Survey Results

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A Few Brothers Have Spoken.

You answered five brief questions in a survey last month. Here is what you said:

What is your fondest memory of being part of Alpha Zeta?

  • The good friends that I made while being there. The good food and fellowship at meals. The house's close proximity to campus. AZ's academic reputation on campus; back in those days, the house brothers had the highest GPA of all of the other fraternites at PSU
  • Living & socializing with classmates.
  • The various lifelong friendships that were created during the time at Alpha Zeta!
  • The brothers
  • The evening meals in the dining room with all the brothers.
  • The jammies and parties. Working with the Little Sister program (now obsolete since we have female members). Doing lock-up duties in the quiet, silent House (almost every night, since I worked nights).
  • Visiting the house on graduation day.
  • The interactions with all the brothers and the camaraderie that developed among us
  • I was a Penn State gymnast and was able to run out the back door to Rec Hall for practices and return afterwards to a late supper. Another memory was the exam file where brothers deposited exams from their courses; we could use these as study guides & were pretty successful at it. Last great memory was warm sticky buns on Sunday mornings when Jennie was preparing breakfasts.
  • Informal gatherings of brothers in the Chapter Room, basement lounge and with my roommates in our rooms during quiet hours.
  • Participating in social events
  • Living in the House and the history behind it.
  • In-house parties. The more impromptu the better.
  • The friendships I made with brothers in the house.
  • Meeting Jonathan


What are the top 3 things you gained from your Alpha Zeta experience

  • Leadership skills, Learning how to live and interact with different personalities.
  • 1. Classmates to study with and attend classes together.
  • Wife, Friends, Valuable leadership skills
  • Network, Friendships, Responsibility
  • Lifetime friendships, The opportunity to associate with great student, The opportunity to associate with students of different interests. (Then bio-chem, botany, zoology, and landscape arch majors were welcome. )
  • Total respectability in the agricultural field, Life-long friendships, A lot of help from brothers who were more expert in the hard sciences than I was
  • Stimulating environment, friends and a broad exposure to the college experience
  • 1.Friends for life 2. Experiences with the brothers that were once-in-a-lifetime such as going deer hunting and getting a small bear for diner instead (tasted really bad) 3. Why not to drink beer: after we were voted Outstanding Fraternity at Penn State, Sigma Nu invited us down to celebrate (we were dry then) and the next morning bodies were strewn all over the house from too much beer the night before from a bunch of guys not used to drinking like that
  • Ability to network, to communicate comfortably. Ability to undertake challenging tasks with the knowledge that I was backed up by my brothers. Confidence to tackle unknown challenges.
  • 1. Life-long friends 2. Spiritual fellowship and growth. 3. Support for academic pursuits.
  • Friendships, social poise, networking
  • 1. Interacting with people from different backgrounds and where their futures were headed. 2. Interacting with faculty and their perspective on helping the student 3. Broadening my personal horizon
  • Friendship, Appreciation for others, Sense of responsibility.
  • 1) Lifelong friends 2) Leadership opportunities 3) Practice in conflict management
  • My husband, a place at college where other people understood my upbringing


How would your life be different today if you had never joined Alpha Zeta?

  • I think maybe not as understanding of other people and personalities. Maybe less outgoing.
  • I wouldn't be as confident about studies and how subject learning and socializing were so beneficial.
  • Different wife and likely a different career path.
  • Not sure I'd have finished college I'd have missed a lot of contacts in farming and ag biz Probably wouldn't have met my wife of 48 years.
  • Likely less feeling of connection to PSU
  • I would not have the many fraternity brothers as friends if I was not an AZ. I visit them still whenever I return to Pennsylvania from California
  • I might have worked in a flower shop after my B.S. instead of going on for M.S. and PhD and a university teaching & research career.
  • It is impossible to say what would happen if one didn't have something, but I would guess that I might not have finished PSU successfully, or at least not in my chosen major, and that would have had major implications for my future.
  • Perhaps a different career path
  • I probably would not have met my wife
  • I wouldn't have a "place to feel at home" at when I am on campus. My friendships with fellow alumni might not have survived the distance I have between me and them as I've lived in Wisconsin since 2003. The bond I made with 5-6 guys is still strong today despite the distance, all because of AZ.
  • Since I met my husband there, that is inconceivable after 26 years of marriage


Share an update (family, career, hobbies, other interesting news) for possible publication in an upcoming mailing.

  • Just got back from 2 months cruising around the Indian Ocean - lots of diving including a long dream of SCUBA diving the Great Barrier Reef and a ton of snorkeling in Madagascar and the like. The South Africa safari trips were's what the USA had to be like before the settlers eradicated much of our wildlife.
  • Working on a snake venom protein with anti-cancer activity
  • I mentioned above that I was a PSU gymnast -- that led to writing for the Modern Gymnast magazine (now International Gymnast) and covering 3 Olympic gymnastic competitions, nearly 20 NCAA championships, a number of world championships and world games, as well as becoming a sports acrobat (competitor, judge, USSAF technical committee chair and ultimately the chair of the international technical committee of IFSA). The Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe of which I was a founding member is still active 45 years later, as am I.
  • In the last 12 years I have been active in international professional development and training in SE Asia. I now am on a sabbatical seeking the next step in my life (my beloved wife died in 01/2015)
  • Have a wonderful wife Sarah (49 years so far) and great son Andrew. Busier than ever as theoretically retired professor and cattle rancher.


As an alumni association, we strive to keep you connected with the Morrill chapter long after graduation. What could we do to encourage you to become more active in the association? Perhaps by hosting more fun events? Any other advice?

  • I live a long way from PSU, so campus activities and events are very difficult for me to attend. I enjoy seeing the posts on FaceBook by the brothers, and I always open any emails that I receive from AZ. I try to be a good financial supporter too to "Pay it Forward."
  • Socializing with classmates and people who were in AZ when I was.
  • I think it is hard for those from further away to really feel connected. It is hard to get back and be a part of the festivities, especially with children. Maybe run some the events through a web based mode.
  • Network as much as possible
  • For many years I looked forward to Homecoming in the fall when the Chapter hosted alums. So sorry that was discontinued. Maybe the Annual Meeting could be held on a weekend when there is an event on campus to justify a reason to come to Penn State for the weekend.
  • Do we do something at Ag Progress Days? Maybe a simple pancake breakfast each day at the house?
  • Distance to Penn State works against attending events. Could a digital connection be established for distant participants?
  • I live in California -it would help if email addresses of Brothers are made more easily accessible
  • It's kinda hard to be active when I'm way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and don't get back East very much. I enjoy the enewsletters and hardcopy newsletters. I think you will find classes from the late 1950s and early 1960s have a lot more spirit than some of the years since then. Our class of 1962 has kept a class newsletter going continuously since we graduated.
  • At my age and distance there isn't anything I know of. I read the updates and info I get, and interact with former classmates. As my chosen path was not very lucrative monetarily my ability to give is very small
  • Possibly an event via an internet platform.
  • List a contact for brothers of your graduation era. They can post if they want to be contacted or not. Maybe you have this list but it is hard to find.
  • Possible annual or biannual summer gathering at the house to get everyone together.
  • Maybe a mentor program where alumni are paired with current students? Or a directory of current actives and what their career ambitions are so we could help network and find them job/intern opportunities.


Thank you for sharing your touching memories and your opinions. Your words mean something to us, brothers. We have heard you and will act on your advice.


Still haven’t taken the survey? Here’s the link.