Daniel Olson ‘99: SigEp quickly became my home away from home

Dan Olson ‘99 ([email protected]) says he decided to pledge to SigEp when his big brother Kenny Hall asked him to help as a bouncer for the SigEp Reggae party. “I got to know Tolga Latif ‘96Rich Steinmeier ‘96, Steve Gresdo ‘96 and several others that night and felt like it was a good place to hang out.”  

“I grew up in Colorado and needed to have a sense of home away from home. I also played football at Penn and as an athlete you already have a group of friends from the team but needed an escape outside of football. SigEp quickly became my home away from home.” 

He says that the thing that set SigEp apart from other fraternities was diversity. “We had guys from all over the country, different races, religions, etc. I learned more from being engaged with these guys than I ever did in school. And then there was Jack Shores. Anyone who knew Jack knows no explanation is needed. He was the college professor about life I didn’t know I needed.” 

He says that some of his best memories are of his time in the house. “We got on a kick of playing Axis and Allies for a while in the 3rd floor alcove. It was a really a great time just to hang out, bond and not worry about school.” 

SigEp is one of those life experiences that helped my mindset for the future. Living with a diverse group of guys really helps you open up and be more thoughtful about the perspective of others.”

Olson says that SigEp has impacted him long after graduation. “Most of my lifelong friends are SigEps. We used to do an annual get-together before COVID-19 and hopefully will restart that tradition soon. Who can forget Emmick’s lake house?” 
 
“SigEp is one of those life experiences that helped my mindset for the future. Living with a diverse group of guys really helps you open up and be more thoughtful about the perspective of others.” 

“Following graduation, I continued my SigEp journey by becoming chapter counselor from 2001-2007and then transitioned to the alumni board as vice president of communications, where I continue to serve today. I have enjoyed learning and sharing stories from Pennsylvania Delta SigEps from all eras. So many great individuals have passed our SigEp halls. I’ve enjoyed connecting with all these great men and sharing their stories and looking ahead into the years to come, I hope that others can enjoy the benefit of hearing from alumni of all ages.” 

He says that giving back is critical for him. “I give back because others before me did to ensure I had the experience I did. I want others to have the same experience or better.” 

He says even more could be done if more brothers gave. “We can make the chapter house a better place to live, can help some brothers that cannot afford dues to pay for them, and most importantly help keep great programs like the Balanced Man Scholarship alive.” 

Without Sigma Phi Epsilon, I wouldn’t have made some of the great friendships I have today. 

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