"Where I Learned To Smoke A Cigar!"

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We recently caught up with Alumna Patricia Wolff ’78 and learned some very interesting things about her memories, takeaways from Morrill Chapter, and how AZ prepared her for life after college.

Q: What was the appeal to joining Alpha Zeta? Had you always had your vision set on joining a fraternity? Many people we speak to say that joining a fraternity/sorority was a way to help make a large university like Penn State seem small and manageable, did you have those same feelings?

PW: “I came to Penn State wanting to join a fraternity so that I would have a home base. Since my mind was made up to study agriculture and seek a career in the industry it made sense to look at the ag houses. I chose Alpha Zeta because of its academic credentials and because it had a path for women to become full members. I joined as a Little Sister and was initiated into full membership as Honorary Senior, something that was unique during my time at Penn State.”

Q: What is your favorite memory of Morrill Chapter? 

PW: “I'm not sure I have one favorite memory but I will never forget the first time I came to dinner as a rush. The brothers had dressed up in collared shirt, wore bow ties and stood in a reception line when I came it the front door. This was quite a sight to behold and it set the tone for many fun and funny  events - parties, dances, formals, fundraisers, theme dinners, living room TV watching gatherings, pledge pranks, fraternity teams at College of Ag activities just to start the list.”

Q: How do you feel AZ prepared you for life after College?

PW: “I think lessons learned from self-governance provided preparation for the dynamics of the workplace and home-life. Every Monday everyone gathered for House Meetings to make decisions big and small. Discussion was sometimes robust, everyone could voice their opinion and because of the way decisions were made they were implemented with minimal controversy. House meetings are also where I learned to smoke a cigar.”

Q: Tell us about your career path after Penn State, positions you have held, duties fulfilled and your career today

PW: “My current position as a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation is my fifth with Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau is a trade association that represents the interest of farmers at all levels of government. I started with the Ohio Farm Bureau and then spent time with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau running their political action committee and focusing on national issues. My focus now is tax policy and I work to convince Congress and the Administration to enact laws and policies that help farms stay profitable. People sometimes find it unusual that I have spent my career with the same company in a field that has a direct tie to my undergraduate (Ag Econ) major, but there has never been a dull week and the work is rewarding.”

Q: Do you have any children? If so, what do they do?

PW: “My son Adam Jung is a junior at Penn State majoring in Environmental Resource Management. My daughter Rachel Jung graduated from the University of Delaware with degrees in chemistry and math and works in pharmaceutical manufacturing for GlaxoSmithKline.”

Q: What advice would you have for current and future member of AZ? 

PW: “Study hard, have fun and fill the House with people from as many different segments of agriculture as possible. Use your time at Penn State to learn out how to work collaboratively and to figure out what you are passionate about. When you graduate head full steam ahead in that direction and figure the rest out as you go.”