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Describe the fraternity as you remember it in your time frame.

Delta Chi was a relatively small fraternity back then, but we were a very close knit group of brothers that enjoyed doing many things together.  Since most actives preferred to live in the chapter house throughout their college years we got to know each other pretty well over a number of years which usually meant that our college best friends were fellow Delta Chi brothers.

 

What are you fondest memories of being a Delta Chi at Michigan?

I had a beautiful white Samoyed dog named Ursis that also became the house mascot.  His photo appears on the annual composite photo of the Delta Chi actives during that time period.  Everyone loved my dog, although it was sometimes a challenge to keep the brothers from giving him beer during some of our parties.  I remember playing a lot of the board games,  “Risk”, as well as far too many hours of card games like Hearts or Bridge.  We enjoyed participating in many IM sports but were not a “jock” house by any stretch of the imagination.  After the legendary John Russell was hired as our cook I worked with him as the house steward.  

 

Do you remember any incidents / funny stories from your DX days?

I remember one cold and snowy December evening when a number of us piled into a station wagon and went out in search of an inexpensive Christmas tree.  We drove around for a long time, leaving the immediate Ann Arbor area looking for the perfect cheap Christmas tree... and finally arrived in a little town named Hell, Michigan.  We had quite a chuckle discovering that “Hell had frozen over”.  That evening we didn’t find the tree that we had been searching for but a few days later one of the brothers proudly secured a Christmas tree for the house by cutting the top off of a larger pine tree. 

 

Did you live in the house?   Who were your roommates ?  

Stan Dobry ‘70 and I pledged Delta Chi in the winter/spring 1967 semester.  Dave Pawlik ‘70 and Doug Shelton ‘70 had pledged the semester prior, so we were all college sophomores as we first moved into the DX house in the fall of 1967.  Steve Civiletto ’72 was two years later and Dan Hughes ’74 joined the house a couple of years after that but because I had lived in the house for 6 years I got to know a number of later classes pretty well.

I shared a “triple” room (the large room at the front of the house on the 2nd floor) for my sophomore, junior and part of my senior year with Dave Pawlik, Stan Dobry and later  with Steve Civiletto after Dave Pawlik moved out. 

While a college senior I was in a nasty motorcycle accident when I was broadsided by a car which resulted in the loss of my left leg below the knee.

Once I was released from the hospital I was given a small single private room at the back of the house with a small bathroom next to it which I kept for the remaining years that I lived at the Delta Chi house.  I also slept in my room after the accident.  I met my future wife, JoEllen Hankwitz, while I was hospitalized at St Josephs Mercy Hospital after my motorcycle accident.  She was the nurse who cared for me at the hospital. 

I enjoyed and appreciated the very strong comraderie of our closely knit brotherhood and the friendships that often lasted for many years afterwards.  I was particularly grateful for the help and support I received after losing my left leg in a motorcycle accident during my senior year.  I continued living in the house during my recovery and subsequently for my graduate school studies.

 

Did you have a nickname and if so, how did you get it?

“Uke” as I was of Ukrainian descent.   During World War 2 my parents escaped the Soviet Union, leaving Ukraine which was under Stalin’s control and staying ahead of the red army all the way to Germany where I was born.  I arrived in the US with my parents as a 5 month old baby and have lived here ever since. The language in our home was Ukrainian and I spoke no English until I started kindergarten.

 

Do you stay in touch with any of your Delta Chi brothers?   Who?

One of the most pleasant results for me of the fundraising drive for rebuilding the Michigan chapter house was reconnecting with some of my Delta Chi college friends. During the campaign I ended up contacting a number of former classmates and discovered that some were actually living not very far away.  For the past several years Doug Shelton ‘70, Dan Hughes ’74 and I have enjoyed getting together for lunch every month,  usually spending several hours together reminiscing and catching up with events in our respective lives.

 

What was your undergraduate degree??   What was the first job you took after college ?

I received a BA in Economics at Michigan and an MBA at Eastern Michigan. 

 

Who have you worked for – title if you remember – approximate years

Initially I went to work in Detroit for Burroughs which was a leading computer technology firm in Michigan at the time where I got into data processing and computer programming.  Then I went to Ford, and then I spent most of the rest of my career with Volkswagen of America and ADP.  VW eventually outsourced their data processing operations and I then continued with ADP which took over the VW auto dealer computer systems for another 15 years.  I started out writing computer programs for computers known as mainframes used by large corporations, and later software for various kinds of computers including PCs.  I worked in IT throughout my career developing software and network solutions.

ADP (earlier known as Automatic Data Processing) is a large Fortune 500 corporation somewhat better known for their payroll handling software.  One of their divisions was also the largest provider of computer software for automobile dealerships in the US.  In 1994 Volkswagen of America outsourced to ADP their auto dealership software group.  At Volkswagen I designed and wrote software programs to satisfy requests made by various departments such as forecasting materials for production,  an electronic parts catalog that was used by all VW dealerships, etc.   At ADP we converted the VW dealership software to an ADP PC based package.  Later I was responsible for preparing a cloud based version of the ADP dealership software that had originally only been available in a local client server environment

 

Where have you lived ?

Since the age of 4 I’ve lived in southeastern Michigan.

 

Tell us about your family and interests.   Children – ages – what are they doing?    Spouse –  any information you want to share. 

JoEllen (“Hank”) and I divorced in 1984. I have one child, a daughter, Kristen, who also attended the University of Michigan and is currently employed by the University as a child psychologist specializing in autism.

 

Any illnesses you might like to mention or share?

I’ve been relatively lucky health wise most of my life except for that one life changing event.    All of my fraternity brothers were extremely supportive and I actually continued to live in the chapter house afterwards and throughout my graduate years.

When I initially retired in 2014 both of my elderly parents, who were living in their own home just down the street from me, and in their 90s, were now struggling with various health issues.  Most of my available time was spent as their primary caretaker. Both have now recently passed away and I’ve started to do some traveling, addressing some overdue home improvement projects, babysitting my granddaughter,  watching TV, etc

 

Would you give your phone number and/or email address so others might contact you?

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