GT- The Evolution of a Nickname

”When young guys join a fraternity they know they will be getting some sort of nickname but I’m not sure they knew the nickname would take on an evolution of its own like in our Delta Chi house, that was the job I somehow stumbled into. The best part was I never knew quite how as the various names and the frequent changes would naturally evolve without any thought.”

For example certain guys like Rob Fogler ’91 was Robinski, Ribeye, Ribeye Steakler, Steak, Mike Asman ’91 was Hisman, Hissy, The Garbage Can, (you’re nothing but) Garbage; Jim Portelli ’90 was Tele, Savalis, Port a John, Port O, Outhouse, Out Portelli,  etc… would at times not know what the current version of their nickname status would be so they would need to be on their toes. This was interesting as the guys would check in on how the evolution of their names took place and it wasn’t something I could explain as it just happened, no algorithm, no certain day of the month with the moon or sun and since I couldn’t sort out how the process occurred myself, I couldn’t explain it to anyone else. Good times!

The bond created playing on Delta Chi IM sports teams was tremendous, I remember the 25 degree, ground frozen,  flag football games with the hand warmers under the lights as the adrenaline had everyone fired up and ready to step up for the team as if weather conditions were ideal. I remember the late night hockey games at Yost with the guys from the house filming and commentating the games in hilarious fashion. Our team wound up being pretty good so the guys would even make some noise to cheer us on with raucous activity in the stands besides what else would they be doing at 10 pm on a school night. The coveted ping pong room with our rankings on the wall and a small group of us that had a blast playing into the nights. The National Championship basketball game in 1989 vs Seton Hall celebration at South U and Church Street was unforgettable, running down the middle of Washtenaw with every other Fraternity and watching the 40 plus people bring down the awning of the China Gate, epic though looking back slightly over the top, maybe, enthusiasm. In addition to the years when I first joined and I was in school I want to thank the fellas graduating a few years later who allowed me to be part of the football and hockey, what a great time that was thanks to Jan Selow ‘94, Dave Karow ‘94, Greg Haft ‘94, Gary De LaPena ’94, Greg Endres ‘94, Dave Winey ‘95, Don Ensing ‘94, Don Sweeny ‘94, Doug Brandon ‘96, etc….

Do you remember any incidents / funny stories from your DX days?

With “Newton” as pledge trainer all bets were off, you knew there was some fun to be had…we were begging for money to feed a goldfish outside a Department store with a goldfish in a bag of water, trying to get kisses from salon stylists, while working on their clients, methodically turning off all TV’s in appliance stores, walking through wide open “Moo Highland” fields with muddy cold water not knowing where we were in the middle of the night.

Did you have a nickname and if so, how did you get it?

My nickname was GT, and ironically I know, I’m not sure who though I would guess, Jim Portelli ‘90, Eric Kollman ’92 or Rob Fogler ‘91.

What about your membership in Delta Chi makes you the most proud?

I was proud to have gotten a bid to join as I had and have a lot of respect and admiration for the guys in our house.

Do you stay in touch with any of your Delta Chi brothers? Who?

I stay in touch with some DX Brothers more than others but some would be Eric Kollman ‘92, Jan Selow ‘94, Stan Jelic 88, Jim Portelli ‘90, Wayne Nelson ‘89, John Heathfield ’86 and the Fogler brothers, Peter ’89 and Rob ‘91.

What was your undergraduate degree? What was the first job you took after college?

After college, I took a job in Psychology, as a Sleep Lab Technician. I then worked for various brokerage firms working as a Financial Advisor throughout since 1992 and lived in Seattle, Boston, Royal Oak, and now Bloomfield Hills.

Tell us about your family and interests. Children – ages – what are they doing?

My wife Yin is a Professor of Accounting at Oakland University, I know I married up, and our daughter Tory will be 3 shortly, again I know, I’m an old Dad but Tory Thompson is a lot of fun. Yin and I like dancing and tennis and Tory is in dance class and starts tennis this month with nerf tennis balls.

Hobbies you have?

I enjoy tennis, golf, bowling, ice hockey and travelling and I’m now looking into this owl macramé.

What would you say are your life’s biggest successes?

My wife Yin and our daughter Tory are my biggest accomplishments. Also persistence and perseverance in the face of adversity.

On the contrary, what would you say are your biggest failures or regrets?

My biggest regrets are making impulse decisions too quickly, when there is time to make decisions always take advantage of it if possible to make the best decisions possible. Take your time when looking at career choices and don’t be afraid to make changes if there doesn’t seem to be a good fit along the way.

What do you want people to remember about you 50 years from now?

That my wife and I did a nice job raising our daughter and gave her a good foundation to build on.

Geoff Thompson- 248 931 4881 and email: [email protected]