15 Years of Service and Brotherhood - Being the fraternity House Manager is not a glamorous job. It’s really hard work. You are charged with preserving a facility that is home to 25+ young men, a second home to 100 more, and a social gathering place for everyone else. For many in the undergraduate world, it is the center of their universe.
If it breaks, you fix it. If it gets dirty, you clean it. It is yours to protect, and the buck stops with you. For Chris McCoy, that sounded great.
As the undergraduate House Manager, McCoy believed his job was to preserve and improve the house for future generations. Not for property value or due to an inherent interest in property management, but because the fraternity house was the physical embodiment of brotherhood. It’s where we meet, live, hangout and find retreat. It’s where everyone knows your name and everyone is a friend. You are always welcome and you never know whom you might see.
McCoy volunteered for the position in his sophomore year and held it concurrently with other positions, including Scholarship Chair, for nearly 3 years. With help from the chapter, he landscaped the back yard, painted the inside and outside of the house, rebuilt the front deck, repainted the lions, and initiated the restoration of the Epsilon Eta Room. It was a great opportunity for him to learn management, shoulder responsibility, and start building a relationship with the San Diego Area Alumni Association.
Originally a mechanical engineering major, McCoy rushed in the fall of 1998 when the California Theta colony was on the precipice of being reinstated as a chartered chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The colony only had 23 active members but had a palpable zeal in their quest for reinstatement. So impressed with their efforts, the Alumni Association granted the colony’s request to abandon the temporary fraternity house (a single-family house on Montazuma Road) and return to their rightful place in Greek Circle (5076 College Place) the previous summer. Flanked by the iconic lions, the chapter pledged McCoy and 25 others, doubling their roster, and ushering in the end of the colony and reinstatement of the chapter.
McCoy and the men of his pledge class took a prominent role in the chapter in the ensuing years, helping to grow it from 23 to more than 100. They started winning awards, sports banners, and the eye of local sororities. It was a chapter transformed, but not without a lot of hard work and dedication.
Asked to recount how it all happened, McCoy’s answer was simple – “We cared.” There was no secret formula - just a group of people committed to making it happen, and support from Alumni who had been there before.
Upon graduation, McCoy moved from active to alumni with degrees in both history and economics. He later went on to earn a Masters Degree in City Planning from San Diego State and start a career in land development. He married his college sweetheart, Rachel, and spends his free time remodeling his home - serving the community through Rotary, and cheering for the Padres and Chargers.
He is the Treasurer of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon San Diego Area Alumni Association and sits on both the California Theta Chapter Advisory Board and Housing Corporation Board.
Similar to when he was House Manager, he wants to make sure that he preserves the fraternity for future generations. He wants other young men to have the same opportunities he was afforded.They should have the chance to build something, to succeed, to fail. When they graduate, they should have a network of people with shared interests and common bond who are willing to get them honest advice and a foot in the door. He wants them to have what he has had, because for him it was invaluable.
For McCoy, it’s not a complicated formula. The active and alumni chapters of the Fraternity succeed when people care. When they care, they get involved, voice their opinion, and share their life experience with those around them. Everyone benefits.
As a young leader, he and his pledge brothers Adam Porter and Stefano Brunetto, who are also heavily involved in the association, work diligently to recruit other younger alumni to be members of the association. They are eager to see what lies ahead for the chapter and the association. Both by their nature are constantly transforming. It can be exciting and intimidating, but though it all, McCoy will be there, protecting his house, just like he has always done. And he hopes you will join him. – Phi Alpha. ~ By Ben Avey