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No matter how much time passes, Ray Stahl’s fraternity experience feels just like yesterday

Back in the late 1970s, Ray Stahl, ’77, used to swap stories and share memories with older Sigma Phi Epsilon alumni brothers who often returned to the house for visits. Today, Ray has come full circle and enjoys being on the other side. “I will always remember sharing memories with the older alumni and now, we are the older ones!” he laughs.

While visits to house aren’t as frequent as he may like, Ray has had some nice opportunities to reconnect with the Brothers that have made such a large impact on his life. “As a fraternity member, you form a bond which lasts forever,” he states. “My brother-in-law, Frank Carillo, was my little brother in Sigma Phi Epsilon. He organized a mini-reunion with a number of Brothers a few months ago. It was good to see everyone, and it felt just like when we were together at the house!”

The reunion gave Ray a chance to reflect on the years spent in the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, bringing back a flood of memories for him, including the reason for his joining the fraternity in the first place. “I remember that the Brothers were great, and I loved how comfortable the environment was,” he comments. “It was much better than the dorms!”

Not only was the house comfortable, but the experience gave Ray a chance to learn about living and working with others, something that has transferred into his life even today. “There was a lot of teamwork, studying together, and last-minute events,” he says. “Sigma Phi Epsilon taught me how to get along with all different personalities, as well as how to manage my time – although that was sometimes painful!”

Ray also recalls the many pranks that were played, meals shared, and working hard to make the house successful. “I was Controller for one year, so that was my first experience preparing and managing finances. And always being cash-poor!” he states. “There’s nothing like knocking on doors to get Brothers to pay so we could pay our bills!”

Today, while no longer chasing down Brothers for payments, Ray is still involved in finances, running a successful Yacht insurance department, something he’s done for many years at different companies. He is married to his wife of 40 years, Mary, who remembers the Sigma Phi Epsilon house very well. Ray and Mary have two girls, both married, and six grandchildren. “I spend a lot of time going to my grandkids games. I also like spending time at our house at the Jersey Shore. I am also still a big Eagles fan!” he shares.

Both good and bad, Ray would never change his Sigma Phi Epsilon experience for anything and he continues to support the Chapter financially in the hopes that others have the same opportunities as he had. He also hopes that the current Brothers stay focused and work hard, just as he did. “I would tell them to always have balance in life. School is important and the main reason you are there, however, don’t forget to enjoy the college experience as well.”