Jack Clevenger ’68 followed in his brother’s footsteps, which led straight to Phi Gamma Delta. His older brother, Tom ’57, encouraged him to join and helped Jack become acclimated with the Chapter as an Undergraduate. During his years at KU, Jack made strong friendships that have held true today and hopes to pass along the tradition of Brotherhood to future generations of Fijis.
“Class bonding was great,” Jack said. “I recall the old Phi Gam prioritized fun and athletics over academics (in that order). It’s so great to see today the priorities have changed, and rightfully so. The Chapter is still fun, of course, but there’s more attention paid to academics. Even things like Rock Chalk Revue, which we didn’t think twice about in my day. The guys are doing a terrific job and keep the fun level high while also keeping what’s really important at the forefront.”
Brotherhood was a large factor in Jack’s decision to give back to the campaign. Several pledge brothers have passed away in recent years, so during e-mail correspondence between each other, Jack and other Fijis realized they had so many amazing memories from the house that it was a great opportunity to give back. So Jack and his brother, Tom, chose to make a gift together in the hopes of keeping the Chapter competitive and helping young men enjoy their college career as they did.
Jack is adamant about furthering the future of Pi Deuteron. A few years back, he spoke at Pig Dinner and relayed to the Chapter that in order to be successful after college, you have to do something you love. “If you enjoy what you do, it’s a career, not a job. Anymore, no body seems to know what they want to do compared to when I was in college. Hopefully, everyone figures out what they want to do and focus on that and go get it!”
Another way Jack has given back to Pi Deuteron is by starting a scholarship in memory of a pledge Brother who passed away, David Morris ’68. David was a legacy like Jack, and legacies had a tendency to get razzed by older Brothers. “David was a wonderful guy and went on to work for Citi Bank. After he passed away, I came up with the idea of starting a scholarship in his name. The $25,000 award honors a student who chooses to study abroad for a semester. Over the years, I think that qualifier has changed a bit, but I’m very proud to help get that going.”
Jack and his wife, Candy, have been married for 46 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Jack and Candy live in Denver, but are hoping to move back to the Kansas City area soon. After working 42 years as a stock broker, Jack retired from Morgan Stanley in 2012. You can contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org .
When Ed Roberts ’63 came to KU, he didn’t have any connections, but he maintained a 4.0 GPA during his first semester and decided to pledge Phi Gamma Delta during his second at the encouragement of Robert Radcliffe ’61. The Chapter was looking to raise the GPA with the help of Ed and other new members. From there, Ed would gain more connections than he could ever imagine and would later credit them for his overall success in the car industry.
During his time as an undergraduate, Ed was active on student council and a Hilltopper, as well as taking on the role of Chapter treasurer. He grew close to his brothers and maintains contact with them today. For the last 15 years, Ed meets up with as many as 15 brothers for an annual reunion. “I made a great deal of good friends,” he says. “I maintained a lot of friendships from the Chapter over the years and still have contact with many of them.”
Looking back at his time in Pi Deuteron, Ed sees that it is not in the same condition that it used to be. However, with the help of the capital campaign, he feels that it is moving in a positive direction. “You can’t recruit quality men without a quality facility. I felt that the house needs to be competitive, and a lot of other houses on campus have already upgraded. Students today expect the finer things when coming to college, so we need to do what we can to make that a reality.”
Ed was active on the House Corporation for four years and remains active with KU by contributing to the Williams Education Fund by supplying cars with the Wheel Club. He is now retired after a successful career in the car industry with his brother and his son, John. They have owned numerous car dealerships in the Kansas City and Phoenix areas.
In his free time, Ed enjoys annual pheasant and quail hunting trips in Kansas and South Dakota. He and his wife of 53 years, Barbara, met on a blind date at KU. They spend their winters in Palm Desert, California, and also have a house at the Lake of the Ozarks. They are avid fans of KU basketball and the Kansas City Royals. They have two children, son, John, and daughter, Robin, and three grandchildren including recent Fiji Jayhawk graduate, Jacob Burton ’14. You can contact Ed at email@example.com.
The house is what appealed to him first. Seeing how the active members took care of the facility and, undoubtedly, how much effort went into the upkeep from generous alumni, Morgan Hondros ’03 understood that the quality of the house played a huge role in the fraternal experience. Not only did these men express their drive in managing a home, but also in every facet of college life. From academics to intramurals, Fiji stood out among other fraternities, which led Morgan’s decision to join the ranks.
Additionally, his father, John Hondros ’66, had established a strong foundation with the Chapter, along with some of Morgan’s friends from high school, making the ultimate decision to join that much easier. “There was an overall environment at KU and, specifically, Phi Gamma Delta, that left an impact on me. In college, I had the chance to meet many people from different walks of life that I found life changing. The experience really opened my eyes to whom and what else was beyond my frame of mind.”
One of the most valuable lessons Morgan learned from his college and fraternal experiences is that of a strong work ethic. Along with creating beneficial relationships with those around him, Morgan graduated with a degree in business administration and took a job with American Public University as a customer care manager.
“I am lucky enough to help people looking to change their lives with a new career. People who reach out to us are often in the middle of life-changing events: being laid off, divorced, or recently back from military deployment. My department is very important in getting people what they need to start new lives.”
Along the lines of starting anew, Pi Deuteron’s Mighty Proud campaign is well underway and eagerly anticipating an updated facility for current and future KU Fijis. As a donor to the campaign, Morgan hopes to bring the same initial awe that he felt upon seeing the house to a new generation of men. “The house brings people together, and the quality of it enhances the desire to keep it looking its best. We’re lucky enough to have a large house with a great location on campus. For me, it felt like home; that was worth something. I think it’s important for anyone who joined to ask themselves the same thing—what was my time at Fiji worth and does it warrant my support?”
Fiji gave Morgan many things, but one of the best is lifelong friends. He stays in contact with many of his pledge brothers, including Zak Fellers ’03, Carlos Ubinas ’01, and William Darrah. Will went through recruitment with Morgan’s class, but ultimately transferred to another school before being initiated. Despite not being a member of Pi Deuteron, Will made quite the impact on Morgan and the rest of his class. “Will was a very influential person in the house. He participated in plenty of activities, and was fun and outgoing. He played a big part in a lot of our positive experiences at that time. Will is now a very successful oil businessman in Wichita, Kansas, with a lovely wife and three children. I understand that there is a retroactive initiation process for those who represent Phi Gamma Delta’s values, so despite not being initiated during college, I would advocate for Will Darrah to be considered for this recognition.”
Morgan and his wife, Dee, live in Westerville, Ohio. He and his dad are avid outdoorsmen and take trips all over the world. Morgan is also a photographer and videographer. You can contact Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leonard “Bob” Boyd Jr. ’67 sadly passed away on December 2, 2014, having lived an extraordinary life. Growing up in Topeka and Hutchinson, Kansas, Bob attended KU and became a member of Phi Gamma Delta, two institutions that would be his greatest lifelong interests. He was elected president of the Business School Council, despite not being in the business school, and built a vending empire at KU, earning more than $1,000 per month. He was such a good businessman, in fact, that, according to Jack Clevenger ’68, he “took a pay cut when he left KU to enter the car business.”
Bob served in the U.S. Army, including one tour in Vietnam, before returning to Hutchinson to help run his family’s car dealership. Under Bob’s guidance, Boyd Motors would become one of the largest volume Audi dealers in the country. Bob sold the dealership in 1986 and started a second career in commercial real estate. He was managing director for J.P. Weigand & Sons and later executive vice president with Martens Companies. He was always seeing ways to enhance his properties and improve the bottom line. His wife, Mary Jane, played a large role in his real estate activities, acting essentially as the bookkeeper and office manager.
Among other skills, Bob was a self-educated mechanical engineer, designing a way to add almost 250 seats at Allen Fieldhouse. His own crew built the first 10 seats. An eternal optimist and pragmatist that would never take no for an answer, he believed that friendship was the sweetest influence. Where others saw problems, he saw solutions.
Bob’s life was a testament to giving back, with dedication to Rotary International, NJCAA, and, of course, Phi Gamma Delta, where he served the House Corporation for 23 years, including two terms as president and recipient of the John Kapfer Graduate of the Year award. Bob was thoroughly dedicated to Phi Gamma Delta. His pledge brothers remember him as being a wonderful listener and always having a thirst for knowledge. Michael Maloney ’68 says, “Aside from consummate deal/business guy, the term that best described Bob was prankster. He also happened to be the best dressed guy of our pledge class. He even shined his shoes!” In 1967 when a fire broke out in the house, Bob managed to save eight chairs from the burning house. Before his death, he had these chairs refinished so they could be returned after 50 years to the house. This is just another tribute to Bob’s commitment to giving back to his community and his fraternity.
Bob is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary Jane; his son, Rick ’93; and two grandchildren, Hampton and Georgia.
On February 7, 2015, a great Phi Gamma Delta brother, Dean Smith ’53, passed away. He died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his wife, Linnea, and his five children. Dean led a life that was full of friendship, loyalty, and, of course, basketball.
Dean was born on February 28, 1931, in Emporia, Kansas. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1949 and then attended the University of Kansas. He played basketball for the University and was part of the team that won the 1952 NCAA championship. Following graduation he became assistant coach for Coach Phog Allen. Following his time at KU, he became the assistant basketball coach at the Air Force Academy. Basketball was his passion and became his career. He found his home at the University of North Carolina in 1958, after accepting a position as the assistant coach.
In 1961, Dean was promoted to head coach for the Tar Heels and went on to have one of the most successful basketball coaching careers in NCAA history. Dean led the Tar Heels to two NCAA championships, 11 NCAA Final Four appearances, and had an overall record of 879 wins to 254 losses at the time of his retirement. He also coached in the 1976 Summer Olympics, winning a Gold Medal.
Over the course of his career, Dean was presented with many esteemed awards. He was named National Coach of the Year four times (’77, ’79, ’82, ’83), ACC Coach of the Year eight times (’67, ’68, ’71, ’76, ’77, ’79, ’88, ’93), inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the International Basketball Hall of Fame, National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, just to name a few. Dean was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President Obama. He is considered by many to be one of the best basketball coaches in the history of the game.
While basketball may have been his passion, it was not the only thing Dean will be remembered for. His players and friends remember his intense loyalty and dedication. He worked hard to ensure that his players not only played basketball, but received a quality education. Dean was an activist for civil rights in the 1960s, recruiting the first African-American player in the ACC. He has spoken openly on political issues such as eliminating the death penalty and nuclear disarmament.
Dean’s legacy will be his dedication to people, to making other’s lives better by helping them be the best they can be, and his love of basketball.
Justin Healy’s professional career has taken him all over the U.S., recently coming full circle with a move back to Kansas. He has taken his Kansas roots and Fiji experiences with him through his many moves knowing that he will always call Kansas and Pi Deuteron home.
Justin lived in Wichita until age eight when his family moved to Durango, Colorado, after his dad, who worked in the oil business, was transferred. Both of his parents attended KU, so after high school he followed in their footsteps and chose to attend KU. Justin benefited from and enjoyed his time and experiences as a Phi Gam. “I enjoyed having the sense of a group, especially going to a large university like KU. It gave me the opportunity to make great friends and be part of the Phi Gam tradition.” He graduated in 1971 with a BA in History and then went on to receive his MBA from KU in 1973.
After graduation, Justin and wife, Cammy, moved to Chicago where he began his career with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., one of the Big 8 CPA firms. After being in the Chicago office for a year and a half, Justin transferred to Peat’s Denver office. He later joined the ING Group’s Security Life of Denver, where he worked for 11 years until 1988 as Vice President and Controller. In 1988, Justin and his family transferred within the ING Group to Keene, New Hampshire, where he worked for ING’s U.S. Property & Casualty Group until 2001. After a short tenure working for One Beacon Insurance Group in Boston, Justin relocated to Omaha where he took a position as Senior Vice President and CFO of Zurich Insurance Programs. He retired from Zurich in 2005 and moved back to Kansas in 2008, marking the end of part one of his successful career.
Since his move to Wichita, Justin has become the CFO for the Wichita Community Foundation, one of the largest public charities in the Wichita area. He is responsible for financial reporting, accounting, financial planning and forecasting, and asset management. Being back in Kansas has allowed him to have more contact with his Fiji brothers, something previously prevented by a busy professional life and living far away. Justin notes, “It has been nice to get reacquainted with some of the people I used to know in the fraternity house. I have been back to campus several times, and I dropped by the house a few years ago. That visit brought back a lot of good memories.”
Justin’s wife, Cammy, has had a 30-year career as a Special Education teacher. Their son, Edward, attended KU and Vermont Law School and now works for the KU Honors Program. Their daughter, Anne, attended Princeton and Harvard Law School and now works for McKinsey & Co. in Washington, D.C.
Throughout Justin’s busy professional career, he was thankful for some lessons learned while an undergraduate. “Being a member of a fraternity, you learn how to get along with individuals and within groups. These are valuable lessons that definitely help you in the business world. Fiji KU is an experience that stays with you the rest of your life.”
Justin can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
(Update: Connor's brother, Dillion Grantham '20, entered the brotherhood in the Spring of 2017)
Aaron Grantham ’87 is an interventional cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City. He is the director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Training Program for the University of Missouri Kansas City. He practices cardiology and teaches advanced angioplasty techniques all over the world.
Aaron and his wife, Sheila (’89 pharmacy), dated throughout their four years at KU and have been married for 24 years and have four children. Connor ’14 is the eldest and a human biology major with plans to graduate this spring. He is living in the Chapter House for his fourth year; Emily is 19 and a sophomore Delta Gamma at KU; Dillon “Future Pledge” Grantham, as Connor’s pledge brothers call him, is a sophomore at Blue Valley West High School; and Aidan turned 11 in September.
1. What is it like to have your son in Phi Gamma Delta?
Aaron: Having Connor become a brother in Phi Gamma Delta is a source of immense pride. When he joined, the house was in need of change. It has been incredible to watch as he has contributed in several ways to a real, and hopefully sustainable, resurgence in the Pi Deuteron Chapter.
2. Have you had a chance to get back to campus or the Chapter House lately? Has anything changed or are you surprised by how little things have changed? What is your overall impression of the Chapter?
Aaron: We have had lots of fun together and it has been very nostalgic for me to visit the house on Parent’s and Dad’s Weekends or a brief visit on game day. One of my favorite memories of the past few years is when Connor took me back through some old chapter archives from my days in the chapter.
3. What advice did you give your son when he joined?
Aaron: I asked him to do everything he could to be a respectful, zealous pledge, then be an agent for positive change. I told him he would make the best friends in his life and he should cherish every moment with them now.
4. What did you know about FIJI when you joined?
Connor: When I was rushing four years ago I had heard a lot of different things about FIJI. I got a chance to meet the guys; they showed me how well rounded the Chapter was but that improvements were still necessary and that I would be able to contribute right away. Also my dad’s best friends are still his pledge brothers and I was looking forward to making some new lifelong friends of my own. I’m glad to say that Phi Gam has rewarded me with some great friendships.
5. What does it mean to you to have your father as a brother?
Connor: My dad has been a role model for me and to be able to share the rich traditions of FIJI with him has been wonderful. He has helped teach me a lot about FIJI and it has helped me learn a lot about myself. It also motivated me to get involved with the Chapter as a scholarship chairman, recruitment chairman, pledge educator, and historian.
6. Are you involved with any other organizations on campus?
Connor: I worked in a lab researching kidney disease at the University of Kansas Medical Center, am a member of the Golden Key Society, and frequently attend events at the Saint Lawrence Catholic Center.
7. Do you have any hobbies? Is there anything else you would like to add?
Connor: I am a die-hard Royals, Chiefs, and Jayhawks sports fan. I enjoy picking on my three younger siblings, going to the rec center to work out, golfing, traveling, and hanging out at The Wheel with my Fraternity brothers, preferably on the patio during a sunny game day.
Aaron: The little free time I have is spent watching my kids’ sports, playing golf, vacationing at our Colorado cabin or on any beach, cooking, and hanging out with pledge brothers Andy Morrison ’87, Rob Smith ’87, and Mike Mason ’87.
Doug Wheat ’72 Inspired by Past Alumni
Joining a fraternity became a great way to make a large school smaller for small town Kansan Doug Wheat ’72. “I knew few students at KU when I first arrived. The FIJIs made me very welcome, and I quickly formed close friendships,” Doug said. He remained active with the Chapter while receiving his bachelor of science in business administration and juris doctor from the law school.
Doug was constantly inspired by the success of FIJI alumni, making him certain that he would be following in their footsteps. “I always felt that there was no limit on my future success. Looking at those who preceded me and their success reinforced that conviction,” Doug said.
Today Doug is the owner of a private equity firm that buys and sells businesses. After practicing corporate/securities law for ten years, Doug was recruited by a New York investment firm to leave the practice and become an investment banker. He helped form their private equity business and has been in that field since.
Thinking back on his undergraduate years, Doug says he wouldn’t change a thing. He said, “I think it is best that you don’t know what the future holds. It could lead you to believe it’s too hard. If you take it one day at a time, you can just keep moving forward.”
He stops by the Chapter House at least once a year and encourages other alumni to do the same. “Try and reconnect. It’s worth it,” Doug said. While his residence in Texas makes it difficult to stay very active, he stays in touch with a number of his Pi Dueteron brothers.
Doug and his wife, Laura, have four children: Adam, Cassie, Kyler, and Tanner. Doug said he encourages his sons to consider the Fraternity but won’t push them to join. Doug and Laura have shared their success by supporting the causes they care about, including the Wheat Community Room at the Cancer Support Community–North Texas, the Douglas D. and Laura L. Wheat Law Library at the University of Kansas, and the Wheat Family Children’s Area at the Gladney Center for Adoption.
Doug never misses a KU basketball game on TV and attends all the Final Four games if KU is playing. He also enjoys golf and hiking, which he gets to enjoy at his second home in the California mountains, offering an escape from the heat of the Texas summers. Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Schrock ’83 and George Heinlein ’86 joined Phi Gamma Delta as a way to make fast friends. Neither had a core group from high school with them at KU, so pledging seemed like a great way to get involved right off the bat. “The idea of having a place at KU and being associated with a group from the start was huge motivation,” says Brad. “We were recognized on campus as a strong Chapter and were always near the top in terms of academics and athletics.”
“Dick Murray ’57, who was section chief at the time, recommended to my dad that I attend a rush party,” says George. “An older member who has become a great friend of mine, Kyle Gillespie ’84, picked me up and took me to the party where I met some fantastic people. After that, I decided FIJI was the place for me.” George’s sense of pride for Pi Deuteron comes from knowing how the Fraternity shapes young men into outstanding citizens and puts them out in the workforce. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that creates men like that.”
Both Brad and George graduated from KU with bachelor’s degrees in architecture. After going their separate ways, they reunited in 1991 at HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm. After four years, they decided to break off and start their own business. Brad recounts how their successful endeavor began. “In 1995, we started Heinlein Schrock Architecture. After about 10 years of growing that company, we merged with another Kansas City firm, CDFM Architecture Inc., and 360 Architecture was born.”
“It’s been a fun ride,” adds George. “One of our first projects was renovating the Pi Deuteron house in 1996. I got a call from Bob Radcliff ’61, who was instrumental in getting the project moving, and the rest is history.”
The team at 360 Architecture has worked on many projects over the years, several in the arena of sports and entertainment. Among those projects (and the teams they accommodate) are Coors Field in Denver (Colorado Rockies), MetLife Stadium in New York (New York Giants and Jets), three soccer stadiums in Iraq (two in Basra and one in Najaf), the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio (Columbus Blue Jackets), American Airlines Arena in Miami (Miami Heat), and United Center in Chicago (Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks). They are currently working on a new arena for the NHL Edmonton Oilers in Alberta, Canada, an NBA arena in Seattle, and a complete renovation of Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.
“We have truly been blessed with some amazing clients. It has been really fun combining our passion for sports with our architectural profession over the last 26 years. We have an amazing support staff that has grown from just the two of us to more than 155 people with offices in Kansas City, Columbus, and San Francisco. Many of the values that we learned in Phi Gamma Delta, such as building and maintaining relationships, working as a team, and dedication and responsibility to each other, still guide us today,” says George.
Pi Deuteron had a big impact on George. The friendships he made, as well as the experiences throughout the years, play an important role in his life. “My time in FIJI taught me a lot about discipline and responsibility. Mom Rogers taught us many things such as table etiquette and how to treat a lady. Those are things I will never forget. She was a wonderful influence on all of us.” Another positive influence on George was Brad. “He was two years ahead of me in school, and I looked up to him. From the way he carried himself to the way he treated other people, he was a great role model for me.”
For Brad, being around other strong individuals helped boost his confidence. “We had a great pledge class and were always there to build each other up. Living with so many diverse people obviously helps your ability to get along with others and lead. It was a phenomenal time in my life and incredibly impactful.”
Brad lives in Mission Hills, Kansas, with his wife, Mary. They have two sons, John, a sophomore football player at the University of Colorado, and Conner, a freshman on the golf team at K-State. Brad and Mary, a Pi Phi from KU, met through Young Life, a youth ministry organization. In his free time, Brad enjoys cycling and taking part in races. Get in touch with Brad at email@example.com.
George and his wife, Jan, live in Leawood, Kansas. Their daughter, Taylor, is a graduate of the University of Arizona, and their son, Grant, is a sophomore at Rhode Island School of Design. George enjoys fishing at his family’s lake house and riding his bike. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legacy Hopes to Continue FIJI Tradition for Generations
Tom Ritchie ’65 came to KU with a plan. His father, Proctor Ritchie ’39, and two uncles, Dean ’40 and Dave ’50, had paved the way for him to join Phi Gamma Delta as a legacy. “Since my father was paralyzed by polio when I was 9, my desire has always been to do the best that I could because I wanted my father to have a son he could be proud of. He told me, ‘You have a chance to get an education, go after it. It’s not something that should be wasted.’ I worked very hard in school, which was fostered by a lot of people wanting me to do well, and wanting to do well myself.”
As a civil engineering and business major, Tom earned two degrees simultaneously in 10 semesters, which averaged 18 credit hours a semester. He later went on to work for his family’s construction company, Ritchie Corporation, and did that for nearly 50 years. “I was lucky in a sense that I knew what I wanted to do before I entered school and I ended up doing it. I don’t think a lot of people have that luxury nowadays. My family needed my help, and I was there to do my part.”
Being a member of FIJI gave Tom plenty of good memories to look back on. “I had a lot of really good experiences in the house and some awfully good times there. I felt a need to give to the annual campaign because the Chapter has to be around for others to have the great experiences that I did. It seemed like something worth doing. It would be a terrible mistake if the house disappeared because of the facilities being unable to compete with the other fraternity houses on campus.
“For those whose time with FIJI was beneficial, of which I believe there are many, it’s important to appeal to their generosity of spirit. I’m not one to give money to something just because it’s there. But like most, I could be reminded in a way that makes me think maybe this is something I need to be doing. It’s important for the graduates to know about the current Chapter and see them doing well. Those kinds of individuals encourage others to participate and contribute. Those are the things graduates are receptive to and will be more apt to give money to a bunch of college kids.”
Tom and his wife, Lisa, live in Wichita, Kansas, and have two KU FIJI sons and a daughter: Naaman ’91, Adam ’93, and Vivian. They also have five grandchildren, one of whom, Kieran ’16, is a FIJI pledge this year. “It is certainly gratifying to know that the choices I made back in 1961 are still looked on by them as good ones.” Tom has a house in Colorado that he and Lisa visit often. He enjoys shooting and hiking in his spare time. You can contact Tom at email@example.com.
Richard “Dick” Smith ’54 Feels Lucky to Be a FIJI
Dick Smith ’54 came to KU from Wichita, Kansas, in 1951. He decided to pledge the Fraternity because of the strong Wichita group presence in the Chapter. He has fond memories of Pi Deuteron, including his pledge brother and KU football player, Warren Woody ’54.
As an undergraduate, Dick was part of a pledge class of 26 members. Dick held the position of treasurer and rush chairman. “The biggest rush event we hosted was at Fort Larned. Bob Frizell ’45 owned some land out there and Jim Boyd ’42 helped fund the event. We dug a huge pit, butchered a steer, and after 12 hours, we dug up the steer and had a feast. I wasn’t sure if the event would be a success, but it turned out to be very beneficial for the rush program.” Some of Dick’s favorite memories include formal dinners on Sunday nights when the brothers had to wear a coat and tie. “It was eventually cut back to a white dress shirt and no tie. It was well known if a man was in a white shirt at the Kappa house, he was a Phi Gam.” Dick appreciates his time at FIJI and looks back fondly on that time. “I was lucky to be involved in the Fraternity.” He advises undergraduates to stick with whatever they are studying and return to school for graduate work. Dick has been a big supporter of Pi Doot since graduation. He served as President of the House Corporation after the house burned down in late ’60s.
After obtaining a geology degree from KU, Dick went to the Naval Officers Training Program in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was commissioned as a Lieutenant. He was transferred to the Naval Air Station in Milton, Florida, where he taught navigation, code, and was in charge of the security division. It was during his time in Florida that Dick married Patricia Gillespie, KU Chi Omega and sister of Van Gillespie ’52. After three years of service, Lieutenant Smith was honorably discharged. Dick and Patty then moved from Florida to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Dick obtained a master’s degree in geology from Harvard University.
Dick’s first job out of academia was with the U.S. Geological Survey where he mapped uranium mines in South Dakota. After a brief stint with Standard Oil of Texas, Dick returned to Wichita to work alongside his father who was a consulting geologist. In 1961, Dick founded Range Oil Company, Inc. and for the last 51 years has drilled several thousand wells, mostly in south-central Kansas. Dick is also the owner of Smith Stock Company, Inc. that is involved in stocker and cowcalf operations on his ranches in Florida, Kansas, and Wyoming.
Brother Smith has served on various community boards in Wichita as well as publically traded companies, the 4th National Bank, the Coleman Company, and Kansas Gas and Electric. In 2011, Dick was inducted into the Wichita Junior Achievement Hall of Fame.
In his spare time, Dick enjoys overseeing his ranches as well as fly fishing on the Wyoming ranch. After Dick’s wife, Patty, passed away in 2004, he then married Sondra Langel in 2006. Dick has two children, Pete ’82 and Susan.
“Phi Gamma Delta is not for college days alone” is an axiom truly befitting Brother Smith.
Pi Deuteron Influenced Leadership and Strengthened Brotherhood
For Stewart Horejsi ’59, FIJI strongly impacted his life and helped him develop into the man he is today. “I think it changed the course of my life and accelerated my growing up by 10 years or more. It made me realize the importance of real friends.” Stewart is a portfolio manager and owns Boulder Funds.
From Stewart’s experience, he offers advice to younger graduates. “Choose a career so that going to work each day is fun. Life has to be meaningful and fun. Think outside the box.” During his time at Pi Deuteron, Stewart was his pledge class’s second semester president and enjoyed spending time with the brothers. He graduated with a B.A. in business from KU and received a master’s in economics from Indiana University.
His time at FIJI gave him perspective and, as he reminisces, he cannot overstate the importance of family. “People are what count; it’s really wonderful having people you can depend on. My wife, children, and grandchildren have really made my life great.”
John Horejsi ’90 continued the family tradition and became a part of FIJI’s distinguished brotherhood. “I had the most positive recruitment experience at FIJI. It also had a tremendous reputation as one of the top houses on campus, solid academics, as well as top-notch intramural sports.” John is a driver for an Italian-based Ferrari race team in the European Open GT.
John’s experience at Pi Deuteron led to many great memories: “walk-out with my pledge class to Chicago, the sheer creative spirit of our social committees, and the discipline of study hall.” His undergraduate experience also had a huge impact on him. “Joining the FIJI house as a freshman gave me the opportunity to meet so many new people right off the bat and get right into the mix of college life.” Strong leadership was an important aspect of his FIJI experience. “It was most important to me to have strong leadership from the upperclassmen at FIJI. Looking back, I realize how critical it was to have such positive influences and leadership at a young age.”
For John and Stewart, that positive influence and strong leadership have translated into the Horejsi Charitable Foundation; the foundation sponsors different charities and foundations in support of education, athletics, music, medical research, and much more. The foundation has now reached out to the Pi Deuteron Chapter and established the John and Stewart Horejsi Scholarships.
Starting this fall, a total of $25,000 in scholarships will be available to Pi Deuteron’s incoming pledge class. New members who obtain at least a 3.5 G.P.A. and meet the criteria for initiation are eligible for a scholarship of up to $4,000. Depending on what remains, additional scholarships may be available for new members earning a 3.0 G.P.A. or better. Another $25,000 will be made available for the spring semester grades. The intent of the program is to help attract strong, academically minded students to Pi Deuteron, especially from smaller Kansas towns, and encourage and reward them for academic excellence once on campus.
Stewart looks to the future when it comes to the scholarship fund established for incoming FIJIs. “We hope it will help top-caliber young men become FIJIs and graduate without a big government loan over their heads. I hope it makes their life at KU a little bit easier and gives them the freedom to chase their own dreams.”
When asked about the scholarship, John seemed just as optimistic for the future. “I know I would be a very different person today had it not been for the men of Phi Gamma Delta. With this new scholarship program, it is our hope that the recruitment chairmen will have a great tool at hand to help scout talented young men who will continue to redefine the spirit of excellence for which FIJI is known.”
Members of the 1952 Kansas basketball team. There are four FIJIs in this photo: Everett Dye ’53, back row, second from left; Bill, back row, third from right; Charlie Hoag ’53, back row, second from right; and Dean Smith ’52, front row, first from left.
When Bill Hougland ’52 first came to the University of Kansas to play basketball, it was due mostly to Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen, who recruited Bill in his hometown of Beloit, Kansas. His decision to attend the university and become a member of Phi gamma Delta was solidified with the recruiting efforts of Earl M. “Swede” Olson ’43. Bill jokes, “I was out on the tractor when he came to see me!”
Bill gained lifelong friends from his time at FIJI. Among his favorite memories from his Fraternity experience is the annual FIJI Island party and being roommates with Bill Bunten ’52 and Shelby Smith ’52. With no limit to the amount of time practicing basketball, and practicing year round, with fellow players Bob Kenny, Bill Lienhard, Clyde Lovellette, Charlie Hoag ’53, and Al Kelley, Bill did not have a minute to spare. “I loved that I was able to attend all the parties, but when you’re playing basketball, you don’t have a lot of time. However, it’s the relationships I made at FIJI that have lasted forever. Bill, Shelby, Joe Strong ’52 and I still keep in touch. Every time I speak with one of my brothers, it feels like no time has passed.”
Offering advice to undergraduates, Bill says, “Some of the acquaintances you make in college will be with you for the rest of your life. Those relationships are invaluable. You may never need it for a job, or maybe you will. You just don’t know what those relationships might lead to. It’s amazing what doors they can open.”
In 1952, Bill’s dedication paid off when he helped his team win the NCAA championship game. That same year, he graduated from the School of Business and earned his first Olympic gold medal. Bill served in the Air Force for two years and was able to play basketball with the base team at night. After leaving the service, he was one of the seven KU players to work for Phillips Petroleum Company and played for the Phillips 66 AAU team, which won the Olympic playoff qualifying them for the Olympic games in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. team won gold again and Bill, the team co-captain, brought home his second gold medal.
After five years as a salesman with Phillips, Bill left the company in 1961 to join Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, as a trainee selling crude oil. For the next 30 years, Bill developed much success for himself and Koch Industries, later becoming president of Koch oil before retiring in 1991. “I did a lot of entertaining in that position. I made sure to develop relationships—taking clients out to dinner, fishing, traveling, and attending KU basketball and baseball games—anything to build those relationships. We wanted to make sure if they were going to do business, it’d be with us.”
As president of Koch oil, as well as a member of the KU School of Business Board of Advisors, Bill helped foster the Koch-KU partnership. He also serves on the Lied Center board and the K-Club Board of Directors and was appointed to the Kansas All-Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees.
Returning to Lawrence in 1992, Bill and his wife, Carolie, say it wasn’t just the athletics but the people and the culture of Lawrence that made them want to come back. Bill and Carolie have five children: nancy, Jan, Diane, Bill, and Sam (all KU graduates), and 15 grandchildren, four of which are presently attending KU. In his spare time, Bill enjoys bird hunting in the Flint Hills, volunteering, and spending time with his family. To contact Bill, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.