The House That Warr Built
Honoring Bob Warr, The Babe Ruth Of Brotherhood
Preface: Kristin’s very kind Sunday July 20, 2014 invitation is a sharp reminder of how shamefully we have honored Bob since his passing. This is made unconscionably worse because of the stupendous opportunities that honoring him (and others) provides to us. Bob’s lasting memorial for Sigma Chi should do no less than what Babe Ruth did for baseball — and, most especially, for Yankee Stadium.
If we act strongly and urgently there is still time to make the corrections required. Here’s how.
Brothers: I have a brilliant bridge partner named Tony who is also very, very funny. One day I was complaining about not making our contract because I thought he had a King, but instead all he had was a Queen. Tony let me carp for a minute then answered thus:
“John, if Queens had testicles, they would be Kings.”
It’s a good lesson and with it comes my belief that many of you are Kings. Because wise Kings would reject the proposition that we should continue running the House the same shitty way it has been run for the last 35 years.
And that Bob Warr needs a whole lot more recognition than casual grip-slipping and brew-drinking on July 2.
Had Beta Iota Alumni stepped forward twelve months ago I believe we would be (should be) wildly celebrating this First Annual Warr Memorial. Picture this —
On July 20, 2014 a ton of Sigs would gather at that 53 year-old worn-out shack on 19th Avenue – the one Bob always called “An Old Folks Home For The Dreadfully Poor“.
At such gathering a remarkable change would be on high display.
The House would have come a long way toward the goal of making it a ‘Living Museum’ — jam-packed with physical reminders of its proud 114-year history. Every single Sig would go home with Bob’s brilliant publication “You Will Find It HERE”. 307 pages that spotlight exceptional men of Grand Achievement. Worth its weight in gold.
The House would also be clean and pristine. Soon it would have its first taste of young “Campers”, ages 10-16; well on the way to becoming a near-perfect Model of how Fraternities can be profitably, proudly operated 365 days a year.
Upstairs, the hallways would have become Halls of Fame. Every room would showcase a “Specially Designated Room” meant to honor men like Bill Dillinger, Jerry Tarr, Stephen Cannell, Dyrol Burleson, Les Steers, Boom-Boom Del Baggio, Gary Rothenberger, Ken Wilson. On the doors would be beautifully crafted bronze plaques describing their accomplishments. On the walls in between would be hundreds of nicely framed Letters of Appreciation. They too deserve honor and recognition.
In the Chapter Room there would also be something very, very special.
Cemented into the wall, next to the exit doors, would be a “Babe Ruth/Bob Warr Brotherhood Plaque“. The bronze face would already show slight bits of wear — caused by the practice of ‘tapping’ it on exit — a practice that would continue for as long as there was a Sigma Chi House at Oregon. “All Honor To His Name”
What would also, and more important, be permanently cemented by all of this is that Robert Oscar Warr was our Babe Ruth of Brotherhood
So let’s extend the picture a wee bit out from there.
Just as Yankee Stadium is known as “The House That Ruth Built”, I say we can have a brand new House – one that would be known as ‘The House that Warr Built’.
Pipe-dream? Not at all. Not one teeny-weenie bit!
First, imagine that Brother Clarke McAllister is no longer “just” Chapter Adviser, but is now also a King. Clarke would tell us about the $7.5 million dollar gem his Alumni Brothers put up for their brand new Sigma Chi House at Purdue. Smart Dudes, those engineers. But they did it the hard way – exclusively tapping Sigma Chi Alumni for every single dollar.
Give me a chance (right behind Clarke’s presentation) and I will make the case how we can tap hedge fund investors for, at least, ten million buckaroos. That’s chump-change for guys who really think big! (Hint: What’s it worth to have a financial and operating model that 5,500 Fraternity Houses on all 800 (plus) college campuses should – must – adopt?} More on the this here.
The Jordan Kent Kicker
Jordan Kent is the 800-pound gorilla in this neck of the woods. His Skill Camps should be, could be, the prime magnet for our Summer Camping Program. In the regular school year we could be Jordan’s recruiting, training and promotion vehicle for Skill Camps – to be launched all over the country. (Hint: Jordan ’camps would only be a part of the “Summer Camping Program. Many others would be part of this program.}
Perfect for more than 5,000 Houses that now lie idle and empty every summer. Perfect for Oregon undergraduates seeking challenging jobs every summer. Perfect for dislodging an image that frats are cancerous and should be wiped from the map.(See Atlantic Magazine cover-story Dark Powers of Fraternities, April 2014}
The biggest winners?
All those who sleep in such Houses– from Summer Campers, ages 10-16 to top-notch undergraduates in the regular school year. The Houses were built to provide rich experiences of lifetime value. For us, this is all Duck Soup.
What else? “Enriching Seminars” with guru-led topics that include fund-raising, social networking, web-site building, smart phone application, on-site property management, community outreach, the sharing economy, mechanisms and models of good alumni relations, best practices for alumni elections, alumni officers, regular audits, transparency, innovation, collaboration, accountability, metrics for measuring and tracking results.
All of it at a profit. All year-long.
All of it centered on keeping Beta Iota Sigma Chi at the absolute front of the whole Greek Parade. Where better than Eugene, Oregon, in the shadow of Nike, on the Willamette, where high-flying Ducks are the talk of the collegiate sports world.
Where Kings, not Queens, are in charge!
Now THAT is how we should honor Robert Oscar Warr!