A Civil Engineering major during his time at Tennessee Tech, Mike MacIndoe, Sr ('84) is co-owner of Fulghum MacIndoe & Associates in Knoxville. Mike also volunteers his time to Theta Tau as a member of the steering committee for the effort to build a new house for our undergraduates. We talked with Mike about his Phi Gamma Delta experience and why he and his wife have been so supportive of this project.
What was your introduction to Phi Gamma Delta like?
Coming from Fairfax, VA, I arrived at Tech really not knowing anybody. I rushed that Fall, but chose not to return either of the two bids I received. Over my freshman year, I met some Fiji’s that were pledging and got to know them. Then in the Spring quarter of 1980, it made sense to rush Phi Gam, and I was fortunate enough to get a bid. We had a great pledge class, and I made some terrific friends and started establishing some really sound relationships.
What are the things you most remember about those days?
e relationships have to be at the top of the list. That's what has stuck with me the most. Many of the relationships are still there - even if I don't see them all that often. Several of us got really close; that's what happens when you live and study together. On occasion, I
was invited to go home with some of the guys for weekend excursions. I enjoyed seeing where they grew up, meeting their families, having them take me in as part of their family network … that was very nice and was really important to me, since I was 500 miles away from home.
Best of all, of course, is that I met my wife, Lisa, at a Phi Gam "Mystery Date" party! And though this didn't happen during my time as an undergraduate,
I had the honor and privilege of watching my son (Michael, Jr. - 2013) pledge and be initiated, which was a tremendous thrill for me.
What was it like to be part of a colony working towards a charter?
I have great admiration for the founders and for the culture that they established. As a colony and then a young chapter, we had some challenges. But by working through those challenges it enabled us to create a really strong foundation for the chapter, which continues today. Their vision and what they did is quite an accomplishment when you consider their age and diverse personalities. Starting such an organization is not that different from starting a business. I can only imagine the early challenges they faced. I have great admiration for that group of guys and what they established for us.
Do you see this campaign as a way for alumni today to leave their own legacy?
This is our opportunity to give back to the chapter. It’s no secret that the house is in a state of disrepair. The undergraduates are doing the best they can to keep it together. I applaud their effort! But now it's time to get this new house moving. Obviously, a successful campaign is the vital component, but that's only the first step. Fortunately, we have an excellent steering committee and brothers who have the expertise to see this project through planning, design and construction.
I get that guys drift after graduation … you get married, have children, and what becomes important are those life events with your family. You don't have as many opportunities to participate in Pig Dinner, to go back for Homecoming. Rallying around this house is creating an opportunity for us to reconnect with everybody. There are a lot of guys I haven’t seen since graduation - 35 years ago. That's a long time! I’d love to reestablish relationships, reminisce and reconnect. I’s just like rekindling with a family member – you just pick up where you left off.
Sure, our lives change, but hopefully those who haven't been connected in recent years will be able to do so thanks to this project. I’m certainly very glad that I did.
Because of that, it's been real easy for me and my wife to be part of this campaign.
Many thanks to Mike for the many hours he's volunteered in service to Theta Tau over the last two years, and to him and Lisa for their leadership giving to this campaign. For a complete list of current donors,
Finally, a special thank you to Lee Wray ('81) for arranging Lisa's introduction to Mike at the "Mystery Date" party!