officers to initiate a corporate wellness program. He employed a wellness coach to help with smoking cessation, weight loss and massage.

Tom shared with his undergraduate brothers and fellow alumni that life has not always been smooth sailing.

He was hit with a triple whammy in 1989 when, at age 43, he faced a divorce, cancer and a failing business. Tom told the audience he implemented a complete transformation personally and professionally.

Over the years, Tom has updated and revised his approach, which he shared with the brothers.

He talked about the four key relationships and decisions that influenced life happiness:

  • Relationship with parents and elders
  • Selections of a mate or life partner
  • Career and money management
  • Holistic wellness

He encouraged the undergraduates to begin focusing on these four points now and to pursue learning. He shared a quote from Gandhi, “Live as if you’ll die tomorrow. Learn as if you’ll live forever.”

Tom challenged the chapter members to pursue their goals by creating their personal mission statements, getting organized, setting goals and action steps and planning a schedule. He challenged them to “just do it.”

He challenged the undergraduates to develop habits to make the most of their time, limiting television watching, focusing conversations and managing tasks by using his “6 Ds” which are:

  • Do not do
  • Delay
  • Delegate outside
  • Delegate inside
  • Do imperfectly
  • Do very well

Use parents as advisors, encouraged Tom, and build love relationships that center on honesty and caring; have healthy conflict resolution; feature on both sides a desire for growth and learning; and share common values and interests.

You can read more about Tom at www.gegax.com and learn about his books: “Winning the Game of Life” and “The Big Book of Small Business.”

Tom graciously signed and sent books for the undergrads.
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Brother Sandy Muir Passes Away

 

Alexander F. “Sandy” Muir, age 91, died on March 17, 2013 at Meadow Glen Assisted Living in Leesburg, Virginia. He had been ill for an extended time. Known to all his friends as Sandy, he had resided in Bluffton, Indiana from 1987 until early 2013, returning to Virginia in March, 2013. Born in Ellettsville, Indiana, he graduated from Ellettsville High School. He attended Indiana University (IU) where he received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism, completing his studies in 1942. While at IU he worked on and became editor of the Indiana Daily Student, the university daily newspaper, and was a member and prsident of the Board of Aeons, the student body governing body; the honorary journalistic fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi; and was vice president of Delta Tau Delta, a social fraternity. For a short period in 1942 he was night manager of the United Press office in Indianapolis, after which he enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and subsequently assigned to the War Department Communication Center, the Pentagon, Washington, DC. Following his discharge from military service, he accepted a position as a communications specialist with the Department of the Army Signal Corps in Washington, DC. For the next 32 years, until his retirement in 1973, he served in various capacities including the civilian communication project officer of the Army’s Nike Guided Missile Program.

Later during the Cold War he was assigned to the White House staff to assist in the development of survivable communication systems for use in the event the Executive and Congressional branches of government were forced to function outside the Washington DC area. As a final assignment, he was transferred to the Department of the Defense Communications Agency to serve as the civilian communication officer responsible for the design, engineering and installation of the government’s most extensive voice communications system known as Autovon.

While living in Falls Church, VA, he was a cub and scout master for over ten years. Subsequently, he and his wife the late Helen Elizabeth Muir moved their family of three children to a small farm in the town of Hillsboro, VA, where, as a family project, they initiated a program of breeding Nubian dairy goats. The program proved successful and a eventually what became known as Muirhill Farm bred the National Champion Nubian doe and National Champion milking herd for three straight years.
While living in Hillsboro he served on its town council and later as its mayor. He also served as president of the Loudoun County, VA 4-H Fair Board.

In 1987 he and his wife decided to return to Indiana. They purchased a small farm north of Bluffton, IN but the following year his wife Helen died of cancer. Eventually he met and married Dorothea Neuhauser Flaningam, the widower of the late mayor of Bluffton, John Flaningam. Together they shared for many years in community and church volunteer activities. As a member of First United Methodist Church, Sandy served for a number of years as a Sunday school teacher and on several committees. He was a member of the Parlor City Golf and Country Club where he was an avid golfer. He also was an active IU alumni and active follower of IU basketball.

His beloved wife Dorothea passed away in October, 2012. He is survived by a brother-in-law, Dr. Bill Rossman, of Charleston, WV; three children, Michael Alexander Muir, Rachel Claire Muir and Marybeth Muir, all of whom reside in Virginia, and by six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by stepchildren Dr. J. P. Flaningam of Alameda, CA, and Ann Sascheider of Bluffton, IN, and their eight grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at Hall’s Funeral Home, Purcellville, VA on March 22nd.
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FSPAC Fights for Tax Break Legislation

 

DTD IN FSPAC

The Background Story

In May, friends and family mourned the deaths of five UNC-Chapel Hill students 17 years ago. These students passed away well before their time in a tragic house fire at one of the university’s fraternity houses, Phi Gamma Delta.

Since the tragic event, brothers of Phi Gamma Delta, friends and family of the victims, politicians and many others have campaigned at university, local, state and national levels for increased fire safety standards in campus housing. At the state level and below, the campaign has taken its most noticeable form in the “Help Save a Life, Get on the Truck” campaign, spearheaded by Governor Bev Perdue, whose son Garrett was a Phi Gam brother at UNC the year the fire occurred. In 2001, as a result of their activism, UNC mandated and installed sprinkler systems for all on-campus housing. In 2011, these very sprinkler systems put out a house fire at the Sigma Chi house.

At the national level, the campaign resulted in the founding of the FSPAC in 2005, which has since been lobbying for a federal law that would allow fraternities to use money from charitable foundations to renovate and improve chapter houses. If passed, Greek and any other affinity-group housing would be allowed to use their own fundraising money to equip homes with fire sprinklers. According to an internal industry memorandum reviewed by Bloomberg News, about half of all fraternity houses currently lack sprinklers.

The former sponsor of the bill was none other than Representative Paul Ryan, a member of Delta Tau Delta at Miami University. Long time supporter Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Rules Committee, is the bill’s current sponsor. In April, more than a dozen politicians attended a special fundraising event in Washington by FSPAC to show their support. Representative Steve Palazzo, a Republican from Mississippi and Sigma Chi brother, and Steve Stivers, an Ohio Republican and Delta Upsilon alumnus, were among some of the most vocal in their support of the act.

Why is this important now?
Just recently, Bloomberg News released two articles, one on July 24 and one on July 25, based on several months of internal research and interviews by staff members to numerous interfraternal leaders and the FSPAC lead lobbyist, Kevin O’Neil of Patton Boggs, regarding the tax break legislation. These articles, full of the typical sensational media tactics and fraternity clichés, do not present a balanced examination of the issues at hand, and overall portray Greek life and organizations negatively. The Bloomberg News articles aim to cripple the tax break legislation by making it about something it is not—namely, by overshadowing the history of FSPAC as it relates to fire-safety legislation, and shifting the conversation into one about hazing.

As Greek members, it is our duty to not only represent the legacy of our fraternity through our every-day lives, but to also stand up for Greeks as a whole, when necessary. The legislation at hand could potentially mean the difference between life and death for future brothers living in chapter houses, whether on-campus or off.

So how can you help?

  • First, you can read the Bloomberg News articles to understand the accusations being alleged at FSPAC.
    • Second, you can get informed about what this bill is really about by reading the “The Background Story” above and also checking out FSPAC’s formal response to each of the articles. FSPAC does a great job of breaking the articles down piece-by-piece to provide direct responses to each assertion by Bloomberg News with quotes.
    • Lastly, visit the FSPAC “Key Issues” page and click “Take Action” for the “Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act” to quickly and easily submit a form to congress that shows your support.

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Funny Man Randy Smock ’84 Checks In

 

Did you know that Randy Smock ’84 has been performing comedy professionally in Chicago and around the country for over 20 years? In that time, he has performed and written for a large list of Fortune 500 clients. Which has allowed him to have an exciting comedic career from hosting an event in Time Square with Ryan Seacrest, singing with James Taylor or touring with Wayne Brady for his improv comedy show; he has entertained to packed venues all across the country. All of these experiences have made him the seasoned comedian that he is today.

He is also an accomplished playwright and musical creator. He has produced, written, composed and performed in several productions that have received rave reviews. His adaptation of The Big Lewbowski movie into a musical “The Dude Abides: The Musical” was nominated for a Jeffery Award.

Randy is also listed as a Notable Indiana University Alumni for Arts and Humanity on the Wikipedia List of Indiana University People.
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Reaching Out – Updates from Your Brothers

 

We love to hear from our brothers and find out what’s going on since the last time we talked. Below are some updates from Dave Howard ’80, Lon King ’70 and Dennis Sizemore ’67. Check out more updates at our Alumni Updates section!

Dave Howard ’80
Five Beta Alpha Delts (Class of 1980 & 1981) got together during the NCAA games (March 30, 2013) in Indianapolis after many years.

We spent most of Saturday afternoon telling old stories and talking about fellow brothers. We try to get together every three or four years, but it is hard to get together. It was fun to get together and see the guys and hear how life is treating them.

DTD IN Dave

Left to right: Fritz Kauffman ’81, Matt Morris ’80, Lee Feldman ’80, Dave Howard ’80 and Ted McGrew ’81

 

Lon King ’70
This is simply “like father, like son.”

Proud to have followed my “father” as an Air Force Pilot… although we ended up in different parts of the world. And obviously very proud of his service to our country. Today, I help (where needed) Kappa Chapter at Hillsdale College.

Please note: David is the one IN the cockpit!

DTD IN Lon 2
Dennis Sizemore ’67
Street Dance, Pledge Dance, annual Luau, athletic contests and State Day…

My wife Leslie Stephens Sizemore is a Kappa who I met at IU, and we have been married for 44 years. I have been an out-of-state alumni since graduating so I have little contact with anyone from my college years. I am a retired school administrator and currently a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Riverside Golf and Country Club in Portland, Oregon.
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Sprucing Up the House

 

Here are just a few highlights of the work we did over the summer:

  • New flooring was installed in Rec Room, Formal, Study, Conference Room and B & C Hallways
  • The exterior of the Shelter was painted
  • Basement/Chapter Room was given epoxy flooring
  • We added extra storage room for the Bike Team, new lighting and paint
  • Several of the member rooms were modified to sleep 3 people due to being at full capacity for the first time (that’s a nice problem to have!)

Please don’t hesitate to stop by the house this season and check out the improvements!
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The Passing of a Brother

 

DTD IN AnthonyOur hearts are heavy to share with you that Anthony Lisle Wishart, 59, of Fishers passed away on November 10, 2013 in an accident while vacationing in the Bahamas.

He was born in Indianapolis on October 22, 1954, and graduated from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He married Diane (Russell) Wishart on June 1, 1985 and they have two children, Nathaniel (Jordan) and Nicole Wishart.

Tony enjoyed traveling with family and friends. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed sailing, golfing, skiing, dirt biking, hiking, diving, woodworking and flying. His philanthropic endeavors included serving as the VP of House Corporation for the Beta Alpha Delts.

Upon learning of his friend and brother’s death, Matt Morris reached out to a couple of other Delt brothers who knew him at Beta Alpha.

Here are thoughts of Gary Gaddis ’79, Shawnee Mission, Kansas: I have such fond memories of Tony Wishart, especially from his involvement with the Little 500 team in our house. Tony loved the Bahamas so much that he tried to talk our bike team into going there rather than to Florida to train for Little 500. In 1977, we had two brothers who were candidates to be on the team. Tony was at the short end of the height spectrum and Dave Prugh was at the other. The bike team is tasked on settling on a seat height that will work for the whole team. Faced with that insurmoutable task, Tony experimented with what can best be described as ‘high-soled sneakers’, to help him reach the pedals at a height that worked for the rest of us.

It turned out that Tony was not selected for the race day team that year, but that never dampened his enthusiasm for the brotherhood of Delta Tau Delta or for the Little 500 efforts of the fraternity. I am glad to know of the success he experienced in life, and saddened to know of his all too early death.

And here are some thoughts from D. Scott Brennan ’78, South Bend, Indiana: On a sailing trip to the Bahamas over Spring Break in 1976 six Beta Alpha Delts- Tony, Scott Brennan, Craig Collins, Doug Ehnen, John Jacobs and Don Jones- piloted a 42′ boat from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport.

In typical 70’s Delt style, we had the time of our lives; laughing, sailing, and eating our way through the Bermuda Triangle. God looks out for Delts during undergraduate days! Jacobs and Wishart were members of the IU Sailing Club but the rest of us had absolutely no idea what we were doing, and had no business being on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Tony realized this and let us have it one evening after he lost his patience. He referred to us as ‘vagrants’. That name stuck the rest of our years at Beta Alpha any time someone wanted to rib another brother about not pulling his weight.

Wonderful memories of a man who will truly be missed.
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Undergraduate Q&A: Ben Kamperschroer

 

DTD IN BenWhat is your hometown and plan of study?
Chicago, Finance

Why did you choose to attend Indiana?
I chose to attend IU because of their superior business school.

Why did you join Delta Tau Delta?
I joined DTD because I felt welcomed by brothers and because of the diversity of the members.

What are your hopes for the future of Beta Alpha?
I want Beta Alpha to continue as one of the top houses on IU’s campus and to improve in all aspects of a fraternity.

What are your future career aspirations?
I hope to have a career in either finance or marketing once I graduate.

What is your best memory so far from DTD?
There’s no way I could pick my best memory from being a part of DTD because I could write a book with all the good ones.

What is the best thing about the DTD experience?
The best part of being in DTD is the brotherhood and the networking opportunities available.

How would you like to better connect with DTD alumni?
I would like to connect with alumni by having them come talk to our chapter.

What is your vision for the house while you are living in it?
My vision for the house while living in is for it to become more involved in campus activities.
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