Nine rings and counting – Gamma Zeta Bill Small ’63

austermiller and smallGamma Zeta Bill Small ’63 and his sons, Mike ‘88 and Andy ’92, also Gamma Zetas, have won 9 Big Ten Championship Rings between them. With Mike still going strong as the Head Illini Golf Coach coming off his 5th Big Ten Championship in a row this summer (2013), Bill predicts the Small’s will pass by Phil Jackson’s total of 11 Championship rings before it’s all over. Here’s catching up with Bill Small.

Where did you grow up and can you tell us a little bit about your parents and family?

I was born in Peoria on 9/3/1941.  I grew up in Roanoke, 25 miles east of Peoria on Rt.116.  My father worked at Caterpillar 41 years and my mother was a homemaker.  I had one sister who was 4 years younger who graduated from ISU and has lived in California since 1970.

During high school, you transferred to Aurora West.  Aurora was traditionally a hotbed for high school basketball.  Was basketball behind the transfer? Continue reading

William H. Wendling ’72

William H. Wendling '72William H. ‘Bill’, ‘Billy’ Wendling ’72, died March 14, 2013 at age 63. Billy was born October 10,1949 in Elmhurst, IL. While growing up he lived in Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights, IL. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1973 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Physical Education. This was followed by a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology at Colorado State University.


Richard J. Heath ’54

Richard J. Heath '54Richard Heath ’54 was a retired businessman and Golf Course Development Consultant for Golf Technologies, a Golf Course Design Company. Mr. Heath graduated High School in Robinson, IL. went on to Duke University for two years on a basketball scholarship and later transferred to the University of Illinois where he graduated and was a member and Worthy Master of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Dick joined the Military serving in France in 1953-1954 as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, Dick returned to Robinson and joined in the family business, eventually becoming Vice President of L. S. Heath and Sons until 1969. For his many contributions and countless hours of promotion, Mr. Heath was made an Honorary Life member of the Quail Creek Country Club, Robinson, IL.

Click here for full obituary.

Joining the “Zeebs” would be worse than Herpes

ATO picks up some great free agents
Daily Illini
Friday, May 29, 1970

In 5 intramural divisions… Point trophies awarded Five new Intramural Achievement Point Trophy winners have been crowned, one in each of the five divisions. The trophy, symbol of athletic supremacy, is awarded on the basis of most points earned throughout the year in ten intramural sports. With a second place finish in 16 inch softball, Townsend 4S gained enough points to overtake Weston 3W and capture the Achievement Point Trophy in Men’s Residence Halls division with a total of 344. Weston 3S finished second with 329 points followed by Scott 2W (299) and Snyder 2W (220). Townsend earned a large portion of its points on the strength of championships in volleyball and water polo. In the Fraternity Blue division, Phi Epsilon Pi edged out last year’s point trophy winner, Alpha Tau Omega by a quarter of a point, 321.25 to 321…

“The year after helping Phi Epsilon Pi beat ATO out for the All Points Trophy, Vie and I joined ATO.Continue reading

Dick Murphy ’65: San Diego’s Judge to Mayor

dick murhpyDick Murphy ’65 served as Worthy Master at Gamma Zeta. Since those days he had a fascinating and varied career: from a Pentagon official in the White House to a California Superior Court Judge to Mayor of San Diego. His book, “San Diego’s Judge Mayor”(available at chronicles his life journey and lessons learned, including his ATO Illinois experience.

What was the impact of your leadership as Worthy Master on the chapter?
In my opinion, the most significant contribution that I made was to bring unity to disparate factions among the brothers.

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Excerpt from “San Diego’s Judge Mayor: How Murphy’s Law Blindsided Leadership With 2020 Vision” by Dick Murphy, Gamma Zeta ‘65

murphyDick Murphy was Gamma Zeta Worthy Master in 1964/65 and then went on to an incredible career that included business school at Harvard, law School at Stanford, a stint as an aid in the White House … while also working in the Pentagon War Room, time as a banker, a lawyer, a California judge and finally Mayor of the 7th largest city in the United States, San Diego. The following is an excerpt (reprinted with permission from Dick) from his biography, “San Diego’s Judge Mayor: How Murphy’s Law Blindsided Leadership With 2020 Vision” which provides an interesting insight into his time at ATO at the University of Illinois.

Here’s a link to the Amazon page for his book if you’d like to purchase –

Illinois Fraternity LifeContinue reading

Catching up with Dr. Michael Terry, Gamma Zeta ’94 – Head Team Physician for the Chicago Blackhawks

TerryTalk about a Gamma Zeta ATO through and through, listen to this resume…

  • Pledged during informal rush first semester of freshman year
  • Moved into the house second semester freshman year and lived in the house through graduation
  • Served terms as Social Chairman, Rush Chairman and as a Senior was President of the Senior Advisory Committee, a small group of seniors who served as mentors to the younger members of the fraternity, particularly focused on redirecting some hazing practices that had gotten out of hand
  • Was awarded the prestigious Thomas Arkle Clark Award as a Senior as the top Senior ATO in the country
  • Met his wife Lynn through an ATO brother
  • Introduced his sister to brother Doug Ausnehmer and they later married
  • Nearly 20 years after graduation, still counts among his best friends, guys he lived in the ATO house with such as Doug, Dan Tarpey, Quinton Bailey, Matt Menna and Jay Nuttal to name a few
  • Describes his ATO experience as “fantastic” and the guys in the house at the time then and now a “strong and tight group”

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