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Sixties-Era Kappa Sigs Gather In Happy ValleyGeorge Strachan ’70 and his Brothers enjoyed a fantastic State College reunion recently, when a small get-together of a single pledge class morphed into a full-on celebration with around 100 people attending.

Held in May , Strachan describes how it all came together. “It started out really to be a reunion for my pledge class, which was celebrating its 50th year of being pledged in and also being initiated as brothers…As time went by, we realized there were so many other people and things about Kappa Sig that were important to us beyond just our pledge class. We wanted to incorporate them into the celebration as well. It ended up becoming a 50th reunion for so many things. It was also 50 years since some of the guys who were older than us graduated…so we just broadened our scope to bring in a lot of people. While our pledge class had about 20 people in it, by the time we were finished bringing all the others in, we had close to 100 people attending the reunion.”

The weekend was filled with fun and reminiscing. On Friday afternoon, a golf outing was made available for those who play, while others headed to the Rathskeller, for a couple of drinks ahead of the evening’s activities. That night, there was a cocktail hour and dinner at Toftrees Resort.

“That was the first chance for so many of us to get together…for some of us, it had been getting on to 50 years since we had laid eyes on one another. That was a really great moment for us to renew acquaintances, meet each other’s spouses and just discuss so many things we’ve done,” says Strachan.

Saturday’s itinerary originally included another golf outing, but inclement weather inspired an equally enjoyable time, at the Penn State All Sports Museum.

“One of my pledge brothers, Tim Bonawitz ‘71 was a tour guide there, so he gave all of those who chose to attend a tour of the sports museum, taking into consideration not only how it related to Penn State, but also some of the Kappa Sigs that were involved in various sports teams over the years. That was really very good,” says Strachan. “After that, a number of us went on a walking tour of campus…That late afternoon, we had a cocktail hour at the Penn Stater in the Legends bar, which had a spectacular turn out…Then after dinner, we went back to the bar and chose to wrap things up quite a bit later.”

Sixties-Era Kappa Sigs Gather In Happy ValleySixties-Era Kappa Sigs Gather In Happy Valley

Saturday night’s dinner had two particularly special guests in attendance, Pete Sutton ’67 and Tom Kuhn ‘68. Both had the opportunity to address the group and speak on how they’ve maintained their bond over the years, and how that bond emanated from Kappa Sig. Strachan expanded on that theme in his own address to the crowd: “What Pete and Tom have, we all have..We all have somebody like that who helped us during our time at Kappa Sig, or who we may have helped at Kappa Sig. Here we are 50 years later, still trying to pick each other up when necessary and pat each other on the back when appropriate. Pete and Tom were demonstrating that in the moment, but it had all been demonstrated time and again by so many of us in our Kappa Sig lives.”

Strachan says, of those in attendance, the Class of ’67 was the earliest pledge class, though there were Kappa Sigs all the way through the Class of ’77 present.

While the initial goal of the event was to bring Brothers together, Strachan says it also “really reinforced the spirit that Kappa Sig held for [the Brothers] while at Penn State, and 50 years later, that spirit is still alive and, in some ways, stronger than ever.”

“Kappa Sig was really, really important to us,” he continues. “The group of guys we had, for the most part, were first-generation college students. We didn’t have family to tell us what to expect or what to do. We just kind of landed on campus in hopes that something magical would happen, and, in fact, one of the magical things was, we joined a fraternity with a lot of people who had similar circumstances. We worked with one another along the way to get through school and go on in our careers.”

“With a house as big as ours…people are in all different types of careers, and you always had someone you could go to for advice or support and it was always given so willingly because it was expected; that was what being a Kappa Sig is all about. I just think that so many of us went on to do things we could have never dreamed without being part of the house and being part of a brotherhood that cared for one another the way we did. It wasn’t something we knew going in, it’s something that evolved because of the type of people we had in the house.”

Following the main event, plans are in the works to coordinate smaller, more frequent mini-reunions. These get-togethers may be more casual, and regional, to make attendance as easy as possible for alums.

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