Recently Mike “Mad Dog” Matson was the Keynote Speaker at the ΣΑΕ New Member breakfast at the CΑ-Theta Chapter House. Hosted by Gary Losey, President of the ΣΑΕ House Corporation, 75 were in attendance, including New ΣΑΕ Members, Actives, and Alumni.
Mike shared his experience at the House, focusing on the history of the building of the Lions. Historically the Lions are second only to the ΣΑΕ House itself.
Dick Laureau (CA-BE ’54) and Cal Theta house architect had the original vision of physically moving two existing lions from Oklahoma - a monumental task. Mike Matson, a 19-year-old ΣΑΕ, told Dick, “I’ll make them.” With no real experience, Mike first made a small, approved model, then a full-scale model, which was rejected because it was too big. So Mike made a second model, which was approved and used to make the mold.
Mike and four other ΣΑΕ poured the cement into the Lion mold and sand into the holding box. When Mike removed the mold and first saw that the Lion was standing, Mike said in a surprised voice, “Great… It worked.”
Mike “Mad Dog” Matson continues to volunteer and assist in creating extraordinary sculptures, art, and restorations of the ΣΑΕ California Theta House. Phi Alpha!