Saturday, October 27, 2007

Records Check Finds Un-initiated Brother

Joining up with some younger brothers
By BRIAN WALLHEIMER

Michael Doyle isn't your typical fraternity guy.

Well, he might have been once. But this weekend he'll become the newest member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, and he's old enough to be the grandfather of some of the Purdue chapter's members.

Doyle, 60, pledged Alpha Kappa Lambda in the fall of 1965 while at Purdue, but the paperwork was overlooked somehow and was never submitted to the national organization. He never officially became a member.

"He was never initiated through nationals even though he lived here," said John Oldani, community relations chairman for the Purdue chapter. "Somehow the paperwork just never went through."

Oldani said the Purdue chapter decided to hold an alumni tailgate before Saturday's homecoming football game and contacted Doyle based on an old roster of members.

"When we contacted him and sent him an invitation he was very interested, but he wondered why over the past 40 years he hadn't had much contact with us," Oldani said.

It was because most records the fraternity used to contact alumni didn't mention Doyle.

The fraternity will hold a special initiation ceremony and present Doyle with his official certificate of membership.

Doyle, who lives in West Lafayette and Florida, said he simply thought once he graduated it was normal not to hear from the undergraduate fraternity members. He never knew he had missed dozens of events he would have been invited to had the paperwork not been lost.

"I'm really just impressed with the group of guys in the house now who would take the time to initiate a guy who might be as old as some of their grandparents," Doyle said.

Doyle said the paperwork problem probably happened because he was doing a co-op job every other semester in Michigan and one of the semesters he was gone is when the initiation was held.

"When I came back to Purdue to do my semester at Purdue, I never got initiated," Doyle said.

"Since I wasn't there for the initiation, I didn't know what I was missing."

Doyle was also in Michigan each time the group photo of the fraternity members was taken.

"For all intents and purposes, it looks like I never lived in the house," Doyle said.

"This is a very unique situation, though," said Jeremy Slivinski, national Alpha Kappa Lambda executive director. "In our belief, he carried the mission and vision of the fraternity for 40 years."

Despite being the newest member of Purdue's chapter, Doyle said he doesn't plan to celebrate too hard at this weekend's tailgate.

"They probably wouldn't be too impressed with how I partied in the '60s anyway."