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In last month’s e-letter, we sent out a survey to our Alpha Tau Alumni. Now, we’d like to share some of our favorite responses with you! If you want to answer these questions yourself, please CLICK HERE to take the survey. You may see your Alpha Tau memories, photos or reflections published in a future newsletter or e-letter. We’d love to hear from all our Alpha Tau Alumni! Here are your Brothers responses. 

James Chrivia ‘70

"I was a transfer student when I came to Tech in 1968. I had attended Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga. my first two years out of high school.

The brothers of Alpha Tau welcomed me with open arms and helped me learn how to survive the rigors of Tech.

Along the way they allowed me to hold several offices in the fraternity including GM during my last year of school. Those experiences taught me as much about life and leadership as Tech did about my studies.

They gave me the confidence that I would need to succeed in life and I will be forever indebted to them. I would love to see them all again. Life gets in the way of our memories sometimes but I intend to share what I can with the best fraternity brotherhood in all the world.

I continue to connect with my best friend Donald “Cooter” Tolbert and occasionally with Steve Norris. There are so many more that I can’t list them all. Tom “Scratchy” Walker, Ed Putnam, Dave Barrales, etc. 

I am retired now from the Caterpillar dealer in WV and spend my time gardening, fishing, volunteering, and trying to keep up with life. It goes way too fast. Kappa Sigma was a great contributor to my success and happiness through these years."

Geoffrey Gill ‘64

"Having served as President of the House Corporation when the annual fund was implemented, I have always felt it was the best way to fund alumni outreach. In the 70’s the HC had lost its leadership, and those of us that re-established it soon found out how important alumni communications are. The establishment of regular outreach set the foundation for the fund drives that supported the complete renovation of the house prior to the ‘96 Olympics and ultimately the new house. 

A majority of my close friends were my brothers at Alpha Tau. Because of my time as HC President I have had the opportunity to interact with Alpha Taus over many years, and I see the same dynamic at work no matter when one attended Tech. 

Tech is unique among universities, and the experience affects everyone differently. That said, Tech has one of the most active and involved alumni of any public university. The Kappa Sigma Alumni Assc could leverage that loyalty to promote the chapter. Alpha Tau is the longest continuously chartered fraternity on the Tech campus. We have a great history with some outstanding members, and getting that message out should be a priority. 

Alpha Tau for me has always been about brotherhood. Anything that promotes the brotherhood among all generations will positively affect the chapter in the present and future. Social media has made communication so much easier, so efforts to spread alumni and active news will be beneficial. As to the effect of the pandemic, think back over the history of our chapter. We have endured wars, economic depressions and other pandemics. I’m communicating with many of my brothers through this event, and the humor and encouragement I have received is supportive for me in dealing with the stress. This too shall pass. 

I’m blessed that I have been able to stay in touch with a broad range of my brothers. In fact I have an extensive email list for news blast. Unfortunately at my age too many of those blasts are about illness or death. 

I’m still working as a financial advisor. Happily my youngest daughter, Erica Niesse, MGT ‘06, recently delivered her second child, a girl, so I now have six grandchildren, three girls and three boys." 

Charles A. McPhail ‘96

"It’s very important to me to help Alpha-Tau continue developing quality young men going forward. While I have so many fond memories of my time at Tech, other aspects of my college career came with some difficulties. At every turn, the brothers of A-T were there to help and support me. And I’m not talking about just a few brothers – there was an entire community where we could all lean on each other when we needed some help or the going got a little rough. I tell the story now that without Kappa Sig I wouldn’t have graduated from Tech, and that’s not an exaggeration. There might be a couple brothers there now that could use the same kind of support and encouragement, so it’s important to keep that going.

Looking back, I wish I knew at the time what an impact Kappa Sig would have on my life. Being in the fraternity has given me lifelong friends and taught me how to be a better man. Everything ranging from life skills, organization, how to run meetings or just be a constructive participant, building consensus, etc., I can attribute back to my time at Alpha-Tau. It helped shape who I am and caused me to get involved in the fraternity as an alum.

I’ve been involved formally with the fraternity as an Alumnus Advisor about 10 years, first with the Georgia State chapter and currently with Reinhardt University. Being able to work with a new generation of brothers is very gratifying. I was fortunate enough to help the Reinhardt chapter go through the colony process to a full chapter that was installed in 2016. I’m thankful for the opportunities to give back to the fraternity, and I try to instill a lot of what I learned at Alpha-Tau as an undergrad. My time in Kappa Sig at Tech gave me the desire, experience, and skills that help me in the volunteer capacity, and provides the foundation for current undergraduates even at different chapters to adopt and model. While so much has changed since I was in school, it’s fascinating to see how many aspects haven’t changed that much. Those areas are the ones that provide the fundamentals a chapter can build on.

At full potential, the Kappa Sig alumni association would be a real force. There are so many Alpha-Tau alumni who have achieved incredible financial and career success, and on the flip side there are so many current undergraduate brothers who could benefit from building relationships with alumni. The chapter should always be on the lookout for new and creative ways to engage the alumni and find ways to keep them plugged in. Alpha-Tau has a natural way to do that in Tech football games, so events like Homecoming and the weekly tailgates should continue to be a high priority for the Chapter. Alpha-Tau has such a strong alumni network, the regular interaction with the Chapter will help strengthen bonds between alums and undergrads. That’s where mentoring relationships and friendships develop.

I don’t think anyone has experienced anything quite like this pandemic before. What’s remarkable to me is how it’s had such a sudden and profound impact on so many areas of people’s lives. The bonds that our fraternity provides with one another is hugely important in times like this. Professionally, knowing you have a built-in career network you can call on in uncertain times if you need to is  huge peace-of-mind. At a personal level, being able to text or call brothers to check on them and their families, and them check on you and your family, is to me a great example of what our brotherhood means – especially when you consider there are so many alumni that are decades out of school and still have those ties. Kappa Sigma truly is for life!

I stay in touch fairly regularly with several brothers from my time at Tech. Bill Bivens, Dave Archer, Ray Massey, Todd Swanger, Kade Miller, Michael Castro, and Brett Guenther are brothers I see or talk to from time to time. I’d love to catch up with anyone from the early & mid 90’s, or any other era for that matter. Always up for grabbing lunch/dinner/beer once this quarantine is finally lifted and things start getting back to normal. I’m also trying to do a better job of coming around more often for football tailgates and other events.

I’ve been a Systems Engineer at Dell Technologies since 2010. My wife, Shana, is an Alpha-Tau Sweetheart and we live with our two children, Emily, 18, and Brett, 16, in Alpharetta. We are gearing up for my daughter’s high school graduation this spring, then sending her off to college somewhere later this year. My son will be a rising HS senior next year, and I hope Kappa Sig is in his future!"