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Kim Chapman '77 in Austria

Military life, bike tours and giving back to Kappa Sig...

For those of you who have been reading Kappa Sigma updates for the last decade, you may remember a 2011 article (which you can find at www.kappasigpsu.com) on Kim Chapman ’77. We decided to catch up with him to see where life has taken him since our 2011 update.

When we last caught up, Chapman 77 was a retired lieutenant colonel after 22 years of service and heavily involved with his teenage children through youth sports, the PTA and high school boosters. Now, those kids are college graduates. His daughter graduated from William & Mary in 2013 and spent six years in the Army, exiting as a captain. His son graduated from Towson University in 2016 and now works for Rover in Seattle, Washington. 

Military life is like having ADD, everything is always changing.” Kim Chapman ’77

For Chapman ’77 and his wife, Karen, the last nine years have been eventful to say the least. Since her Africa deployment in 2011, Karen spent two additional years deployed, one year in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. The couple was caught off guard 17 months ago when Karen suffered two heart attacks. While she is “largely recovered” now, it was a long road, and the second of two unexplainable health scares — the first being breast cancer back in 2010. They are grateful she’s currently in good health, and her official Army retirement is April 1, 2020, after 33 years of service.

The military lifestyle led the Chapmans to five different stations in the last nine years, before they landed in Falls Church, Virginia, where they’ve been for the last 18 months.

“Military life is like having ADD, everything is always changing,” Chapman ’77 says, citing the nine different primary care doctors he’s had in just two years. 

During those two years, Chapman ’77 set off on some solo bike tours. He biked nearly 1,000 miles from the Florida Coast to New Orleans, Louisiana, taking on about 60 miles per day in February 2018. He saw some interesting things along the way and admittedly “knows more about the South than he’d like.”

His favorite part of his bike trips is learning the areas he rides through and getting to know the people he meets “at the side of the road,” whether it’s a cabbage farmer with two teeth in Central Florida or the owners of a barbecue stand who have the best barbecue you’ve ever had, but not two nickels to rub together.

“Just talking to people, getting to know people at 10 miles an hour, it’s kind of cool,” Chapman ’77 says. “You just learn a lot about people, and I enjoy that.”

“Your ideas had to be good because nobody ever held back their opinion. They were brutally honest.” Kim Chapman '77

Chapman ’77 isn’t just a cyclist; he rides motorcycles as well and enjoys spending time with some Army buddies out on the open road. He meets up with a core group of guys from the South and they’ll spend a few days biking before heading their separate ways.

In the last few years, after Karen’s heart attacks, getting back to PSU for any Kappa Sig or PSU alumni events just wasn’t realistic. But, prior to that, Chapman ’77 was regularly making it back for a football game or two each year, and with each visit it was easy to recall the great times at the Kappa Sig house. Chapman ’77 served as president his senior year in the fraternity and says it was a learning experience in leadership.

Kim Chapman '77 with wife Karen

“It made me more thoughtful and less reactive in decision-making,” Chapman ’77 says. “Your ideas had to be good because nobody ever held back their opinion. They were brutally honest.”

When asked in 2011, he said he believed in the fraternity as being an excellent way to develop leadership skills and social skills, and he whole-heartedly affirms that sentiment today. He recalls many young men who were not socially mature when arriving at college, due to a lack of experience, and the fraternity was rich with the excellent experiences they needed.

“Fraternity experience is fantastic. The number one thing I think about is gratitude. I’m so grateful I was able to be part of Kappa Sigma,” Chapman ’77 says.

Chapman ’77 is still a strong believer in fraternities, which is evidenced in his regular giving as a donor.

“I can’t think of a better way to develop young people,” Chapman ’77 says. “You go to college to get educated and to develop personally. I can't think of a better way to develop future leaders of our country.”

Chapman ’77 still stays in touch with Bill Demartino, “DeMar” and Ed Gorkes. If you want to reconnect with Chapman ’77 , or any of your other Brothers, use the directory to find contact info. And don’t forget to send us your updates at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re waiting to hear from you!

Kim Chapman '77 on the San Juan Ferry Kim Chapman '77 on a biking trip