Greg Haft ’94: It’s Super Brownie Man
That’s what you get for missing a night with the guys to spend the evening with your girlfriend (now wife). And, you should never return to the house with a pan of brownies because the name will stick. Greg Haft ’94 lived the scenario with brothers such as Gary de la Pena ’94 and Steven DeLuca ’93. Greg delivered Gary’s eulogy earlier this year after Gary’s fight with cancer. As a result of that experience, he encourages all DX brothers to savor each and every moment. Read below to learn more about Greg’s DX experiences.
Greg rushed Delta Chi in the spring of 1991. As he describes, “Like most of the 9-strong Beta class, I moved into the house for the beginning of my sophomore year.” He lived with roommates Gary de la Pena ’94 and Steven DeLuca ’93. Together with their brothers, they spent their afternoons playing hoops in the backyard, participating in a variety of Greek sports, embarking on fun travels for formals and mostly just hanging out in the house.
“One time, after a ‘Heaven and Hell’ party at another fraternity,” Greg describes, “Gary, my now-wife Kinga and I wandered home to D Chi. When we got to the house, Gary suggested we join the hoops game in the back. While I was certainly not in top form, Gary (looking as red as he would after some late-night activities) and I took on all comers. Gary managed to play better while I did my part by hacking my counterpart to keep things even. (Sorry Don E!)”
On another occasion, as Greg describes, he and a handful of his brothers were headed to Windsor Delta Chi for a party with his Big Bro Jeff at the wheel. When “Grandpa” Jeff Klaiman ’93 suggested to the U.S. Immigration official that not everyone in the car was born in the U.S., the group was sent to park and go in to the center to talk to an officer. At the U.S.-Canadian border, they were greeted by a very serious officer. She was a tiny woman. She walked right up to the largest brother (Kevin Irish ’95), and standing at his belly button, bellowed, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” While the rest of the group held back their laughter, Kevin responded in the negative, and they were sent on their way.
“When I joined Delta Chi, it was one of the smaller houses on campus, but it had the best spirit of them all. People cared not just about the fraternity as a whole, but about each brother within it. This feeling that the group above me exuded led me to want to join, and the band of brothers in Beta made me proud to be amongst it.”
Following graduation, Greg joined Chubb Insurance Co. in New Jersey. He worked there eight years before accepting a transfer to the island of Bermuda. He has been there for 13 years in a variety of roles and currently serves as the head of catastrophe for PartnerRe. “I know, several of my brothers always knew I would be some sort of catastrophe … .”
After marrying Kinga in the summer of 1993 (their wedding attended by Big Brother Jeff Klaiman, Steve DeLuca and groomsman Gary de la Pena), the couple lived in New York and New Jersey before settling in Bermuda. They now have two little “dynamos,” Benjamin and Wyatt. “I am hoping they will be Michigan fans, and perhaps one day they can live in the new Delta Chi house.”
Greg stays in touch with several brothers via Facebook and email, but the person he was closest to was Gary. “I was crushed to see Gary taken from us and his family earlier this year by cancer. He was a good brother and a great man. I told a few Delta Chi stories when delivering his eulogy in San Diego. I would advise current D Chis to savor their time at the house and at U of M. I remember thinking that some of my brothers taking 5 or 6 years to graduate (or 8 or 9 to not do so in Dave Pyun’s (’92) case) was ridiculous. But after getting into the real world, I wondered why I was in such a rush. Life is great, but there is nothing like your college days. I haven’t been back to nearly as many games as I would like, both because of distance and on-field disappointment. During our time on campus, Michigan set a record for consecutive Big 10 wins, had a Heisman winner and went to back to back Hoops title games. I am happy to see us back on the upswing in both sports. Go Blue!”
Greg invites brothers to reach him at [email protected] and (610) 241-7713. “Please come down to the island and visit,” he says, “I will have a Rum Swizzle waiting for you!”