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I graduated from Michigan in 1987 with an AB in Economics. I began my college experience as a Saxophone Performance major in the School of Music but switched to LSA at the end of my freshman year. My experience on north campus was not what I had been expecting, especially since I insisted on living on central campus for fear of “missing out on something”. Music School was great, but I didn’t feel I was heading in the right direction or having the college experience I had been anticipating.

It also started to become painfully clear that starvation as a professional musician, at least in my case, was an all-too-real possibility. Choosing food, but not wanting to abandon the saxophone and music entirely, I then joined the Michigan Marching Band and was able to travel with the team to the Holiday Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. During sophomore year, I became a member of a local rock band, “The Difference”, that went on to have solid regional success and win MTV’s Best College Band in the Nation contest. I recall my Delta Chi brothers coming out to support the band at the district finals at the U-Club (as well as many late nights at Rick’s Café and The Blind Pig. Thanks again fellas!) While the grand-prize recording session in New York didn’t land us that elusive recording contract, those were heady times and I wouldn’t change a thing. Balancing my studies (and later my professional career) with my love of music has always been a welcome, if not difficult, challenge.

My desire to have a college experience more in keeping with what I had in mind (i.e. a social life) also led me to rush Delta Chi. I remember Jim Cox '87 at the Interfraternity Council orientation meeting inviting me to “come out for some pig” during the chapter’s rush week pig-roast. What a scene it was! (A year later he and I would meet outside of Front Triple to re-enact Dante’s Inferno over a stereo system that was inexplicably too loud.) I remember how thrilled I was when Rush Chairman, John Heathfield '86, and several other brothers, visited Couzens Dormitory with a bid for me. That was the beginning of many amazing Delta Chi memories. Who could forget the chapter retreat at Ken Radlick '87's place in northern Michigan? (No, we were never really lost.) I recall most of the many amazing parties put on by the chapter, especially Halloween parties and chapter formals. I remember studying late night (yes, night, singular) with T. Michael Schafer '87 in the drinking room, playing guitars with Kappy (Steve Kaprielian '87), and selling my rusty 1977 Camaro to brother Jon Meyer '87. Side note: the floor pan was totally rusted out so he liberated a metal serving tray from one of the dorm cafeterias and pounded it into the hole in the floor to keep from getting splashed whenever he drove over a puddle. Fun times. Road-tripping to visit the Michigan State chapter with Ken, Scott, Darrius and John (Ken Radlick, Scott Imlach, Darius Fadanelli, and John Heathfield), was another highlight. Although they were detained only for general rowdiness, rescuing our visiting MSU Delta Chi brothers from the Ann Arbor police station was also a memorable experience; not necessarily a highlight, but memorable. Different times. 

After graduation from Michigan, I immediately began work as a Management Trainee with the National Bank of Detroit. I served in several different capacities in branch management, large corporate treasury management, and commercial lending. In the evenings, I continued to play in several musical groups while studying to earn an M.B.A. in Finance from Wayne State University. 15 years, and several mergers, later I began to lose my enthusiasm for the big-bank corporate culture. In 2002, I left what had become Bank One to join Dearborn Federal Savings Bank in Dearborn, MI. I serve as DFSB’s Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, overseeing all of the Bank’s credit functions. DFSB is a small community bank, first organized in 1936 under the mutual form of ownership, and is not a publicly traded institution. The bank specializes in mortgage loans and small commercial lending. (Please stop groaning: we have always held our mortgages in our own portfolio, took no TARP funds, and were not involved in the mortgage crisis of the previous decade.) While at DFSB, I’ve been able to be active in the local community, specifically as chairman of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member of MBT Title Services, LLC; Dearborn Centurions; and the Exchange Club of Dearborn. I also support the Dearborn Symphony, with whom I occasionally perform - when the need arises for a saxophonist, usually in a George Gershwin piece. As a collector of vintage saxophones from the 1920’s, I’ve been fortunate to give guest lectures at Oakland University, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University on my collection and the history of the saxophone. I still actually play music and on Wednesday nights I can be found rehearsing with my saxophone quartet. We play in church, at nursing homes, and for other “lucrative” charitable events; proving the validity of my theory on starving to death. Accordingly, I very much enjoy my work at DFSB and will celebrate my 15-year anniversary with the bank in May, and 30 years in the banking industry in July.Chapter meetings were fun (“dorks”, “lights’ and “wedges” come to mind) but were also a valuable learning experience. As the “B” for a semester, exposure to the basics of parliamentary procedure, and learning how to get things done in a “business” meeting, helped me later on in my professional life. As a Michigan Delta Chi, I am most proud of the wonderful people I was so fortunate to meet and with whom I shared the bond of fraternity life. Although it’s not as often as I would like, I try to keep in touch with the Hon. Judge David Gormley '87 and, my friend since the age of nine, Nick Markus '87. One of the great things about the dedication of the new chapter house was reconnecting with so many old friends. It was wonderful to see Dave and Nick as well as Ken Radlick '87, Jon Meyer '87, Doug Godbold '86, Paul Luch '88, Darrius Fadanelli '89, Pete Fogler '89, John Heathfield '86, Big Brother Ed Holton '86, and Scott Imlach '90. I know many other 80’s Delta Chis now live out of state and couldn’t make the new house dedication, but it was still great to reconnect with them via email. One of these years we must plan a multi-year reunion at the beautiful new chapter house.

Also this May, Vicky and I will celebrate 26 years of marriage. Most of the brothers I mentioned above were present at our wedding in 1991. It’s hard to believe that was almost 26 years ago! Vicky and I have two wonderful sons, Trey, who is a sophomore at Grand Valley State University, and Zachary, a senior at Harrison High School in Farmington Hills. Zachary will be attending Michigan State University later this year and is already considering rushing Delta Chi at MSU. I’m encouraging him to look at all fraternities on campus, but I’m especially pleased he wants to check out Delta Chi. My hope is that he meets the same type of bright, talented, and motivated young men I had the pleasure to know and learn from at Michigan.

Special thanks to Frank Morrey '64, David Falconer '62, Howard Gandelot '64, Keith Hellems '62, and John Levinson '73 for all of their hard work to bring to fruition the dream of a new, state-of-the-art chapter house. Without these committed alumni, the new house simply would not exist and the future of Delta Chi at Michigan would be in question. We should all be very grateful for their vision and perseverance, not to mention their considerable personal investment, which will ensure the success of the Chapter for future generations. If you haven’t been to the new house yet, you really need to see it. I hope to see you in Ann Arbor in the fall. Go Blue! 

In the Bond,

Martin L. Heger, Jr. '87

Class of 1987

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