Friday, January 13, 2012

Sigma Phi Epsilon/UNC - Cherishing the Friendships Made at SigEp

Sigma Phi Epsilon/UNC - Cherishing the Friendships Made at SigEp:

Cherishing the Friendships Made at SigEp



Why did you join Sig Ep as an undergraduate? I was looking for a personal experience -- small fraternity, close friends -- on a large campus and I found it at Sig Ep. I was the first person from my hometown in South Carolina to attend UNC in decades, and I didn’t care for the impersonal atmosphere of Morrison Dorm, where I lived my first semester. Additionally, my brother had been in a fraternity at Wake Forest and I knew what a positive experience it had been for him.

What is the funniest memory from your Sig Ep days? We shared so many laughs and good times that it would be impossible to single one out.

What is the single fondest memory you have shared/will share with your children and grandchildren? I always related to my children how valuable the interpersonal relationships at Sig Ep were; in fact, my children grew up knowing many of the nicknames I tossed about, just as if they were their own friends. My son subsequently attended UNC and pledged Kappa Sig; when I visited him there, it reminded me of my experience at Sig Ep.

How do you stay connected with your brothers as an alumnus? Obviously, time drives a wedge as the years pass. However, I have remained in touch with many brothers, and about 20 of us gathered for dinner during a football weekend a couple years ago. For many of us, it was the first time we had seen each other since graduation. I have remained in close touch with a number of brothers, and Dick “Pecker” Parker ‘70 and Bill “Rah Rah” Crownover ’70 and their wives recently visited us in Maine, where we live half of each year. Bob Long ’68 and his wife, Beth, also visit us regularly in Maine, and we have visited them in the mountains of NC. I also maintain regular contact with Dan Pate ’71 and his wife Sara Jane in Southern Pines.

Have you visited Chapel Hill since graduation? Why or why not? Before moving to Maine on a seasonal basis, we made it to several football weekends a year. However, we don’t return to SC until late October now, but we try to make it to Chapel Hill at least once a year.

What about your membership in Sig Ep makes you the most proud? I’m most proud and reflective of the close relationships we had with people from diverse backgrounds coming together and becoming good friends. We had brothers of all kinds – some studious, some (like me) not as studious – but we melded into a close-knit brotherhood.

How would your life be different today if you had never joined Sig Ep? I would have missed out on some of the best friends I have ever had.

If you could go back and relive one moment from your Sig Ep years, what would it be and why? I always enjoyed Pledge Weekends and the beach weekends, though someone usually ended up in jail. But my most pleasant memories are of simply sitting around the house having “bull sessions” and enjoying each other’s company.

Where has life taken you since graduation? What's new in your life today? I spent 25 years in the newspaper publishing business and through no great foresight on my part, got out of it while it was still a good business to be in. I had worked in Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine summers while I was in Chapel Hill, and upon our marriage in 1971, my wife Nancy and I formed a long-term plan to try to live several months a year there. In 1997 I bought a business in Bar Harbor that provides recreational services to tourists in Acadia, and I’ve been running that for 15 years. We are there from June through October, and in Camden, SC from November through May.

Why would you encourage other brothers to engage with Sig Ep in their alumni years? The friendships formed at Sig Ep have lasted for nearly half a century now and are indicative of the fact that once people are friends, even time and distance can’t prevent them from continuing their bonds.

What is the best thing about your alumni experience? Knowing that friendships formed long ago are still alive.

Reconnect with Glenn at ggtucker@earthlink.net .

In this photo: (L to R) Glenn Tucker, Dick Parker and Bill Crownover, who recently had a "mini-reunion" on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
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