Kappa Alumni of Sigma Phi Delta, Inc.

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On the weekend of August 12th, the Kappa Chapter held a work weekend to get the Castle looking great before the start of the fall semester. The weekend started with a Chapter visit by fellow Kappa Alumni, Grand President Alix Minden, who also helped to organize the work weekend. The attendants included 12 Actives and 8 Alumni for a total of 20 Brothers. One of the main focuses was to replace the steps of the deck, which have been in rough shape as of late. They were completely torn down, replaced, and stained. Other major projects included painting the main level and upstairs bathrooms and re-staining the balconies. The bathrooms were painted a neutral light grey color named "online" grey, and the balconies were stained the same brown color that we have all gotten accustomed to. The deck was not re-stained since there have been discussions about completely replacing the deck sometime in the near future. Additional projects included repainting the front and back doors and exterior trim, repainting the letters on the south and west sides of the house, fixing the railing in the west foyer that had come unattached, cleaning the windows, replacing a light fixture, and tracing and labeling the breaker panels by room and function. Overall, a lot of work was accomplished over the weekend, and the Castle was ready for the semester to begin. Thank you to everyone who participated in the planning and execution of the work weekend!

On the weekend of April 8th, 2017, the Brothers of the Sigma Phi Delta Kappa Chapter hosted their Spring EOT Alumni weekend. Saturday was a full and eventful day of celebration, remembrance, and memorial as it recognized the 70th anniversary of the founding of Kappa Chapter as well as the 20th anniversary of the passing of Brother Mason Michael Foor, who passed away while still attending college.

The weather was uncharacteristically cooperative for the time of year, and the events of this beautiful spring day began at noon with a lunch at the Castle (fraternity house). The lunch was generously donated by Brother Joe Fulcher ('10) and was hosted by the Actives. Following the lunch, the Semi-Annual Meeting of Kappa Alumni of Sigma Phi Delta took place led by the President of the Board of Directors, Brother Mike Votaw ('91). The meeting included close to 30 participants with a fairly even distribution of Alumni and Actives. The bulk of the discussions included completed, ongoing, and future house projects and lasted just under an hour and a half.

In the mid-afternoon, after the conclusion of the meeting, a memorial was held for Brother Foor, who passed away on April 17, 1997 from a congenital heart defect. He was an Active Brother at the time who was studying Mechanical Engineering at Tri-State. His picture, which is hanging on a memorial wall inside the house, and a memorial tree (with plaque) in the front yard of the house have been familiar to generations of Sigma Phi Delta men. Unfortunately, storm damage destroyed the tree last year so a new one was planted in its place, and it was re-dedicated along with the original plaque during this ceremony. The memorial ceremony was led by Brother Keith Hileman ('97), who remembers Mason as a free spirit and generous soul. Additionally, it was an honor to have his father, Brother Steve Foor, in attendance, who became an Honorary Brother at the time of the loss.

Earlier this year, at the beginning of February, the Actives had the misfortune of experiencing the Castle basement backed up with sewage. This is something that has happened in the past, and periodic professional cleaning has kept the issue from escalating until this year. The line was cleared and scoped to analyze the cause of the build up, and it was discovered that the clay line connecting to the city sewer had swelled and cracked significantly, which was preventing proper drainage. This meant that the only way to resolve the issue was to completely dig up the line and replace it. The Board was quick to gather quotes, and it was decided at the Semi-Annual Meeting in April that T&T would be hired to get the job done. Since the repair would require closing down Thunder Drive (the main road through Trine campus), the decision was made to wait until classes ended for the summer. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts of T&T's other summer projects, the sewer line was not able to be fixed during the summer months. T&T was finally able to get started on August 29th, and the project was completed in just three days. Although, having the main road through campus closed while classes were in session was an inconvenience, this was something that could not wait any longer. The project ended up costing around $14K, but now that it's done, we can move on to bigger and better things!

Being in an engineering fraternity, we are usually celebrating intellectual or professional achievements of our Alumni, but sometimes we get the chance to celebrate physical achievements. That's the story with Kappa Alumni Nathan Turner (Mechanical Engineer '04) and Joel Reed (Mechanical Engineer '02). Both of these Phi Delt men have been heavily involved with marathons and triathlons, including the IRONMAN competition in the past few years. Not only do these competitions require physical strength, but they also require mental strength. For those who are unfamiliar, a triathlon includes three separate portions: swimming, bike riding, and running, and an IRONMAN competition is a type of triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run totaling 140.6 miles. Each segment has its own time limit, and the participants are required to cross the finish line by midnight on the day of the competition. These competitions take place all around the world, and every year, the top finishers compete in Kona Hawaii at the world championship. Each race allows a maximum of between 2,500 and 3,000 people, but only 2,000 people total are allowed to compete in the world championship.

Both Nathan and Joel started their journey in similar manner by trying to make life changes to get into better shape. Nathan made a new years resolution 4 years ago to lose some weight. Just by changing his diet, he was able to lose 30 pounds in just a few short months. Continuing the trend of being healthier, he decided to sign up for a mud run with a friend. Nathan had a great time doing the mud run, and he ended up making a deal with his friend to try a triathlon. He signed up to do the smallest of all the triathlons, a sprint triathlon, which consists of a 0.5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run (16 miles total). It was a daunting task, but it was only the beginning. "I ended up doing that race in October of 2012 and never looked back. I fell in love with the sport. I realized the challenge of the whole thing, the fitness level required, and the inspiration the whole thing provides to me. I have done sports all my life and love competition, but triathlon is just something totally different. You get to compete against others, but also yourself. Trying to push your body at a hard level (the level the average person would do for 30 min tops in the gym) for 13-15 hrs to me is insane, and I love every minute of it."

As we celebrate Father's Day this year, a few Phi Delts are celebrating for their first time as a father. Andy Dykes (Mechanical Engineer '08) and his fiance, Teena, have a two month old daughter, Bianca. Jarred McCain (Computer Engineer '10) and his wife, Kerri, have a two month old son, Desmond James. And Joe Fulcher (Civil Engineer '10) and his wife, Becki, have a 5 month old son, Michael James. With a new generation of Phi Delts in the stages of their lives where they are getting married and starting to think about having children, these new Phi Delt fathers provided some insight into when they knew it was the right time to start trying to have kids. Jarred wanted to make sure that he had a steady job and that they were settled in a good community, although, he provided this disclaimer to his answer: "Funny how that works since I have moved and changed jobs since!" Since the birth of his son, Jarred has gotten a new job and moved from Ohio to Mississippi. Joe and his wife sat down and discussed children even before getting married just to make sure they were on the same page, and they had numerous discussions leading up to the decision: "Well, first thing before we ever got married we discussed our personal opinions on having kids. If we want to have a big family or a small family or no kids at all, when we hoped to have kids by, and what we would want to do if we were unable to have kids of our own. After we got married we discussed from time to time, when we wanted to start having kids. I always found myself saying I don't know if it's the right time. After 3 or 4 years of marriage, we began to realize things might never be perfect to start a family, but if we wanted to have a family we couldn't wait forever. We did a little research on financials and saved a little money. After 5.5 years of marriage we have our first child." For Andy, it was a completely different story. They knew that they wanted kids and that they were wanting to start trying after they got married, but things don't always go according to plan: "I wouldn't necessarily say we decided it was the right time, but we decided we were ready whenever the time came. We had actually planned on getting married first, and thought it would take some time actually trying to get pregnant before it happened.  Funny how things don't always go as planned."

The Kappa Chapter Spring EOT was held on the weekend of April 2nd. Thank you to all of those who were in attendance as well as those who weren't able to make it but still paid their annual dues and designated a proxy. Your support is much appreciated! The weekend activities consisted of the usual socializing, the Semi-Annual Meeting, and a Brotherhood dinner. The meeting only lasted just shy of an hour and a half, one of the shortest yet! The Treasurer's accounting report was presented, which is now available in the Download Center: Accounting Report 04-02-16. The issue with sewage backup in the basement was further discussed. The repair effort will require Thunder Drive to be closed down for approximately 3 days since portions of the road will need to be torn up and then repaired. Due to the impacts that this will have, the repair will be scheduled after school is out for the summer. The quotes available at the time of the meeting were between $15,000 and $25,000. It was decided to go with the $15,000 quote from T&T. The fire pit project was also discussed. The voting quorum agreed to a $20,000 budget that had been previously discussed, but it was decided not to officially move forward until the sewer line issue has been addressed and paid for. If you haven't had a chance to pay your annual dues yet this year, this would be a great time to do so. Dues payments help to pay for Castle projects like the sewer line and the fire pit, and even though they are only $50 a year, every little bit helps. Or if you would like to donate toward one or both of these projects, that would be much appreciated. To read the full minutes, check out the Download Center: Meeting Minutes 04-02-2016. The formal Brotherhood dinner was located at Mad Anthony's in Angola, which included a cocktail hour and dinner. The attendance ended up being more than expected requiring multiple extra tables to be set up, which was definitely a good thing. It's always nice to see more people than expected. All in all, it was a great weekend. The next EOT weekend will coincide with Trine Homecoming the weekend of October 1st. More information will be made available as the planning progresses.

How many of us have ever been sitting around having a few beers and come up with the idea of starting our own brewery? Probably a decent number of us, but how many of us have actually followed through on those ideas? Not many, but that's exactly what Kappa Alumni, Scott Fergusson was able to do. He is the founder of Chapman's Brewing Company in Angola, Indiana, which was started in 2012. Scott shared some insights into how the brewery came to be a reality for him. The thought of actually following through with starting a brewery came in the fall of 2011 for Scott. "I think that many ideas are the summation or connection of many unrelated thoughts, conversations, articles read, conversations, etc. So, starting the brewery was the combination of a number of things: An appreciation of this area that I call home / The presence of craft beer in many different markets but very little available here / the multitude of articles on how fast craft beer was growing, the margins of the business, the decline of the two largest brewers. All of these things and more circulated in my mind. It was likely in the Fall of 2011 when these thoughts coalesced to the thought that if we built a brewery in Angola it could be successful." It's always interesting to hear the stories behind how breweries got their start, and Scott's story was definitely an interesting one. Chapman's got it's start as a class project while he was teaching at Trine University. "At the time, I was teaching a class at Trine on Venture Planning - the class was structured around taking an idea, vetting it, and ultimately building a business plan around it. I proposed the idea of creating a brewery and the class went after the research to see if it would actually make sense. At the time, we felt that the real growth market was with Hard Ciders, not beer. We also thought that to take advantage of the locale we would name the company Pokagon Cider. What we did not know was that the name Pokagon referred to the Pokagon band of the Potawatomi Indian Tribe. The Herald Republican published an article about my intentions to build out the company, which found its way to the tribal liaison of the tribe. He called, and while the tribe had no legal authority to force us to change the name, they felt strongly that connecting the name to an alcohol company would put focus on the history of the tribe's struggle with alcohol. This was a shock to me - we had no intention of doing anything but naming the company after a popular state park!  So, in many conversations with the Trine class, we looked around at other historical figures that were connected with our area.  John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, settled in Fort Wayne and is buried there. The connection between cider and Chapman was solid, and Chapman's Brewing Company was formed in May of 2012."

Anthony Boyer's story is one of inspiration. He brought new meaning to the Code of Ethics phrasing that a Sigma Phi Delta man "should take a good grip on the joys of life. He should play the game like a man. He should fight against nothing so hard as his own weaknesses, and should endeavor to gain in strength." On May 28th, 2015, Anthony was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, he thought that his discomfort was due to a hockey injury, but as it got worse he realized that something was really wrong. After the diagnosis, he had surgery to remove the tumor on his right testicle. A later CT scan revealed that the cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes in his neck and abdomen. He had no other choice but to start chemo therapy. The chemo consisted of nine weeks total (three 3-week cycles). The first week in each cycle was five days of seven hour sessions, and the second and third week in each cycle consisted of a single one hour session. After he was finished with chemo, there was still concern about two of the tumors in his abdomen, so he had yet another surgery to remove them leaving a 12 inch incision scar. All of the fighting paid off, though, and Anthony was reported as cancer free on September 22nd, 2015! These are the cold hard facts, but the goal of this article is go beyond the facts to get a look inside the man who faced a terrible situation and came out the other side.

One comment that was frequently made about Boyer during his ordeal was that he always seemed to be staying positive and hoping for the best. He had a lot of down time during his chemo treatments so he made sure to spend his time watching funny movies and TV shows to keep his spirits up. Of course his family was very supportive, but being so far away, they weren't able to be there for all the treatments. His girlfriend, Taylor, was always by his side, though, acting as a big source of inspiration and positivity. "I just tried to be myself throughout the whole process (and you know I'm not one to take things seriously). I knew that if I let the fact that I had cancer get to me, I would be miserable and most likely get sick. Having Taylor with me every day of it helped me as well, since my family is so far away, it was hard for them to be out here through the whole thing. Taylor wouldn't let me get down on myself. She helped me stay concentrated on getting healthy and being positive."