Theta Xi - Bradley University

Fall 2016 Newsletter

Alpha Sigma Chapter of Theta Xi at Bradley University

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THE TAXI NEWS PAGE 2 A s a freshman at Bradley University, Stephen Petrany '04 had no intention of joining a fraternity and going through recruitment, despite having several friends who did. Stephen spent time at his friends' respective chapter houses, but it wasn't until he spent time at Theta Xi that he could see himself in a fraternity. The first time Stephen visited the Alpha Sigma Chapter was with Justin Vano '04 (who later became his pledge father) in a causal setting to play pool; however, after meeting a few of the members, he knew right away that they were a fun and genuine group that he could see himself being a part of. "The camaraderie that existed was natural and unforced, which was not the same impression from other fraternities on campus," Stephen said. Stephen values his undergraduate years, during which he gained friends, knowledge, and memories that have lasted through the years since graduating. Some of his favorite memories include Club Xis, canoe trips, campouts, formals, and road trips with his brothers. "As an alumnus, it's reassuring to see a lot of support from those same guys," he stated. "I recently volunteered to be the alumni secretary, which gives me the opportunity to help out the new actives." Stephen remarked that the culture that existed when he was an active member is still present today. "If I need something, whether help or advice, I can always rely on these guys." He received his degree in multimedia with a minor in graphic design— interests Stephen developed at a young age. As a kid, he used the computer to create graphics and animations. In high school, he was introduced to Photoshop and 3D software. While he thought he would be an engineer after high school, Stephen secretly wanted to be a 3D artist and seriously considered that focus at Bradley; he ended up working as a 3D artist for the first three years out of college. Now, Stephen is a graphic designer for an insurance company in Peoria, Ill. In addition to his day job, he teaches Interactive Media (formerly called Multimedia when Stephen went through the program) at night at Bradley University. He noted that the university has expanded its campus and kept up with technology. As for Alpha Sigma, it has experienced its natural ebbs and flows, but he's proud to see that the current group of active members reflects the same strong character and integrity that was prevalent during his time as an active member. When he has free time between his two jobs, Stephen enjoys playing sports and doing freelance graphic design projects—most commonly, he creates training tutorials covering various design software for different online and print resources. He lives in Peoria with his wife, Becky (whom he met at Bradley University), and their Pug, Clover. He can be reached at A lthough he doesn't take himself too seriously, Charles "Chuck" Kocian '94 learned how to have more adult interactions with people, how to live harmoniously with brothers who had a variety of personalities, and how to run a non-profit entity through his Theta Xi membership. "We somehow had to figure out how to live together and survive our first long-term adventure," he said. "Looking back, it's actually pretty impressive and every one of us should be proud." When Chuck went through recruitment, he appreciated the genuine Alpha Sigma members who didn't fit the stereotypical "frat guy" mold. "Somehow every quirky, crazy one of us had fun, supported each other when it counted, and made Theta Xi a great place to be," he stated. "Without a doubt, it's the most fun I've ever had, and I know my brothers will be here for me for a lifetime." As an alumnus, Chuck wouldn't trade his undergraduate experience for anything. His Alpha Sigma brothers whom he lived with in the chapter house are still some of his best friends. "As an alumnus, it's pretty much the same whenever I see any of my brothers," he shared. "Though we are older, I think we all still have the same identities and personalities." Chuck joked that a change he's noticed in more recent years is that some of the guys have lost a lot of hair and that he's not quite sure what that's all about. For Chuck, some of his favorite memories from his time as an undergraduate member were hanging out with everyone at parties, playing video games, cards, and just putting all of the furniture on the lawn and watching TV outside—lots of random shenanigans with his brothers. Now, he keeps in touch with brothers mostly through Facebook, but still comes back for 6294. "Except for (Eric) Larson ('93), none of us ever actually made it to adulthood though. Hi dad!" Chuck graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and works as a director of audit at MedSynergies, leading a team that performs assessments of internal controls within the company's products and services. He is currently remodeling his house, but other than that he said he does pretty much the same thing he did as an undergraduate member, except the beer is much, much better and he's started making wine. Chuck and his wife, Amber, live in Dallas, Texas. If you'd like to reconnect, he can be reached at Charles "Chuck" Kocian '94 Looks Back Fondly on Theta Xi Experience Brotherhood Bonds Remain Strong More than 20 Years Since Graduating Brotherhood Beyond Four years Stephen Petrany '04 Stays Connected to Alpha Sigma, Bradley University

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