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Room 5: Back in the late ’60s, that was the place to go if you needed to ramp up your style for dinner—and Jim Pressler '69 was your go-to guy.

“One of the house rules back then was that you had to wear a coat and tie to dinner,” he recalls. “I had gotten some of my father’s old ties—probably from the ’30s or ’40s—which we kept in Room 5 if anyone needed one. They became known as the Room 5 Ties—they were outrageous, but fun!”

Apparel aside, Room 5 wasn’t just a one-stop shop for dinner attire. It served Jim well for the three years he lived in the Lambda Chi Alpha house.

“Room 5 has a lot of great memories,” he says. “I was in there for all three years and had wonderful roommates.”

While he spent plenty of time studying, Jim also found time to enjoy the social aspects of the fraternity.

“We had ample time to both study and socialize,” he recalls. “Of course, House Party is one of my favorite memories. We would always have a great band!”

But the simple things are also still fresh in Jim’s mind.

“I remember how almost all of the brothers would gather in the chapter room to watch Laugh-In and Batman,” he says.

Drawn to the fraternity as a freshman, Jim felt that Lambda Chi Alpha was good fit right from the start.

James, 1968

“I was in the Electrical Engineering curriculum and there were a few EEs in our class,” he says. “The brothers and the aims of the fraternity fit what I was looking for. The house appeared to have a good balance between scholarship and fellowship.”

During his time in the fraternity, Jim took advantage of the opportunities presented, which gave him have life-long advantages.

“While at LXA, I served as treasurer, High Tau, and house manager,” he say. “I think the experience helped me develop in management, planning, and administrative skills that I have used throughout my entire career.”

Putting those skills to use, Jim spent four years of active duty in the Air Force before working for the phone company for 37 years. Today, Jim is retired and spends his time with his wife of 47 years, Marcia, and their two children, Robert and Elizabeth. Living in Birmingham, AL, Jim remains active by assisting the local high school wrestling team, practicing photography, attending church, and running the Paddock Marshals at Barber Motor Sports Park.

While time, career, and distance have made it difficult to remain in contact with his brothers today, Jim still enjoys spending time with Brother Fred Ziegler ’71, who also resides in Alabama. Despite few lasting connections, that doesn’t lessen his resolve to support the chapter.

“Supporting Lambda Chi Alpha is what you need to do,” he says. “I want to see the house do well and flourish. I think that the three years I spent in the house helped me develop tremendously and I want the house to have a positive impact on other young men.”

As for the future of the fraternity, Jim has high hopes for its success and offers a bit of advice.

“The first thing is to get back in good standing with the University,” he says. “Then, I would like to see them excel at academics. Of course, I hope the brothers have a great experience and fun, but academics are still number one.”