Kappa Alumni of Sigma Phi Delta, Inc.

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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."

With all of the Castle projects, renovations, and improvements that have been planned over the years, sometimes projects will surface that are not at all planned. This is exactly what happened in the month of February with two different unplanned projects requiring attention. During some intense thunderstorms on the night of February 2nd, water leaked into the electrical box from the exterior of the house causing the entire circuit panel to be shorted out. Luckily, the incident did not result in a fire, but the entire circuit panel was completely fried (see picture below). Clear Lake Electric in Angola came out first thing in the morning, and power was restored by the early afternoon. The external conduit from the meter base to the house was replaced, and the entire breaker box was replaced as well. As a follow up to the electrical work that was done, the house circuit mapping that has been talked about in the past will be conducted soon in order to assess any other electrical issues that may exist.

Barely a week later, another issue presented itself. The basement started to become backed up with sewage. This is something that has happened in the past, and periodic professional cleaning has kept it at bay until now. The line was cleared and scoped to analyze the cause of the build up. The connection to the city sewer is a clay line, which had swelled and cracked significantly preventing drainage. The entire line will need to be dug up and completely replaced. The Board is currently gathering quotes for the work that needs to be done, but either way, it's going to be a significant cost. The goal is to get the work done as soon as possible, but due to the fact that College Street will need to be blocked off to be worked on, the work may be postponed if possible.

With the decision to partner with FIRST at the 41st General Convention, Kappa Chapter has been trying to get involved. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology". The purpose of the program cannot be better explained than its mission, which is "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership." The program involves competitions requiring the teams to assemble a robot, which will have to perform certain functions or tasks. The Kappa Alumni Board of Directors appointed Shawn Bozarth as the FIRST Robotics Partnership Chairman for Kappa Alumni. Shawn is currently a mentor for the Robo Riot Team 3418 at Sheboygan Falls High School, Wisconsin where he provides mentoring in the categories of engineering design, analysis and some marketing. Shawn had nothing but good words to say about the FIRST program and Sigma Phi Delta's involvement in it: "I'm glad to see SPD getting involved with this. It's a great program, and I really enjoy the time I get to spend with the kids. They are very talented, and it is amazing to see what they can do with a little guidance."

The Kappa Chapter Fall EOT was held the weekend of October 10th, and for those of you who were in attendance, your support is much appreciated! The weekend also honored the graduates of 1965 who were celebrating their 50 year anniversary, and although not many were able to make it back, it was nice to see those who did. For those who were able to make it back and even those who were not, please take a few minutes to fill out this quick EOT survey to help Kappa Chapter make the next EOT even better.

Saturday began with an open house where Alumni and some of their families gathered before the meeting to meet the newest Brothers and reconnect with old friends. In the early afternoon, the Kappa Alumni Annual Meeting took place lead by President of the Board of Directors (at the time), Jake Black. Meeting attendance included 18 Alumni and 12 Actives. Kappa Active Chief Engineer, Tyler Finup, gave an update on the state of the Active Chapter including recent philanthropy (Toys for Tots, Powder Puff game, and upcoming FIRST involvement), professional practices (Dometic visit and presentation by Faculty Advisor Tom Barkimer), as well as involvement with International (General Convention, Rho Chapter charter, and Delta Chapter visit). General Convention Delegate, Casey O'Brien, gave a summary about the events of the 41st General Convention, and Construction Manager, Rodney Jacobs, gave an update on the fire pit project. Some personal announcements were made by Joe Fulcher and Jarred McCain who's wives are both expecting their first child. Congratulations to the both of them! The main order of business of the meeting was to elect a new Board of Directors. Jake Black, Mike Votaw, and Jon Eastham all had expiring terms.

The 41st Sigma Phi Delta General Convention was held in St. Louis on the second weekend of August with joint cooperation by the sisters of Alpha Omega Epsilon, our sister sorority. Convention consisted of various important meetings, presentations, and discussions per usual, but one of the most notable was the announcement that Sigma Phi Delta is now teaming with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to provide mentoring for their programs. This teaming will allow members of Sigma Phi Delta to mentor kids in the fields of science and technology as they compete in various types of robotics competitions. Another interesting activity was a team building event involving building catapults using only coat hangers, spoons and rubber bands. The Convention attendees also enjoyed a trip to the St. Louis City Museum and a formal dinner at the Westin Hotel where everyone was staying. The Kappa Chapter attendees included about a dozen members between Alumni and Actives. The Kappa Alumni General Convention Delegate, Casey O'Brien, had some inspiring words to say about the weekend's events: "There's nothing quite like the excitement of getting to rekindle the bonds of brotherhood except perhaps the opportunity to form new ones, and that's exactly what you can expect from attending General Convention. GC offers more than just informational sessions on the latest International improvements, electing the newest officers and voting on changes to the By-Laws it offers opportunities to create lifelong friendships. This year was an exceptional experience to meet many of the sisters of Alpha Omega Epsilon, our sister sorority organization." For anyone who has ever attended a General Convention, those words cannot be more true.