Alumni Q&A

Reminiscing about Disco Briscoe

Thank you to Michael Howard ’83 for participating in this Q&A. He shares the the story of Disco Briscoe, and how he learned much about leadership, responsibility and loyalty during his years at ΛΧΑ.

 

Tell us your very first impression of the chapter (house or brothers) when you came to campus that first year?

My roommate at “Disco Briscoe” and I attended Lawn Dance the weekend before classes started in fall 1980. There were 5,000 people on the front lawn, with bands playing on the front porch and kegs set up around the yard. Yes, those days are gone forever, like Camelot… but they did exist. I had an LXA little sister in one of my classes, and I told her to hook me up with an invite to the house.

 

Why did you join Lambda Chi over other fraternities?

I rushed Kappa Sigma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Phi Delta Theta. I picked Lambda Chi for one reason: the guys in the house. And I count a lot of those guys today as my closest friends. Not bad for 32 years later! And, my roommate at Briscoe? He was a guy from Florida who had come to IU to play on the tennis team. He had never seen snow, and we did not know each other at all. His name is Bill “Funkytown” Funk ’83. We were in the same pledge class and, yes, he is still one of my closest friends 30 years later!

 

How did Lambda Chi help make you into the man you are today?

The guys from the late-’70s to mid-’80s have a saying we are fond of, “Everything I need to know in life, I learned at 1210 East Third Street in B-Town!” And, that is true. We learned teamwork, how to get along with people having different views, and how to compromise. We learned leadership and responsibility. We learned to speak in public by running for offices in the house, and we learned that nothing good is achieved without hard work. Most importantly, we learned the value of a true friend/brother and what loyalty means. We didn’t stand alone, we stood together and we had each other’s backs. Finally, we learned how to win and, yes, sometimes we learned how to handle disappointment but not let it defeat us. We learned all those life lessons.

 

What are your favorite memories with the brothers?

I remember sitting in a tree at Showalter Fountain with brother Joel Trusty ’82 watching the chaos below us after IU beat North Carolina for the NCAA Basketball Championship in the Spring of 1981; the same day President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. I also have vivid memories of spring break in Fort Lauderdale, but it’s too adult-rated to give details! I remember “gunning” for sororities to pair up with for events. Back then, there was no political corectness. You competed in every way possible to land a pairing, and may the best house win. We did quite well, thank you very much! Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega, and Tri-Delt were some of the top sororities on campus, and we beat out every other house to land them.

 

Connect with Michael at michael.howard@nbcuni.com.

 

Aaron Book ’09

 

Thank you to Aaron Book ’09 for participating in this Q&A…

 

What is your funniest memory from your Lambda Chi days?

The pranks on people living around us. Messing with their rooms, doors, beds, etc. Always being able to just go far enough to pick on someone and then get it in return. My roommate Kip Sperling ’08 and I had a lot of fun with the two living across from us, Ryan Vautherot ’08 and Paul Bahra ’08. We had a lot of battles with water, snowball fights in the halls and messing with rooms. But the funniest was probably sitting on the presidential lido deck and throwing water balloons at brothers as they walked in and out of the house. That seemed to never get old.

 

How have you kept your Lambda Chi connections to brothers in your alumni years?

Yes I have. Text and email is always a nice easy way. But going to functions like Homecoming and the golf outing gets some of the guys back together which is very nice.

 

What is the one memory that you will share/have shared with your children and grandchildren?

I will always tell them about how my fiance and I met in the house. And when my kids get older, what it is like to get lavaliered.

 

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

I did not start learning how to use my voice and opinion and ideas properly until I was a member and then tenfold when I held a position on Exec. After becoming a brother, you have one of two things happen. You either become just another member or number of a great fraternity or you become that great fraternity. You take what it means to be a Chop to heart and practice its ideals daily. It has helped me become the man I am today.

 

What’s new in your life today?

As mentioned before, I am engaged to the girl I feel in love with while living in the house and lavaliered. And I still don’t regret going through that.

 

Reconnect with Aaron at book1887@gmail.com

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