"Stay True To Your Values"

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Alumnus Stephen Fairweather '74, is no stranger to leadership roles. In fact, one of his first, was as chancellor of his beloved AZ Fraternity. In our recent Q&A with Mr. Fairweather, he shared with us the importance of staying true to your values and why AZ impressed him so much when he decided to pledge during the spring of his sophomore year at Penn State.

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?

"When I came to Penn State as a freshman I had no intention of joining a fraternity. But eventually I was invited to visit AZ, and was impressed with the level of scholarship there. I pledged in the spring of my sophomore year."

What is your favorite memory of Morrill Chapter? As an undergraduate, what events did you most look forward to?

"Manning the concession stand at Beaver Stadium on a football Saturday and comic relief during House Meetings by Dave Pratt ‘73, Tom Brown ‘74, and Jack Mansfield ‘73."

How do you feel AZ prepared you for life after College? Did you hold any prominent positions in the group?

"I was elected as the Chancellor at AZ. That leadership position helped to prepare me for similar posts in my professional career."

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

"After Penn State I went to the University of Minnesota and earned an M.S. in Forestry, and then returned to Penn State to earn a Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics. While I was working on the Ph.D., I went back to Minnesota to become a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service. I then went to Maine to be the Inventory Forester for Great Northern Paper Company, and finished my Ph.D. while I was there. After that I returned to Penn State to join the faculty in the School of Forest Resources, and served as an advisor to AZ. During that time I was the Chair of the Forest Science Program. After nine years on the faculty I missed working for the forest industry, so I took a job with Boise Cascade in Boise, Idaho. I’ve spent the last 16 years in consulting forestry with Mason, Bruce and Girard, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. I am an owner of the company, and served as the president from 2006 to 2015."

What advice would you have for current and future members of AZ?

"My advice is to not be afraid to step up and take on a leadership role. But if you do that, make sure your objectives are clear, and that you stay true to your values."