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Thank you to Steve Ploder'91 for participating in this Q&A

Why did you join a Lambda Chi? I was always interested in joining a fraternity from a young age. My dad and uncle were fraternity men and it always sounded like a great time. I also grew up surrounded by three sisters and no brothers and always felt like I missed out a bit. A fraternity would be a quick initiation into life with not just one brother but a houseful.

Are there any particular memories you'd like to share from your undergraduate/graduate years at reunions etc.? There are literally thousands of awesome memories.

What was your involvement with Lambda Chi like during your undergraduate years? Every memory I have at Lehigh involves some type of fraternity setting. I cannot imagine not being part of a fraternity. I realize everyone takes away different experiences, but for me, Lambda Chi and the fraternity environment was irreplaceable.

How do you stay involved as an alumnus? I moved to Chicago about 12 years ago, so staying involved has become more difficult. I headed up our five year reunion and helped manage the 20 year reunion for the entire class. I was back on campus in May and it was awesome. I was able to peak into the windows at Lambda Chi and then relive some of the great memories.

Why did you decide to contribute financially, and why do you think it is important for other alumni to do so? I remember when I was living in the house that donations from alumni were very helpful. Therefore, I make an effort to regularly contribute to Lambda Chi. I think money travels a bit farther through the Lambda Chi house than my own house believe it or not!

How has your Lambda Chi experience changed/shaped your life? I remember my first month at Lehigh attending an IFC presentation on Greek Life. The speaker was the IFC president, Sean Kelly (LXA '88), and he gave a very compelling speech on the benefits of joining a fraternity, which centered on the development of leadership, communication and social skills. It was stated that 75% of all great American leaders (U.S. Presidents, CEO's, etc.) were active members in a fraternity. I can honestly say that the majority of the skills that I have used since graduation can in some way be traced back to my fraternity experience.

Why would you recommend joining Lambda Chi to those who may beinterested? Fraternities change over time, but I was always proud of the brotherhood at Lambda Chi. We put a lot of effort into rushing and I think it paid off in the quality of individuals we were able to recruit.

In addition, back in the 80's Lambda Chi was ahead of the pledging curve by curtailing all pledging activities. This was avant-garde stuff especially at Lehigh where our house was wedged between 30 other houses who were actively pledging. I believe pledging is now banned across the campus.

Do you still keep in contact with any brothers? I keep in touch with several brothers, and I am also still very active with Lehigh.

What is your occupation now? I am a Director in the Private Banking division of Credit Suisse in Chicago.

Can you tell us about your family? I moved from New York to Chicago in 1999 and married in 2003. We have two daughters, 7 and 5, and a son who is 3.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? College is a very unique time in one's life. You should leverage every minute of it to the fullest extent, and being an active member of a fraternity will facilitate this especially in a heavily Greek environment like Lehigh.

Reconnect with Steve at steve.ploder@credit-suisse.com.