Sigma Phi Epsilon 30-year Reunion Brings Old Friends To Missoula This Weekend


Some of my closest friends from my college days at The University of Montana were brothers in the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, which during our time at UM was located at 333 University. This weekend they’ll be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the re-opening of the chapter in the fall of 1983.

That class included the likes of Patrick Angland, investment manager at Stockman in Billings; Leroy Anderson, pharmacist in Ft. Collins, Colo.; Alan Brown, owner of AB Cooks in Missoula and my closest friend; Ken Crippen, CEO of American Trucking & Transportation Insurance Company (ATTIC) in Missoula; Chuck Hamilton, business development specialist for Deloitte in Chicago, Ill.; Steve Knox, fire management specialist with the BLM in Lewistown; Bill Mercer, U.S. Attorney-Montana District; Fritz Neighbor, Missoulian sports reporter; Matt Ryan and Joe Summers.


Sig Ep Pledge Class of 1983
Front Row: Steve Knox, Alan Brown, Joe Summers, Pat Angland.
Second Row: Eric Bjorgum, Dave Bolton, Fritz Neighbor, Leroy Anderson, Pete Sullivan.
Third Row: Gary Dettling, Kevin Lovell, Chuck Hamilton, John Courtney, Matt Cryan, Bill Mercer, Ken Crippen.
Not Pictured: Dan Henderson, Kipp Kelly.

This group of men set the stage for the growth and development of hundreds of others who followed in the footsteps of those who lived at the house with the red door.

Many of my closest friends spent several years in that house, including Chuck Campbell, General Manager at Harper Companies in Williston, N.D.; Steve Baker, veterinarian in Boise, Idaho; Andy Beck, Director at Providence Surgery Center in Missoula; Andy Flaherty; Russ Harshberger, President and co-Founder at Leading Edge Fundraising in Portland, Ore.; Glen Heaton, Hospitalist at Community Medical Center in Missoula; Chris Hughes, school psychologist in Hamilton, Mont.; Kurt Jacobsen, who works at Triple W Equipment in Missoula; Brent Kohlander; Donnie Lesmeister, who works for the U.S. Supreme Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Todd Marshall, Whit Olds, Insurance Agent at Bankers’ Life in Missoula; Charlie Palmer, UM Professor; Mark Reichelt, farmer in Big Sandy; Jonathan Richter, Professor at Salish Kootenai College; Chad Slack, Attorney at Hager and Dowlling in Camarillo, Calif.; Jason Tyrrell, Sales Rep at Sanofi Pasteur Pharmaceuticals in Missoula, who was my big brother; Dave & Greg Yockey; and many, many more.

What’s amazing about this group is how incredibly successful in life they are. Some are amazing entrepreneurs; some are big-time lawyers, business managers, foresters, professors, physicians, psychologists, sales managers, veterinarians, writers, military personnel and much more.

1986 Greek Fest at Marshall Mountain (3)

1986 Greek Fest at Marshall Mountain. With Greg Stickler, Ken Crippen, Kurt Jacobsen, Rich Blatz, Emily Proctor-Jacobsen, Chris Mandell, Whit Olds and Dean O’Neill. Photo courtesy of Chuck Hamilton

It’s amazing to look back 20 and 30 years and come to the realization that we have lived half or maybe a little more than half our lives. We have lived, loved, and lost. We have married, brought children into the world, lost our brother David, cared for sick and dying children, inspired students, sent our children off to college, traveled the world, and much more.


In loving memory of our brother, Lt. Colonel David L. Yockey.

The Sig Ep House at 333 University is someone’s private home now, tastefully refurbished so that you’d never know it was a fraternity. The Sig Eps relocated to a new home at 201 University Avenue many years later, and Charlie Palmer was the “Man of the House” while he was pursuing his PhD. But it too closed, leaving a hole in the landscape of the University of Montana Fraternity System.

Reunion2011 (3)

7 Sig Eps and their children: Beck, Bosshardt, Brown, Campbell, Harshberger, Palmer, and Slack – 2011.

I am told that Brint Wahlberg of Missoula, in conjunction with a small group of Sig Eps in Missoula, is working to relight that spirit of the 1980s and ‘90s and re-engage the alumni from the last 30 years. This weekend’s Homecoming activities will bring this group together to catch-up, reminisce, get reacquainted and re-engaged in campus life activities.

Come join us Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 pm at the Flathead Lake Brewing Company (424 N. Higgins). The Montana Alpha Chapter event will be filled with the pledge classes of 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986. There will also be a Sig Ep Tailgate Party before Saturday’s Homecoming Game.

I was lucky to be welcomed into the home with the red door and embraced in friendship by these extraordinary men. I am excited to reconnect with these people who are now leaders in their communities. After all, the founding principles of Sigma Phi Epsilon are virtue, diligence and brotherly love.


LindaMcCarthyMissoulaLinda McCarthy has been a Missoula resident for more than 25 years and serves as Executive Director of the Missoula Downtown Association, a private non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and enhancing the vitality of Downtown Missoula. She and her family live in the Farviews Neighborhood, and her husband, Tom Gallagher, is a computer science professor at UM’s Missoula College. Linda holds two degrees from The University of Montana and was the 2008 Montana Alumni of the Year.





MIM NewsletterLike this blog? Don’t miss another one. Sign up for our E-Newsletter.  It provides you with a list of all the week’s stories/blogs and is delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.