SigEp's Ripple Effect

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Clark Smith ’61 Shares the Profound Impact on His Family 60 Years Later

SigEp's Ripple EffectThe year was 2009. Somewhere in Denver, CO, Phil Nash '61 was about to become a grandfather once again. Despite this big life moment, his thoughts were somewhere else too—1500 miles away in Martinsville, Virginia, where one of his best buddies—Clark Smith ’61—was celebrating the marriage of his son.

Phil was invited, but couldn’t be there due to the birth of his grandchild. Despite celebrating their own wedding, Clark’s son, David, and his new bride, Margaret, put in a special call to Phil to share warm wishes. After all, they were like family...

“I was always very fond of my Dad's fraternity brothers,” David says. “Since Phil was the only one unable to make the wedding, I was really excited to talk with him. Looking back, I am very happy to have spoken with him as he was so excited to talk with us on our special day and share in the love.”

Clark says Phil remembered that call until the day he died.

Phil is just one of the many SigEP alumni Clark has kept in touch with over the years. Thanks to those efforts, the love and support that comes with a fraternity membership has extended in many ways to his family.

“My dad’s fraternity brothers were part of many of our family vacations,” David recalls. “I would always talk to them after big Carolina wins. Phil was especially excited after the Heels would finish off a tough opponent. I always knew it was him calling right after the game was over. As I have gotten older, it’s really special to witness how close they have been over the sixty years since they first met at the SigEp house.”

When our children benefit, it’s a testament to the lifelong and wide-ranging impact of a SigEp membership—like Clark’s of 60 years.

Today, Clark keeps in close touch with three brothers from the class of 1961: John Rankin, Frank Biggerstaff, and Jim Noyes. They think of Phil often.

Clark also keeps in close touch with Doug Squillario ’62 and Dick Lowe ’64.

Clark and Frank, along with their wives, Sharon and Mary, attend the Tar Heels’ football and basketball games together. Jim and John join them for football weekends and to relive some of their favorite memories.

“The stories always get wilder the older we get,” Clark admits. “Our advancing age has hit us all—we’re definitely in bed earlier than in the past—but we always have a good time like we never left the fraternity.”

After 30 years in sales, Clark retired from DuPont in 1993. He picked up his part-time position in 2003, which he still holds today—and he’s closer than ever to SigEp. As a courier for the athletic department at UNC, Clark handles all the mail and gets to interact with some of the top coaches and student-athletes in the country.

“It’s a fun job because of being able to associate with the coaches,” he says, “and all the student-athletes I meet are super kids. It’s a pleasure to get to know them and be able to associate with the school I went to.”

With a job on campus, Clark has the privilege of driving by the chapter house quite often.

“The house, which is just a block off campus, is so much nicer than the house we were in between 1957 and 1961,” Clark says. “It was not aesthetically beautiful back then. We certainly didn’t pledge because of the house, but it was heaven to us because of the associations we had in the brotherhood.”

When he’s not at work, Clark’s free moments are spent with his daughter (Jennifer), David and Margaret, and their two grandkids (six-year-old Emma and three-year-old Edwin) who reside in Raleigh, NC.

“We’ve already taken them to numerous sporting events,” Clark says, suggesting they may follow in his footsteps someday. “They’re big Carolina fans already.”

…and possibly future members of UNC Greek organizations so they can enjoy the same perks Clark did.