A Covert Mission To Take Down The Goal Posts At Old Beaver Stadium

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Frank Madden '62, discusses Morrill Chapter and how joining AZ made the adjustment of going from a high school freshman class of 29 to a PSU Freshman class of 5,000-plus, much, much easier.

"I moved into the Alpha Zeta house and pledged during the fall semester of 1959," said Madden. "I lived in an annex downtown my senior year with some other Brothers because membership numbers exceeded House capacity. During the time living in the house and annex, roommates changed each year. Best memories, a pledge class trip to Pittsburgh for the Penn State - Pitt football game in 1959, then a follow-up pledge class covert mission to take down the goal posts at Old Beaver stadium in late 1959."

"A goal post piece remained in the House basement for many years. The most attractive and beneficial part of being in AZ was the focus on academics and emphasis on participating in campus activities. The latter exposed us to the benefits of being involved and interacting with the diverse range of students at Penn State. Graduating from a small high school in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania in a class of 29 to a freshman class of 5,000 plus at Penn State was a big change for me. Joining  AZ made that adjustment much easier.  I also attribute my academic success at Penn State and Cornell to the atmosphere and priority of scholarship at AZ. Bonds with Brothers from our class have been maintained with a Class of 1962 Annual Newsletter initiated by Brothers Criley and Resides after graduation.

Thoughts of a civilian career in agriculture or a related field disappeared following graduation from Cornell. With an Army obligation as a Second Lieutenant, I went on active duty at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia January 13, 1965. Since I had participated in the ROTC flight training program as a senior at Penn State, I was accepted for helicopter flight training starting in June 1965 at Ft. Wolters, Texas. Less than a year later I was on my way to Vietnam to fly helicopters, April 1966 to May 1967. A second Vietnam tour followed, June 1969 to June 1970, with the 101st Airborne. During that second tour I elected to remain on active duty in the Regular Army, married my wife Marita in Hawaii while on leave, and followed an Army Career path of almost 25 years of active service. In addition to two Vietnam tours, I also served 10 years in Germany. In October 1989 I retired from the Army and began a second career as a custom home builder in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin metro area. Marita and I have two adult children, Shannon and Frank, living in Texas and a 6 year old granddaughter.

Growing up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania starting on my grandparents' farm and working in a family business helped instill a strong work ethic from an early age. As someone told me then, you don't have to do what you like, you only have to like what you do. It also helps to be good at it. Consequently, I thrived at whatever the job was. From daily farm chores to haying on a hot June day,  separating corn roots from soil for a grad student's thesis project,  Army service, and building homes, I found work both satisfying and rewarding. Throughout my working life I had the opportunity to accomplish a multitude of things with people from all walks of life. Very special to me was the honor to serve with the exceptional members of our military, both uniformed and civilian, who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. The Alpha Zeta experience helped prepare me for the work and career after college.

Take advantage of opportunities, don't be left with regrets that you didn't. Look at failure as a learning experience, and always do your best in whatever you undertake in life."