The fraternity world lost one of its old guard this past weekend with the passing of Howard Alter. Brother Alter was one of those larger-than-life characters in Theta Chi fraternity, of which I'm proud to be a member. Our top award is named in his honor, and Howard always found a way to make it to fraternity events. He was well-known to even our youngest members.
I was invited once to speak at the opening of Theta Chi's convention, and after my brief remarks, I was beckoned over by Brother Howard, now using a wheelchair. I bent over to hear him tell me how good I did, which was a surreal experience given how much I admired him. I only wish that now I had spent just a few more minutes with him. Perhaps I could have gained one more insight or pearl of wisdom to add to the thousands he provided our fraternity. Howard Alter was a man in full, and I will never forget him.
If you are attending a convention for your organization this summer, find a way to spend some time with your members of the "old guard." You never know when these legends will leave us. Consider your own legacy as well - what can you learn from them?
Farewell Brother Alter.