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A good leader is a dime a dozen, so we're lucky to have two qualified brothers leading us at the alumni and active chapter levels. Maybe it runs in the blood, because these two individuals are more than just brothers – they're father and son! Thank you to Fred DeCock '80 and Chris DeCock '13 for participating in this Then & Now profile to highlight their Phi Sig experiences and to show how much has changed (or stayed the same) at Kappa and on campus in the last 30+ years.

Describe a nightly dinner at the house.
Fred: Every weeknight at 5:30, 25 to 30 of us ate together in the dining room. We truly looked forward to having that time together. While the food may not have been great, the company and camaraderie more than made up for it. Sunday night dinners were served by the pledge class, who had free reign in their post-meal skits to mock the brothers for things that happened during the week. I still smile when I remember some of the skits we put on as pledges. It's something we need to bring back to Kappa.

Chris: Depends on my schedule, but usually it consists of eating with a handful of guys that happen to be hungry at the same time as me. There is no official dinner time so it's usually a bunch of guys coming and going from the kitchen and dining room.

What was the best party?
Fred: The best party was the one you were at, whether in one of the guy's rooms or in the basement. Gravediggers probably topped the list. We had a Beach Party that was fantastic, but the tons of sand we hauled into the basement turned out to be an incredible problem to clean out. But it sure made it feel like a party on the beach. And there was at least one toga party as a tribute to "Animal House" which was released while we were living in the house.

Chris: Grave Diggers is one of the most fun party's to be at and is certainly the best costume party during Halloween. People always have hilarious costumes and all the brothers really get involved with preparing for it. This is one event that every brother looks forward to during the fall semester.

What is your favorite Phi Sig memory?
Fred: My true favorite memory is attending my son's initiation ceremony. It was surreal to watch that as it unfolded. Prior to that, it would be winning Homecoming two years in a row working with Kappa Delta. Working together during those times to do our best work and make a name for Phi Sig was a great motivator. Every memory has a great deal of laughter associated with it. When each brother reads this, regardless of when they lived at the house, they will know exactly what I mean and smile.

Chris: My most memorable experience would most likely be my pledge class trip to West Virginia. On the way to the cabin we had for the weekend we stopped in Morgantown, WV in an effort to visit the Delta chapter and ended up in one of the downtown clubs. The drive to the cabin was just over 7 hours which we hadn't anticipated but it was well worth the drive. The cabin was brand new, sat at the top of a mountain with an awesome view of the surroundings and didn't have any other houses or buildings in sight. It was a great time and provided a great opportunity to bond with my pledge brothers.

What about your membership in Phi Sig makes you the most proud?
Fred: I'm truly blessed to have made lifelong friendships that are as strong today as they were 35 years ago, and will be for the rest of our lives. I'm proud that my son got to know my brothers as he was growing up, and decided that he'd like to have the same kind of relationships in his own life. I never pressured him to join, at least not consciously. I told his pledge class at their initiation that they would not know the true meaning of what they were about to join until many years from now. The bonds they are creating will appear forever in their lives. Having Chris make the choice on his own to join is my greatest source of Phi Sig pride. Sharing the role of chapter president is pretty cool as well, especially since my younger brother Gary served as president too. Bill DeGrandis '77 remarked we are like the "Bush family of Phi Sig".

Chris: I would have to say carrying on a family 'tradition' makes me extremely proud to be a part of Phi Sigma Kappa. Being able to share similar experiences with my father and uncle is very meaningful to me. Not everyone has a full understanding of making our organization a better place for the generations of men to come further down the road in addition to those that are here now.

Why did you join Phi Sig?
Fred: I rushed six or seven fraternities but felt welcome and comfortable immediately at Phi Sig. It was easy to remember the brothers' names, and they knew me whenever they would see me, whether at the house or on campus. I had a couple of high school friends who joined at the same time which made it more enjoyable already knowing guys I would be pledging with. And we carried that tradition on over the next few years by having eight brothers from Conestoga High living in the house at one time. We were quite the voting block, and want to remind those who lived with us that we still are.

Chris: I went to many houses during rush but the Phi Sig brothers were the ones that stood out the most to me. They seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and the more time I spent there the more I realized how much I already had in common with a majority of the brothers. They weren't the stereotypical 'frat bro' kind of guys that many houses have a reputation for. I always felt welcomed and that really made an impression on me. I could easily identify with these fraternity men and knew from the start this was where I belonged.

How were your experiences living in the chapter house?
Fred: I lived in the house for three years, and made strong friendships that have lasted a lifetime. It was a true brotherhood, and even though we did not realize it at the time, it helped each of us learn how to deal with a variety of personalities and situations. My father dropped me off at Penn State and told me "Don't let school get in the way of your education." Without question, Phi Sig was the biggest part of my "education".

Chris: Living in the chapter house is such a great experience. Very few people have an opportunity to be a part of something like this, so I want to make sure to take full advantage of being a part of the house while I still have the opportunity to do so.

What motivated you to pursue a leadership role for Phi Sig?
Fred: I felt that I needed that "education" my Dad told me about. Learning to work with a team of men who wanted to make things as good as possible was full of ups and downs, giving all of us the experience which has helped us in our careers and our personal lives over the years. You can't get that living in a dorm or an apartment to the same degree. Everyone who serves as a Kappa leader is fortunate beyond measure.

Chris: I have held leadership roles in other organizations before so I had some prior experience. Someone has to do it, and knowing that the work I do is making sure all of my friends are having the experience of a life time is well worth the effort put in to being a president.

If you could go back and relive one moment, what would it be and why?
Fred: There is no way I could pick only one. Each memorable moment is special for a particular reason, and they all meld together as one great memory. I'd be happy to go back and live those four years over again, although I doubt very much my body could take it now.

Chris: Riding on last year's homecoming float was a great time, it was a ton of fun and I would definitely do it again if I ever got the chance to.

Describe the popular music when you were an undergrad.
Fred: I am well-known amongst the guys as a music nut, and music was a really important part of college for me. The late 70's were a truly amazing mix of genres. They call it "classic rock" now, but Aerosmith, ELO, Led Zeppelin, Kansas, The Outlaws, Tom Petty and dozens of other truly great rock bands fought for airplay at parties with disco and songs that were more dance-able, along with some punky stuff from The Clash and The Pretenders. It's a huge list. We played a lot of different music in the house at all times of day and night, and always as loud as we could get away with. I enjoyed my role as music chairman, borrowing albums from guys to make cassette party tapes each weekend and keep things lively. Live bands at the house were always a big hit, particularly Backseat Van Gogh and Tahoka Freeway. I envy the iPod generation tremendously when I look back at how we had to create a soundtrack for a party.

Chris: Music today is headed in the direction of mostly electronic production; Deep bass tones are becoming more prominent and repetitive vocals are commonplace. A lot of artists are single producers working on projects rather than groups of musicians. Some suggested listening for current party music: "Bass Down Low" by DEV and "Party Rock Anthem" by LMAFO.

Who had more fun?
Fred: If you are asking about whether my generation had more fun did, or Chris's did, I'd say mine but only because I was there. It's that "whatever happens in Vegas" rule, so I really can't say for sure. I know the actives are having the most amount of fun they can given the tougher restrictions they are faced with, so creativity probably plays a bigger role now. I do think that the stories I hear from them are basically the same plot as our stories, just with new characters in the roles. But I've told a few stories to the actives and they are always intrigued by them, so maybe that's a sign we had more fun. Or that they are just respectful of the old guys because they want us to think we had more fun. Either way, every generation of Kappa men had the kind of fun that we each remember like it was yesterday.

Chris: I'm sure we both had and will have our share of fun, but I'm certain that the older guys could get away with a little bit more than we can today so their fun is probably a little different from ours.