My Time with Pi Mu…
I was walking across campus one day in 1980 on my way to a class. I decided to stop by the student union to grab a quick bite to eat. I was approached by Frater Mark Mogilski who began to chat me up about TKE. I remember being impressed with how friendly and outgoing Mark was and how right from the start he made me feel like I belonged. And so it was that I became a member of the Delta pledge class of the TKE colony at BSC.
I took this commitment to TKE with some serious reservations. After all I was very serious about my studies and was nurturing a solid 3.67 GPA. Also, I was not very popular in high school, not at all the type one would think of as being a “fraternity type”. To my surprise and joy, TKE was not your ordinary frat. From the day I pledged, I was treated like a brother. My new brothers cared about who I was and not who they thought I should be. They helped me to celebrate my talents and achievements, and just like my own natural brothers they teasingly helped me to laugh at my eccentricities. My worries on all fronts were unfounded.
The semester that I pledged TKE was the only semester in my college career that I hit the big 4.0 GPA. I was dubbed “Captain K” which I thought was sort of cool until I found out it was short for Captain Kangaroo. You younger folks might want to google this.
I was nominated for the office of Crysophylos by Frater John Hoffman and elected by the brothers. The colony was in major debt and John who had been the previous Crysophylos had reduced it significantly but we still owed a few thousand dollars. Since we could not become a chapter until we were debt free I had my work cut out for me. I really had to ride hard on my brothers with pressure to keep current with their dues and it was not unheard of for me to be at the door of a party at our house on Grant Street and squeeze dues out of a member before they could enter.
We had a few really lucrative fundraisers, among these was an evening with John Valby at the Pub on Campus. This was back when the drinking age was 18 and beer was allowed on campus. Teke had a good relationship with the local distributor and ran the beer concession for several campus events.
Well, while other great minds were busy rushing new members and drafting our petition I helped to get us financially ready to become a chapter.
It was all worth it because the second most memorable day in my life, second only to my wedding was in April of 1982 when my brothers and I were initiated as the charter members of the Pi Mu Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Buff State and the beautiful Red Carnation Ball that followed.
Frater David “Captain K” Klaus
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