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After spending almost all my freshman year in South Quad, I was looking to live with a close-knit group of guys to whom I could relate.  I looked at big houses during rush, but decided they had internal groups and were somewhat divided by cliques.  I found Delta Chi to be a unique house.  I liked the diversity of the members.  Physically, the Chapter House was different, with back stairways, nooks, a fire place in the living room and one study room, sleeping dorms (Cold and Warm) and other rooms, which were different, as were the actives.   Above all, the fraternity and organization was not just a dormitory, but a place to live and grow.

During “HELP” work week before going active, our pledge class had a number of jobs to perform under the direction of Lane Kendig ’62.  He was a hard task master and worked us hard, too hard for our liking, and we rebelled.  We all joined in a physical attack on him.  He was a strong man and very fit and he came out the better than we did.  Afterwards, our class was very close due to this bonding episode.  Lane later told me he was secretly happy at our rebellion because of the unity we created, and I believe that is why the graduates of 1964 are still involved with the House and its needs.

After pledging and meeting my pledge brothers and Big Brother, Mike Kennedy ’63, a new way of life was started.  Friday afternoon kegs, Saturday parties, intramural sports, working as pledges maintaining the facility and eventually, after age 21, trips to the P BELL, and, of course, studying.  Because the number of actives was small, we were always looking for new pledges.  We usually ended the year with eight to twelve new actives.  I was privileged to be a Big Brother for Derek Deplantis ’64 and Al Knaus ’66.  I missed my second active member semester due to an Achilles’ tendon rupture.  I lived in the House for one and one half years and two summers, which were the easiest studies and best fun ever.  Herb Koenig ’63 often drove us out to a lake to study (you bet).  Herb, who spent one summer with us, was an interesting and fun brother…and still is.  Howard Gandelot ’64 and I would often have breakfast at the Women’s League.  I enjoyed how the both the older and younger members interacted. 

The House had a good dining area and a great cook (Mrs. B).  We had three meals per day Monday through Saturday.  I enjoyed the formal dinners, Mondays through Thursdays, where we could converse on the day’s events and plan the upcoming weekend activities.  Football Saturdays were special. Mrs. B would have sandwiches prepared for a causal lunch and supper.   I still have my blue blazer with the Delta Chi Crest on the pocket—the coat seems to have shrunk a bit over the years.  We wore our blazers and gray flannels to all football games. It really looked sharp. On Sundays, we would often go out to dinner at the Old German or Metzger’s restaurants. They served good German food at a reasonable price and large portions.

Being elected to a Chapter Officer allowed a big step in learning how to plan, manage and get things done.  My roommates were David Siglin ’64 and Robert Todd ’64 and we lived and studied in the fireplace room.  Dave was a whiz with the guitar and the life of keggers.  Jim Richhart ’64 was a card.  He could make a funny comment at a moment’s notice.  Bob Sielski ’64 bought his sister to a party. We kidded him that she probably looked like him.  It was not true and she was a beautiful girl. While an active, we were involved in some restorations to the House under the planning and guidance of Howard Gandelot.  The basement-side entrance was added and the basement party area was greatly improved.  Many of our renovations were still visible 50 years after their completion, including the Delta Chi Fraternity Crest on the cold room doors at the top of the main staircase.

I graduated from The University of Michigan in May, 1964 with a BS in Zoology.  I went back for a semester the next spring as a special graduate student (who could get a job with a Zoology degree) to get some good recommendations for graduate school. I enrolled at the University of Missouri and earned a MS in Medical Microbiology in 1968. Then, I was accepted for the Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa Medical Microbiology Department studying Virology and Medical Microbiology.  I completed my studies in 1971.   

It was there in Iowa City that I met Rosie, my wife, in a local college bar, and we were married in the summer of 1972.  She is an Iowan farm girl and a nurse in the University of Iowa Hospitals. We have three boys; Christopher born in ’74, Daniel born in ’76  and Steven born in ’78. The younger two are married to lovely girls, and Chris recently has found a fantastic girl.  Steve lives in Ypsilanti and took the monthly pictures of  the New Delta Chi Chapter House as it was being constructed this year that I placed in the in the University of Michigan Delta Chi Alumni Facebook page.  Dan lives in Herndon, VA and Chris is in Ocala, FL.  Our boys all graduated from college and have good positions in the workforce.  Only Steve graduated from The University of Michigan in 2001, whereas Chris from Ohio State University in 1997, and Dan graduated from California State University at Fullerton in 2002.

Also in Iowa, I learned to scuba dive, hunt pheasants and fly airplanes.  My diving was first rock quarries, Lake Okoboji (the only natural lake in Iowa) and Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin.  Lake Okoboji is quite deep and had a number of wrecks at the bottom. Then, I took a wonderful trip scuba diving in Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean.  Scuba was the best hobby that I ever participated in. Unfortunately, these hobbies had to be abandoned after I got married, but I still have pictures of the fun. Ah, the life of a single man.

I started my microbiological pharmaceutic career at the Michigan Department of Health when the state had a biological production and blood fractionation facility in Lansing.  I was an experimental viral vaccine developer. We created a tissue culture rabies vaccine and began the initial work on the cold adapted nasal influenza vaccine.  I made the first production lots of the influenza vaccine for non-human testing. The vaccine was licensed as an Influenza Vaccine by the FDA some twenty years later.  Then, I took over the Vaccine and Blood Products Testing Department. The vaccines tested for sterility, pyrogenicity (fever in patients due to Gram negative bacterial cell walls called endotoxin) of fluids and potency.  The vaccines were anthrax, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, small pox, as well as performing antibody titers for some patient diagnostic work. Human Albumin and Human antibodies that were fractionated from human serum were tested appropriately. The position exposed me to things that were not taught in schools and open my eyes to real life work after academia.

I was recruited to a large pharmaceutical company, Lederle Laboratory, in New York as Manager of Microbiology Quality Control, and worked there for five years testing vaccines, biologicals and non-sterile vitamins, tablets and drugs. I was in charge of potency tests of vitamins and other tablets. Other testings were the sterility of sterile products, the environmental microbiological flora of production rooms, both environmental surfaces, the production vessels and environmental air and potency of the products.  This was important due to the increased scrutiny by the FDA on Quality of production areas. Microbiological flora of non-sterile products were examined.  I was deeply instrumental with the Validation of sterilization procedures to assure the manufacturing processes were properly developed and were followed as written by examining the documents and records of the procedures.  Validation means proving that the process or procedure does the planned function each and every time.  The quality of a product is not tested at the end of production, but created from the start of production and built into each step of the process.

Next, I became the Director of Quality Control in a small Plasma Fractionation facility, Immuno-US, in Rochester, MI, for about 10 years. It was a new facility and I validated and wrote procedures for all the sterilizing, production equipment and sterile filling processes.  I hired personnel to perform testing in the Microbiology, and Chemistry laboratories. I developed acceptable limits for microbiological testing of the flora in production areas.  I instituted non- animal testing for endotoxin levels in injectable products.  All testing procedures had to be written and proven reproducible.

The wanderlust got to me again, and I moved to Los Angeles, CA to become the Director of Microbiology Quality Control and Assurance at Alpha Therapeutics, a large Plasma Fractionation facility.  Again, I monitored the sterility and pyrogencity (endotoxin levels) of products, microbiological flora of production areas, non-sterile and sterile. The products were Human Albumin, Human Immune Globulin, Factor Eight and a number of others. I was a key figure in the successful validation and improvement of their older equipment and updating procedures to meet new FDA requirements.

For my final five working years, I accepted a position as Worldwide Manager of Quality Control and Assurance at Allergan in Irvine, CA.  The main responsibilities involved inspecting and auditing our own manufacturing facilities in Texas, Puerto Rico, California and Ireland.  I also inspected our worldwide venders to assure that their performance met our standards and Good Manufacturing Practices as required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  I became a world traveler.  Allergan had developed Botox and it was just being massed produced and sold as a wrinkle remover and important pharmaceutical biologic.  I was an expert on the manufacture of Pharmaceutical Water (USP) and Sterile Water for Injection (USP) as well as a leading expert on Clean Room design, instrumentation, Clean Room monitoring and Clean Room personnel gowning and production activities.   It was the best position that I ever had and enjoyed the work immensely.  I retired on April Fool’s Day in 2005, which I thought was fitting for me.

All the companies I worked for those 33 years have been incorporated into bigger companies and no longer exist independently as when I was employed.

I grew up in Michigan, and lived in Missouri, Iowa, New York, New Jersey, California and Florida, and been to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  I have visited, either for work or pleasure, Grand Cayman Islands, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, Demark, Netherlands, Austria and Germany.  I really enjoyed visiting the European countries.

I have contact with a number of Brothers through Facebook and at our reunions.  I have visited Elliot Lum ’64 in CA, Keith Hellems ’62 in VA and Howard Gandelot has stopped by The Villages.  While in Ypsilanti, I patronized The ARK, started by David Siglin.

I left California and retired to Florida. We made the trip to Florida a sightseeing affair, going to as many sites we could, including the Grand Canyon, The Alamo, the Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Carlsbad Cavern National Park and desserts across the southwest US.  We settled in The Villages. It is a large golf cart community.  You can do anything you want in a golf cart; go to over 200 restaurants, Medical Facilities (after all we are old), movies, over 2,000 clubs, over 630 holes of golf and there is live entertainment and dancing at three outdoor locations every night.  There are a number of outdoor bars to serve the passersby. I am having a great time growing old with golf and fishing.  I used to play the championship courses four days a week, but now I play only the nine-hole executive courses three days a week. I do not hit the ball as far as I used to or as straight, but that is not important as it once was. Just playing is a good way to get out of the house and be with friends at the nineteenth hole. I try to fish with a buddy on Tuesdays when it is not too hot. I do some sightseeing in Florida and watched the last Space Shuttle shots, watch the Manatees keeping warm in natural flowing springs during the winter. I am in pretty good health for my age.  I love the location, especially in the winter with no snow to shovel. I try to get up North once a year to see my sons, but it is getting harder.

For the past two years I have sponsored a golf hole for the Delta Chi Scholarship Golf Classic, which is played in Florida every May for the past few years.  The tourney is competitive with foursomes from different chapters competing, and has raised funds for Delta Chi scholarships. I was introduced to the tourney by David Falconer ’62.  My donations have been credited to Michigan Chapter Scholarship Account.  You can get more information from their website on Facebook.  If you live in Florida or nearby, I encourage you to play.

Delta Chi Fraternity has had a great influence on my life.  I visit the House when in town, maybe not stop, but look and remember.

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