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Belonging to Two Chapters, Bill Williams ’86 Is a Proud Fiji

Purdue Homecoming football game

Front row (left to right): Terry Curella, Scott Worley, and John Schommer

Second row (left to right): Mark Folta, Andy Pontious, Tim McGraw, and Bill Williams

Bill Williams ’86 has a unique distinction: he belongs to not just one, but two Phi Gamma Delta chapters. After beginning his college career at Northwestern, where he pledged Fiji and was initiated into the Phi Chapter, Bill transferred to Purdue at the beginning of his junior year.

“I moved into the chapter house immediately and was very quickly embraced and accepted by the brothers,” says Bill. “One of my closest friends from high school was a Fiji at Lambda Iota, and his pledge class adopted me as one of their own almost overnight.”

Today, Bill says that he feels as much a part of that pledge class—if not closer—as he does to his original pledge class at Phi Chapter. His unique situation has allowed for twice the memories, experiences, and friends—and for that he has twice the gratitude.

“My college years with my Phi Gam fraternity brothers were some of the best times of my life,” he says. “I will always be thankful for what Phi Gamma Delta has done for me.”

Along with the good times, Fiji also played a huge part in providing structure, discipline, and values for Bill’s life that set him on the right course.

“That then translated to how I approached my life after college and my career,” says Bill. “Based on where I am today, I think it’s fair to say that Phi Gamma Delta, and particularly the brothers I lived with and spent time with along the way, had a lot to do with how my life has turned out.”

Life, Bill admits, has turned out better than he ever imagined. He went on to law school where he met his future wife, and they married shortly after. His wife is a very successful litigator with Anthem, Inc. Bill has spent the last 22 years as an in-house corporate attorney for UnitedHealthCare, managing a group of attorneys, paralegals, and legal service specialists. The two live in Carmel, Indiana, where they are raising their 16-year-old son, who is autistic.

Left to right: Bill Gardner, Mark Folta, Mike Menn, and Tim McGraw

“We are trying to teach him to hopefully become an independent, happy, and healthy adult who can start his own life and perhaps his own family someday,” Bill says.

The fortunate lives and successful careers he and his wife have enjoyed, he says, are something they are grateful for every day, so they feel very strongly about giving back to the people, groups, and institutions that helped them along the way. They give to several worthy causes, and Bill volunteers his time to multiple non-profit boards, including the Board of Trustees at his son’s school, Midwest Academy of Indiana, which provides a progressive education to children with learning and social challenges.

Fiji has been incredibly lucky to receive Bill’s help in multiple different ways. He has given to both Lambda Iota Chapter and the international fraternity, serves on our Housing Corporation Board, is a member of the Alpha Graduate Chapter in West Lafayette, and most recently made a five-year pledge for Phi Chapter’s (Northwestern) house improvement campaign. There is certainly no questioning how much Phi Gamma Delta means to him.

“It is a combination of what the fraternity stands for, its traditions, its teachings, and the brothers that make me so proud,” he says. “When I look back at myself and all of us when we were in college and see how we all turned out, it is obvious that being a Fiji was a big part of that.”

Bill has stayed close with many brothers, and most recently got together with his “adopted” Purdue pledge class for their 30th class reunion last fall. They spent a couple days around Homecoming weekend at David Brown’s (’86) family farm cabin, visited the chapter house, went to the game, then hosted a large tailgate that went until dark. Attendees included Bill, Dave Brown ’86, John Schommer ’86, Jim Neff ’86, Tim McGraw ’86 , Scott Worley ’88, Andy Pontious ’86, Terry Curella ’86, Bill Gardner ’86, Mike Menn ’86, Joe Brodner ’86, Allan Mailloux ’87, Dean Samuels ’86, Miles Ridgway ’86, and Mark Folta ’87.

Through both his volunteer services and career, Bill has gotten to meet many more new Fijis along the way, too. And they never fail to make him proud.

“Whenever I meet new Fijis—young and old—I am always amazed at how terrific they are and how much they have accomplished in life,” he says. “I am truly honored to be considered one of them.”

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