I don't talk about much of my college experience on here, save for a few reflections on the mixed bag of goods that was my time with campus ministries. Here's another aspect of my time there. I recently went back to Heidelberg to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Alpha Phi Tau, the fraternity of which I was a part.
I know. When you think of fraternities you think of Animal House. I can't really present a strong case against such things, but I'll let people explain for themselves how thousands upon thousands of college students who DON'T belong to frats exhibit the same stupid behavior (seminarians, this is for you, too...and you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about).
Okay, that's the extent of my defense of fraternity life in general. It really doesn't amount to much, other than to say that what you think you know about frat life isn't confined to frat life.
But this post isn't about that. I forged some lasting friendships within this group, and thought that I'd tell you about my Friday evening.
Here are the guys I pledged with. I'm the one in the middle, sans coffee cup for the first time ever on this blog. The guy on my left was best man at my wedding. He also writes this blog. He also dated my now-wife before I did, which is a long and involved story that I'll tell some other time.
You'll notice a picture on the wall behind us. That's Darren. He also pledged with us and he was also a groomsman in my wedding. He was killed in a tornado a little over three years ago. During the evening's ceremonies, a special presentation was made to his parents to make them honorary members. They stay pretty close to the group nowadays, and some of us, actives and alumni, stay in touch with them, too.
Here's Nate, Ian, me, and Orrin. I officiated at Orrin's wedding last summer. My first one. My junior year, Orrin was Romeo and I was Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.
I don't really have any fun facts to share about Nate. He's a cool guy, though.
Here's everyone who came back for the anniversary...almost. The years range from the mid-70s to 'haven't graduated yet.' Most of us were from the mid-90s onward, so I knew most of the guys who came back. All these pictures were taken up in our hall, which is probably fairly obvious from all the memorabilia.
One of my consistently positive experiences throughout college was this group. When Christians on campus were at each other's throats, giving each other the silent treatment, turning backs on each other, guys who were part of this group didn't have that option. Time to face each other and deal with our crap were built into our meetings, and more than once we stayed late and had to cool down afterwards with a late-night trip to Denny's.
One regret I have about college is not doing more for and with them. I like to think that I did a lot, but there could've been more.
It was a good night, and I'm glad I had a chance to get back for it.