Alumni News

  • Recently, Eric Schmidt, '92, partnered up with Illini great Deon Thomas, the school's all-time leading scorer in basketball history, on a podcast.  "The FadeAway with Deon Thomas and Eric Schmidt" touches on the subjects of Illini, hoops, sports, and life.  You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or by using Soundcloud.

  • Great story about Saagar Gupta, '12.  His project, called Hashtagr, is poised to make an impact in social media.  Click here to read more!


  • The Gamma Chapter Corporation Board is proud to announce that Chris Disher, '77 has been selected to receive the Alpha Kappa Lambda Alumni Distinguished Service Award at this year’s National Conclave.  This award is the highest honor to an individual member of the fraternity.  The award may be given not only for fraternity service, but also in recognition of extraordinary achievement by a man in his life work, and/or in service to university, country, and humanity.  Very few men have received this award and it is not necessarily presented each Conclave.


    Chris was selected to receive this award not only because of his service to Gamma chapter but also for his service to the Illinois Greek Community.  His efforts to establish common practices, address troubling behaviors and challenge norms at one of the oldest and largest Greek systems in the country is no small feat.


    Please join us in congratulating Chris on this incredible honor!


  • Congrats to Greg Colby, '71, on coming home to campus for his second stint as a coach for the Illini football team!  Click here to read more about it!


  • An annual event, the Larry Open, was a success for AKLs who attended on Saturday, June 15th at Willow Crest Golf Club in Oak Brook.  More than 40 AKL alums spanning several eras came out for golf and awards.  Larry Vena, '85, organized this event in memory of Chris Arger, '85, who passed away in 2010.  More photos, maybe even some serious ones, are in the photo albums.


  • Paul Djurisic, '85, shot his first hole-in-one on he picturesque hole #6 at Quintero Golf Club in Peoria, AZ.  There to witness the shot on March 14, 2013 were Eric Yopchick, '93, and Eric Schmidt, '92.


  • Eric Schmidt, '92, directed the first philanthropic tie-in for the Ryder Cup. His efforts helped to raise $1M in proceeds for charity.  You can read more at  Below, Eric assists Tiger Woods with signing an artistic golf ball painted by renowned artist LeRoy Neiman.


  • Gene Corley, '55 gives an extraordinary talk to the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City on 23 February 2010 on the building analysis of the Twin Towers and Pentagon after the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Gene is the Vice President of CTL Group.  Construction Technology Laboratories is located in Skokie, Illinois.  CTL employs engineers and scientists who perform investigation, analysis, and specialized testing of new and existing structures and materials.












    In December 2009, delegates from more than 100 nations gathered in Copenhagen to discuss an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, at the same time, the world was rocked by “Climategate,” the story of released emails from the Climate Research Unit at U.K.’s East Anglia University, and accusations that global temperature data had been adjusted to support the theory of man-made global warming. Also in December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that greenhouse gas emissions were a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, paving the way for costly regulation of American industry. Today, Congress is considering “Cap & Trade” legislation that will raise the cost of energy for all citizens.


    Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic by Steve Goreham takes a complete no-nonsense look at the science, politics, and energy-policy aspects of global warming. Goreham extensively researched climate physics, meteorology, solar physics, oceanography, and energy economics, discussed with key scientists and experts, and combined this with a study of a wide variety of books and articles on both sides of the global warming debate. He then distilled and captured this information in a single book, Climatism!, providing a complete no-nonsense discussion on climate change for the world citizen.


    Throughout the 400 pages and 135 figures, Goreham demonstrates that climate change is due to natural causes, not man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet,
    humanity is engaged in a futile effort to control Earth’s temperature, imposing severe policies that will limit our freedoms and radically transform our way of life.
    But Goreham’s book goes deeper, introducing the concept of Climatism, a new global ideology, the driver of global warming alarmism. Led by the United Nations and adopted by governments, Climatism is bent on transforming Western lifestyles and halting economic progress in the developing world. Today, radical forces oppose construction of hydrocarbon power plants that bring real benefits of low-cost energy to society. At the same time, the world is spending more than $150 billion per year on expensive and ineffective renewable energy in the misguided attempt to stop emissions of carbon dioxide, a harmless gas essential for life.


    Readable and down-to-earth, yet packed with the latest scientific and economic data, Climatism! is a must read for anyone wishing to know the real story about climate change.


    About the Author…


    Steve Goreham is an author, researcher, and public speaker on the topic of climate change. He wrote Climatism! to help reverse the current global delusion caused by climate alarmism. He’s an engineer and business executive with over 30 years of experience at Fortune 100 public companies and private firms. A white water kayaker, husband, and father of three, Steve holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago. For more information about Goreham and his climate observations, visit


    Climatism!  Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic

    Author:  Steve Goreham

    ISBN:  978-0-9824996-3-4

    Hardcover, 480 pages, 135 figures, $32.95, April, 2010

    Publisher:  New Lenox Books


    Available from, major book retailers, and websites. To request an interview or review copy of the book, please contact:


    Lissy Peace & Associates


  • Illiniwek Retreat Spring 2010


    Men of Gamma,


    On January 13 of 2007, forty Gamma alumni convened in Chicago to decide on the future of 401 E. Daniel and define the relevance of AKL’s Gamma Chapter at the University of Illinois. Three years later we find ourselves with a new building at the corner of Fourth and Daniel. Please see the construction progress photos on the AKL website ( You will see that the building structure is now complete, and the tradesmen are installing electric, heating, AC, and plumbing. Drywall will be installed by the end of February.


    Your house will be fully ready for your inspection at our Grand Opening October 1-3 of this year. You are welcome to tour the building at any time before then; simply let us know when you want to do so.


    Just as important to the future of Gamma Chapter was the launch of the Gamma Leadership Training program for the active men on January 13, 2010 – three years to the date of our Chicago Summit! A team of Gamma alumni delivered six leadership training sessions aimed at building a shared vision among the Active Chapter on what it means to be “Men of Character; Making a Difference.”


    Imagine the benefits of a new leadership-training program developed on a solid foundation of experiences and educational content from the Aspen Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton’s Center for Performance Excellence, Motorola Institute, the University of Illinois, and the AKL National Education Programs, with training provided by world class leadership instructors and practitioners. Let me explain:


    From January 13-16 seven alumni faculty delivered day and night training, workshops, and planning sessions to the Gamma actives and pledges, resulting in a comprehensive business plan for the Gamma Chapter that will ready the men for life in the new house. The plan was built entirely by the student members and approved by the Corporation Board.


    An activation ceremony of the 2009 pledge class followed. Gamma’s student organization, programs, and active’s responsibilities to each other were re-engineered no differently than the transformations that have occurred among major global corporations.


    Hell Week, or I Week as you remember, is now replaced by a corporate style visioning, team building and planning exercise, while our traditions remain intact. Faculty alumni Professor Steve Hall, Alumni Association Executive Jack Peirce, AKL National President Emeritus Brent Holmes, Motorola Technical Leader Rick Van Egeren, Campus Recreation Director Dave Bagger, and Gamma Transition Leader John Evans joined me by investing a half day to full time over four days engaging the men. We also received off site support from alumni education and training advisors – ADP’s Corporate Leadership Trainer Chris Burley, and Evans Scholar Foundation Director Gary Holaway.


    We explored the aspirations of the alumni as a group, the personal aspirations of each active and pledge, and tailor made an experience and cultural program that will secure our ideals while building skills that prepare the men for life as they pursue their hopes and dreams. Award-winning actor and entertainer Will Smith provided a perfect backdrop for our discussions. Please see the You Tube clip ‘Will’s Wisdom’ to understand the ideas we explored last week:


    The clip is inspiring and set the stage for the faculty to relate the stories of dozens of Gamma Alumni now making an impact in our society. We are fortunate to not only be able to talk about our alumni, but deliver them in person to the men. For example, Los Angeles media and software industry CEO Jerry Salzman will follow our program launch with a visit to the men next week as our first guest lecturer. Jerry’s one-on-one and team discussions with the men will begin to build the Gamma member’s comfort with a senior executive as he shares his perspective as an industry leader and importantly, an AKL.


    I hope you can see that the role of our alumni in mentoring the men is now defined and ready for successful implementation. We are delivering the Gamma Vision adopted by our Corporation Board in 2007. The men are ready for your personal offers as mentors, leadership faculty, and experts in industry, politics, and faith. With your support, we can assure every alumni that Gamma will be known for its excellence on campus and be a place that truly changes a young man’s life.


    Please help us deliver on this vision and the continuity of our legacy; help us protect our dream.  Visit the new website (, provide us with your profile information, and let us know how we can bring you and your class back home. Keep in mind our Grand Opening’s major reunion October 1-3.




    Chris Disher ’77

    New Gamma Campaign

    Cabinet Chairman




    Jan 13-16, 2010 Planning, training and recruitment meetings at AKL, 606 Ohio.

    Sessions ran from 9 AM to 7 PM for 4 days


  • Construction Update

    Week of December 7, 2009


    Men of Alpha Kappa Lambda,


    Greetings men! I realize it has been a month and a half since the last news bulletin but believe me, there has been no shortage of progress. Since the last bulletin, we have finally received our building permit and have begun reconstruction in earnest. You will see by the photos throughout, we have not only started rising from the ground but the historic chapter house is also beginning to take shape. 

    The majority of the action has occurred in three key areas; the foundation of the new addition, the interior framing of the new suites in the chapter house, and utility work. Right now you can stand in our future multi-purpose basement and start to envision future gatherings where Alumni and Actives join together and celebrate our common bonds. You can walk the framed corridors of our historic house and envision the great common space that has been created to bring our members closer in friendship. You can stand in the area of our future Alumni Terrace and realize our house will be the envy of all other fraternities on campus.


    With those words I will show you the progress through photos but remind you that our work as Alumni is not complete. We are still short of our fundraising goals and we are looking for your help. We have various options for your involvement including tax free donations to the foundation, simple gifts of any value, pledges spread out over months or years, or the purchase of notes to support our immediate needs.


    Our bank financing is in place, our contractor is hard at work and now we need you to help at whatever level possible! Please think about being a part of our campaign and give back to the house that has hopefully given you memories and bonds for life.




    2nd Floor Suite   Entrance to 2nd Floor Suite  

    Health & Fitness Center

      3rd Floor Stair Landing  

    Common Study


    3rd Floor Suite


    All the Best,


    T.J. Blakeman, Construction Chair

    Pledge Class of 1999

    (217) 414-0630 or


  • Philanthropy Success

    Submitted by Eric Schmidt on 06/21/13 05:03:00 PM

    In the spring of 2013, the actives hosted a pasta dinner for "These Hands Don't Hurt", our national philanthropy supporting families affected by domestic violence.  The dinner raised $2,100 and the money is being donated to The Center for Women in Transition, a local shelter in Champaign.  The shelter provides a home and support for families who are victims of domestic violence.  We plan to continue doing the philanthropy each Spring ... Read More

    Centennial Conclave

    Submitted by Eric Schmidt on 06/03/13 12:24:00 AM

    On April 22nd, 1914 Alpha Kappa Lambda was formed at the University of California.  We celebrate the centennial of that date in 2014 and we will honor this great milestone.  We are planning a number of regional events to be held across the country starting in April, 2014, so that all our alumni and undergraduate members can celebrate our first 100 years. The centennial festivities will culminate in August, 2014, with our biennial ... Read More

    Gamma Student Hired in National Office

    Submitted by Eric Schmidt on 06/01/13 12:20:00 AM


    Alpha Kappa Lambda is pleased to announce we have hired three new consultants to the National Headquarters starting this summer. Two are staff as Chapter Services Consultant, while a third will be taking over in the newly created Chapter Recruitment Consultant Position. We look forward to having them on board. They will be joining Cameron Warren, current Chapter Service Consultant, for a total of four traveling staff members this ... Read More

    Alpha Kappa Lambda Announces Purchase of New National Headquarters

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 10/06/10 05:00:00 PM

    The Alpha Kappa Lambda Education Foundation is pleased to announce the purchase of a new National Headquarters to be leased to the Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda. By purchasing a new building, AKL will occupy a larger and more functional facility that will provide a permanent home for the Fraternity in time for its centennial in 2014.


    “This is a high AKL moment in our history ending 38 years without a true national home of our ... Read More

    Presidents' Academy Returns in January 2011

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 10/06/10 01:00:00 PM

    The Alpha Kappa Lambda Education Foundation is pleased to announce that once again it will be hosting the Presidents' Academy for all chapter presidents in January. The date and location will be announced soon.

    The program is funded completely by the AKL Education Foundation through a generous fund established by Mu chapter (Ohio State) and through private donations. Travel, lodging and meals are provided for the presidents that attend.

    AKL Unveils New Strategic Plan; Volunteers Sought for New Committees

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 09/13/10 04:35:00 PM

    he Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda is pleased to announce a new four-year strategic plan that guides the Fraternity to its 100th anniversary in 2014.


    This fall semester, alumni with various backgrounds will be asked to identify the ways in which they will help achieve the goals outlined in the plan. In addition, members of the National Executive Council and the AKL Education Foundation have begun working together on a number of exploratory ... Read More

    Eta alum challenges brothers, friends to give back to AKL

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 08/31/10 08:00:00 AM

    Eta chapter (Washington State) alum Herb Satterlee has challenged all brothers and friends of AKL to make a donation to the AKL Education Foundation at If we raise $10,000, Brother Satterlee will donate an additional $10,000 for a total of $20,000 to the Foundation!


    Donations of any size are welcome…please give today at

    Tucker Joins NHQ and Foundation Staff

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 08/24/10 08:05:00 AM

    The Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda and the Alpha Kappa Lambda Education Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Jamison Johnson Tucker (Gamma Epsilon, Mississippi State) as the newly created Assistant Executive Director of Alumni Programs. In this unprecedented collaboration between the Fraternity and the Foundation, Brother Tucker will be responsible for fundraising, communications and alumni training.


    Tucker has an extensive ... Read More

    Mitchell Returns to Headquarters Staff

    Submitted by Jamison Johnson Tucker on 08/20/10 09:00:00 AM

    The Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda is pleased to announce the return of Matthew Mitchell (Gamma Delta – Montevallo) as Director of Chapter Services. Brother Mitchell returns to NHQ after spending the past two years earning a Masters degree in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of West Florida.


    He previously worked for the Fraternity as Director of Chapter Services from July 2006 to December 2008.

    Rain, Rain Go Away: Construction Update for the week of October 19, 2009

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 10/19/09 05:26:00 PM

    By T.J. Blakeman

    Men of Gamma,

    Rain, Rain go away! This year's quick change to fall has not been easy on us at Gamma. Due to the unseasonably cool temperatures in early October and above average rainfall our work schedule has suffered some minor setbacks. You will see in this weeks update that a majority of the work has involved excavation and foundation work, which of course requires a relatively dry period. However, now that we have received a ... Read More

    Gamma Day and Construction Update for the Week of October 5, 2009

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 10/05/09 05:39:00 PM

    By: T.J. Blakeman ('99)


    Men of Gamma,

    I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has traveled back home to Gamma this year to witness first hand the amazing changes that are taking place. This past weekend was Gamma Day at AKL and our official ground breaking ceremony. We had around 100 alumni and their family members back home this weekend and it was a delight to see everyone’s reactions on the many tours of ... Read More

    Alpha Kappa Lambda's Gamma Chapter Sets to Break New Ground

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 10/01/09 08:56:00 AM

    CHAMPAIGN, IL–October 1, 2009 Just as they did some eighty years ago, actives and alumni from the Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity, the oldest surviving chapter in the country, will return home to 401 E. Daniel Street in Champaign, this Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 12:30PM, for a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of reconstruction on their chapter house. In addition to the physical improvements of the house, the ... Read More

    The Addition Comes Down: Construction Update for Week of September 21, 2009

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 09/21/09 03:02:00 PM

    By T.J. Blakeman

    Men of Gamma,

    Another week in the books and another series of remarkable photos. I have been assured that not every week will have such a drastically different view but these four weeks have been amazing. The biggest change of all has been the complete demolition of the 1969 Addition. It was a remarkable sight to see as each bit of concrete falling resulted in small tremors, reminding you just how sturdy our old house was. It is ... Read More

    It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 09/16/09 09:35:00 AM

    ’Tis the season! Not for carols and presents or stockings and snow, but for football of course. And there’s no better time to be an Illinois alum! Ready the coolers and inventory the tailgate gear…another Illini football season is here!

    Those Saturdays between Labor Day and Thanksgiving are our best opportunity to spend time with some of our best friends - including our AKL brothers. Take advantage of the chance to reconnect with ... Read More

    Class of '88 Reunion Checks Out the Site: Construction Update for September 14, 2009

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 09/14/09 05:17:00 PM

    By T.J. Blakeman

    Men of Gamma,

    Last week was another big week for our chapter house that was capped off with one of the best Alumni gatherings we have had since our initial campaign kick-off in 2007. We were thrilled to have the graduating class of 1988 back on campus to celebrate with us. The men were able to tour the house and enjoy our pregame tent on the front lawn. Their attendance made all of the difference and I hope you will think about ... Read More

    Construction Is Now Under Way: Construction Update for the Week of August 23, 2009

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 08/23/09 03:46:00 PM

    By T.J. Blakeman

    Men of Gamma,

    This week marks a historic event for our fraternity. For the first time since its dedication on October 27, 1928, the Gamma Chapter at 401 East Daniel is starting anew. I am excited to bring you the first photos in what will be a weekly publication on the progress of our restoration. I want to first take this opportunity to introduce a few of the key players. I am T.J. Blakeman ‘99 and I will be your eyes and ... Read More

    Actives Gear Up for Move to 606 W. Ohio

    Submitted by Kristin Williamson on 05/20/09 09:47:00 AM

    By Tom Seewald, Active President

    The men of Gamma are wrapping up another eventful year.  Activities this past semester include numerous philanthropy and service events, including a Habitat for Humanity spring break trip by some of our members.  Active members also supported the “Hand Wall”, benefiting Alpha Kappa Lambda’s “These Hands Don’t Hurt” campaign, which raises support and awareness for women ... Read More