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Sigma Chi Imparts Lasting Skills and Friendships“... The time that I was there, [the] group of members, and pledges that were in the house were friendly and welcoming. And, it was conveniently located on campus, which was important to me at the time,” says Norbert Connors '60 of his first interactions with Sigma Chi. Norbert was and is known to his friends as Norb, or Norbie.

Connors believes his experience at Sigma Chi was pretty standard, and a good many of his fraternity brothers have become lifelong friends.

“The fraternity system was sort of an alternative to dorm living, and [alongside] the brotherhood aspects of it, I made a number of friends that have turned out in several cases to be lifetime friends. … I had a very positive experience being a member of the fraternity generally, and specifically at Sigma Chi,” Connors says.

After graduating came a long career of hard work.

“I had a lengthy career in the steel industry. I worked 37 years at U.S. Steel, which is based in Pittsburgh, but I actually was moved around a good bit in my early career. I lived in Chicago, and Philadelphia, and [then] back [to] Chicago. [I] spent time at five different plants, and then I guess the last … 15, or so years I was in headquarters in the Pittsburgh area. Then, after that, I sort of failed retirement, and the phone started to ring and I had an attractive offer from IBM, so I worked eight years for them after that. Now, I'm fully retired...” Connors explains.

Throughout his long career, though, Connors has certainly maintained his Sigma Chi connections.

“There is a group of relatively contemporary brothers who I see. … Usually once, sometimes twice a year, either in Florida where I spend a good part of the winter, and there is a group of them that have summer homes on the Jersey Shore, and over the years we've gotten together in the summer time at Avalon, or Stone Harbor for annual events with spouses. And so, there is a group of about … 12, or 15 that I see fairly regularly,” Connors says, before he starts naming the individuals, all fraternity brothers graduated between 1957 and 1960.

They include Tony Agnone '58, Larry Pecko '60, Lynn Bell '58, Bert Berdis '62, Jay Corrigan '57, Phil Cox '62, Jim Faunce '57, Jan Gouza '57, John Haas '58, Dan Johnson '61, Jim Keith '58, Ed Lynam '57, Dick Mohler '58, Dave Morrow '59, Sam Rogers '58 and Tom Zimmerman '57. Connors also gave special mention to a few fraternity brothers who have passed away: Ted Junker '59, Jim Short '59 and Dean Tennyson '60.

“Ted Junker used to host a Sig Gig every year in March at Marco Island, Fla., until he passed away last year. Also, our group was represented with one, or two [foursomes] at the annual Sigma Chi golf outing in June until the last couple of years. We were nicknamed AARP IV,” Connors says.

Regarding these relationships, he notes, “You have to work at friendships... That's part of what fraternity is about, for sure. ... Other than the friendships that are certainly very important, I think the overall experience enabled me to be better adjusted, and to deal with the realities of the work place and [gave me] the interpersonal skills that were important to achieve whatever success I might have achieved in my working career,” Connors says.

As for current events in Connors' life, most know that his wife of over 50 years, Carol, passed away in February of 2015. He has five “active and healthy” grandchildren between the ages of 16 and 23, two of whom live in the Pittsburgh area, and three in Shaker Heights, Ohio – a Cleveland suburb. Christmas coming means family visits to enjoy.

Connors gives a special comment for his two sons.

“I am very proud of my two sons … Timothy and Christopher. … They both have advanced degrees. My older son, Tim, is a lawyer, and he spent a number of years as a partner in private practice, and he is now an intellectual property counsel at Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Christopher has a couple of advanced degrees – Masters degrees from [Pittsburgh] and Carnegie Mellon, and [is]working in information technology at … IBM, but has previously worked at NASA and Apple. … They've made their mother, and me, proud for a number of years,” Connors says.

Connors finishes with useful advice for students and recent alumni.

“... The most important thing is work hard. I learned as a young man the harder I worked, the luckier I got.”