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When the Alpha Upsilon brothers get together, it's like a day at the races, with the winner

By Jim Lawson


Another successful brotherhood social and signature event April 1, 2022 at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, CA with over 25 in attendance. This was our 8th run in the new incarnation of this tenured event dating back to the '70s.

And the best story from the day was right after the 4th race, named for Sigma Chi because of our booked event. We went down to the trackside Champagne Room as we do every year when they run our named race. The owner of this horse that won the "Sigma Chi Race" was none other than a USC Sig named Nick Alexander, USC '65, patriarch of L.A.'s well known Nick Alexander Auto Group.


Many thanks to all and a special nod to Bruce Edmonston, President of the Kern County, CA Alumni Chapter and a few of his members for coming down all the way from Bakersfield to enjoy the event.

This event helps us promote our ongoing L.A. Alumni Chapter M. Craig Nason Scholarship Fund through the Sigma Chi Foundation, which benefits the six Sigma Chi undergrad chapters in our area.


AU BROTHERS LEFT TO RIGHT: Nick Alexander (whose horse won the "Sigma Chi Race" that day), Dr. Michael Budincich, Significant Sig Pete Carolan, Mike O'Toole and Jeff Olson.

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An invitation here. An email there. Maybe a text or a phone call. Sigs are getting back together again after a year and a half of a deadly pandemic put a damper on things.

For example, the 1977 Spring Pledge Class got together for its 40th anniversary. Not bad, brothers.

And a couple of months ago, a bunch of 1980's Sig got together in Newport at Janssen's home. "A brave man to have all those Sigs at his house!  Some goats I hadn’t seen since 1984," said John Janssen. "In hoc!"

GOT AN EVENT COMING UP? Let us know so we can let your group of Sigs know. And send us the photos. Spontaneous gatherings too! 

1977 SPRING PLEDGE CLASS: Tom Morris, Greg Fults, Jim Hindle, Jeff Spalla, Nader Shah and Greg Wattson.

Pledge class spring 77 Nader Shah, Greg Wattson, Tom Morris, Greg Fults, Jim Spindle, Jeff

Slowly but surely, AU brothers are

re-connecting now that the pandemic is finally starting to wane


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Good times at John Janssen's home in Newport

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Left to right: Dwayne Fuhrman , Patrick Alexander, Derek Dean and Kevin Yaryan.


Brotherhood is timeless: Some of the boys got back together recently  

and the old nicknames came right back without skipping a beat   

It happens every time.

When you get together with your Sig brothers after many years, everyone starts calling each other by the nicknames they had in college. We pick right up where we left off without skipping a beat.

That's one of the great things about Sigma Chi brotherhood: It's timeless.

Brother Jim York hosted Alpha Upsilon Sigs from the 1960's, served a good amount of fun and wine at his magnificent Catalina View Garden exclusive event venue in Rancho Palos Verdes. "And his chef staff hit the mark with grilled burgers, sausages, beans, assorted salads and ice cream," said Order of Constantine and Significant Sig Gene Erbstoesser. Gene said the group has been getting together nearly every for a long time, often at Christmastime - halted only briefly by the pandemic.

Gene also made it clear that three members of his "stellar" Spring 1967 pledge class were there.

The nickname on this day that stuck out for Gene was "Corky." As Gene later wrote to his brothers at event: 

Recently someone asked me for Corky's first name and I told them I couldn't recall.....I always knew him just as Corky but I would consult an unimpeachable resource - the Alpha Upsilon chapter roll book from 1951 to 1969. (The volume came into my custody several years ago when I was Chapter Advisor and I resolved to keep it safe until it could be placed again in reliable AU hands.)


Sure enough there is John Albert Severson sitting comfortably between Timothy John Rossovich and Anthony James York in the pages for February 1966.


The real point of this e mail , however, is that I hope to bring the volume to another AU Sig gathering (perhaps at Xmas?) so each of you can look it over as all of you are in there. Just flipping the pages will cause many memories to re-emerge....mostly good ones I trust.




MAIN PHOTO: The boys from the 1960's meet at Jim York's Catalina View Garden exclusive event venue to re-kindle things after the pandemic has kept nearly everyone apart. As happens whenever Sigs gather - no matter how many years have gone by - the same nicknames resurface without skipping a beat. The smiles did too. Left to right: Bligh, Grant, Colich, Person, York, Severson, Elder (hidden), Lewis, Marlette, Larson, Willgeroth, Blethen, Smith (hidden) and Hadnot; kneeling are Erbstoesser, Scudder and Miller (three members of the stellar Spring '67 pledge class).

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The incredible view from Jim York's Catalina View Garden event venue in Rancho Palos Verdes. See link below.

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