I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. That’s where I became a Theta Chi in the Spring of 1995. My Greek Advisor for all my years at Miami was Brian Breittholz. Those who have been around the fraternal movement for a while know Brian very well. He has always been a big personality, a loveable friend, and a brilliant thinker on fraternity issues. He has won many awards, including the NIC Award of Distinction.
Brian hasn’t been the Greek Advisor at Miami for a while now, but he has always remained a fixture at Miami and in Miami’s Greek community. Brian advised chapters, including the alpha of Beta Theta Pi, and mentored other professionals who came to Oxford. He was someone I could visit when I went back to see my alma mater. For many outside of Oxford, especially those involved with fraternity life, Brian was the face of Miami. As an alum, I was very proud of that.
Brian announced this week that that he will be leaving Miami to take a new job at Indiana University. The red bricks are shedding a tear.
Brian and I became friends 17 years ago when I worked as a student receptionist in the student activities office. From there, he mentored me as a chapter president and as IFC president. We were an unlikely pair. A transplanted New Yorker with an affinity for cigarettes, biting sarcasm, and the occasional curse word advising an innocent plaid-shirted country boy from the Midwest. He lost the cigarettes and I lost the plaid, but the rest of us remains. Brian will always be a mentor and a friend.
On that note, I wanted to quickly share some of the many things I learned from Brian Breittholz:
- Nothing can make you as memorable as a distinct laugh. You could have a third eye and still be forgotten more easily than someone with a laugh that forces others to laugh back.
- Good advisors, like most good parents, limit the times they scold or express anger. However, there is no question when you disappoint them.
- If you’re going to do an awards ceremony or formal event, go all out. A good production matters. The Academy Awards had nothing on Brian’s Greek Awards night!
- There is at least one person on earth who thinks Chaka Kahn is one of the greatest singers ever.
- You can teach values and stress character, and do so with colorful language.
- Treat students with the respect of a colleague and the care of a family member.
- ALWAYS leave action-oriented messages.
- Always listen to chapter advisors.
- Once in a rare while, something good comes out of Ohio University.
- Come prepared to meetings. Be ready to answer tough questions.
- When you have a sense of humor, others want to be around you.
- You can like things the way you like them, and want things the way you want them, and not have to be considered “high maintenance.”
- Sometimes an “I love you kid” is all you need to keep going.
Brian – Miami will miss you. But, Miami will never forget you. That’s what happens when a person leaves a legacy of significance. Now, It’s Indiana’s turn.
Congrats on the new job my friend. You’re welcome for dinner anytime.