Sigma Chi - University of Virginia

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Psi Chapter of Sigma Chi at the University of Virginia

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The Constantine Sig PSI FOR LIFE Michael Kutzleb '71 Shares His Sigma Chi Experience W hen Michael Kutzleb '71 decided to pledge Sigma Chi at the University of Virginia, he knew it was one of the best decisions he had ever made. "Pledging gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of classmates. Sigma Chi stood out from the other fraternities I visited, mainly because of the friendliness and open nature of the Brothers," he said. "After becoming a Brother, it was the friendships among my pledge class, as well as the friendships with the older Brothers at first and the younger Brothers as time went by that made it easy to stay." Michael had a different college experience than most, because he left U.Va. during his fourth year. He returned five years later to earn a degree in economics with a new outlook on his academic goals. "During my first two years, I was not very diligent in attending class or studying, and my grades suffered accordingly. When I returned, after being in the working world for five years, I treated college the same way I treat my work—get up and go to class, and do whatever study or class work is necessary until it is done. It was a pretty simple lesson that I wish I had learned early on!" Today, Michael is president of Phoenix International Holdings Inc. (Phoenix). His company is involved in all aspects of underwater engineering and operations worldwide, including ship and structure inspection and repairs using divers, underwater search and recovery operations for lost aircraft and shipwrecks, and underwater construction work for oil and gas installations. Phoenix is currently providing sophisticated underwater acoustic technology to support the search for the lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing presumably in the south Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014. Psi Chapter has stayed an integral part of Michael's life throughout his post-graduate years. "I try to go down for a football game every fall. The University overall has changed a lot, but the core parts are still very similar to when I was there. I usually stop by the Chapter House, especially if it is a big weekend, such as Homecoming, when they have the annual Pig Roast. It's always fun seeing all the returning alumni, as well as talking to the undergraduate Brothers." He also, along with Steve Walther '71, arranges an annual trip with a number of Psi Brothers. "Each and every time I have had the opportunity to get together with members of my class and other Brothers who were at U.Va. at the time, it has been a whole lot of fun. The conversations always bring back lots of good stories about our time at Psi, although my memories are sometimes slightly different than the stories that are told." Michael and his wife, Debbie, have been married for almost 26 years and reside in Fort Washington, Maryland. He has his private pilot's license and enjoys flying his Mooney Ovation general aviation aircraft that he uses for both business and pleasure trips. He is also a member of a local golf club and tries to play as much golf as possible. You can contact Michael at Making Dreams Reality Sigma Chi Taught Michael Cesarano '67 to Set Goals and Persevere W hen Michael Cesarano '67 (aka Chappie) accepted a bid to pledge Sigma Chi, he was carrying on a family tradition by following in the footsteps of his father, Patrick J. Cesarano, University of Miami '35. "I don't like the term 'pride,' and don't consider myself a prideful person, but Sigma Chi gave me a good and complete feeling of well-being. Since I graduated, I have met members of other Sigma Chi chapters and the feeling is mutual that we are all members of an elite fraternity," Michael said. Michael earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from U.Va. and was a member of the Naval ROTC during his undergraduate years. After graduation, he achieved a lifelong dream by becoming a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. In 1972, he attended law school at the Seattle University School of Law, graduating with cum laude honors. In 1976, he earned a Master's in Law (LLM) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. For the past 30 years, he has specialized in patent law and other forms of intellectual property. According to Michael, being a Brother in Psi Chapter aided him on his career path by providing him with opportunities to show his own strength among leaders. "I had confidence that my ideas and opinions were listened to and that my goals could be accomplished," he said. Michael remembers his time in the Chapter was influenced by his relationship with Randolph G. "Randy" Peyton '67, whose dynamic character is remembered by many to this day, and the close friendship of Lawrence D. "Larry" Martin '66, who recently retired as a circuit court judge in Naples, Florida. They have remained good friends over the years. Michael also believes being a Sigma Chi provided him with opportunities for character building and important life lessons. "I learned that if you set your goals properly and persevere you will succeed beyond your expectations," he said. Michael lives in Coral Gables, Florida, and still enjoys playing piano and guitar, as he did when he was at U.Va. He has plans to retire soon and hopes to devote more time to his music. He has three children, two of whom also attended the University of Virginia and graduated with degrees in engineering. You can contact Michael at Mike (on left) with Doug Borel '72, Jerry Beninate '74, and Joe Davison '73 at the 150th anniversary party at the Chapter House.

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