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Q: Why did you join Fiji Purdue in the first place?

A: Because I was a dumbass freshman and they were the best fraternity on the campus.

Q: Do you still keep in touch with any of your brothers? Who?

A: Oh, every day. Well, my class, which was the class of ’67 and the class of ’64, which were seniors when I was a freshman. I email some member of those groups, plus a number of others every single day. Not everybody every single day, but a portion of them every single day on Purdue University, Phi Gamma Delta, athletics, politics and a number of other issues.

Q: What would you say was your favorite memory from the chapter?

A: I don’t think I could distill it to a single memory. There were so many good people, graduates and undergraduate brothers that I met. I would just say the entirety of the Phi Gamma Delta experience when I was an undergraduate was just outstanding and, once I graduated and went through law school and then came back here, the graduate experience with both the graduates and undergraduate brothers has just been outstanding for the entirety of my life from 1970 until now.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and what you do.

A: It’s called the Cooke Law Firm. It’s a personal injury, civil litigation law firm dealing with ‘Snake Farm’ and ‘All Snake’ and other corporate insurance companies that cheat and steal from people every single day all over Indiana, if you will, more for me the mid-west Indiana and the mid-west. Every day I try to do something about corporate theft.

Q: Was there anything in particular that drove you to that field?

A: My personality. At Phi Gamma Delta I learned that competence and quality and fairness and reasonableness are all attributes that we should strive for, and then I had that further reinforced when I went to law school. Then, after law school, I came back to Purdue and the Big Ten and I have been practicing here ever since 1970.

Q: What else have you been up to since graduation?

A: How many hours do you have? I was a master swimmer for a couple of scores of years. I participated in politics and, primarily, my job has been to bring to the light of day the outrageous, fraudulent, theft-ridden practices of corporate insurance America. We fight these companies every day because they cheat every American they can in every way they can over money every single day.

Q: Tell us about your family.

A: I have a son, Aaron, who is a Phi Gam from Indiana University, the Zeta Chapter. He’s a lawyer here and my partner here at the Cooke Law Firm. He has two sons, who are the apples of my eye and the light of our life. They are 13 and 11 and make us smile at the world we live in. Aaron spends a lot of time, not only here, but coaching the boys in athletics. They are both very good premier players in soccer, basketball and baseball. They are very athletic. Aaron swam for Jim “Doc” Counsilman at IU, the Olympic coach. Our life has been full of Phi Gamma Delta and lawyer-ing and swimming. We swim three times a week with any other Purdue All-Americans. It’s good for your health and we like doing it.

Q: What advice would you give to future generations of Phi Gamma Delta members?

A: Phi Gamma Delta is not for college days alone. That is one of our slogans that, when you’re an undergraduate, you don’t really know very well what it means, but you certainly learn, if you’re inclined to stay in touch with the brothers of your house and your class and the graduate brothers in the area,  you really have a large understanding of what it means. The best thing that I can recommend for the brothers that I constantly stay in contact with is to be communicative, be supportive of both graduate and undergraduate brothers, because it is a life changing experience day over day, month over month, year over year. 

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