Mike Kennedy ‘63
Delta Chi in the early 60’s is best described by remembering that the movie “Animal House” is a documentary. The chapter provided me with a great transition from a small U.P. town to a much more complex environment.
I met Diane at a fraternity party, which was by far the best opportunity it provided. The ongoing fellowship and friendships during my stay at Michigan were invaluable and the weekend social events and impromptu gatherings provided many wonderful memories. The formals were especially memorable.
I lived in the house during my sophomore and senior years. As a senior I shared the basement room with Dave Siglin ’64. This was very convenient as it was quiet during the week facilitating sleeping through class and on the weekend the connected bar made the social chairman function easier.
I was not a particularly diligent student, but studied every other semester to meet my scholarship requirements. I graduated in 1963 with an accounting major and joined Quaker Oats in Chicago. Unfortunately, the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred and a special extra draft call caught me before our scheduled wedding date, which Diane and I had picked to follow her graduation. Thus, I missed the marriage deferment. This turned out well, as we got married after army training and were stationed in Orleans, France for two years. We saw much of Europe on leave with the book “Europe on $5 per day”, which was possible and included hotel and meals.
I returned from France with a family and thus, much more responsibility than I ever anticipated.
My son, Mike, was 6 weeks old and my daughter, Michelle, was born two years later.
Diane maintained the family and supported and encouraged me while I supervised the office at Quaker’s research facility, earned my MBA at night from Northwestern University and passed the CPA exam.
Near graduation I transferred to the International Planning and Analysis group and earned the job of
Director prior to becoming the Director of Corporate Planning. I finished my career at Quaker as VP- Finance Worldwide Gatorade where our group expanded the geographical coverage of Gatorade over four continents and doubled the business in the 90’s.
I retired in 1998, moved to South Carolina and Diane and I satisfied our interest in travel with
a major trip once per year We advise visiting tourist areas following crises. A safari in Kenya after the embassy bombings and a trip to Egypt in Jan. 2002 were practically private due to other travelers’ cancellations. Our son-in law’s State Department career also provided ongoing opportunities to see different areas of the world. Michael now lives in Chicago and Michelle and her family are now in Paris. Michelle has brought her children Liam (15) and Zoe (9) to stay for the summer since Liam was born. He calls Hilton Head home and is somewhat upset we moved to Jacksonville last year.
I remember a lot of funny incidents from my time in the chapter. However, most of them are somewhat off color and or embarrassing to the brothers involved. I do remember as social chairman in 1963 having a toga party with the living room lined with mattresses and a deceptively potent punch being particularly memorable for many of the brothers.
I see the brothers infrequently, but exchange Christmas cards, helped Howard Gandelot ’64 organize the first mid-60’s reunion and have attended every 5 years since. My wedding included four of my brothers.
My biggest success was marrying Diane, who provided the inspiration and encouragement to work for and achieve a successful and happy life.
I would advise the younger Delta Chis to enjoy their college years and the fraternal opportunities they have. However, I would encourage them to also focus on gathering as much knowledge and experience as they can from the educational opportunity they’re lucky enough to have.