About Paul Yenter

Submitted by Thomas A Collins (EI 756)

On May 5, 2005, at the age of 48 a young man made the transition from this world to the next. To most undergraduates, 48 is a long ways off. At my age, 48 is a long ways off, only in the other direction.

Paul Yenter (EI 852) was that man. I had the pleasure of knowing him as my wife's cousin, and introducing him to the fraternity. He was not a athlete or a scholar. I do remember that he was a fastidious dresser and was always combing his hair.

He was an Army brat. He worked his way through school at both Gemco and Alberstons. He struggled to make ends meet, but he was determined to complete his degree.

Paul never gave up; never quit. Failure was not an option. He stayed true to his beliefs. "Naught without labor." (You may have heard this before.)

The work values he developed in school carried over to his work career. He began working for Southern Wine and Spirits, where he was employed for the last 18 years of his life. When he became stricken with pancreatic cancer the company thought enough of him that they kept him on payroll and paid for his health insurance until his death. Most companies do not do for people these days.

When the Alumni began the drive to restore the Chapter house and soon after established the Kappa Lambda Educational Foundation, I began bugging Paul for a donation. "Maybe next year," he would say. Then, after he was diagnosed with cancer, he contacted me about preparing his estate plan. One of the first things he told me was that he wanted to leave some money for a scholarship for the fraternity. He believed in the values and ideals of Lambda Chi. They had helped him become the man he was.

His sibling was not surprised when she learned about the scholarship. Paul had learned the hard way the value of a good education. He wanted to give something back; extend a helping hand to a brother he would never meet, but could help achieve a life's goal.

It was his initial contribution, which has been added to since then by contributions from his mother, my wife and myself, that made this scholarship program possible. It was his hope that the recipients of the scholarship would demonstrate the same dogged determination that Paul did in his pursuant of an education, work and life in general. It was also his hope that when the recipients get to a place in life that they can afford to do so, that they will see the value on helping another brother Lambda Chi achieve his goal. This would truly honor Paul's memory.

One does not have to be a Judge, Governor or any other person of high influence to make a difference. Every one here makes a difference in the lives of others; it can be good or it can be bad. By making the initial contribution to this small scholarship fund, Paul Yenter, a liquor salesman, has helped others pursue their dreams. He has demonstrated the meaning of "Naught without labor." True success is not the accumulation of stuff or of power and influence; it is how you treat and are treated by your friends, families and those you do not know.


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