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This summer, Kappa Sigma mourned the loss of a beloved brother. On June 14, just two days after his 72nd birthday, Brother George Middlemas Jr. ’68 entered the chapter eternal.

Many knew him as a successful venture capitalist and generous donor — particularly to Penn State Libraries — but in our hearts, he’ll always be Mac, “our constant friend and committed brother,” as his brother Warren Hartenstine ’68 describes him.

Mac was among the group of investors that funded AOL and VeriSign and contributed millions to his alma mater, but according to those closest to him, he remained humble and accessible and never lost his touch with his roots.

“He was so consistent,” said Warren. “He was the same with everyone. He had a brilliant career, but he never lost his common touch — he was never taken by his success.”

Even back in the day, Mac was known to be one of the more responsible fraternity brothers. Sure, he had his fair share of fun, but he always the first to come your aid — someone you could rely on.

“He was rock steady — not a hero, but the best friend you could ever have,” Warren said.

Life after Penn State

Mac graduated from Penn State in 1968 with degrees in history and political science and went on to earn a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pittsburgh and a master of business administration from Harvard University.

He spent the majority of his career in banking in New York and Chicago, but eventually he joined the field of venture capital, where he was able to help new technology and promising young businesses come to fruition.

Giving Back

Mac’s success allowed him to give back generously to the causes near and dear to his heart — Penn State being at the top of the list.

“He believed passionately in land grant universities that educate everyone regardless of background,” said Dick Hayes, who was in Mac’s pledge class and remained a lifelong friend. “He certainly did his part to improve Penn State.”

The university libraries, including the Paterno Library, were the beneficiaries of much of Mac’s generosity. Over the years, Mac developed a close relationship with the late Joe Paterno and his wife Sue, who was in attendance at Mac’s celebration of life.

Others in attendance included brothers Tom Stuart ’67, Mike Irwin ’67, Dick Hayes ’68, Al Waldhuber ’68, Warren Hartenstine ’67, as well as former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former Penn State president Graham Spanier.

Forever in Our Hearts

The memory of Mac will remain untouched for those who knew and loved him. The words of the Henry Scott-Holland poem “Death is Nothing at All”, which was featured in his celebration of life program, ring true.

“Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.”

There are many things to remember about Mac: him sipping on a beer back in his Kappa Sigma undergrad years, his kind heart, and even his love of cigars.

“Mac had a great passion for cigars and later in life developed a passion for fine wine,” Warren says. “You didn’t make it through an evening with Mac without enjoying a good cigar.”

But most of all, his friendship, loyalty, and generosity live on.

“That uncomplicated and clear-eyed dedication is the Golden Thread that defines him for us still and endures for others who are and yet to be beneficiaries of his love for Penn State and for Joe and Sue Paterno,” said Warren.

“We had the experience of everything that a fraternity should be,” said Dick Hayes of his years with Mac and fellow Kappa Sigs. “We’re still best friends. We have had 50-plus wonderful years of friendship and Mac was part of that.”