Sigma Pi - Missouri University of Science & Technology

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Alpha Iota Chapter of Sigma Pi at the University of Missouri Science & Technology

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Summer 2020 THE CROSSING A. I. SP The CROSSING B rothers, I hope this newsletter finds you all well in these trying times. I think back to our ribbon cutting ceremony and the over 200 brothers, friends, and family who celebrated the success of our new chapter house together. Now, in these times, for a fraternity that celebrates fellowship and the brotherhood of kindred minds, it seems we are more isolated than ever. However, Alpha Iota Chapter has faced its fair share of challenges in the past. This is another we face together that I am confident we will overcome. The most pressing challenge to the chapter is recruitment in a time of quarantine and social distancing. The second half of the semester was spent at home with virtual learning and online classes. Campus-sponsored tours of fraternity houses have been canceled and the university plans to sponsor a three-day formal recruitment in August. Given this new environment, we believe the chapters who find creative, inventive ways to reach out to incoming freshmen with the limited interactions available will be the chapters that thrive this fall. Given this challenge AIBA and AIEF are committed to helping the active chapter in any way we can. Both have been in regular communication with the chapter leadership regarding strategies utilizing alumni during recruitment. We have distributed the potential new members list to alumni to search for any connections. Additionally, we have issued a fee reimbursement program for any freshman who breaks a dorm contract to join Sigma Pi, and AIEF is offering a freshman scholarship. Our alumni remain as committed as ever to see that, even in this climate, our fall recruitment is a success. Homecoming plans are already underway and AIBA expects another well-attended celebration. Please book your hotel rooms and plan on joining us to celebrate our fall pledge class. We look forward to seeing you for a memorable Homecoming weekend. Fraternally, Kurt W. Steinmann '97, AI 820 AIBA President BUILDING THE FUTURE OF THE BROTHERHOOD Alumni Leadership Dedicated to Ensuring Successful Fall Recruitment M erle Steckel '69 came to Missouri S&T from a rural area in Illinois, where he attended a small high school. He followed in the footsteps of two high school acquaintances, who were both members of Sigma Pi and convinced him to join. "Eventually that string of Sigma Pis from the same small town grew to seven, including both of my brothers," Merle recalls. The group expanded to nine when two more joined from a neighboring town. In addition to that local group, Merle met brothers from a variety of backgrounds, learning to work with them to reach common goals. Those lessons served Merle well in his career as a petroleum engineer, from which he is now retired. His best career advice came from a Society of Petroleum Engineers seminar he attended in the early 1990s: "It was stressed that engineers, not their employer, were in charge of their careers. I used that advice three times when I was not enjoying my current assignment or the direction of my career." Merle encourages undergraduates to give serious thought to their majors to ensure they find satisfaction in their careers. As an undergraduate, Merle served as third counselor, second counselor, and sage. His most vivid memory of living in the chapter house comes from his birthday of his sophomore year: It was a tradition to throw brothers into Frisco Pond on their birthday, and Merle thought nobody knew he was on deck. "That evening at dinner, the Rolla radio station was playing in the dining room," Merle says. "Between songs, the announcer wished me a happy birthday—I was busted by my pledge father. Traffic on 12th street stopped as I was carried to the pond. The next morning at petroleum class, the instructor asked if I had a good swim the night before." The oil business did not generally have Merle living near St. Louis or Kansas City, so his interactions with brothers have been few and far between. He has kept in touch with his former roommate Bob Niehaus '68, as they were best man in each other's weddings. When Merle and W.A. Baker '70 lived in Midland, Texas, they attended a monthly lunch with fellow S&T graduates. Growing as Brothers Why Merle Steckel '69 Supports Alpha Iota Merle Steckel '69 and Lincoln Cochran '68 (Continued on page 4)

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