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Phi Sig provided Bruce Best '76 with many great experiences, some of which he shared with family members Gary Best '78 and Alex Best '12. Of course Bruce also had some unique experiences of his own and is proud of his younger family members that joined him in Phi Sig.

Why did you join Phi Sig as an undergraduate?
I wanted to be in a fraternity, number one. My roommate and I began to rush fraternities as soon as we started school. Phi Sig was one of the first rush functions I attended because I knew Bob Kotchman '73, from my home town. The combination of Bob, the overall brotherhood and the experience at the rush function turned me on to Phi Sig. We felt comfortable there and liked their emphasis on academics and intramurals as well.

Do you think you had an influence on Gary's decision to join?
I'm sure I did, but maybe that's presumptuous. When I was a sophomore, we had Gary and a couple of his friends up to visit and we convinced him it was a good place to hang out.

Is it special to you that you, your brother and your nephew were all presidents at Kappa chapter?
Definitely, I was proud of Gary when he was elected, but it's also cool that his son went to Penn State, joined Phi Sig and is now president. It's not something I expected, but I am proud of him. Alex is certainly deserving.

What is the funniest memory from your Phi Sig days?
This happened pretty consistently when I was there, but there was a guy by the nickname Jobber, also known as Stephen Handwerk '74 and he used to do this thing called the Gator. When we were at a party down in the party room (or almost anywhere) at the right time, the brotherhood would chant "Gator, Gator, Gator" and he'd get this look in his eyes and a grin on his face, get on the floor, stiffen up his body and flop around like an alligator out of water.

There was one occasion towards the end of the school year my junior year when we were picking rooms for the following school year. I had lived with the same roommate in a double for the previous two years and was considering switching to a single. Some guys found out about this and took everything from my room and set it up outside while I was at class. Needless to say, I stuck with my roommate.

We used to do a lot of water ballooning at the house; we'd wait for guys to come back from class and get them. One day, I had a balloon with at least a gallon of water in it and I hid in a window right over the front door. I dropped the balloon out of the window and it exploded on the peak of the doorway drenching an unsuspecting brother. I ran away fast and hid before I was caught.

What is the single fondest memory you have shared/will share with your children and grandchildren?
Phi Sig has always been big on philanthropy, when I was there we participated in Spring Week which was a philanthropic fund raiser. One year we brought in a family from Lewisburg that were victims of the flood to our annual Christmas party. We gave the family presents, took them ice skating and hung out with them. I'm proud that we helped out the community.

How do you stay connected with your brothers as an alumnus?
Not much, I've had occasional emails but a lot of connections have dropped off. My wife passed away five years ago and after that happened, I got a lot of emails and support from the guys in the fraternity, which meant a lot to me because it showed that they didn't forget me and were there when I needed them despite the time and distance between us and has led to me reconnecting with Bob Kotchman, who also lives in Houston. This past fall, I attended the Nebraska game and had the pleasure of hooking up with Russel Lenor (aka Trash) '74 and former pledge brothers Steu Brown '74 and John Wall '76.

If you could go back and relive one moment from your Phi Sig years, what would it be and why?
The excitement of returning to school in the fall and moving back into the fraternity stands out. The feeling of knowing you had a place to go after a summer away from all your friends was great. The anticipation of all the good times that lay ahead of us was special.

We excelled in intramurals. One year our softball team lost in the championship and that softball season was exciting.

Where has life taken you since graduation? What's new in your life today?
I remarried in 2010. My children are away from home now and I have two younger step children. I've been with Airliquide for close to 32 years.

What's it like to have such a strong family connection to Phi Sig?
The fraternity experience at Phi Sig gave me the opportunity to learn how to deal with all types of personalities and the variety of personalities in my fraternity made it better in terms of being able to understand and appreciate different personalities and viewpoints. It greatly enhanced my overall college experience. The camaraderie of the fraternity was something special.

Connect with Bruce at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.