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Kell Cannon ’86, Recalls his Sigma Chi Experience and Tackles Some Bonus Questions!

Why did you join Sigma Chi?
KC: My father was in a fraternity and always talked favorably about the experience and friends. I really liked people at the house, and had friends who were rushing. However, I couldn’t make the initial commitment and delayed joining, which in retrospect was a mistake.

What is your favorite memory from your fraternity days?
KC: Coming back for lunch and afternoon soap operas with the other brothers. Sports on the side yard – and we actually made the CDT with mud-bowl.

What is your advice for today’s active brothers?
KC: Stay in touch with your brothers. They provide a lasting foundation of friendship. Introduce yourself to other brothers from other chapters or different generations of the same chapter, since you have an automatic bond with them.

What are you up to these days? What’s new in your life?
KC: My daughter, who is now at Penn State, is in her mother’s sorority, and my son is a junior in high school and wants to go to Penn State. It’s fun to see them reliving my college experience. I wonder what would happen if my son joined Sigma Chi at Penn State. Is that weird?

How did Sigma Chi play a role in where you are today?
KC: Friendship, justice and learning. All important foundations for success. While not apparent to outsiders, much of my integrity comes from fraternity learnings and experience.

Why is it important for alumni to give back to the chapter?
KC: To support the concepts and ideals behind the fraternity – showing that it’s more than a social club.

What makes you most proud of being a Sigma Chi?
KC: The persistent national effort to build character and support academics – as part of a national family.

How often do you return to State College and when you do, where’s the first place you go? What’s your favorite State College spot?
KC: Family Clothesline for the latest Penn State apparel, since I am a consumer at heart. It’s amazing the number of people that will wear Penn State logos on campus and throughout the world. And most are very supportive of the University. I was in Rome, Italy, a few years ago in winter when it wasn’t as crowded with tourists. While in a plaza near the Spanish Step, a person entered from the other end – at least 100 yards away – wearing a Penn State sweatshirt. I yelled “We Are!” and they immediately yelled back “Penn State!” Go figure. Sigma Chi provides similar instant bonding, but on a family scale.

A few Bonus questions:

You were on the soccer team, and even got on the field a few times, tell me about that.
KC: Yes. Coach Barr was convinced that I was ONLY a sweeper, so that is where he would use me. Only got in to a few games, which was exciting. Since it was so infrequent, I was always surprised when he would come over and say ‘you’re going in.’ The best thing from all the practices and prep was that playing on the team gave me access to the team physicians when I was ill. So I could bypass the deluge of students trying to get antibiotics.

Tell me a bit about your job and what you do at 3D Communications.
KC: 3D is a communications company focused on helping healthcare companies take complex data and crystalize concise, credible and compelling messages that support benefit-risk and product access. We work to minimize the time necessary to get to market, communicate product value, and overcome issues and barriers to success.

What should every man know about money?
KC: Begin saving immediately. Do not spend more than you make.

What’s your biggest regret?
KC: None, I don’t think that way. There are some things I might have said to people that I wish had been more tactful.

What advice would you give the younger you?
KC: You don’t know if you don’t try.

What article of clothing should every man own?
KC: Dignity.

If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
KC: Beggars can’t be choosers. I’d take any of them and be thankful. Each seems to be super cool, and an awesome conversation starter.