Alpha Zeta Penn State Hijinks: read your brothers’ and sisters’ stories and share your own

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What were the best nicknames you called your brothers and sisters and how did they come about?  

When's the last time you saw a Morrill Chapter brother or sister in person? Who were you with, where were you, and what was the occasion? Do you have a photo from that day? 

What do you remember about the top social event the year you graduated? Do you remember your date? Did you happen to marry them? 

What was AZ known for during your time at Penn State? 

Read on to find out how other Morrill Chapter of Alpha Zeta alums answered these questions.  

Wendell Hunt ’59
What AZ was known for: AZ was known for its academic and Ag hill organization participation achievements. 

Richard 'Dick' Criley ’62
Nicknames: At my time in the House, there were no Sisters. One of the brothers played on the football team and his nickname was Tank. That was Bob Gilmour '61.

Bob "Tank" Gilmour, May 1961


Whipples night-time throw, May 1959

Last time you saw a classmate: The brothers of the class of 1962 had a get-together at Penn State for our 50th anniversary. That's really the last time I saw any of them. I have a number of photos of that gathering, held at the Nittany Lion Inn. We also traveled out the Whipples Dam, the site where most newly pinned brothers got thrown in at night -- or if you never got pinned, you were thrown in on general principles.
Top social event: Big social event of 58 years ago... I don't remember it. Whoever I brought to it, I did not marry. I was probably part of the decorations team as I often got to paint the big mirror in the living room with the party theme. At the time of my participation as an undergraduate (fall 1959-spring 1962), AZ had held the top grade point average among all Penn State fraternities for something like 30 consecutive semesters (well for fall 1961-spring 1962, it was trimesters). We were probably also known as one of only 3 "dry" fraternities. I'm sure we were known across Ag Hill for all of the college club activities we participated in.

David Maille ’70
Last time you saw a classmate: It just so happens that George May ('71), who lives about 8 miles away in Erie Co, stopped by to give us (Dave '70 & Andrea Maille some delicious spelt bread he made and some craft beers that he had been collecting for us to sample-- yesterday (12/14/20) We briefly talked about maybe going back for our 50th reunion as both years are to be together due to the pandemic. A memory was that the long song--'In a Gadda da Vida' was popular and Al Wood ('71) played it a lot! (Sorry no pics--never thing about it)

Shane Brenneman ’10
Last time you saw a classmate: I have attached a picture of Hodge Lodge Bear Camp 2020 in Scandia, Pa. This camp was originally built by a group of Penn State Alumni over 50 years ago, one

Hodge Lodge Bear Camp 2020

being William Wallace '58, a Morrill Chapter Alumni. George Hanson '10, my pledge brother of Fall 2007, was the lucky hunter with a 503 lb boar. Other AZ brothers in this years group included Luke Salter '16, Ethan Hunt, Larry Ansel '08, Matt Hackenberg and myself. Other brothers have attended in past years. We try to get together at camp several times a year and the bounty from hunting is just a bonus.

Curt Harler ’72
Nicknames: “Boo” was Bruce Wamsley '71. Since we all went by our initials, and he was BEW, the nickname was obvious. May he rest in peace.
Top social event: I have to say, the best events were the ones I attended with Marjorie McMonigle. In 2021, we will have been married 50 years (if she doesn’t kill me first). My biggest regret as social chairman was not hiring Creedence Clearwater Revival for a jammy. They were still a relatively unknown group, touring Pennsylvania. It would have blown two terms’ social budget and then some (I didn’t say they were cheap). It was voted down…and with good reason. But we’d have forever been on the map as the coolest fraternity around.
What AZ was known for: Then, as for most of the decades before us, AZ was most proud of its uninterrupted string of terms as the fraternity at PSU with the highest grade point average.

Charles Steen ’62
Nicknames: I have no idea any more!
Last time you saw a classmate: Last time I saw an alumni in person was at our 50th anniversary celebration in State College set up primarily by Brother Frank Resides '62 as I recall. That was about eight or so years ago.
Top social event: I'm not sure it was the year I graduated but I do clearly remember a dance at the House in white tuxes. I do remember my date, and we were quite serious at the time. However over the next two years it became clear to me that she was not God's choice, and it was a difficult "breakup." About six years later a mutual friend introduced me to Sharon, who quickly became the love of my life. We were married for 35 years, lived in Korea for three years where our fourth daughter was born. The Lord took her through a stroke in January of 2015.
What AZ was known for: I suppose we were known for a few things, but we were one of the few "dry" houses, and also one or two of the top academic averages in Penn State fraternities. 

Gail Carson ’86
Last time you saw a classmate: I thought I would have to go back about 25-30 years to say the last AZ people I saw would have been Dave Bratton '87 and Leo Dunn '87. I had been close to Dave and Leo during my time at AZ but are no longer in contact with either of them. However, I have maintained my longest friendship from AZ with Brian Harwick '85 and his wife Julie. Brian was an amazing house manager at AZ. We had a lot in common and recently I met with him to show him several tractors I bought at my father's equipment sale to see if he could help me find a good home for them. We have maintained a FB friendship for many years.
What AZ was known for: Having the highest house GPA, being a honor fraternity first, despite having social events. Having brothers with good values including many faith-based folks and I remember AZ was known for having many brothers and little sisters fill Ag hill leadership positions. Hope this helped even a husband and I just built our retirement home in Boalsburg but will not be living there until he retires in 5 more years. I would love to reconnect with AZ folks and even open Boalsburg home to Alumni when Covid passes!?

Want to share your own stories? Click here to submit your answers to the questions above. We’ll publish your response in a future e-letter! If you have a picture to share, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Alpha Zeta Penn State Photos.”