FaceBook  Twitter

Former Pennsylvania Delta Foundation Board president, James A. Hughes, Jr., '52, died on December 28th.  Jim's dad, Jim, Sr., was originally a member of Penn Delta's class of 1919 (which included Pete Kramer, long-time Wharton faculty member) and who eventually graduated in 1921 because of the First War. 

Jim is one of a hand-full of Penn Delta men whose father was also his brother, a fact which delighted both Jim and his dad.

For 25 years, Jim, who was encouraged to reassert his SigEp participation in the late 80's (after a career which took him all over the world) by Don Bux, '53, carefully tended to chapter house improvements and was an effective and well respected liaison to the University's fraternity affairs, student affairs, and financial departments.  Jim's served as a key member on the Penn Delta alumni board and stood firm stood firm on how important the Chapter facilities are for our young men. Dan Olson's recalls that Jim loved sharing a beer and burger after each meeting at Smokey Joe's to "catch up" on each others personal lives.  Jim never missed a moment to share a story.

In partnership with Don Bux, who handled our Delta Drive 90 fund raising, Jim carefully directed the scope and pace of early chapter house improvements as we approached our 90th anniversary in 1994.

Jim, together with Tim Games, '83, Brett Danko, '90, and Brett Merves, '05, played key roles in the next chapter improvement phase which was completed in 20__ .

In 20__, Jim, Dave Ffrench, '51, and Don Sontag, ''53, were honored and thanked at Homecoming for their deeply appreciated efforts on behalf of the chapter for a combined 150 years.

Jim also became a friend of countless undergraduates.  His enthusiasm, "Brett Merves!" is how Brett remembers Jim's first response on virtually every phone he made to Jim, both during his undergraduate term as house manager and subsequently as Jim's assistant and now successor as Alumnus in Charge of The House.  In May '03, the day after all seniors had moved out, Dan Olson recalls that Jim Hughes led the charge in a house clean up of epic proportions to make sure it was ready in less than a day for summer renters to move in.  Jim simply rolled up his sleeves and got the job done.  That was just the type of person Jim was.

Jim became a good friend of Jack Shores and was instrumental in seeing that Jack's kitchen was kept up to snuff from the early 90's until Jack's passing in 20__.

Tributes to Jim included that of former SigEp District Governor Mitch Crane and current District Governor Joe Langella who joined in acknowledging Jim's seminal contributions to Penn Delta and pointed to Jim's belief that a well-maintained chapter house with attention to study areas and safety would contribute powerfully to the undergraduate experience.

3 current undergraduates, Scott Reikofski and Beth Schnittman-Malm from  Penn's Office of Fraternity Affairs, and the following alumni attended Jim's funeral in Chadds Ford and the luncheon following which Jim's dear wife, Madeleine, had invited everyone to attend:-  Dave Ffrench, '51;  Rod Vaughn, '53, Clarke Glennon, '55;  Conrad Eberstein, '65;  Tim Games, '84;  Brett Danko, '90, and Dan Olson, '99.

Jim was one of a kind who was an ideal alumnus who contributed his time and talents in ways which are still being remembered with deep gratitude by perhaps 300 then-undergraduates whose lives he so positively affected.

(Contributions in Jim's honor may be made payable to the SigEp Educational Foundation, earmarked for the Penn Delta Bal Man Scholarship, and mailed to the Foundation at 310 South Boulevard, Richmond, VA. 23220)