Mike Daniel ’85 Helps Oklahoma Alpha Stay Competitive with Gift to Capital Campaign Read more.
Building the Brotherhood
Jerick Henley ’92 Supports Oklahoma Alpha Campaign
Freshman year of college is filled with uncertainty and change. However, Jerick Henley ’92 found stability with Oklahoma Alpha Chapter that has remained constant throughout his life. “I joined Oklahoma Alpha to build relationships and connections that would transcend college life. I’ve been extremely blessed in my life since then because of these relationships and the lessons I learned there. It’s our duty to give back in appreciation of what was provided for us and what we can provide for the future.”
While alumni support was limited during Jerick’s undergraduate years, he hopes he and his alumni brothers can provide a different experience for the current members. “I’ve developed a deep pride in the men that were with me through the entire four years of living in the chapter house. They showed amazing commitment to the fraternity both then and now.”
Jerick encourages alumni to reach out to their brothers and the undergraduate members. “It’s time to reconnect and give back to Oklahoma Alpha. There’s tremendous momentum within the chapter and we owe it to those who paved the road for us to do the same for the young men of today.”
This momentum can be attributed to the way the undergraduate members have carried themselves on campus. “Obviously the success that the young brothers have makes every alumnus feel a sense of pride. The new chapter house and the excitement surrounding the project compounds this feeling of brotherhood.”
For the chapter to keep its current trajectory, Jerick references the same words of wisdom instilled in him by T. Bone McDonald ’48. “Plan your work and work your plan. Take advantage of every opportunity and experience, but understand your goals first or you will never get there.”
T. Bone’s profound impact can still be felt in these words because of his unwavering love of SigEp. It was through brothers such as T. Bone that allowed Jerick to overcome any adversity he faced while at Oklahoma State University. “Challenges we faced as brothers were not unlike the challenges that followed in life. To experience this at such a young age has become a valuable asset for me today.”
Jerick followed his passion for entrepreneurship after graduating from OSU and believes fraternity life prepared him well for dealing with people, leadership positions, and leveraging relationships. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building the Brotherhood
Jerry Dow ’86 Supports Oklahoma Alpha’s New Beginning
Upon joining Oklahoma Alpha, Jerry Dow ’86 appreciated how a “redneck” from Perry, Okla., like himself could mesh so well with a group of brothers from all over the country. “Oklahoma Alpha gave me a kick in the pants and the motivation to step up my game. Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by competitive folks who represented a new world outside Perry, Oklahoma,” he said.
When Jerry was asked to donate to Oklahoma Alpha’s capital campaign, he was happy to participate, knowing how much a new chapter house would have meant to him when he was an undergraduate. As the long-awaited chapter house becomes a reality, Jerry is eager to see Oklahoma Alpha break ground this summer. “I’m excited about the new chapter house,” he said. “Houses don’t build themselves. Brothers builds houses. We all need to help. Any amount will help us reach our goal and we are now closer than ever before.”
All of Jerry’s favorite memories during his time at 1121 West 4th Avenue involved his pledge brothers and how well they gelled together: brothers like Jeff Sharp ’86, Scott Smith ’86, Thomas Morley ’87, Mark Grimes ’84, Joe Rolston ’86, Todd Donovan ’78, Lincoln Ward ’87, and Gregg Delozier ’85, just to name a few. All had a positive impression on Jerry’s undergraduate years. “Some of the friendships I made last to this day and the sense of belonging will last forever,” he said.
Jerry went on to get his master’s degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and has had a great career, working at some of the world’s largest marketing organizations like Leo Burnett. Jerry has also managed some of the world’s best brands such as Maytag, Jenn-air, Kraft, and Pella, led global marketing for United Airlines, and was chief marketing officer for National and Alamo car rental and, most recently, Suddenlink Communications. Earning a degree in advertising, he shared classes with Garth Brooks. “I’m sure Garth remembers me,” Jerry said. “Luck plays a big role in your ultimate success, but luck will not find you if you don’t put yourself where luck can find you.”
Jerry and his wife, Sarah, have triplet sons: Grant, Parker, and Elliott. He likes all things mechanical and his latest project was a bobbed BMW motorcycle. Jerry lives in St. Louis, Mo., and can be reached at email@example.com.
A Diamond in the Rough
Robert Breedlove, M.D. ’69 on Alumni Impact and the Future of OK Alpha
Growing up in Stillwater, attending OSU seemed like the natural thing to do for Robert Breedlove, M.D. ’69. In high school, he was invited to several SigEp functions and grew to like the group of men in Oklahoma Alpha. When it came time to pledge, the choice was easy. Robert knew Oklahoma Alpha was the group of men he wanted to be a part of. “We had some great bonding experiences at athletic events, initiations, and rituals,” he said. “You get to know your brothers as well as you know your family. Experiencing everything with them is priceless. I wouldn’t trade my years there for anything.”
Robert has owned a private dermatology practice for nearly 40 years and his Stillwater office is half a mile from the chapter house. Being so close to campus, Robert has seen the multi-million- dollar mansions other fraternities are building and believes Oklahoma Alpha needs alumni support to accomplish the same feat. “I know the active brothers are in need,” he said. “I am who I am today partially thanks to Sigma Phi Epsilon, and I think it’s my duty to pay it forward.”
During his undergraduate years, Robert lived in the chapter house across the street that now houses members of Alpha Tau Omega. Although his roots are not planted at 1121 West 4th Avenue, Robert visited the chapter house for meetings during his time as alumni board president and occasionally throughout the years. “In the last 10 years, half a dozen $8-10 million chapter houses have been built and they look incredible,” Robert said. “Come to find out, most are done from one huge donor, and I think that Oklahoma Alpha has yet to find that diamond in the rough. I’m sure someone out there could be that one special donor.”
As Oklahoma Alpha breaks ground this summer, contributions of all sizes can help the chapter reach its $2 million goal. Like many campuses across the U.S., Greek houses are not the only competitive housing options undergraduate students have to choose from, and OSU has also built their own student living facilities. “In order to compete and get the 18- and 19-year-old students to live in your structure, you have to be attractive,” Robert said. “OSU has built their own housing with amenities and it’s like staying at a hotel.”
To Robert, life is a social experience and college offers people the chance to find their place in the world, learn how to get along with others, and grow independence. Add in Greek membership, and the opportunities for growth are multiplied. Robert’s own years at OSU and Oklahoma Alpha helped teach him about the real world and he continues to use these skills as a dermatologist, writer, traveler, and sporting official. “I’m a strong believer that college is a socialization process more than and education process,” Robert said.
Each week, Robert submits a column for the Stillwater News, and this year, he enters his 51st year as an athletic official, making him Oklahoma’s record holder for longest officiating career. Robert and his wife, Debbie, have three children, Michelle, Allan, and Robbie, and one grandchild. Throughout the years, Robert and Debbie have traveled to 88 countries, with hopes of making it to 100. The couple lives in Stillwater and Robert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Lasting Relationships
Lance Miller ’95 on the Keys to Professional, Chapter Success
Lance Miller ’95 and Sam Tippens ’96 have a history of building things together. From first-place floats at Homecoming to their company, Miller-Tippens Construction, Lance and Sam have been in it together.
After graduation, Lance and Sam were both employed by commercial construction companies where they excelled in their positions. The education and experience gained throughout the years left them with strong values and exceptional work ethic, which was paramount in building Miller-Tippens Construction. As one of Oklahoma’s finest commercial builders, Miller-Tippens strives to build lifetime relationships with its clients, and prides itself on being one of the industry’s best leaders in negotiations, design, and integrity.
“The secret to success is honesty and communication. Don’t expect immediate gratification. All of us have had to earn it; nothing has ever been handed to us. Beat your boss to work and leave after they do,” Lance advises.
Throughout the years, Lance has been on the fundraising committee and served as president of the alumni board. Recently, he joined the building committee for Oklahoma Alpha. “The new chapter house is desperately needed,” he said. “I know we won’t make it without it. I can’t stress enough that we need to raise some more money or we won’t exist in 10 years.”
During his undergraduate years, the chapter went though some rough times and lost a large amount of brothers. However, the 130-man chapter taught Lance about responsibility to both Oklahoma Alpha and his brothers. Aside from being co-owner of Miller-Tippens with Sam, Lance has stayed connected with his brothers through get-togethers, rounds of golf, and meeting up for a couple of beers. “It’s absolutely important for alumni to stay in touch with the chapter. If we’ve ever failed in one department, it’s losing a lot of brothers that have disconnected,” he said.
Lance and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, Libby and Sarah Jane. In his free time, Lance enjoys golfing and supporting his daughters in their various sports and activities. Lance lives on 80 acres in Luther, Okla., and can be reached at email@example.com.
An Opportunity to Give Back
Why Todd Donavan ’86 Supports OK Alpha
When you think about the many life milestones you’ve had—graduation, your wedding, children being born, new jobs—who is it that you remember sharing them with? For many of us, the answer is our Oklahoma Alpha brothers. That is certainly the case for Todd Donavan ’86 and that is why he chose to serve as Oklahoma Alpha Alumni Board President.
Despite living in Colorado, serving on the AVC board has provided Todd the opportunity to reconnect with many of his brothers. “While I had not spoken with several of my brothers for some years, it was like we never missed a beat. Our friendships are deep and enduring.” He enjoys seeing these friendships mirrored in the experiences of his son, Matthew ’19, who is an undergraduate member of Oklahoma Alpha.
Todd is not a stranger to serving on an Alumni Volunteer Corporation. He has volunteered continuously with SigEp since 1994. “Through the years, I have gained far more from working with the young men than I can ever re
pay. It is wonderful to see these guys grow into young men with all the skills to be leaders in our communities.”
Though Todd has enjoyed working with other chapters across the country, he is eager to be involved with Oklahoma Alpha again. “Oklahoma Alpha offers a great opportunity for me to give back to my home chapter. I’ve been to seven conclaves where I was able to see how other chapters operate. Ours is one of the best SigEp chapters in the nation and my drive is to ensure that we continue to give the best experience possible.”
Part of providing that great experience is having a modern, competitive facility for our undergraduate brothers. “After seeing the Kansas State SigEps renovate their chapter house, I was determined to help my home chapter move in the same direction,” shares Todd. “Oklahoma State has one of the most competitive Greek systems in the nation. To sustain the success that we have had, we need to have a modern, safe, competitive facility.” That is why Todd encourages his brothers to support the Pride in Our Past, Ensuring Our Future campaign today. “Our members deserve to live in a facility that reflects their success.”
Today, Todd and his wife, Tammy, and their daughter, Emma, live in Fort Collins, Colo., where he is a professor of marketing at Colorado State University. “I love the fact that my job gives me the opportunity to work with young, energetic students every day.” You can connect with Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org
Committing to Oklahoma Alpha
Why Michael Reddout ’85 Gave to the Campaign
Oklahoma Alpha is a chapter that has made incredible strides forward in the last several years. The undergraduates have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and the Balanced Man Program. Michael Reddout ’85 is proud that he and his sons, James ’17 and Garrett ’19, share in that legacy. His dedication to SigEp is just one of the many reasons Mike contributed to the Pride in Our Past, Ensuring Our Future campaign.
“The fraternity has definitely been a positive contributor in my life and to my success. I felt a need to give back to an organization that has given me so much,” shares Mike. He recognizes that the chapter house is outdated and in need of the improvements the capital campaign will provide. Mike encourages his brothers to make a pledge of support to the campaign. “If you had a positive experience with SigEp, please give. We need everyone’s help regardless of the size of your contribution.”
Mike is impressed with the success of the chapter in recent years. He is proud of their quick transition to the Balanced Man Program and everything that entails. “The program helps develop our members into great men and build the SigEp brand.” He knows that contributions to the campaign will help further the success and good that Oklahoma Alpha is doing.
Mike has observed his sons, James and Garrett, benefitting from the SigEp experience. “I love seeing them enjoy many of the same experiences and connections that I had in the fraternity.” Mike had always shared his pride in Oklahoma Alpha and OSU, but never pressured his sons to join. Instead, they came to appreciate the fraternity’s values and experience on their own. “Seeing my oldest, David, being initiated in spring 2014 was amazing and emotional. I look forward to Garrett’s initiation this coming spring.”
Mike and his wife, Deborah, Pi Beta Phi, live in Bokchito, Oklahoma. He works for Brocade Communications in business development and sales. When he is not at his day job, he focuses on his ranch in southeastern Oklahoma where he raises cattle and pecans. Mike has remained in contact with the chapter and his SigEp brothers. He encourages alumni to save the date for the upcoming T-Bone Golf Tournament. “It’s a good time for a good cause.” You can connect with Mike at email@example.com.
Mike Dillard ’74 Dedicated to Providing Better House for Future Oklahoma Alphas
When Mike decided to join Oklahoma Alpha nearly 40 years ago, he was drawn to the “nice guys and good food.” This initial encouter led him to gain a sense of pride as a SigEp member throughout his four years at OSU. Mike served as financial officer while earning his accounting degree.
Over the years, Mike has stayed connected with the chapter, making visits to campus and the chapter house, and serving as an alumni volunteer to the undergraduates. His continued connection with Oklahoma Alpha has led him to see that “today’s undergraduate are a group of great guys who, unfortunately, are living in a not-so-great house.” This spurred him to take an interest in the future of SigEp and give back. Mike hopes his contribution will enable Oklahoma Alpha to create a new and improved chapter house.
Following graduation from Oklahoma State, Mike took his lifelong passion in martial arts and turned it into his business. After making his way around the world studying and training in martial arts, he founded Century Martial Arts, which focuses on selling uniforms to U.S. martial artists. His company has grown extensively and today is one of the largest mixed martial arts suppliers. Mike and his wife, Darci, live in Oklahoma City and have two boys and a girl. He was Black Belt Magazine’s Man of the Year in 2011, and he enjoys snow skiing about 50 days a year, hiking, and other adrenaline activities.
Mike Daniel ’85 Helps Oklahoma Alpha Stay Competitive with a Gift to Capital Campaign
Oklahoma Alpha has provided Mike Daniel ’85 with many valuable lessons and memories, and for that he is grateful. “Over the years an abundance of unforgettable memories were made at Oklahoma Alpha that I still cherish today. I feel a sense of pride whenever I hear or read about a brother doing well in life, or I see how brothers will rally around when one of us is in need.”
Mike is thankful not only for the brothers he is still close with today, but for Oklahoma Alpha’s role in preparing him for living and working in a diverse world. “One of the best lessons I learned was how to become a contributing member of a dynamic group of young men: learning how to get along with and adapt to each other while attempting to make a positive impact for the betterment of the group and not a personal gain. The life lessons and many opportunities that SigEp afforded me made a positive impact on my graduate studies and on my career in general.” These lessons helped Mike build a successful legal career, most recently as vice president-general counsel of Samson Resources Corporation and Samson Investment Company where he worked for 22 years.
As many of Mike’s brothers may recall, he is never short on advice and has some words of wisdom for today’s undergraduates. “Get involved and make memories. Get to know and learn as much as you can from all the brothers, embrace the diversity and uniqueness of each member/pledge, and stay in touch with brothers after graduation, which I wish I had done a better job of.”
Mike has contributed to the Pride in Our Past, Ensuring Our Future campaign in hopes that it will allow current and future active members stay competitive at OSU. “I can only hope that the campaign is a success and the chapter gets the new house they so much deserve. I’ve seen that a lot of the other fraternities at OSU have rebuilt or made significant improvements to their houses. A new house is critical to staying competitive.” In addition, Mike’s memories of Oklahoma Alpha spurred him to donate. “It might be hard to explain but positive, happy memories really are priceless, especially when the pressures of life seem unbearable. So what better way is there to recognize the value of those memories?”
Mike, recently retired, stays busy with consulting work on a limited basis and enjoys “life on a full-time basis.” He has been married to his wife, Laura, for almost 24 years and they have two sons, Joseph (22), a Lambda Chi at the University of Tulsa, and Woody (18), a freshman at OSU. Mike enjoys traveling and fishing. Reach out to Mike via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“SigEp provided me what I needed as a 17-year-old freshman at OSU, including a warm home environment, an instant family of brothers, discipline to learn, resources/knowledge from upper- classmen who had traveled the road, civic duty work days, sports, social events, and camaraderie. The capital campaign provided me an opportunity to give back to Oklahoma Alpha what was life changing for me. I want my contribution to help provide for future SigEps what I experienced at OSU, in a facility that is built for success and better than any other on campus. All SigEp alumni should be a part of the capital campaign no matter what the amount. We are all brothers and each of us received a positive benefit of some kind to improve our lives whether great or small. SigEps should have a desire to pay back something to enable others to have the same opportunity.” –Terry Stewart ’71
“I pledged to contribute to the Oklahoma Alpha capital campaign primarily as a tribute to my good friend and SigEp brother, Ray Murphy ’68. Ray was a two-time all-American wrestler during the late ’60s, when I also attended OSU. He was seriously injured while training for an all-star match in 1970, and died in 2010 after living for 40 years as a quadriplegic. Ray was a balanced man long before the implementation of SigEps BMP and in an era when many of his fraternity brothers (including myself) might have been considered unbalanced. He was one of my life’s heroes, overcoming incredible obstacles but never losing his sense of humor or zest for life. And, he was a Cowboy to the end. I encourage all Oklahoma Alpha alumni to contribute to the capital campaign in order to sustain the legacy of OSU’s SigEp fraternity and to honor our distinguished alumni like Ray.” –Charles J. Devlin ’70