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How Sigma Nu encouraged Mike Drouse, ’88, to be himself

Entering college as a shy, young man, Mike Drouse, ’88, knew that something, or someone, would need to help pull him out of his shell. So, it was a good thing when his roommate, Phil Scalise '88, encouraged him to consider joining Sigma Nu. “I chose Sigma Nu because of Phil. Also, the people, particularly like Rob Hoffman '88, were interested in meeting me,” he recalls. Knowing that he was sought out certainly left a good impression on him, and in 1987, Mike became part of the Sigma Nu family.

From the moment he joined, Mike felt that the brothers and the fraternity helped him become more comfortable in a group setting. “I was shy going into college and Sigma Nu removed the shell from this turtle,” he says.

In many ways, Sigma Nu has played a lead role in the man Mike has become today. “I majored in Electrical Engineering and my roommate at the house, Scott Swaney ‘88, was also an Engineering major,” he states. Recalling how Sigma Nu impacted his academic success, Mike recalls that not only did he have a brother who shared the same experiences, but the fraternity, as a whole, placed an emphasis on good grades. “Sigma Nu certainly encouraged study time,” he remembers.

Living in the house, Mike was able to find balance between academic and social experiences, many of which are still treasured memories today. “Living in the house was a bonding experience with people to whom you become very close. It was the best decision I made,” he fondly says. “It was like having 30 roommates – there was always someone to do something with.” And Mike certainly found plenty to do. “Oh boy, I remember the Toronto pledge bolt, the summer before my final year, and my final semester when I met my wife!”

While he may not be in as much contact today with his brothers as he wishes, Mike also recognizes the importance of maintaining the connection long after college. “I still stay connected through Facebook. It always helps to maintain the connection for your career,” he advises.

Today, Mike is a project engineer, married, and has one son, an electrical engineer major following in his father’s footsteps. He also enjoys boating on Lake Wallenpaupack. While he rarely returns to campus or the house due to life and career, he still very values the impact that Sigma Nu has had on his life and does what he can to support the Chapter. “I give back to Sigma Nu because of what they gave me,” he explains.

While that seems so simple, the fact remains that Sigma Nu continues to impact the lives of the many young men that enter through the doors of the house. Mike hopes that they recognize the opportunities that are awaiting them, just as he did. “I hope the brothers attempt to learn something new every day. I hope they make memories that will last a lifetime, because that part of the book will end. Enjoy it!”

NOTE:  Picture is attached from when his son earned his Eagle Scout award.