Fraternity. It’s almost become a dirty word, right? Problems associated with Greek life today are real and serious. That’s why stories like these are so important to share. We all have moments of Brotherhood we’ll remember forever, thanks to Epsilon Pi. To many alumni (maybe even most), the meaning and purpose of fraternity is profound. A fraternity is a family, a brotherhood for life, no matter the challenges or hardships, as these stories illustrate:
Brotherhood Defined in Single Photo
J Meyer, a Sigma Nu Georgia Tech alum shared this inspiring photo above from The Rose & Star, the fraternity’s newsletter. “There are numerous pictures from the gatherings over the years, but this one is special,” he said. “It says a lot about brotherhood,” he said. Gerry Widegren, seated, was in a terrible car accident during spring break in 1966. Three Sigma Nus were killed and Gerry was seriously injured. He has mobility issues now, but the group involves him in as many events as they can. “This is a picture of us taking Gerry to the beach for a group photo at sunset,” said J. “Gerry is my brother, as are all the guys.”
Losing a Father, Gaining a Family
The Phi Delta Theta fraternity of Arkansas recently lost one of their 1997 brothers, Roger “Blue” Mhoon, who passed away just a few months after being diagnosed with cancer. His fraternity brothers wrote a letter to Mhoon’s son:
If you need someone to take you fishing, we have rods and boats.”We all want you to know that while there is nothing we can say to make any of this make sense to you right now, we are committed to standing beside you, behind you, and in front of you if needed—for the rest of your life. You see Eason, we all took an oath many years ago that we would take care of each other—no matter what. And today, the commitment we made to your awesome Daddy carries over to you:
- If you need someone to throw a baseball with, we have gloves.
- If you need someone to go to a Razorback game with, we have tickets.
- If you need someone to call the Hogs with, Blue taught us well.
- If you need someone to help with homework, we’ll do our very best.
- If you need someone to hang out with, we have time.
- If you want to hear stories about your Daddy, we have a TON!
As you see in the photo, we left a spot in the middle for your Daddy, but that spot is also for you. Eason, as of today, you are an honorary Phi Delt as far as we are concerned. If someday you decide to not be in a fraternity or choose a fraternity different than Phi Delta Theta, you will always share a bond with every man you see in this photo (and many more)… May the Lord Bless You and Keep You Eason, and your sweet Mommy.
Love, The Men of Phi Delta Theta—YOUR Brothers in the Bond.”
Amid the ongoing crisis in today’s fraternity system, this story is an important example of what fraternity can and still does mean, especially to alumni; if you’ve experienced the value of lifelong brotherhood, you understand why fraternities really exist.
Does your fraternity have a story to share that illustrates the real meaning of fraternities? We want to hear it and share it.