"I will endeavor to retain the spirit of youth"
~Sigma Chi Creed, George Ade ΔΔ 1887

Greatest Generation Brothers Hold Reunion in Chicago

Greatest Generation Sigs at Sigma Chi Headquarters (L-R) inset: Larry Fricke ’48, John Guthrie ’49, Laddie Hutar ’47, Les Duryea ’48, Gerald Hines ’46, Scott Haynes ’47 and Al Menke ’44.

To be invited to this exclusive gathering of Delta Delta brothers it was required that you be at least 90 years old. Arranged by Scott Haynes ’47, seven Delta Delta brothers from the classes of 1944 to 1949 met in Chicago on May 31st for a one day celebration of over 70 years of brotherhood and to pay tribute to their many classmates who had entered Chapter Eternal.

Special Band of Brothers

Brother Haynes worked diligently to locate those brothers of the Greatest Generation. He noted that there were approximately 20 brothers of this era still alive. Seven, Gerald Hines ‘46, Al Menke ‘44, Laddie Hutar ‘47, Scott Haynes ‘47, Les Duryea ‘48, Larry Fricke ‘48, and John Guthrie ‘49, returned.

Sigs at Chicago’s Millennial Park (L-R) Laddie Hutar, Scott Haynes, Gerald Hines, Les Duryea and John Guthrie.

With all of the attendees being World War II veterans each brother’s personal story included time away from Purdue when they were on active duty. Scott Haynes commented that after his freshman year he went into the Army and served in the 11th Armored Division, 42nd Tank Battalion, and fought at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He then returned to Purdue following the war as did all the other brothers in this group.

Chicago Architectural Tour Showcases Brother Hines’ Work

The full day reunion started with an architectural tour of Chicago led by Gerald Hines’ granddaughter. During their bus tour they had a chance to see several of Gerald’s many impressive building projects.

Sigma Chi Headquarters Tour and Reflections

The afternoon found these intrepid spirits at Sigma Chi Headquarters in Evanston where they toured the new Museum, were given the Sigma Chi Military Service Recognition pin by Mike Church, Executive Secretary and Ashley Woods, President of the Sigma Chi Foundation. Gary Rawlings from the Headquarters staff presented the visiting brothers a list of all the names of the Delta Delta brothers of their era who had entered Chapter Eternal.

Enjoying dinner at the Metropolitan Club (L-R) Larry Fricke, Scott Haynes, Al Menke and John Guthrie.

Each guest also had the opportunity to reflect on the role Sigma Chi has played in their lives. John Falconer ’35 (our oldest living Consul at 101 years old) sent a letter to the group noting how he was present in spirit, even though his health did not allow him to attend.

Dinner at the Willis Tower

Bernie Sergesketter ’58 (who is not 90 years old) and his wife, Mary, arranged dinner for the Sigs at the Metropolitan Club on the 67th Floor of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, where everyone had a marvelous view of Chicago. Bernie commented, “Ages of the brothers ranged from 90 to 94. It was wonderful to see how strong their brotherhood remained so many years following graduation.”

One Last Toast

With one final toast to their fond memories of their many pledge brothers who had gone before them, this illustrious band of brothers rose, shook each other’s hands, and said their good byes, perhaps for the final time. Showing all of us that the bond of friendship and brotherhood is truly one of lifelong duration.

Greatest Generation Reunion Video

To enjoy seeing more of this wonderful day and to hear the story from Consul (at the time) Al Menke of the Waldron St. Sigma Chi chapter house and chapter room go to Greatest Generation Reunion.

More photos from the reunion