Sigma Phi Epsilon - University of Oklahoma

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Oklahoma Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at the University of Oklahoma

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The Epilog page 2 Harrison Hays '52 Honored for Living the Cardinal Principles T he Alumni Board at OK Beta periodically awards Lifetime Brotherhood Awards to alumni who demonstrate the true spirit of being a SigEp. Past recipients have included Tim Lewis '79, Mark Fish '83, and Rich Wager '73, to name a few. The recipients generally display characteristics of our Cardinal Principles: virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. Also, typically, the recipient is someone who has been fortunate enough to demonstrate his love for OK Beta through direct involvement with the chapter, as an alumnus, in Norman. However, this past year, an alumnus who has rarely been back to Oklahoma since graduation came to our attention and when you hear his story, you will understand why we made a special trip to honor our brother. Harrison Lowe Hays III '52, the son of a SigEp at Denver University, was the 76th initiate at OK Beta in 1947. He got to witness Bud Wilkinson's streak while he was in Norman. There were 50 in his pledge class, the second class at OK Beta. While there, he also met his wife, Nancy, who was an ADPi. After graduation, he served in the Army Air Corps during the Korean War (69th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, IX Corps Forward and Air Observer with 89 missions). After the war, he spent many years living and working in Rhode Island and Michigan, mostly with ITT/Grinnell, and primarily was involved in materials procurement. Several years ago, Brother Hays and his wife moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina. We had a wonderful visit with Brother Hays and his son, Hal (IV), as he recounted stories from his years as a member of OK Beta and told of a life well lived raising a family that honored God and country. At 87, his time is mostly spent caring for his wife of 65 years, Nancy, as she continues to battle MS. However, despite his fixed income and mounting medical bills, he graciously contributed to the Red Door Renaissance capital campaign. Our fraternity and our country are richly blessed by men like Brother Hays. We thank him for his contributions, more so those that are personal and not financial. We thank him for being an example of a life lived through virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. We thank him for reminding us of the role that SigEp and OK Beta played in establishing his life thereafter, and of the importance in helping OK Beta flourish today, and for years to come. We hope as many brothers read this newsletter that their stories will come to our attention and they, like Brother Hays, will give as they can toward the house we all love. Fraternally, Andy Fugitt '80 and Marc Ganz '83 Mark Ganz '83 and Andy Fugitt '80 honored Harrison Hays '52 for his generous gift and life lived with virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. S ince joining Oklahoma Beta in the spring of 1974, Ray Ackerman '78 has served Sigma Phi Epsilon in a variety of roles. Beginning with undergraduate positions such as chaplain, vice president, and chapter president, then working for the National Fraternity as a regional director and chaplain, Ray has selflessly given himself to the fraternity. "My love for the fraternity springs from the great men I met in my undergraduate experience. Many of them made a significant difference in my life and I honestly believe I would not be the person I am today were it not for them," he said. "Honestly, I feel honored to call them brothers and truly believe God put them in my life. For that I am very grateful." Upon graduation, Ray traveled for SigEp as a regional director in the southeastern region of the U.S. He has also held positions such as chap- ter counselor for Oklahoma State's OK Alpha Chapter, then for his home chapter of OK Beta until, as he puts it, "the better man, Tim Lewis '79, came along for the position." In the summer of 1996, Ray was called to serve the National Fraternity as grand chaplain. During his stints serving the fraternity, Ray also held professional posi- tions in the broadcast radio business before answering the vocational call to become a priest. He gives a great deal of the credit to Brooke Harry '76, his big brother in the fraternity, for being able to speak in front of a crowd. "He always encouraged me to say something in front of the brothers at chapter meetings as the gavel was passed. It was from Brooke and other brother from his class that Ray came to love the fraternity because of their love for the chapter. Ray has been a priest for the past 26 years and is currently at the St. John the Baptist Parish in Edmond, Okla. In his free time he en- joys carving, reading, cooking, and traveling. Ray can be reached at FATHER RAY ACKERMAN '78 ON HIS SIGMA PHI EPSILON EXPEREINCE Brothers spanning eight years gathered to celebrate Father Ray Ackerman's birthday and share a memory or two.

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