Ben Flores ’92

Brother Ben Flores ’92 has a lot of fond memories from the chapter. All in all, he says that his four-year experience was excellent. Now, his main concern is being a good father and husband. Click below for a brief Q&A with Brother Flores about his time in the chapter and what he’s been up to since.

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Dr. Sterling Hennis '52

It's Been a Great Experience (Sterling Hennis '52 )


Alumni Q&A with Dr. Sterling Hennis '52

When Dr. Sterling Hennis '52 says he's been a SigEp for life, he really means it. After enjoying his time as an undergraduate brother, he became a professor of English education at UNC and the faculty adviser for the North Carolina Delta chapter for 40 years. He has watched individual brothers and the fraternity as a whole grow and mature over the years, and he is proud of that.

Why did you join Sigma Phi Epsilon?
It was just a nice bunch of guys that I liked. Also, there were several of us from Winston-Salem who went in together. The SigEps of the time were the first regular pledge class. SigEp had been off campus for many years and then, after 1947, they were reconstituted and got the charter back. There were a few who pledged in the spring, but we were the first formal pledge class. The guys who were starting it over were excited about it, and you could tell that. There was a lot of enthusiasm. A lot of them were veterans, and it made a big difference to us. They had experience, and they sort of watched after us. It was a good group, and that's why I joined.

What is your favorite memory of the fraternity?
I have so many, since I've been involved with the fraternity for so long. One that stands out is that Woody Herman was a SigEp; he was a band leader who did a show here years ago. We had a breakfast for him, and that was a fun time. It was a party, I'll tell you. It was great meeting him.

What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
I think it's just the interaction and the continuing relationships. The networking has been marvelous. Once you make these close friends, you have them forever. That has been extremely good. And the contacts can't be overemphasized. In fact, I don't think we use that aspect enough, even now. I don't think we do the networking as much as we should. I've been pushing as a faculty adviser to have a more formally organized system for networking. I think the alumni would love to help these young guys. We have something in place, but it is still a casual kind of thing, and it needs to be formalized. I don't think the undergraduates realize what an asset we have here.

With whom do you stay in contact? Is there anyone with whom you've lost touch that you would like to find?
Oh, yes, I have stayed in touch. In fact, they gave me a dinner a couple of years ago when I retired, and a number of my old fraternity brothers came to that. This weekend a group of us are getting together - Gray Mattox '52 and his wife, from California; Doodle and David "Moe" Huntley '52, from Missouri; and Dick Spivey '52 and his wife, from Myrtle Beach, will be there for a gathering. On Sunday another brother, Bill Slate '51, from Jacksonville, Fla., will come visit. He was a roommate of mine in the house and was on the football team, during those days when they were very good. He is coming up for an annual football reunion, so I'll get to see him too. Also, as I mentioned, there was a group of us from Winston-Salem who joined the fraternity together, and we still see each other pretty regularly. There isn't really anyone that I've lost touch with.

Tell us about your family. Have you married? Do you have children?
My wife, Anita, and I have two grown daughters. Our younger daughter lives in North Carolina and has two children. Our other daughter lives in San Diego. Her husband has a Ph.D in computers, and they ended up living in San Diego, which they love.

Tell us about your career.
I got all of my education at UNC. I received B.A. in English, a master's in English and a Ph.D in education. Then I joined the faculty as a professor of English education. Some people don't recommend doing all of your work at the same university, but it worked out for me. It gave me some continuity, that's for sure! It's been a great time; I really enjoyed it. I retired a few years ago after 41 years.

I should mention a student I had who I am really proud of. He wasn't a SigEp, but he came through when fraternities weren't very big. His name is Clyde Edgerton. He wrote "Rainy" and "Walking Across Egypt," and just wrote a new novel called "Lunch at the Piccadilly." He has three degrees with me, and I see a lot of him. Chapel Hill is sort of a hotbed of Southern writers now.

How did you get to be the faculty adviser?
When I joined the faculty here in the late '50s, SigEp had just lost the faculty adviser. He had moved away, and I got involved, thinking I would just sort of be a liaison with the university. But because I had been a member of that chapter I knew a lot of the alumni, so I sort of took on a larger role than maybe was expected. It's funny, though, because I think all the alumni should know each other, because I know them all.
Being faculty adviser was a great experience. My wife and I would always have the pledges over for dinner, so we could get to know them. We were always amazed by how they would look so young. You'd wonder if they would ever get anywhere. And then it turns out that they grow into wonderful citizens. They leave as rather sophisticated young men, and I think the fraternity helps with that. It helps polish them and gives them experiences they wouldn't get in a dorm.

I loved the guys, and I really benefited more than they did. It wasn't just for their good, it was for mine. It was fun, and I am glad to have been a part of it all that time. I really witnessed an evolution through the years, a change for the better. The fraternity changed from the image of a party organization to one focused on personal responsibility, academics and social responsibility. The national Balanced Man Program has helped with that, making for more well-rounded students. I believe that for an organization to be vital, it must be dynamic, and SigEp has been that.

Do you have any funny stories from your time as faculty adviser?
I can't get into all the stories of events with the undergraduates through the years, but I'll tell you a couple. The house is next to a church, and there was always kind of a tense relationship between the church and the fraternity house. One time, some church members came to my home to tell me that some fraternity brothers had taken the clapper from the church bell. So I went to the house to investigate, and all the boys told me they didn't do it. I told that to the church. But then, a few years later, one of the guys told me he did it. He said he had just gotten tired of hearing that church bell ring. I didn't go back to tell the church the truth, though.

Another funny story: During the pledging, they do what we call a "heart ceremony," which involves putting some newspaper in chicken wire. The pledgemaster told the pledges they needed a whole lot of newspapers, so the pledges thought, "the more, the better." They went on campus and took every copy of the "Daily Tar Heel," the campus paper. That was 12,000 copies. I got a call from the police saying they had knowledge that some guys from our house were behind it. I told the pledges they needed to confess. The comment from the pledges and our president was, "It didn't LOOK like 12,000 papers." It was stupid, but no one was really hurt. It was a good learning experience, I guess. It took me about a year to straighten that out with the university. It was just a scream, though. I think pranks are funny, as long as no one is made fun of or hurt.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Now that I am retired, I thought I would miss my students. But to tell you the truth, I really haven't. I stay busier doing nothing than I was before. The day is just filled. I do oil paintings, and that keeps me off the streets. I've had a good time.

What are your goals for the next few years?
I'll just keep on enjoying myself. We've been lucky and have good health. It's been nice.

Brothers who want to get in contact with Sterling Hennis may e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lester Pace '82

Q & A With Lester Pace '82


Q. Why did you join?
A. I wanted to meet Joe Gordon. Just kidding! To make new friends.

Q. Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity
A. Building the new house, or tearing down the old one once we knew we were getting the new one. Take your pick!

Q. What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
A. I have stayed in touch with many friends. Regrettably, I probably appreciate it more now than I did then. Youth tends to take things for granted.The influence mostly is to help out others in need. SPE was there for me when I needed it.

Q. Tell us about your family: Have you married? Do you have children?
A. I am a divorced father of a 12 year old son. Good student and athlete. Very busy summer for him. Five-Star Basketball camp All-Star. Voted best in Camp at Campbell U. golf camp. Won fourth consecutive Alamance Amateur golf tournament, and won the National Junior Championship for Putt -Putt of America. AAU basketball team was 31-0 , and #1 ranked team in NC.

Q. What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?
A. "The Wind." I blew in and out without any notice. Mostly blew out!

Q. Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them. A. Yes. Bill Holyday, Chip Hunter, and too many women to mention. Can't tell that on Bill!

With whom do you still stay in contact?
Joe Gordon, Chip Hunter, Charlie Engle, Bill Holyday, Jeff Byrd (All the drunks!)

Q. What do you do for a living?
A. Industrial Sales for fittings manufacturerer. Sell to A&E Firms and large construction companies. Cover East Coast. Maine to Florida.

Q. What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
A. Substance abuse advisor, youth advisor at church.

Q. What hobbies do you enjoy?
A. Golf, sailing, running.

Q. What are your goals for the next few years?
A. To recover from the divorce financially!

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