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Q: Why did you choose Lambda Iota Chapter?

Bob: My high school experience was at Bishop Chatard High School on the Northeast side of Indianapolis. One of my friends at Chatard, and a guy that I looked up to was Terry Sage. He was a year older [than me]. As a Purdue freshman, I lived at Cary Quad, right across the street from 640 Russell. Terry was a Phi Gam and called me to come attend some rush functions. His influence and recommendation were a big part of my direction, along with several other Bishop Chatard guys who ended up being in my pledge class...Jim Martzolf and David Pratt. The friendliness, positive attitudes, and hospitality of the actives helped to "seal the deal".

Bo: During my first few weeks at Purdue, I was determined to find a different fraternity to join than Phi Gamma Delta. With my father being a member and I being considered a legacy, I wanted to break away from the path that seemed to be laid out before me. However, after several rush events at other houses, I continually found myself in favor of Lambda Iota. The guys in the house were the most kind-natured and genuine that I met on campus, and their reputation was never in question. When offered an invitation to join, I felt called to join the ranks of the house that my father was a part of before me, despite my original intentions. That was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

Q: What was a typical weeknight / weekend night like?

Bob: Weeknights included some trips to the library for study and reading, after a delicious dinner served with a smile from the Kitchen Crew...especially Steve Dietrich!  Then, back to the cold air dorm for catching up time and stories from many of the guys in our class. Also, I remember a lot of popcorn nights in Cam Willis' room. Good memories! The weekends were full of various ball games, rush functions, parties and dances. Sunday nights were quieter and included trips to Arni's for Sunday dinner.

Bo: Weeknights were usually dedicated to studies. Different areas of the house would be scattered with guys preparing for exams after dinnertime. The only interruption of that would be the occasional home basketball game that we would attend. The weekend unofficially started on Thursday nights, so anyone wanting to study would head to the library. Brothers 21 years or older would pile into the Purple Loop, our sober ride, to go to the Neon Cactus across campus. Thus, we would begin an extended bar crawl from the levee, up Chauncey Hill, and back across campus to the house. The rest of the weekend would typically be represented by meals out of the house, late nights of parties, and lots of sleep to catch up on.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your time as an active?

Bob: [There are] so many to choose from. I guess that I would say the sincerity and depth of the friendships with brothers from my class and surrounding classes, the walks and conversations to and from classes on campus with brothers and my introduction and first visit to Tilly's!

Bo: Home football game weekends were my favorite days in the fraternity house. Waking up to the sound of the Boilermaker Special, sharing an adult beverage or two with both undergraduate and graduate brothers, walking around a crisp fall day on campus from tailgate to tailgate, and putting aside all worries of school work for the day became a ritual throughout my three years of living in the house. Sometimes, I can still hear the All-American Marching Band in the distance just as we would while sitting on the front porch of Russell Street.

Q: How many members were in your class?

Bob: 19 in our class, I believe!

Bo: I was a member of a 22-man pledge class, which was rather small for the house average at that time. I am proud to say that all 22 of us were initiated and graduated as brothers of Phi Gamma Delta.

Q: How do you feel having your son/father as a Brother as well?

Bob: Very grateful. So many events could have taken different paths and outcomes, but here we are!  Very fortunate, and I feel pretty lucky! Shared places and experiences provide a wonderful comfort.  

Bo: Sharing the bond of brotherhood with my father meant fun weekends of Dad’s Day and Pig Dinners while living in the house. Today, we still get to make the drive up to campus together for the Pig Dinner, walking around the house and swapping stories of how things were “back in our time.” A beer in Tilly’s with my dad is always a precious moment that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Bob, what do you hope your son gained out of the chapter?

Several things...an appreciation for history and those who came before us and paved the way, a feeling that friendship is indeed "the sweetest influence", an appreciation for hard work and delayed gratification, a belief in "persistence" and all that it means, and a belief in "not for college days alone"!

Bo, what did you gain out of the chapter?

I gained the friendship of some of the greatest individuals I have met in my life. My pledge class has come to represent some of my best friends in all parts of the country. I never truly understood the message of “not for college days alone” as an undergraduate brother, but as the years go on, our bond only strengthens.

Q: How has the legacy bond brought the two of you closer together?

Bob: The shared feelings and experiences provide a unique and special layer in our relationship. Because of that, I think we can understand each other a bit more deeply, and that is a plus! I'm proud of Bo, and damn proud to be a Fiji!! 

Bo: My father and I have always been close. Phi Gamma Delta has given us a set of morals that we share a common belief in and a platform for friendship that transformed each of our lives. I was able to learn so much more about who my dad is and how he came to be that way through our shared experience in Lambda Iota. Imagine my surprise as a young adult when I realized that so many family friends I had known since birth became that way first through friendship with my father at Purdue! I look forward to hopefully someday sharing the bond that I have with my pledge brothers with my own children.

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