Illini Golf Classic – September 21,22 – Olympia Fields

illinigolfclassicOn September 20/21 The Illini Tour Professionals will be hosting the Illini Golf Classic at Olympia Fields in support of the Illini Golf Program. Gamma Zetas have their name all over this one starting with Illini golf coach Mike Small ’88. Just a quick look at the hole sponsors I also see Bill Barry ’77, Cary McMillan ’80, Mark Everett ’79, O’Brien Steel i.e. Mike O’Brien ’84, Brotschul Potts LLC i.e. Ryan Potts ’99, Cozad Asset Management, Inc. i.e. Stu Meacham ’78 and Belmont Bank i.e. Bill McCarty ’79. I’m sure that I’m missing some. Great work guys in supporting Illini’s top sports program and Coach Small! Here’s a link if you’d like to attend or participate in some way.

What’s it like to guard Michael Jordan?… Magic Johnson??


Gamma Zeta’s Sports Illustrated “Cover” 1/22/79 – see entire first row to right of scorers table

That’s what we got to hear about at the “Tau Madness” Kick-off luncheon yesterday at the Highline Bar in Chicago from Neil Bresnahan ’80 and Doug Altenberger ’87 who described first hand experiences going at it with two of the greatest basketball players of all time.  We also heard some great Lou Henson stories including the obligatory “Lou Doo” reference and many more.  Twenty-five Gamma Zeta’s attended the lunch.  You’re going to have to attend these luncheons in person to get all of the details but here are some of the highlights…

Craig Nadborne kicked off the meeting with some interesting trivia about how ATO Gamma Zeta has been intertwined with Illini basketball for over 75 years.  For example… Continue reading

Tunney Fundraiser and Illini BBall Watch Party wrap up and pictures

photo 4Last night we had a very successful event to raise funds for Chicago 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney’s ’77 re-election campaign and to watch some Illini Basketball.

About 25 guys attended in person and a total of about 30 guys donated over $7,000 for Tom’s campaign.  THANKS!!  Also special thanks to Craig Nadborne ’78 and Nick Ftikas ’02 for organizing, Matt Menna ’93 for having his team at the Schoolyard Tavern lay out a great spread and provide fantastic service!  And… thanks to Alderman Tunney for representing us all well and his kind words about ATO!!  Good luck to Tom with his campaign!! Continue reading

Gamma Zeta Class of 2018 Initiation – Alumni, Please Attend!!

foundingbanquet (1)The Gamma Zeta Class of 2018 initiation will be held Monday evening at 6pm on February 9th at 1101 W. Pennsylvania Ave. All alumni are welcome and encouraged to attend. It is really a very cool experience… all 2700 or so of us who have been Gamma Zetas since our founding on March 21, 1895, 120 years ago, have participated in this same ceremony. If you haven’t been back since your own initiation, I guarantee that you will find the evening meaningful and enjoyable. And… it sends an incredibly important message to our newest undergraduate members about the lifelong nature of our commitment to ATO and our care for our house. Please attend if you can! Attire is suite and tie.


Dane Luhrsen
Gamma Zeta ’77
Director of Alumni Relations
Editor of Gamma Zeta News

Chancellor Wise… “these are the men of Alpha Tau Omega!”

Jack Klues '77 with Jimmy Kowalczyk '16 and Chancellor Wise

Jack Klues ’77 with Jimmy Kowalczyk ’16 and Chancellor Wise

On Wednesday evening, January 21 at the invitation of Gamma Zeta Board of Trustees Chairman Jack Klues ’77, Chancellor Phyllis Wise visited the Thomas Arkle Clark Memorial Chapter House for dinner.  The visit went great! The house looked it’s best in the last three years and our guys put on a great showing.

Norm Bilsbury ’92 was there early in the day working with the undergrads making sure everything was picked up inside and out.

Greg Scott ’76, House Corporation President, Joe Grazioso ’16, House Manager and Jimmy Kowalczyk ’16, Worthy Master did a fantastic job making sure that the inside of the house was detailed, all of the mess from last weekend’s move in was removed and getting some last minute small repairs made.

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Restored Heldman Trophy

Thanks to Dave Krug ’95, the very impressive Heldman Trophy has been restored and returned to it’s rightful place at the base of the stairs in our front hallway.  It looks fantastic.


Jeff McGill '73 with Jim Dobrovolny '70 and his wife  Katie

Jeff McGill ’73 with Jim Dobrovolny ’70 and his wife Katie

Jeff McGill ’73 stepped up big time and had everything organized in the dining room… extra tables including comfortable seating for 100, table cloths and flowers on the tables. He also arranged for Illinois Doctoral piano student and Krannert Award winning Sam Gingher to be playing when Chancellor Wise arrived.

The undergrads were all on time, dressed in suits and ties and were very respectful. Jimmy, Joe and others were working on last minute details pretty much all day.

Jack gave Chancellor Wise a quick tour of the common areas before dinner.  We told her a little history of our 113 year old newly restored Bechstein Grand piano and she was clearly impressed to find such a beautiful antique inside a fraternity and such a nice house.

All of the undergrads went into the dining room while Jack led the tour. When they entered the dining room, Jack announced… “Chancellor Wise… these are the Men of Alpha Tau Omega”.  Everyone, all dressed in their suits and ties stood and clapped for the Chancellor. It was very impressive.

photo 3The food and setting was excellent. Jeff McGill had arranged for the U of I Triathalon Club to act as servers and they did a great job. So we actually had a good old fashioned sit down meal. Chef Colin and his team from Upper Crust out did themselves with a beautiful setting and excellent dinner.

photo 2Greg Scott had even prepared menus/programs which were laid out at each place setting… very classy.

After dinner, everyone retired to our beautiful East Living room under the watch of the portraits of Thomas Arkle Clark and Robert Simonds.  Dane Luhrsen ’77, Director of Alumni relations reviewed a brief slide show history of Gamma Zeta and Jimmy provided an update on the current undergraduate chapter.  Here’s a link to the slide show that Dane and Jimmy presented –   ATO Gamma Zeta Legends 1 20 15 (1)

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Chancellor Phyllis Wise addresses Gamma Zetas

Then Chancellor Wise spoke for a few minutes about her vision for the university. She told our undergrads what a great opportunity that they had with caring and supporting alumni and urged them to take full advantage.  She was very gracious, clearly enjoyed herself and was impressed with her visit.  Jack presented her with a gift of appreciation, a glass box with ATO engraved on it that was provided by Wynn Smiley, ATO National CEO (THANKS Wynn!!)  Then Jack and Chancellor Wise went on to the State Farm Center to cheer the Illini on to a big win over the Boilermakers.

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Jack presents Chancellor Wise with gift from ATO National

Overall, the evening was a great success.  We should all be proud of our fraternity on a great showing.  The house looked great!  Special thanks to Jack for orchestrating the visit which we believe may be Chancellor Wise’s first visit to a fraternity and to the entire team for pitching in to make it a memorable evening.

Here’s a link to some additional pictures.


Resume workshop conducted at chapter house – thanks Norm Bilsbury ’92!!

normbilsburyOn December 10, alumnus Norm Bilsbury ’92, who recently moved back to the Champaign/Urbana area visited the chapter house and conducted a resume workshop for interested undergrads.  Norm reported that “the guys were really engaged, really worked hard on the resumes had great attitudes and were willing to learn.”  Hopefully this is the first of many sessions where alumni reach out to help our undergrads prepare for their job search process.  Thanks Norm!!!

ATO Chicagoland Real Estate Networking Lunch 11/14/14


Our expert panel with Moderator Craig Nadborne and Bill Rolander, Gerry Kostelney, Paul Lundsted and Bill Barry

On November 14, 2014 over 90 ATOs gathered at the Chicago Club to hear our expert panel including Bill Barry, Paul Lundstedt, Gerry Kostelny, Bill Rolander and Craig Nadborne share some of their 30 plus years of experience in Chicagoland Real Estate. Here’s a link to our Facebook Photo Album from the event.  Thanks to our esteemed panel and Craig Nadborne who served as moderator!  Also thanks to Cary McMillan who was our sponsor at the Chicago Club.

Homecoming 2014 and BOT Meeting Update

1146503_10152854245399887_6239026968610510038_nHello Gamma Zeta Alumni,

We celebrated Homecoming Weekend October 24-25 and it was a most enjoyable time to be a Tau from Gamma Zeta Chapter.

Dane Luhrsen’77, Jeff McGill ’73, and Parker Pevitz ’16 organized everything from a wonderful catered brunch in our newly renovated Dining Room to a post game victory cocktail party in the West Living Room . It even included music supplied from our newly renovated baby grand piano! It even included a rare Illinois Big Ten victory!! Continue reading

Gamma Zeta Class of 1984 /1984.5 Homecoming Recap

ATO 30th Reunion Oct 25 2014

Gamma Zeta 84’s and 84.5’s at Homecoming 2014

On Friday, October 24, the 84 & 84.5 Phrogues gathered in Champaign for our 30th Homecoming Reunion. We met at Stone Creek Golf Course in Urbana where we ate lunch (thanks for picking up the tab Dawg) and played 18 holes. Stone Creek is now the home course of the #1 ranked NCAA Men’s Golf Team, your Fighting Illini.

After hacking it around all afternoon, we met for dinner at Biaggi’s on South Neil in Continue reading