Why did you join ATO as an undergraduate?
I initially was interested in a fraternity because I was looking for a social and living situation which would help me shrink a big university into a more manageable and navigable size. However, I can remember my first couple of introductory experiences at ATO which deepened my interest in joining. ATO was a house of true respectful brotherhood and was above all the juvenile hazing crap that still went on at other houses in those days. It was also filled with guys who loved sports and competition which I liked.
What is the funniest memory from your ATO days?
Like others would say I am sure, something funny happened every day I lived in the house. However, it is hard to remember specifics unless there are beers and a few old ATO’s around to stir up the old stories and memories. I am sure that I have bored my wife and kids with incidents that I thought side-splitting, but I guess you had to be there to really appreciate them.
What is the single fondest memory you have shared/will share with your children and grandchildren?
My fondest memories are the warm, genuinely caring feelings that surface in me every time I see someone from any of the classes from ’74 to ‘ 79 in particular. These feelings still live today with the help of pledge brothers like Dane Luhrsen ‘77 and Bill Barry who keep our class closely connected even after more than 30 years through emails, parties and tail gates. Thanks Dane…
After the warm, fuzzy stuff, however, my fondest memories are around our consistent success on the intramural playing fields. We were feared in everything from basketball to water polo.
ATO was “The house” on Illinois’ campus and I still recall the pride I felt wearing the letters on my chest.
How do you stay connected with your brothers as an alumnus?
Beyond Dane and BB, I share a Luxury box in Memorial stadium for Illini Football with Bob Cavoto ‘75, DB, CMac and Don Lyons.
Have you visited Illinois since graduation?
I visit campus regularly especially in the fall. I am also on James Webb Young Board for the College of Media. I have not missed a Dads Day since 2002 because either our daughter attended Illinois or we “adopted ‘ a child of one our friends who was attending.
How would your life be different today if you had never joined ATO?
I owe the ATO fraternity experience a tremendous amount. It helped me grow up. It helped me develop close, enduring friendships quickly. It also opened professional doors to me, Tom Minner ‘78 and his Dad helped me get my first and only job at Leo Burnett. 35 years later, I am the CEO of the 2nd biggest Media agency network in the world. Thanks Tom and father Bob…
Where has life taken you since graduation? What’s new in your life today?
Per above, I now am CEO for a huge global ad agency network. I have been around the world probably a hundred times so far and have responsibility for more than 17000 employees. I genuinely believe that I would not have had all the opportunities leading up to today if I did not have ATO in my life.
Connect with Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org.