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L-R: Brothers Jay Corrigan '57, Ed Lynam '57, Dick Mohler '58, Jan Gouza '58, Jim Keith '58, and wives

Ed Lynam '57 joined Sigma Chi in the fall of 1953 because he enjoyed the people he met there and the values and principles Sigma Chi stood for. He had no idea, however, just how much that decision would carry over all through his life. Now, 60 years and a full exciting life later, he still proudly answers the question Were you in a fraternity? with, “I am a Sigma Chi.”

Ed was always very involved at Alpha Chi and held several jobs, including Magister and then Consul in his senior year. And naturally, he became quite close with his brothers in their years at the house.

“We ate together, we studied together, we partied together,” says Ed. “There was a lot of bonding, living in the house together.”

After graduation, instead of using his degree as he had planned, Ed found himself faced with the draft for Vietnam. He went to Officer Candidate School and became a Supply Officer in the U.S. Navy, planning on serving the mandatory three year term. His first duty was on an Atlantic Coast Destroyer, touring all over the Mediterranean. He was then chosen to be an auditor for the Forces at the United Nations—the only U.S. Naval officer on the U.N. emergency force. Little did he know, of the 13 women on the staff there, one would become his future wife.

On his next tour, Ed was assigned to Search and Rescue duties on a guided missile cruiser. Over the span of his Search and Rescue service, he helped to rescue 22 shot down naval aviators.

“One of the highlights of my career was rescuing these guys and getting them back to health for a rapid return to duty,” says Ed. “You just can’t believe how thankful they were—we were saving their lives, literally.”

Ed ended up serving a total of 25 years in the U.S. Navy. It was a career he never planned on, but he says he would do it all again in an instant.

And when thinking back on all the biggest turning points of his life, Ed says that another thing he would do all over again is pledge Sigma Chi. Even after six decades, the bond with his brothers remains stronger than ever. Their core group still gets together every year without fail, whether it’s at the New Jersey shore, Penn State Homecoming, weekend trips in Florida, or the Sigma Chi golf tournament.

“That’s what this bonding from Sigma Chi has done for all of us,” he says. “It’s lifelong friendships that wouldn’t have ever been without Sigma Chi.”

Ed and his wife have two daughters, both of whom went to Penn State. Of their five grandchildren, three have gone to Penn State and one plans to. But best of all, Ed’s grandson, Jeffrey Hamlin, was initiated into Sigma Chi this past December.

“If I didn’t have Sigma Chi, I wouldn’t have any real Penn State friends,” says Ed. “It was like family.”

The National Headquarters of Sigma Chi awarded Ed the Sigma Chi Military Service Pin in honor of his outstanding and dedicated service to his country.

Ed says he also recognizes that after all Sigma Chi has done for him, he has a responsibility to give back and keep the chapter going so that others can experience it in the future. He is a proud Life Loyal Sig, and for him it isn’t just a title—it’s a true part of who he is.

“One of the things that’s most important to me is that when people ask me, ‘Were you in a fraternity?’ I answer, ‘I am a Sigma Chi,” says Ed, “and I think that’s what any true Sigma Chi would tell you as well.”