A Life Shaped Through Morrill Chapter

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For A. David Horme ’61, his Penn State experience was shaped through the Alpha Zeta lens.  “Just a great group of people,” he said.  Brother Horme joined because he longed to meet others who shared his passion for agriculture, and he found a good fit in the Alpha Zeta house, though it took some convincing to get him to pledge. “I had some friends who were going to their rush events,” he said, “so I just decided to go along one day.” And he’s grateful he did.

In reflecting on his Alpha Zeta memories, Homecoming Week comes up as one of the most entertaining times of every year.  There were activities every day, and the construction of the parade float was a highlight. “The pledges were always in charge of making sure nothing happened to the float when we weren’t working on it, and one time we found the poor guys asleep on the job,” he said with a laugh.  But working and living together is part of the opportunity for Alpha Zeta brothers, and David appreciates that working on those types of projects and living in close proximity with a variety of people taught him how to cooperate with people who are different than he is.  “We all shared a love for agriculture,” he said, “but we were still all different in so many ways.”

These days Brother Horme, who is now a father of two and grandfather of five, is putting the values he learned in fraternity life to good use through volunteering.  After an almost 30 year career teaching High School biology, Brother Horme has found plenty to do to spread his agricultural passion and share his knowledge in his local community.  He volunteers regularly with Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, which acts as a museum and cultivation center for wildflowers native to Pennsylvania. Cultivating native species is part of how he gives back to Pennsylvania, while also enriching the lives of those around him.

In addition to volunteering with Boman’s Hill, David also works at the community garden in his community of New Britain to grow fresh vegetables for local food pantries.  Last year they donated over 2500 pounds of fresh vegetables to local pantries, and now he even finds himself volunteering at the pantry itself a few times a month.

All of this community service is part of who David is, but it is also part of what he learned through Alpha Zeta.  He now grows to give back to the community.  “And,” he jests, “it keeps me out of trouble.”

Although Brother Horme doesn’t make up to Penn State very often anymore, his time at Alpha Zeta is a treasured part of his legacy.  To everyone thinking about becoming a part of Alpha Zeta, Brother Horme can’t encourage it enough. “It is a great opportunity to make real connections,” he said as a final reflection, “and I really enjoyed my time there.”