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Alumni Man of the Year on the Value of Connections
Bruce Balmat (front row, first on left) and other Kappa Chapter brothers in 1969 (From LaVie).

According to Bruce Balmat '70, he earned the title of Alumni Man of the Year at this year’s Founders’ Day celebration “probably because I volunteer to do things.” Which is true, in part. But Bruce exemplifies the Phi Sig alumni experience through his actions, but, most importantly, through his advice to future generations:  “Keep in touch with the guys you befriended while and undergraduate.”

“I still see many of my Phi Sig brothers every year even though they live or have lived in Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, California, Maryland and throughout Pennsylvania,” he said. “We still get together for tailgates, PSU wrestling matches, Phi Sig Golf Outings, and Work Weekend.  We also take trips canoeing, and to Napa, Bermuda, and Key West. Our kids grew up knowing each other and many of them attended PSU too.  So we also meet at weddings and for single malt scotch tastings. They are a great bunch of guys and spouses you won't often find anywhere else.”

Part of the benefit of the alumni experience for Bruce is the opportunity to not only connect with these old friends, but to make new ones, too. His time on the Phi Sig board has allowed him to meet alumni from other eras who have had the same lifelong connections that he has.

“It’s really humorous that we all remember the same kind of good events that we experienced so many years ago,” he said. “So, reach out and contact some of those long-lost brothers and renew the Bond.”

As an undergraduate, Phi Sig gave Bruce a small community to connect with at a large university. He jokes that he gained friends, a taste for beer, and a strong sense of brotherhood thanks to the fraternity.

“It was a nicer place to live than the dorm,” he added.

Today, Bruce and his wife, Ruth, moved to an active adult community near Phoenixville, Pa. after spending 38 years in Malvern, Pa. He retired in 2006 after spending 36 years as a power grid operator for PJM Interconnection. They have two children: Jeff (and spouse sunshine and daughter Brewer) in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Ali in Wheaton, Ill.

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