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Thank you to Ron Woodmansee ’82 for participating in this Q&A.

Why did you join Sigma Chi as an undergraduate? I had no plans to join a fraternity when I began college. I attended an all-boys catholic high school and enjoyed living down the hall from girls. Apparently, I received a bid my freshman year and didn’t realize it; I got a call on bid night asking where I was and had no idea what they were talking about. I ended up joining my sophomore year, because I had a few friends there and the more I came out, the more I liked the guys there.

What is the funniest memory from your Sigma Chi days? One story that comes to mind happened at one of our parties. One of the older (7 year plan) fraternity brothers was talking to a girl and wanted to leave the conversation, so he told the girl to have a bowl of popcorn, handed her an empty bowl, and walked away.

Do you have any interesting stories of Spring Break trip you made with brothers? Four of us drove down to Hollywood, Fla. during my junior year because one of our brothers lived there. His brother attended Notre Dame at the time and he also brought a few friends home, so it was a good time. We spent the days by the pool after we got out of bed, usually after lunch, and enjoyed his mother’s home cooking. We also ran into some brothers that stayed nearby. It was a fun trip.

What was your fraternity nickname that brothers called you? What are some of the other good ones? Everyone called me Woody, but nothing too crazy for me. We called one guy Wazzo, I’m not sure where that name came from, and I think his dad was called that too, but we still call him it to this day. There was a Polish guy in the fraternity that goes by Pollock, nothing else. There was also “Munch”, last name is Wunch, but he earned his name because, if you put your hands near his food while he was eating, you might lose them.

What is the single fondest memory you have shared/will share with your children and grandchildren? Regarding the camaraderie and friendship of the fraternity. I tell my kids that if, I ever need to get out of a prison camp oversees, I have a couple of brothers who would do it, and they would be the ones flying the helicopters in there to me. I’ve driven 5 hours and half way across New England, in the rain to catch a funeral of one of the guys’ family members, and then turned around and went back after it was over. The bonds of brotherhood are strong.

Share a story of a recent reunion with you Sigma Chi brothers or plans for a future reunion: A bunch of us went to a wedding in New York in late January, which was fun. Our Penn class has the 30th reunion in May, which will also be fun. I’m on the class reunion committee to generate some appeal for that.

Have you visited Penn since graduation? Why or why not? I live 12 miles across the bridge and I was the chapter advisor for a while after I graduated. I’m now on the house corporation and I’m not as active as I could be, but I’m around Penn Campus a lot.

What about your membership in Sigma Chi makes you the most proud? Whenever you mention Sigma Chi, it’s universally accepted as a good fraternity. I’ve met a lot of people in the working world who are Sigma Chi’s and discovering that connection changes the whole relationship, make it deeper.

How would your life be different today if you had never joined Sigma Chi? I probably wouldn’t be as much as a gung-ho around the Penn campus. I always have a place to go when I visit the campus, unlike those that didn’t join a fraternity. It’s nice to have the house at Penn, and also one that is a fabulous facility, and cherished by all that come through.

Where has life taken you since graduation? What's new in your life today? I’ve been a self-employed insurance broker since day one out of college. A lot of my friends from the fraternity are my clients actually, so it’s easy to stay in touch. I have four children and will be getting re-married sometime soon. I am on a local Relay for Life committee as a prostate cancer survivor. I try to stay busy and active; I also play ice hockey three days a week, before work.

Why would you encourage other brothers to engage with Sigma Chi in their alumni years? The quality of the fraternity doesn’t change. If you want to meet quality people outside of college, look for Sigma Chi’s. Staying involved with Sigma Chi helps to maintain networks. I go to the undergrad chapter once in a while for board meetings and they are still really good guys, the quality endures.

What is the best thing about your alumni experience? The fact that it’s consistent. No matter where you go, if you come across a Sig, it changes the relationship and takes it to another level.

Connect with Ron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..