Alumni help FarmHouse celebrate 40 years at SDSU

Carl Deardoff

Carl Deardoff

The only fraternity that doesn’t use Greek letters celebrated its 40th anniversary last weekend.

The FarmHouse Fraternity has been “Building Men” since 1966. The SDSU chapter has been home to more than 600 alumni throughout its history. Of these, more than 160 alumni came back to celebrate the history of the second-oldest fraternity on campus.

Tours of the house were given Friday evening and continued into Saturday.

Guests were shown where the residents live, work and eat.

“The house holds 32,” David Ireland, house president, said, “It’s a little tight.”

The FarmHouse has living quarters, a kitchen and lounges.

“The house is complete with two back lounges,” Ireland jokes that is “where we solve the world’s problems.”

Guests were shown a “John Deere green” three-fold display. The setup showed the “Four Pillars” the FarmHouse focuses on when building quality men: spiritually, intellectually, socially and morally and physically.

Saturday morning guests were given tours of the campus in horse- drawn trollies. Guests came back to the smell of barbecue in the air. Three cooks exchanged stories with each other while preparing for the barbecue luncheon held at noon. An association meeting was held later in the afternoon.

Four hundred people attended the banquet, followed by a dance.

Clark Hanson, faculty advisor, said the turnout was “Awesome … we had eight of the 24 original members back for the banquet.”

Alumni showed up with their families to celebrate the history of the FarmHouse Fraternity. Hanson said the turnout for the weekend “was way beyond our expectations.”

For the entire weekend, Hanson said “$10,000 was raised for a scholarship by raffling off an antique John Deere Tractor.”

Throughout the FarmHouse Fraternity’s 40-year history, the object of the fraternity has been to “promote good fellowship, to encourage studiousness, and to inspire its members in seeking the best in their chosen lines of study as well as in life.”

Ireland said that FarmHouse “helps you develop as a man and get ready for real life.”

For Mike Bosch, director of alumni relations, being part of this fraternity “opens doors to alot of new things.”

Chairman John Toft said, “they [FarmHouse] keep you involved in campus activities.”

This includes working for Habitat for Humanity. Nearly $6,000 was raised to help build houses last fall.

Toft said that when they aren’t participating in major events, the men do “little stuff, like helping elderly people move from house to house.”

The members of the FarmHouse Fraternity have had steady figures influence their lives through the years. Hanson has been involved for the past 33 years. This includes service on the International Board of Directors and even as the International president. He has served non-consecutively as the faculty advisor for the SDSU chapter for 10 years.

Hanson said FarmHouse taught him “leadership abilities, confidence, and enhances abilities to work with people.”

The female presence at the fraternity has been Deb DeBates. She is the current house mother and has been offering support to the men for the past 16 years.

“If anyone has problems they can talk to me,” DeBates said, “I’ve also been know to proofread papers as well.”

DeBates runs an orderly house. “We keep a Cussin’ Jar. If I catch them swearing, they have to put money in it.”

Marge Rang, current house cook, has been serving up hot meals for the past 18 years.

Ireland said, “we eat real well.” The meals she prepares are important in keeping the residents well-fed and energized for their daily tasks.