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Steven Michael Earl, HΔ ’68, Receives Distinguished Service Award

Wednesday, May 28, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Teri Sloan
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On Saturday, May 17, Alpha Eta Delta held its annual Birthday Banquet, celebrating Chi Psi Founders Day and 93 years of Chi Psi at University of Oregon. A highlight of the evening came when the Fraternity’s 149th Distinguished Service Award was conferred upon Steven Michael Earl, HΔ ’68. To say Brother Earl was surprised would be an understatement as he tends to serve the Brotherhood behind the scenes, expecting no recognition in return.


The multi-faceted Brother Earl has a number of passions in his life. A golfer who used to be a teaching pro, he always seems to be refurbishing some automobile. But he gives freely of himself to two important “brotherhoods” – Vietnam Veterans and Chi Psi – both of which have been meaningful in his life. The War in Vietnam was a troubled time in American history and Steve went to serve our country. For him on the ground, a medic with a MASH unit in the 11th Armored Cavalry, there was a deep sense of sharing, caring, and surviving with the men with whom he served.  The need to protect and count on each other created a strong sense of brotherhood and a bond with his fellow comrades, and that bond continues today with Steve’s active participation with Vietnam Veterans of America.


Steve’s involvement in Chi Psi has been even longer, of course. At the Lodge, Steve created not just close, lifelong friends, but friends who helped him during troubled times. His Brothers did not judge him; they supported him. That bond of Brotherhood and commitment to a common purpose was so powerful an experience that Steve has worked to ensure the same for future generations. With his partner, Daniel, he has spent summers at the Lodge taking on much-needed improvement projects. In 2000, he helped coordinate major renovations; that summer he meticulously and painstakingly removed, rebuilt, and repainted every wood framed window at the Lodge.  More recently, Steve led a group of Actives to restore the living room floor boards, returning the room to its original luster.  In addition to physical improvements, he has taken an active role as an alumnus advisor and mentor to the undergraduates. It is his way of “paying it forward” and those who learn from Steve will no doubt “pay it forward” themselves.


“Early Bird,” as many Eta Deltans refer to him, is a selfless and unassuming person, never looking for accolades. But Chi Psi and Alpha Eta Delta are stronger for his thoughtful leadership, questioning concern, and Brotherly love; and we can never repay his support, friendship, and guidance over the years.


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